Experience is melting

News Chicago Sun-Times January 02, 2003
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As a way to save money at the state level, DOT officials have been talked into early retirement packages

As a way to save money at the state level, DOT officials have been talked into early retirement packages. The Illinois Department of Transportation is no different, and may be feeling the experience cut if it happens to snow early in 2003.


According to the Chicago Sun-Times, one out of five IDOT snowplow drivers will be making final rounds this week. In preparation of the loss, IDOT has been holding classroom training sessions and road testing its new drivers using gravel or sand on a stretch of Old Route 66 in Pontiac, Ill. About 400 of the 480 retired drivers have already been replaced, and many of them are former state plow drivers who assisted during major storms. Others have plowed in counties and municipalities.


Snowplow accidents have been on the rise in Illinois, but it has little to do with the recent shift. There were 92 crashes in 2001, 36 more than the year before, and officials believe another increase is possible when numbers are counted for 2002. Motorists, however, caused most of the crashes.

 


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