Police, highway crews encourage safe winter weather driving


Bristol, Va. - The snow and extreme cold make driving treacherous. If it gets really bad, police advise staying home unless you have to get out. However, if you have to, we learned how you can make sure your vehicle is winter ready. Snow is in the forecast, so city and state highway crews are prepared and ready to clear the roads. "Expectations are a big factor with the snow storms especially if we get a great amount of snow. We're going to be out there working. We're going to be mainly on the Interstates and primary highways while it's snowing," Virginia Department of Transportation Communications Manager Michelle Earl told us. Earl said within 48 hours, crews are able to get to secondary roads. It is the time in between that can be dangerous. Bristol, Virginia Police Captain Maynard Ratcliff always encourages drivers to be cautious during snowy or icy conditions. He told us it is best to stay home if possible. Ratcliff said, "If you have to go out, the main thing is basically slow down. Drive according to the conditions." If you are out on the roads, the planning should start before your engine does. Ratcliff advised to have a full tank of gas and make sure your car is running properly. "Make sure your tires have plenty of good tread on them and they are properly inflated and just make sure your car is in good condition," Ratcliff told us. He also recommended having an emergency kit filled with extra clothes, snacks, and water. "Make sure that you're off the roadway as far as you can get so someone else doesn't come along and run into you." To avoid any issues, VDOT has a 5-1-1 website and app available. "That app even can show you cameras, so you can see what the roads look like before you leave in some areas of Virginia," Earl said. VDOT also has safety service patrol officers monitoring the road for disabled vehicles or drivers in need. For information on VDOT cameras and notifications: For information on TDOT cameras and notifications: