Know Your Lights: What Do Flashing Green Lights Mean on Maine Snowplows?
Despite a rather pedestrian winter by Maine snowfall standards so far, there's still enough time for Mother Nature to make up the difference before spring arrives in full force. If you're someone who travels the highway often, you're almost certainly going to encounter a snowplow during or after a snowstorm. What you may have noticed so far this winter is more snowplows in Maine fitted with flashing green lights versus the traditional amber lights. What exactly do they mean?
Flashing Green Lights Mean the Same Thing as Flashing Amber Lights
According to the Maine Turnpike, snowplows were fitting with flashing green lights starting in 2019. After some research, it was determined that the color green was easier to see during snow events as well as in bright sunlight, allowing motorists to see snowplows more clearly as they approach. The green lights are there to remind drivers to slow down as they approach the snowplow. Another subtle change you may have noticed is the switch from orange to yellow plows for increased visibility for oncoming traffic.
Beyond Green Lights, There's Another Big Change
It's not just fitting plows with green lights; there's been a philosophical change in how highways are plowed. Since 2019, the MaineDOT has chosen a dual snowplow system for construction zones and narrow bridges. During snowstorms, cars will not be able to pass because snowplows will tackle those narrow areas simultaneously. The idea behind that change is to limit danger for both the snowplow driver as well as motorists.
The Green Lights Will Become Standard
As the MaineDOT adds and replaces their fleet in the coming years, the flashing green lights and large arrows on the back of snowplows will become standard practice in Maine. Snow is unavoidable, but accidents involving motorists and snowplows during storms is avoidable. Do your part.