Police Lift Tow Ban, Recover Abandoned Vehicles
WSIL -- Now that major roads are cleared from Thursday and Friday's winter storm, crews are finally getting abandoned vehicles off the shoulders and out of the medians.
A towing ban along the interstates, in effect during the wintry weather, was lifted yesterday; and workers finished clearing the highways Monday.
Crews recovered 42 vehicles. All in all, the outcome was much better than expected.
"We do that in inclement weather or when conditions dictate we can't remove it at this time. We want to make sure again we're doing everything as safe as possible," said State Trooper Joey Watson.
During the storm, police rescued drivers and passengers of those vehicles, brought them somewhere warm, as their automobiles were left behind.
"Somewhere where they can get a meal, and a place to sleep," explained Watson.
He says the top priority of these towing bans is safety: for victims, first responders, and other drivers. On Monday, crews spent another full day recovering the last of the abandoned vehicles.
"As you approach us while we're trying to do stuff like this, make sure that you move over and if you can't move over please slow down," Watson added.
The ban may seem like an inconvenience, but police say it saves lives.
"Anytime you go home with everybody passing through the scene and all your first responders going home in whole mind and body, two thumbs up," Watson said.
Despite the ban, State Police in District 13 were hard at work throughout the storm. They assisted nearly 300 motorists, responding to 48 property damage calls and seven personal injury crashes. Numbers that could've been much worse.
"People have to understand, you've got to slow down, increase the following distance. You've got to take precautions in inclement weather situations...," Watson said, "There are people who don't heed those and we wind up pulling them out of the ditch."
The last semi was towed this afternoon, which means all of those roadways are now clear.
Wind: 9 MPH
Humidity: 50 %