GAINESVILLE - Add the Georgia Department of Transportation to those agencies geared up for the possibility of snow, ice and even freezing rain over the next couple of days.
In northeast Georgia, crews start 12-hour shifts at 8:00 p.m. Monday and will stay on the schedule until any winter weather subsides.
Ahead of the weather, northeast Georgia district engineer Bayne Smith urged people to avoid travel beginning Monday night.
"We ask you to please stay home and when they get there not drive unless it is necessitated by an emergency," Smith said.
DOT requests people in northeast Georgia do the following:
~Check weather conditions before you leave home and stay off the roads unless it's an emergency. Choose caution and stay where you are instead of driving in hazardous winter weather conditions.
~Slow down and stay behind the snowplows. The road behind the plow will be the safest place to drive. Allow at least ten car lengths between your vehicle and snowplows or hopper spreaders.
~Do not pass. The plows are wide, and sometimes a group of trucks will work in tandem to clear snow quickly, especially on major highways.
~Be aware of black ice conditions on surfaces such as bridge decks and entrance and exit ramps.
~Four-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes and traction control are beneficial advancements in today's cars, trucks and SUVs, but they can't take the place of good driving habits and the need to reduce speed on snowy or icy roads.