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Weather forecast leads officials to urge caution

Federal employees have permission to arrive late Monday

January 22, 2012

Federal employees asked to stay off roads until 9 a.m. Monday

Due to expected icy conditions, the U.S. Office of Personnel Management recommends that federal employees remain off the road until 9 a.m. Monday, according to its website, www.opm.gov/status. Federal government offices will open to the public at 11 a.m., according to the site. Employees who commute to the office will be granted excused absences for the delayed arrival. Employees have the option to use unscheduled leave and/or unscheduled telework for the entire workday in lieu of a delayed arrival, the site says.

State Highway Administration urges travelers to use caution

As the possibility of freezing rain continues Sunday and Monday morning, the State Highway Administration (SHA) and Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) will keep crews available to respond.  However, as crews salt, if freezing rain continues, it can be hard to prevent icing, particularly on bridges, ramps and overpasses. The State Highway Administration urges motorists to be extremely cautious.

“If you travel (Sunday night) and (Monday) morning, be sure to check road and weather conditions. Freezing rain can cause rapid changes, even with crews salting,” said SHA Administrator Melinda B. Peters.  “(Monday) morning’s rush hour could be problematic, so please be sure to allow extra time or alter plans to avoid driving until precipitation stops and the roads can be cleared.”

Drivers can check conditions at www.traffic.maryland.gov and www.MD511.org or call 511 (1-855-GOMD511 outside the region) for current travel and weather information.

If traveling longer distances, the I-95 Corridor Coalition is a resource to plan ahead by visiting the web at www.I95coalition.org.  For general information, follow @MDSHA on Twitter and visit www.roads.maryland.gov.

SHA reminds everyone on the road BSAFE: Buckle up; Slow down - speed limits are set for fair weather conditions; Always drive sober; Focus on the road and Everyone share the road so everyone gets home.   Additionally, see and be seen by clearing your entire vehicle of ice; allow extra time, don’t rush; watch for pedestrians navigating icy conditions on foot; make sure wipers work and fill washer fluid – an absolute must for visibility.

Please follow key safety laws:
• No hand-held mobile phone use or texting in travel lanes; even stopped at signals;
• Wipers on, lights on;
• Drivers should move over to avoid fender benders and out of travel lanes;
• Drivers should move over to free lanes for emergency vehicles, keep eyes on the road and avoid looking at any accident scenes.

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