Vandalia offers winter weather driving tips

By Rich Hopkins - Communications Manager - City of Vandalia

VANDALIA — When winter weather hits in Vandalia, many of us choose to stay home and wait out the slippery condi- tions before getting into our cars and driving through town. For those who drive snow plows for the City of Vandalia Department of Public Works, “staying in” is not an option!

When the forecast calls for snow, the snow plows are gassed up and ready to roll before the rst snow ake hits the ground. Crews working in shifts navigate Vandalia’s roadways clearing the snow and making the roads passable and safe.

Vandalia Public Works Superintendent Steve Nickels says his crews take pride in keeping the roadways clear and safe.

“They take their jobs seriously,” he said, “They work very hard to do the best job they can.”

Vandalia’s roadways are plowed and salted on a priority basis. Primary roadways, such as National Road and Dixie Drive are plowed and salted rst. Access roads that lead to primary roads are the second priority, followed by residential streets in neighborhoods. Hills and intersections also receive priority treatment.

Nickels says there are some things we can do to help make the snow plow driver’s job a little easier.

“The rst thing that citizens can do to help is move their cars off the street whenever there is signi cant snowfall predicted,” he said. “When the streets are clear of cars, our drivers are able to plow the entire street, instead of having to plow around parked cars.”

Another tip Nickels has involves sharing the road with the snow plows.

“Some people think that driving directly behind a snow plow is a safe place to be, but it really isn’t,” he said. “The trucks make frequent stops, and if you’re directly behind one, there’s a chance you could end up hitting it.”

Nickels suggests treating the snow plow truck like any other car on the road, and allow enough space between your car and the truck for a safe stopping distance.

“People should also understand that passing a snow plow truck should be done with caution,” he added. “The blade on a slow plow is ten feet wide, so make sure you have plenty of clearance before attempting to pass.”

Nickels says one complaint he hears every year involves snowplows throwing snow into driveways and onto mailboxes.

“I wish there was a way around it, but the fact is that when we plow snow off the roadway, it has to go somewhere,” he said. “We understand the frustration of having snow thrown onto a driveway, but it’s the trade off we all make to have clear streets.”

By Rich Hopkins

Communications Manager

City of Vandalia

Rich Hopkins is the Communications Manager for the City of Vandalia. Reach him at (937) 415-2251 or by email at

Rich Hopkins is the Communications Manager for the City of Vandalia. Reach him at (937) 415-2251 or by email at