SDDOT adding more blue lights to snowplow fleet

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — When winter weather hits in South Dakota, you may notice more blue on the roads.

The South Dakota Department of Transportation is adding blue lights to hundreds of plow trucks.

When the next storm rolls through, Chris Peters with the DOT have an extra safety feature on board: a single blue flashing light on the back of his truck.

“I think it brings a lot of awareness to us out driving. The blue light, it cuts through the snow really good during blizzards,” SDDOT Sioux Falls lead highway maintenance worker Chris Peters said.

Peters hopes the lights can prevent close calls out on the roads, or even worse, crashes.

“Every year we have, unfortunately, 30-35 of our plows hit during winter events,” SDDOT director of operations Craig Smith said.

Last year, 25 trucks received a blue light as part of a pilot program. This year about 280 more trucks are each getting a light.

“It’s really to bring that visibility, not only for the safety of the drivers, but our drivers and just keeping that piece of equipment on the road, doing what it needs to do, plow snow,” Smith said.

“I just hope when people see it they realize that’s a DOT plow truck and that means they’re out doing roads and that means we should slow down, give them the room to do our job,” Peters said.

The 23 tow plows on the roads will each have a blue flashing light as well.

Plow truck drivers will continue using the flashing white and amber lights too.

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