Winter Driving Tips - Snow and Ice Control

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Snow Removal

Caltrans working on eastbound Interstate 80 just west of Kingvale.

- Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

"Snow removal and ice control shall be performed as necessary in order to facilitate the movement and safety of public traffic and shall be done in accordance with the best management practices outlined herein with particular emphasis given to environmentally sensitive areas."

Adopted July 1992. Outlined in Caltrans Report to the Legislature in response to Chapter 318, Statutes of 1991 (Hauser),"The Use of Deicing Chemicals on California State Highways", July 1992."

Donner Pass

- Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

Snow and ice control is important on every mountainous route within California; however, certain routes carry heavy seasonal recreational traffic as well as high volumes of truck traffic. These routes require extensive snow-fighting activity to keep open during heavy snow storms.

Chain Controls

Chain Control Checkpoint

- Photo courtesy of Caltrans.

Chain controls are generally used during snowstorms and usually end soon after the end of the storm. However, with sunshine, the snow and ice pack will begin to melt resulting in slush on the pavement that is difficult to negotiate without tire chains.

Caltrans Highway Information Network (CHIN)

Caltrans officials urge you to check road conditions often. To help keep abreast of changing conditions, Caltrans operates the Caltrans Highway Information Network which motorists may telephone 800.427.7623 for up-to-the-minute information in California and Western Nevada (Lake Tahoe/Reno Area). The network is updated as conditions change, and is voice-activated for safety and convenience.

Before driving, check with the CHIN:  800-427-7623

Caltrans QuickMap

See Caltrans QuickMap for a real-time, zoom-able California map of current traffic conditions including lane closures, CHP incidents, changeable message signs, chain controls, video cameras and more:

Caltrans QuickMap




Statewide Alerts and Other Information

Contact Information

General Information:

General Information Line: (916) 654-2852

Media Inquiries:
Find your local Caltrans media contact on our
Public Information Officers page
or call our
Media Line: (916) 657-5060.

You can also call
1-800-427-7623
for current highway conditions or find more information about roads, traffic and travel on
Caltrans' Travel page.

Physical Address:

California Department of Transportation
1120 N Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

Mailing Address:

California Department of Transportation
1120 N Street
MS 49
Sacramento, CA 95814

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