WYDOT and WY Highway Patrol Unhappy with “Rogue Drivers”
Written by Andrew-Rossi on May 3, 2022
WYDOT and W.H.P. were ready for April 22’s sudden snowstorm, but the biggest issue for troopers and plowers was overly ambitiously, gate-rushing stubborn drivers.
Rather than focus on opening the roads, operators had to pull away from plowing and focus on removing vehicles from the road to complete plowing.
Troopers responded to stranded motorists who decided to bypass the closed road gates and got stuck in the snow. This created hazards for all the emergency crews tasked with locating these motorists.
The stranded vehicles aided in causing large drifting hazards and resulted in operators having to slow down to avoid them, which caused plows to lose momentum and power while pushing wet, heavy snow and delayed the opening of those roads.
Between April 22 and 24, the WHP responded to 172 calls for service, 89 crashes, and 96 hazards across Wyoming.
Estimates show that 12 vehicles could not be found immediately, and the occupants had to camp in their vehicles overnight. Even some troopers spent nights in their patrol vehicles when their vehicles became stranded while trying to respond to calls for service.
Furthermore, over thirty tickets were issued to motorists (mostly stranded in snow) who ignored road closed gates or closure notifications – a citation of up to $750.
The Wyoming Highway Patrol (WHP) thanks to all the troopers, W.H.P. Dispatch Center, first responders, W.Y.D.O.T. snowplows, and maintenance crews who spent countless hours responding to emergencies with the most recent snowstorm in the northeast part of the state.
Remember: never pass a road closure gate, or sign that is activated. This choice risks the safety and lives of yourself, your vehicle occupants, and those state personnel who will respond to your call for help.