Oklahoma Turnpike Authority has new road-clearing weapon ready for predicted winter storms

Posted on: 11:04 am, December 4, 2013, by and , updated on: 06:09pm, December 4, 2013

OKLAHOMA CITY – ‘Tis the season when snow and ice bring fender-benders and pile-ups.

Oklahoma Highway Patrolmen say the number of accidents skyrocket when winter weather hits the road.

Authorities say the biggest thing you can do to stay safe is plan ahead, keep plenty of distance between you and the other car in front of you, and slow down so you don’t get into a wreck.

“If you’re going slow enough, hopefully that won’t ever happen,” Lt. Brian Orr said. “But if you do, you know, pump your brakes, steer the vehicle in the direction that you’re going, that will help you out.”

This season, the Turnpike Authority has some new weapons to fight off Jack Frost and Old Man Winter.

“We have a wing plow here, it’ll plow 18 feet at a time,” Turner Turnpike Maintenance Superintendent Steve Allen said. “The tow plow, which is next to it, will plow 26 feet at a time. Our regular trucks plow about 11 feet at a time.”

The new plows can clear an entire roadway at once, cutting the time in half.

The smaller plows run only about 24 miles-per-hour but the new plows can run closer to 50 mph.

Officials said these new plows will cut down the number of crashes and the time it takes to make the roads safe.

“We like them because it won’t take as long to clear the roads, my guys won’t get as fatigued out here fighting the snow and ice and it’s safer for my guys and the traveling public,” he said.

The new plows take up both lanes when the blades are dropped, so it’s impossible to get around them but it’s a small price to pay as they pave the way to safer roads.

Turnpike Authority officials said they plan to get two more for next winter.

If you’re involved in a winter crash, call Oklahoma Highway Patrol at *55.