SAINT JOHNSBURY- Winter is in full swing in the Northeast Kingdom. Along with the pleasant scenery, skiing, ice fishing and countless other activities-- winter also brings an increase risk to motorists, especially when snow and ice are in the forecast.
In the early morning hours on Saturday, part of US Route Two in Saint Johnsbury had to be shut down to remove a tractor trailer that had gone off the road. During the time of the crash, Troopers reported that the road was snow covered. Troopers issued the driver Grigor Grigorove ,71, a civil violation for unreasonable and imprudent speed for conditions. According to the Federal Highway Administration, each year twenty four percent of weather related vehicle crashes occur on snowy, slushy or icy road conditions-- as was the case Friday night.
In order to avoid accidents, The Vermont Department of Transportation recommends that drivers be courteous to each other. They also stress the importance of leaving plenty room for plow operators to do their job. This means staying a safe distance, and slowing down when you find yourself driving behind a plow. The Vermont Department of Transportation has an interactive map to help give drivers the most up to date road conditions. This map includes webcams throughout the state so motorists can see roads conditions along with construction projects and current accidents. It also shows the last known location of every V-Trans plow that is on the road.
Currently, V-Trans treats snowy and icy roads with salt brine. According to Greg Gervais of Greg's Auto Repair, this salt brine sticks to mufflers and break lines, which can impact them. Gervais recommends drivers clean the underside of their cars to avoid damage. The Vermont Legislator is working on a bill to ban salt brine use. As proposed, House Bill 82 would ban the use of salt brine on public and private roads that are used by motor vehicles, violations of this bill would be enforced as an unpermitted discharge under VSA chapter 47. The Bill is currently in the House Committee on Transportation.