Snowplows are out all day and night, making sure the roads are safe for travelers, and it's important to keep in mind that there are a set of rules for dealing with snowplows on the road.

This winter, the snowplows are out in full force, clearing roads from Bozeman to the freeways.  With holiday travel coming up, we thought we would share something that's important to know about Montana's snowplows.

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KBZK reports that if you want to pass a snowplow, either in town or on the freeway, you should look out for colored lights located on the plow—be particularly aware of green lights. While green usually means go, in this case, you should be extra cautious and slow down.

Photo by Kim Giseok via Unsplash
Photo by Kim Giseok via Unsplash

If you see a snowplow with a green light on or flashing you can pass, but do so with extra caution. The green lights act as a warning, letting following vehicles know there is snow ahead and it will be flying, resulting in very poor visibility. 

The Montana Department of Transportation uses green lights instead of red or other colors because green is the most visible against the contrast of the snow. Some folks might consider green lights the go-ahead to pass snowplows, but during this time of year, it can be risky. If you see green lights, you might even consider following an appropriate distance behind the plow.

Photo by Jonas Augsutin via Unsplash
Photo by Jonas Augsutin via Unsplash

As someone who is colorblind, these green lights might throw me off a bit, but I have driven in Montana long enough to know when and when not to pass snowplows. These vehicles are critical for safe roads during the winter. 

I have to drive through three mountain passes to get home, which is pretty stressful this time of the year, and I thank Montana for having consistent snowplows clearing the roads and doing their best to ease our worries.

Let's keep ourselves and our snowplowers safe, and only pass when appropriate. For more details, check out KBZK

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