RE: Winter Snow and Ice Advisory to Chemung County Residents
Contact: - Town of Elmira Highway Superintendent (734-0199)
Andrew Avery, P.E., Commissioner of Public Works
• Chemung County & City of Elmira (739-3896)
“Operating a vehicle of any size is a complex task requiring the driver’s complete attention. Snow and ice
conditions create additional layers of difficulty,” said Avery. “Winter weather provides changing and often
unexpected, random, or challenging conditions for all drivers, regardless of their experience.”
Your highway superintendents urge residents to:
• Avoid driving when tired. The proper amount of rest is key before taking on winter weather
tasks; rest reduces driving risks.
• Avoid the use of a cell phone or smart device while driving, even in hands-free mode. While
hands-free mode use is legal, studies have shown hands-free operation of cell phones can still
be distracting, and result in dangerous crashes.
• Provide extra distance between vehicles to allow for additional stopping time.
• Note that four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles, while providing increased traction, don’t
decrease braking distance.
• Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions. Roads with lower traffic
volumes will have less deicing materials applied than thoroughfares.
• Make certain your vehicle’s tires are properly inflated, undamaged, and have an appropriate
amount of tread-life remaining.
• Turn off the cruise control when driving on any slippery surface (wet, ice, sand).
• Always ensure seat belts are used by all vehicle occupants, not just children and front seat
occupants. Note New York State now requires seat-belt usage by all occupants, regardless of
their age or location in the vehicle. Take an additional step and ensure all pets are secured
while riding in the car. Quick stops can launch an unsecured pet, injuring you and your pet.
• As required by State law (Vehicle & Traffic, Article 28, §1162), fully clean off your vehicle
before beginning any trip. Clear vision is a key to good driving. A clean car prevents snow
from flying onto adjacent or trailing vehicles. Snow left on your roof can slide onto your
windshield when stopping.
• Give them adequate room and plenty of vision to operate.
plow can be hazardous to you, other motorists, or the plow operator.
operators have to go home and shovel out driveways as well!
• Understand that bridge surfaces are often more slippery than the roadway and drive
accordingly. Cold air beneath the bridge causes the bridge surface to freeze faster.
• Follow local parking restrictions to allow efficient clearing of snow from roadways.
• Mailboxes are generally the responsibility of property owners. All mailboxes should be
properly installed. State law provides that repairs to mailboxes in the R-O-W damaged by
plows or flying snow are the responsibility of the property owner, not the municipality.
(Highway, Article 11, §319 and Attorney General Opinion)
• Plowing or shoveling snow from driveways and sidewalks into or across roadways is not
allowed by New York State law (Vehicle & Traffic, Article 33, §1219) It creates a hazard for
motorists and highway employees alike.
• If possible, wait until after plows go by before shoveling your driveway entrance. Shovel the
snow to the “downstream” side of your driveway. This prevents snow from being plowed back
into the driveway.
“Most importantly, drive safely and courteously. Our highway and public works’ employees strive to clear
snow and ice as efficiently and safely as feasible,”
batteries, extra warm clothing, a set of tire chains, battery booster cables or a charged jump
starter pack, quick energy foods, and brightly-colored cloth to use as a distress flag.
• Keep your gas tank at least half-full to prevent gasoline freeze-up. If you have a cell phone or
two-way radio available for your use, keep the battery charged and with you when traveling.
• Share your travel plans with friends or family.
Above all else, stay safe during these difficult times. Please note your highway departments have plans inplace to complete snow and ice control operations regardless of whether a particular highway shop has been affected by the COVID-19 virus.
“Winter Driving Tips” webpage at: https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/get-materials/vehiclesafety/winter-driving-tips