NJ DOT reminds drivers to stay off the roads ahead of snowstorms

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The New Jersey Department of Transportation is reminding drivers to stay off the roadways ahead and during winter storms so that crews can prepare.

A snowstorm this past November crippled the state, in part because too many people were on the roadways which prevented crews from salting and plowing.

The NJ DOT has since issued a “winter weather congestion alert” to remind people to allow crews to get out on the roads to prevent motorists from getting stuck.

“If you can, try to stay off the roads while we’re plowing,” says NJ DOT Assistant Commissioner of Operations Andrew Tunnard.

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Many New Jersey residents and even some state lawmakers say that in the wake of the November snowstorm, they have felt that the state has been over cautious with getting crews out to prepare the roads. Some have even alleged that the state was wasting money, preparing for a storm that wasn’t coming.

But Tunnard says that the DOT has always prepared early, but that people are paying attention to the trucks now in the wake of the November storm.

“If we see something that’s a little bit of a concern, at the minimal cost, we want to put a precautionary layer of salt down,” he says.

Tunnard says that this is done a few days before the storm. He says that it saves money during the cleanup after.

Tunnard could not say how much taxpayer money it costs to launch the salt and plow trucks. But he insists that the DOT is doing its best to balance spending and safety.

New Jersey reportedly spend nearly $100 million last year on winter weather preparation and removal.

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