Winter Driving

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With winter approaching (here already?) it seems inevitable that some of us will find it necessary to travel the state's highways and find ourselves in need of road and travel information. I spent two years on the road driving for Airport Express and I had to have reliable and current information to get my passengers through on time and safely. The best source I found for this information was my scanner, listening to the Wyoming Transportation Department Snowplows. These are the guys that are out there trying to keep the roads open for all of us that "just have to go" and want to know what the roads are like. Calling the road and travel number can be frustration at best; if you get an answer the information my be up to four hours old and a lot can change on Wyoming highways in four hours!

If you have a 'police' scanner or a 2 meter rig that receives police frequencies, THE frequency to listen to is 156.105Mhz. this is the frequency used by state snowplows from Pine Bluffs to the East, Arlington to the West, Wheatland to the North and south to the Colorado line on both I-25 and 287. However, one of the things you'll discover is that while much of their traffic is in plain English, a lot of what you'll hear are 8 and 9 codes used to describe the conditions in the various areas. simply put, the 8 codes are used to describe the current road conditions while the 9 codes describe the current weather. A 10 W code is a request for windspeed in a certain area. The key word here is 'current', meaning, right now, not a tape recording made four hours ago.

This frequency is, to my thinking anyway, the most interesting and exciting to listen to because the snowplaow drivers are most often first on scene when something is happening. Usually you'll hear about an accident or traffic tie up on this frequency long before it gets on the highway patrol, sheriff or police frequencies.

If you find yourself in a situation where you just have to be out in bad weather, please, slow down.

My last words are stay home, be well and keep warm

73 DE Doc KC7UGD

___________________________________________________________________

This is the list of current 8 and 9 codes used by the Wyoming
Transportation Department.

Road                            Weather
8-1     Dry                     9-1     Favorable
8-2     Wet                     9-2     Snowing
8-3     Slippery                9-3     Raining
8-4     Slippery in spots       9-4     Strong Winds
8-5     Drifted Snow            9-5     Fog
8-6     Road Closed             9-6     Blowing Snow
                                9-7     Visibility Poor
                                9-8     No Report


NOTE: Doc has since been issued the Vanity Callsign of: W7EMA