Given our early visit from Old Man Winter last week, I am a little tardy with our annual reminder of the winter warning system and driving tips.
Each year officials from local agencies who have operations that will be impacted by winter weather conditions meet to discuss their available resources as well as plans to notify the motoring public about potential hazardous conditions. These officials represent the state, county, city, township and village road and street supervisors.
Additionally, the local school systems, law enforcement officials and some key business representatives attend and share information as well.
One of the duties of the Clinton County Sheriff’s Office is to inform the public about hazardous road conditions during winter storms.
The Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association (BSSA), which represents all 88 of Ohio’s counties, has come up with guidelines to assist the local sheriff in determining the severity of road conditions.
Although unpopular at times, the weather advisories are not declared only on the opinion of the sheriff — the sheriff’s Office consults with the Clinton County Highway Department and the local Ohio Department of Transportation before making a determination of what level of weather advisory to declare.
Weather advisories are not meant to inconvenience anyone, but are meant to warn the public of hazardous conditions and enable the local road crews to clear the roadways safely and more efficiently.
The public is encouraged to check the Sheriff’s Office website at www.clintonsheriff.com for information on weather advisories that, if in effect, will scroll across the screen.
Driving tips can be found on the Sheriff’s Office website as well as the Ohio State Highway Patrol’s website www.statepatrol.ohio.gov.
Information is also available on local radio stations or the Cincinnati and Dayton TV networks. In addition to the local weather advisories, information on State of Ohio roadways can be obtained at www.buckeye traffic.org.
Weather advisories are classified as follows:
• Level 1 — Roadways are hazardous; drive very cautiously.
• Level 2 — Roadways are hazardous with blowing and drifting snow; roadways are also icy. Only those who feel it is necessary to drive should be out on the roadways. Contact your employer to see if you should report to work.
• Level 3 — All roadways are closed to non-emergency personnel. No one should be out during these conditions unless it is absolutely necessary to travel. All employees should contact their employer to see if they should report to work. Those traveling on the roadways may subject themselves to arrest.