Monday, January 26, 2015

Travel Ban to Go Into Effect at 12 a.m. Tuesday

UPDATE 1/27/2015 at 5:10 p.m.
Governor Baker states the Travel Ban will be lifted at 12 Midnight tonight.  He also encourages not traveling after midnight or tomorrow unless you have to, to allow the cleanup to continue.

UPDATE 1/27/2015 at 12:20 p.m.
Governor Baker lifts travel ban in the four Western Mass Counties; Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire & Franklin. Travel ban continues on Mass Turnpike and remainder of the state.

Travel Ban to Go Into Effect at 12 a.m. Tuesday

Governor Baker has signed an Executive Order allowing for the enforcement of a statewide travel ban effective at midnight. State Police hope members of the public heed this order to stay off the roads until further notice. The following exceptions shall exist for the ban and all drivers are encouraged to remain safe and use their best judgment:

    -Essential emergency response professionals
    -Medical, healthcare and human service workers, including shelter personnel
    -Essential public transit and support workers
    -Public and private personnel supporting public works and utility operations
    -Essential state employees
    -Those traveling for essential medical procedures
    -Vehicles and personnel delivering essential supplies to healthcare facilities.

The travel ban will be lifted on a county by county basis as conditions allow, and exemptions to the travel ban are as follows:

    -Public safety vehicles, sworn and civilian public safety personnel, including those providing services at correctional facilities, and private sector security personnel
    -Public works vehicles and public works personnel, including contract personnel supporting public works operations
    -Public transportation vehicles and public transportation personnel, including contract personnel supporting public transportation operations
    -Government personnel conducting official business
    -Utility company vehicles and personnel, including contract personnel supporting utility response and restoration efforts
    -Personnel directly supporting storm response operations, including but not limited to emergency shelter personnel
    -Personnel supporting human services facilities, including but not limited to residential housing programs and human services shelter operations
    -Healthcare personnel, including home healthcare personnel and personal care assistants
    -Personnel delivering or supporting services at healthcare facilities, including those that provide long term care and mental health care, as well as hospitals and other healthcare facilities
    -Vehicles and personnel providing critical supplies to healthcare facilities, including those that provide long term care and mental health care, as well as hospitals and other healthcare facilities
    -News media
    -Private sector snow removal equipment engaged in, or traveling in connection with the removal or clearance of snow and ice from public or private sector facilities
    -Patients traveling for the purpose of receiving urgent critical care, and persons traveling with those patients who are necessary to facilitate that urgent critical care
    -Travel necessary to maintain critical private sector facilities, services and operations, and to deliver or support critical private sector services and supplies in critical infrastructure sectors such as energy, fuel, financial systems, and the provision of critical commodities
    -Travel to support business operations that provide critical services to the public, including gasoline stations, pharmacies, food stores and hardware stores

Winter Weather Advisory

Massachusetts State Police Release -- 01262016 -- Winter Weather Advisory
With the potential for significant snowfall to hit parts of the state, the Massachusetts State Police remind motorists of several basic strategies to stay safe in snowy weather. Please remember the following tips throughout the storm in the coming days:
  • Follow us on Social Media for Updates: Follow the Massachusetts State Police on Twitter & Facebook. We post road closures and traffic advisories on Twitter frequently, @MassStatePolice. In addition, follow Colonel Timothy Alben @TimAlben, Lieutenant Daniel Richard @DGR2564, and Trooper Dustin Fitch @DustinGFitch for informative updates. We also encourage you to follow our partners, Massachusetts Department of Transportation @MassDOT and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency @MassEMA. State and some local agencies are also using the hashtag #MAsnow and #MAwx while posting weather related updates.

  • Stay Informed: Anytime there is a possibility of power outages, make sure your devices are fully charged. Download the State Police smartphone app, “Mass SP” to stay up to date from all of our digital media, including real-time alerts. You can also find links to our smartphone application here:

  • Take Note of the Local Forecast: The State Police encourage motorists to take note of local forecasts and plan accordingly for adverse weather conditions.  Motorists are reminded that they can dial 511 on their cell phones for current traffic and road conditions on Massachusetts Highways.

  • Vehicle Preparation:  With a forecast of inclement weather, motorists should ensure that their vehicles are well maintained and properly equipped for winter driving.  Motorists should check the fluid levels of their vehicles, particularly washer fluid and anti-freeze, to make sure that they are at adequate levels.  Tires should be inspected to ensure that they are properly inflated and have sufficient tread depth.  Motorists should equip their vehicles with a snow shovel, ice scraper, jumper cables, flares, a flashlight and some warm clothing and blankets.  Additionally, motorists are reminded to completely clear their vehicles of snow and ice prior to driving, including all lights, for visibility.  Clearing vehicles of snow and ice enhances the safety of all motorists by providing an unobstructed view to the operator and prevents snow and ice from flying off vehicles at high speeds and posing a hazard to others on the road. Motorists should also carry a charged cellular phone.

  • Reduce Speed:  Anticipate delays.  Most snow- and ice-related crashes are caused by spin-outs and vehicles sliding off the road because they are traveling at speeds too great for the road and weather conditions.  Posted speed limits are set for driving under optimal, dry conditions.  If road and weather conditions are adverse, motorists should operate at a speed well below the posted limit.

  • Leave Extra Space Between Vehicles: Under optimal driving conditions, motorists should leave at least one car length for every ten miles per hour between them and the vehicle in front of them.  If the road and weather conditions are adverse, that distance should be significantly increased in order to afford for increased stopping distances.

  • Black Ice:  Transparent ice may form on the roadway.  If you notice ice forming on any objects, assume that it is forming on the road surface as well. Bridges are usually the first surfaces to freeze. Drive slowly and, if possible, avoid driving on iced-over surfaces.

  • Buckle Up:  Ensuring everyone in your vehicle is properly restrained is the single most effective thing that motorists can do to keep themselves and their loved ones safe on the roads.

  • Dial 911 in Roadway Emergencies:  In any weather conditions, motorists who become disabled or encounter an emergency on the roadways should dial 911 on their cellular phones to immediately be connected to a State Police Communications Center. Motorists should always be aware of their location, noting the route they are traveling on and the number of the exit they most recently passed.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Mass Pike Speed, Tandem/Propane Restrictions

MAtraffic Advisory:  The speed limit has been reduced on the Massachusetts Turnpike to 40 mph due to the snow storm.  There are also tandem and propane restrictions in place until further notice.

Update 2:40 p.m.
Restrictions on tandems and propane have been lifted.  Also speed limit is now 55, except for between interchanges 6-11, there it is still reduced to 40 mph.