Road Commission billboard seeks motorists’ help

— The Genesee County Road Commission has unveiled a third billboard in its campaign to get road safety messages to motorists. This past spring the Road Commission erected a board asking motorists to “Report a pothole” and promising to “fix it fast!”.

As orange barrels bloomed and construction season got underway, a Road Commission billboard reminding motorists to “Slow down in work zones… for your family and ours” went up on I-75.

This week the Road Commission erected a billboard reminding motorists that motorists themselves can play a large role in making inherently dangerous snow plow operations safer by simply giving the plows plenty of room. “Help us help you…” the billboard implores, “Don’t crowd the plow!”

As Road Commission Maintenance Director Anthony Branch points out, road crews need ample room to safely clear the many miles of roadway of snow and ice.”Every year, despite the flashing lights, poor driver behavior near snowplows leads to collisions that can be deadly. To minimize these dangers, motorists must keep their focus on driving and changes in road conditions. Remember to give road crews room to work so we can clear the roads as quickly as possible,” Branch added. “And please — don’t crowd the plow!”

The Genesee County Road Commission offers the following reminders for motorists:

• Snowplows have limited visibility and drivers cannot see directly behind their trucks;

• Snowplows often throw up snow clouds, reducing visibility on all sides of the truck;

• Motorists should never attempt to pass a moving snowplow on the right. With new, wing — plow technology, the blade can clear the shoulder and the lane of travel simultaneously. Motorists attempting an illegal pass through a snow cloud on the right and/or shoulder of the road most likely won’t see the plow blade and run the risk of a serious crash; and

• Do not travel next to a plow — they can jerk sideways when hitting drifts.

• Always wear your safety belt and allow extra time to reach your destinations this winter.

• Do not text or talk on cell phones while behind the wheel.

A wealth of winter safety tips — for motorists, homeowners, parents and children — are available at www.micountyroads. org/winter.htm.

The Road Commission has entered into a partnership with CBS Outdoor, the largest supplier of outdoor advertising in southeast Michigan, in a campaign to get road safety messages to motorists. Under the partnership, CBS Outdoor is donating the billboard space and will display Road Commission messages based on billboard availability, while the Road Commission is paying only for production of materials.

For more information about the Road Commission’s road safety campaign, please contact Robert Slattery, Road Commission Director of Information Systems and Planning at 810-767-4920, ext 310. — G.G.

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