The Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) offers the following travel tips for the winter months:
PLAN AHEAD for your travels.
- For real-time updates on major incidents, follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/TheMDTA. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/TheMDTA. To sign up for email/text alerts or view real-time traffic camera images on MDTA roadways, visit mdta.maryland.gov.
- Get there faster with E-ZPass! E-ZPass transponders are now FREE and there’s no $1.50 monthly fee. Visit ezpassmd.com to enroll online or to view a list of E-ZPass “On the Go” retail locations.
- Call 1-877-BAYSPAN (229-7726) for 24/7 Bay Bridge traffic conditions or visit baybridge.com to view traffic cameras.
- Know Before You Go -- Check Traffic Advisories for MDTA scheduled construction and maintenance projects. Call 511 or visit MD511.org for statewide travel information.
- For all toll rates, use our online Toll Rate Calculator at mdta.maryland.gov.
- Consider the Intercounty Connector (ICC)/MD 200 and the I-95 Express Toll Lanes (ETL) in Baltimore to save travel time.
- Hungry? Need to rest or fuel up? Stop by the Maryland or Chesapeake House Travel plazas along I-95 in northeast Maryland.
- Motorists pay the lowest tolls with E-ZPass Maryland. FREE E-ZPass transponders and no $1.50 monthly fee.
Please use caution, reduce speeds and increase following distances when traveling on wet/icy roads. Lights On = Wipers On. Kindly remember our toll collectors and turn off wipers when paying your toll.
Pack a winter weather emergency kit for your vehicle. Recommended contents:
- Cell phone and car charger
- Blankets or a sleeping bag
- Flashlight and extra batteries
- Jumper cables
- Emergency flares
- Extra clothing (boots, hats and gloves)
- Bottled water or juice and nonperishable foods
- First-aid kit and necessary medications
- Sand or non-clumping cat litter for tire traction
Drive only if it’s absolutely necessary when winter weather hits. For your safety and the safety of other motorists and emergency personnel:
- THINK ICE! What appears wet may be ice.
- Clear ALL snow from your vehicle and headlights before driving and check your wiper fluid. If you can't see, you can't drive!
- Bridges, overpasses and infrequently traveled roads will freeze first.
- Do not pass snow plows and salting trucks.
- Make sure your vehicle is “road ready.”
- If your vehicle becomes disabled, remain inside and call #77 for assistance.
- When contacting a dispatch center, motorists should be prepared to provide:
- The location of the emergency;
- A call-back telephone number; and
- Details of the incident/disabled vehicle or other circumstances.
- It Can Wait – it is illegal to text and use hand-held cell phones while driving in Maryland.
- State law requires vehicles to move over when approaching an emergency, transportation, service and utility vehicle or tow truck with red, yellow or amber flashing lights. If you are unable to move over, slow down.
- Buckle Up! Every Seat. Every Time.
- Avoid changing lanes while traveling over bridges and through tunnels.
- Headlights are required at all times on the Bay Bridge.
- Obey posted speed limits and overhead lane-use signals.
- Save the tailgating for the stadium - keep a safe following distance.
- Avoid distractions - keep your eyes on the road.
- Drivers who are impaired by alcohol or drugs will be stopped, arrested and prosecuted.
On all MDTA bridges, wind warnings and restrictions would be implemented as outlined below*:
- Wind Warnings (sustained wind speeds of 30-39 mph for a continuous period of 10 mins or more; or wind gusts persistently exceed 30 mph over a period of 15 mins) operators of house trailers, box trailers, motorcycles, vehicles with roof-mount racks containing cargo or any other vehicle that may be subject to high winds are advised to use caution while traveling across the bridge.
- Limited Wind Restrictions (sustained wind speeds of 40-49 mph for a continuous period of 10 mins or more; or wind gusts persistently exceed 40 mph over a period of 15 mins) house trailers, empty box trailers or any vehicle that, in the opinion of law-enforcement personnel, may not safely cross the bridge will be prohibited from traveling the bridge. Motorists who are denied passage will be assisted with safely turning around.
- Full Wind Restrictions (sustained wind speeds exceeding 50 mph for a continuous period of 10 mins or more; or wind gusts persistently exceed 50 mph over a period of 15 mins) only automobiles, pickup trucks, flatbed trailers, commercial buses and heavy-laden tractor/trailers are permitted to cross the bridge. Tractor-box trailer combinations will not be permitted to cross any bridge if the gross weight is less than 64,000 pounds.
- Traffic Holds/Bridge Closure (sustained wind speeds exceeding 55 mph for a continuous period of 10 mins or more; or wind gusts persistently exceed 55 mph over a period of 15 mins) In the event of a sudden increase of sustained wind speeds or wind gusts that could jeopardize life or property, the MDTA may elect to discontinue the movement of all traffic across the bridge.
* When a wind warning, restriction or closure is implemented at the Thomas J. Hatem Memorial Bridge (US 40), no bicycles are permitted.
The MDTA thanks motorists for partnering with us. Stay Alert So No One Gets Hurt!