Safe Winter Driving Campaign

Safe Winter Driving Campaign

Snowplow Truck Speed

Snowplow Truck Speed

Snowplow trucks drive slowly – and there’s a good reason for it.

Plow trucks are operated by one person, and travel at 35 MPH or slower when plowing or salting the road. This helps ensure that salt being dispersed stays in the driving lanes and does not scatter off the road. We use salt as efficiently and effectively as possible to keep NY roads safe and minimize our environmental impact.

Snow Plow

Echelon Plowing

Storm Prep and Cleanup


When a storm is over and all roads are clear, our jobs are still not done. That’s when we begin pushing back snow banks from along the road to make room for snow from the next winter storm. We also use our equipment to remove snow from medians and other areas that are hard to reach with a plow truck. Drivers should expect to see plow trucks and other equipment on the roads for several days following a storm.

Post-Storm Cleanup

Don’t Crowd the Plow

Don’t Crowd the Plow

Snowplows are big and have many blind spots. A plow truck loaded with salt weighs more than 10 tons. Their size and weight makes them difficult to maneuver or stop quickly.

Trucks that are actively plowing can kick up clouds of snow that reduce visibility for motorists in adjacent lanes. They can also create ridges of snow in between lanes that make changing lanes challenging.

For these reasons, motorists should never pass snowplows.

Stay well behind a plow – several car lengths! – where the road is freshly plowed. It’s the safest place to drive.

Don't Crowd the Plow

Where Are All the Plows?

Where Are All the Plows?

Plow operators drive a designated “beat” that can take up to two hours to complete. Shorter beats are designated for high-volume roads, such as interstates. During storms, expect to see snow on the roads.

If a storm is predicted to occur during the morning or afternoon rush hours, plan to leave early or not travel at all. Roads can quickly become congested as traffic slows for bad weather. Remember – if you are stuck in traffic, so are our plows.


Safety Tips

Tow Plows

Tow Plow Training



The service features a winter travel advisory system and offers access to more than 1,000 live traffic cameras. An interactive statewide roadmap provides information about construction, crashes and winter road conditions – showing which state roads are snow covered, wet, dry, or closed, as reported by our plow drivers. It’s a helpful resource for commuters and long-distance travelers alike to determine if travel is advisable before heading out on the roads.

Call 511, visit the website or download the free 511NY mobile app from iTunes or Google Play.

511 Mobile App