The Iowa Department of Transportation is implementing some changes designed to make winter-time driving safer for motorists. Craig Bargfrede, with the Iowa DOT’s Office of Maintenance, says that includes more cameras being mounted on snow plows.
Pictures from the “plow cams” will be posted online (trackaplow.iowadot.gov) in real time and allow people to see road conditions across the state. The DOT tested the plow cams on roughly 200 snow plows late last winter. Bargfrede says they’ll be doubling the effort this winter.
“We should have right at 400 plows outfitted with those plow cams,” Bargfrede says.
The DOT’s traditional winter season opened today and runs through April 15th. The agency has also made changes to the colors and definitions of road conditions on the website 511ia.org.
The color purple will be utilized to show roads on which “travel is not advised” because of snow and/or ice. Another new color, light-blue, will be used to show a road is “wet” and could turn slick with dropping temperatures.
The 511 website will continue to feature images and video from approximately 350 traffic cameras. An “Iowa 511” phone app is available as well.