Poor visibility is issue for DOT’s plow drivers
I read an article in CSEA Work Force about the new State Department of Transportation tow plows that are assigned to certain areas within Western New York. An item caught my attention regarding a visibility concern in an area where they had enough snow to use these. The back of the tow plow is so high that the driver is unable to see over it, which creates a blind spot using mirrors.
Another concern is the two video cameras mounted for the driver to see any blind spots in the rear. The cameras can get coated with snow, leaving drivers with no rear visibility. The plow driver is told to be more vigilant. If the plow driver cannot see behind him, and swings this thing to the right and hits a motorist, a lawyer will have a heyday.
The public will not hear about accidents concerning these tow plows until a fatality happens. Then, to cover bases, the DOT will have the tow plow followed with a shadow plow truck. I plowed Route 400 many times in my 37-plus years with the DOT. Driving alone, operating two wings – main plow and salter – is very stressful. Now add this tow plow and the total length is 71 feet. What is the DOT thinking?
Harold (Jim) Bitterman