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Highway Superintendents Issue Winter Driving Advisory

HORSEHEADS – As the winter season continues, Matt Mustico, President of the Chemung County Town Highway Superintendents’ Association, and Andy Avery, Commissioner of Public Works for Chemung County, have issued a winter driving advisory for all Chemung County residents. When the forecast calls for winter weather, they ask residents to be mindful of potentially hazardous road conditions. 

Highway agencies across the region have been advised by regional salt suppliers that salt supplies are being rationed; delivery times will likely be delayed and delivered amounts will certainly be reduced. 

Drivers should take note that salting practices may be altered to address the expected shortage.Priority for roadway salting will be given to bridges, steep hills, intersections, school and hospital zones, and roads with higher traffic volumes.  Due to the expected snowfall on Wednesday, salting in many areas will be deferred until after plowing operations are complete and cleanup begins.  This ensures that salt is not needlessly plowed off the roads.

Your highway superintendents urge residents to:

  • Allow yourself sufficient travel time.  Winter travel generally takes longer.
  • Provide extra distance between vehicles and allow for additional stopping time.
  • Note that four-wheel or all-wheel drive vehicles don’t decrease braking distance.    
  • Always match your speed to the road and weather conditions.  Lower volume roads may have less salt applied as compared to previous winters.
  • As required by law, fully clean off your vehicle before leaving home. Clear vision is a key to good driving.  A clean car prevents snow from flying onto an adjacent or trailing vehicle.
  • Be aware of snow plows on the road:
    • Give them adequate room to operate.
    • Stay a sufficient distance behind so the operator can see you.
       - Passing a snow plow can be hazardous to you or the plow operator.
  • Plow operators need your cooperation and consideration.
  • Understand that bridge surfaces are often more slippery than the roadway and drive accordingly.  Cold air beneath the bridge causes the surface to freeze faster.
  • Follow local parking restrictions to allow efficient clearing of snow from roadways. 
  • Municipalities are not responsible for damages occurring during highway work operations to vehicles or property parked or located in the R-O-W.  Municipalities are specifically protected by section 1103-b of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.  Also, under New York State Highway Law Section 319, Article 11, municipalities are not responsible for damage to mailboxes.  These laws are applicable to year-round highway maintenance operations.                
  • Plowing or shoveling snow from driveways and sidewalks into or across roadways is against New York State law.  It creates a hazard for motorists and Public Works employees alike. 
  • If possible, wait until after the 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 your driveway.


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