Motorists are now able to get text message or email alerts for winter driving conditions for state highways in the 11 counties of southeast Minnesota, according to the Minnesota Department of Transportation.
The new alerts are aimed at people who typically drive or want to be aware of situations, such as winter crashes, drifting snow, icy roads or visibility issues, which might significantly diminish conditions or close highways.
“Motorists want information to help them make smart driving decisions,” said Mike Dougherty, MnDOT District 6 director of public engagement and communications in Rochester. “People can choose to sign up for the alerts either via text message or email, which gives them another option from MnDOT to be safe on the roads.”
People interested in signing up may go to the MnDOT website mndot.gov/d6and look for Winter driving updates. Click the link and choose if you’d like text message or email updates. The alerts are for state highways in southeast Minnesota in the counties of Dodge, Fillmore, Freeborn, Goodhue, Houston, Mower, Olmsted, Rice, Steele, Wabasha and Winona.
Motorists will only see alerts when there is significant weather that is likely to affect or is affecting travel in the region. Alerts will also be sent if there are crashes that may delay or divert traffic for several hours.
On social media, look for information on alerts or winter driving conditions in southeast Minnesota that use the hashtag #SEMNwinter.
MnDOT reminds motorists to not review texts while driving. Minnesota has a hands-free phone law. The law allows a driver to use their cell phone to make calls, text, listen to music or podcasts and get directions, but only by voice commands or single-touch activation without holding the phone. Remember, hands-free is not necessarily distraction-free.
For updated road condition information in Minnesota, call 511 or visit www.511mn.org.
Join the MnDOT SE Minnesota Facebook group (www.facebook.com/groups/MnDOTsoutheast/) to learn more about construction and transportation information in southeast Minnesota.