12/22/10 Accumulated snow combined with below average temperatures will ensure that much of Indiana will remain blanketed in white this Christmas holiday.  With a chance of winter weather forecast on Christmas Eve, the Indiana Department of Transportation (INDOT) stands ready to plow and treat highways ahead of the influx of holiday travelers.

“Winter weather does not take holidays or weekends off and, when needed, neither do our dedicated winter operations professionals,” said INDOT Chief Operations Officer Troy Woodruff. “Many of our plow truck drivers leave their families on Christmas to fight snow and ice on a 12-hour shift.”

As Hoosiers gather for Christmas and New Year’s parties, INDOT and the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute (ICJI) urge motorists to celebrate responsibly.  Law enforcement agencies will be out in force patrolling for impaired drivers.  Simple tips are available on the Web at http://cji.IN.gov/3353.htm.

“The season can turn deadly when holiday festivities spill out onto Indiana’s roadways.  By planning ahead before you plan to drink you could save a life,” said ICJI Executive Director T. Neil Moore. “Don’t let your 2010 end with an arrest or worse.  Remember that buzzed driving is drunk driving.”

Holiday travelers can access road condition information and weather alerts through INDOT’s TrafficWise Traveler Information Service at http://trafficwise.IN.gov or 800-261-ROAD (7623).  Although most INDOT road construction projects have wrapped up for the winter, TrafficWise also includes information about road closures or restrictions.

Yellow plow trucks are deployed ahead of predicted winter weather to make state highways as safe as possible, but winter driving safety is a partnership where motorists play an equally important role.  INDOT urges motorists to remember Ice & Snow: Take it Slow and drive at a slow, safe and consistent speed to minimize winter crashes.