The California Department of transportation (Caltrans) district 8 partnered with San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors and various agencies this morning to host a press conference to present information to provide safety tips and to prepare motorists for traveling to the mountains during snow events.
“Big Bear Valley is a hot spot for recreational activities. For visitors to enjoy the beauty of the San Bernardino mountains we ask them to please come prepared for the changing weather conditions,” said Board of Supervisors chairman James Ramos. “Not doing so results in unnecessary burdens to first responders and traffic delays for travelers going to the Big Bear valley,” he said.
“This is a good example of local and state agencies working together. We very much appreciate the visitors who come to play in the snow and ski in Wrightwood. But sadly, some folks are trashing the community, parking illegally, trespassing on private property, littering and even going to the bathroom on residents’ property. So we will be beefing up enforcement actions. Visitors are welcome, but those who trash our community are not,” said San Bernardino County vice-chairman Robert Lovingood
San Bernardino County Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford agreed “We welcome visitors to enjoy the snow in our wonderful mountain communities, but they shouldn’t spoil their visit by not being prepared. Bring and use chains, carry extra clothes, food and water; and please respect our forest and those who call it home by picking up your trash and not trespassing on private property.”
The California Highway Patrol, San Bernardino County Sheriff, San Bernardino County Fire, United States Forest Service, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal-Fire) and the San Bernardino Public Works Department joined Caltrans district Director Basem Muallem to encourage safe driving on mountain highways during snow events.
Here are some additional helpful tips offered by officials:
!. Know before you go! Check weather conditions and road closures at: http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov/. Make sure your car is in good running condition and that you have a full tank of gas before you go to the mountains. Check tire pressure, windshield wipers and vehicle fluids.
2. Have a charged cell phone for emergency use.
3. Be advised that unforseen weather can cause traffic delays and road closures without notice. Have patience, be courteous, reduce your speed and leave more space between vehicles.
4. Do not enjoy snow play in, or next to, roadways, private property or undesignated areas. Bring trash bags to to stash your trash….never leave it behind!
5. Do not block traffic to install snow chains or play in the snow.
6. Bring Chains! Chains will be required to travel on mountain roads during snow events. Keep chains in your vehicle at all times when you travel to the mountains during winter months….when when chain control is not active. Only chain up your vehicle in designated chain control areas.
7. The mountains can be (and are) a great place to spend time during winter months for family fun and recreation. Motorists should prepare for unforseen events and changes in weather that can cause immediate road closures or extended periods in your vehicle on the highway. Plan your trip ahead of time, know your destination and pick up maps at Ranger Stations for designated snow play areas.
Winter weekends bring heavy mountain traffic so have patience and follow all traffic laws. Following these simple tips can make the difference between life and death in some situations….and they will definitely add to making your trip a pleasant one!
Follow Caltrans on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/caltrans8. For information on Caltrans projects, visit http://www.caltrans8.info. View traffic conditions at http:/quickmap.dot.ca.gov or view planned lane closures at http://www.Icswebreports.dot/ca.gov.