PennDOT Reduces Interstate Speed Limits, Updates Vehicle Restrictions

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HARRISBURG – ​Due to the severity of the continuing winter storm, PennDOT is updating the speed and vehicle restrictions for interstates in the northwest region.

PennDOT is urging motorists to avoid unnecessary travel but those who must head out will see speeds reduced to 45 mph on the following highways:

Interstate 79, entire length;
Interstate 80 entire length; and
Interstate 376, entire length.

On roadways with speed restrictions, commercial vehicles not affected by restrictions on these or other roadways must move to the right lane.

Tier 4 vehicle restrictions are in place on I-80 in Mercer and Venango counties. On roadways with Tier 4 restrictions in place, no commercial vehicles are permitted. Additionally, all school buses, commercial buses, motor coaches, motorcycles, RVs/motorhomes and passenger vehicles (cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, etc.) towing trailers are not permitted on affected roadways while restrictions are in place.

Tier 3 vehicle restrictions are in place on the entire length of I-79 in Mercer, Crawford and Erie counties, and the entire length I-86 and I-90 in Erie County. On roadways with Tier 3 restrictions in place, no commercial vehicles are permitted EXCEPT loaded single trailers with chains or approved Alternate Traction Devices. Additionally, all school buses, commercial buses, motor coaches, motorcycles, RVs/motorhomes and passenger vehicles (cars, SUVs, pickup trucks, etc.) towing trailers are not permitted on affected roadways while restrictions are in place.

Along with the decreased speed limits, there are also vehicle restrictions on interstates in the northwest region. Check www.511pa.com for updated information on the restrictions in place statewide.

Although PennDOT crews have been treating roadways, the department’s primary goal is to keep roads passable, not completely free of ice and snow. PennDOT will continue to treat roadways throughout the storm until precipitation stops and roads are clear.

While PennDOT recommends not traveling during winter storms, motorists can check conditions on more than 40,000 roadway miles, including color-coded winter conditions on 2,900 miles, by visiting www.511PA.com. 511PA, which is free and available 24 hours a day, provides traffic delay warnings, weather forecasts, traffic speed information and access to more than 1,000 traffic cameras.

511PA is also available through a smartphone application for iPhone and Android devices, by calling 5-1-1, or by following regional Twitter alerts.

The department also asks motorists to allow plenty of space when driving near plow trucks. Also, for their own safety and the safety of plow operators, motorists should never attempt to pass a truck while it is plowing or spreading winter materials.

PennDOT reminds motorists to pack an emergency kit for their vehicles. A basic kit should include non-perishable food, water, blanket, small shovel and warm clothes. When preparing an emergency kit, motorists should take into account special needs of passengers such as baby food, pet supplies or medications and pack accordingly.

More information about how to prepare for any type of emergency, including free downloadable checklists of items to keep in your home, car, and at work, and specific information for people with access and functional needs or pets, is available on the Ready PA webpage.

For more winter driving tips and information on how PennDOT treats winter storms, visit www.PennDOT.gov/winter.