New feature lets you track MDOT snow plows this winter

Posted at 10:34 PM, Nov 20, 2015

WEST MICHIGAN — Snowfall is right around the corner, which means plows may be out and about over the weekend clearing roads and you may be able to track their movement in real time.

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) announced on Friday it's adding GPS tracking information from snow plow trucks to it's MI Drive website.

The information will be available in MDOT's Southwestern region including Berrien, Branch, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joesph, and Van Buren counties.

Trucks will be seen on the map when a plow moves faster than 10 miles per hour (MPH) within 50 feet of the roadway. Information will also be provided when the plow is down or when salt is being spread. On select trucks, cameras will also be available for those who wish to get a first hand look at what conditions are like in front of the vehicle.

MDOT says they've used GPS tracking in plow trucks for the past few years.

"Having the locations of our trucks was more about knowing where they were, and when they were there, and being able to build some kind of database about when its best to deploy them," said Nick Schirripa, MDOT Spokesperson.

With over 80 plow trucks and 140 plow operators, MDOT hopes this information will help motorists travel more efficiently across the State of Michigan.

"Being able to look 50 miles ahead and get an idea of what you're travel is going to look like is absolutely priceless," said Schirripa.

The Iowa Department of Transportation (IDOT) has already implemented the program.  MDOT has been testing the program for the past few weeks and say if it get's a good response for the public, they will implement the program state wide.

"We're becoming more and more tech-savy as a society and certainly as a traveling culture. Those kinds of resources are becoming more and more valuable," said Schirripa.

For the latest road conditions and traffic information, like the Michigan Department of Transportation on Facebook and follow the department on Twitter.