NewsCovering Kern County


CHP reminds drivers to pack their patience as they head over the Grapevine

Posted at 6:11 PM, Nov 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-27 21:11:48-05

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — With more than 50 million people estimated to travel this holiday, California Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to expect delays in light of recent weather conditions.

"We're expecting more snow tonight, snow that's going to stick, temperatures are going to drop so we are cautious about the ice and things icing over," California Highway Patrol Public Information Officer, Rich Anthes said.
Anthes says CHP will be working alongside Caltrans to keep the roadways groomed and safe.

However, drivers should also pack their patience if they are planning on heading Southbound on Highway 99 towards the I-5.

"Safety is our top priority, so if it becomes unsafe we'll shut it down, clean it up and then let people through again," Anthes said.

According to Anthes, the biggest challenge in keeping the roads safe for you this holiday is getting people to slow down.

"Go slowly, give yourself plenty of distance between you and the vehicle in front of you, easy on the steering, no quick jerking movements of the steering wheel, nice and easy breaking," Anthes said.

He said drivers commuting during evening hours will usually face reduced visibility and heavy cloud cover.

"Especially at night if there is an accident, a jackknife big-rig, spin out, something that blocks the freeway then everything downstream from of that accident doesn't get any traffic and the roadway becomes frozen over and that ice is real hard to break up," Anthes said.

CHP also uses its own tactics to keep the road safe for drivers.

"The round robins or what we call pacing, bringing groups of cars over in a slow controlled manner slowing traffic down."

However, he said these methods may impact your arrival time, so it's important to consider alternate routes and what is on your packing list before you leave.

"Remember that if this mountain pass has a lot of snow and ice then the 58 more than likely does as well. So that would mean the 101 is going to get very busy, so make sure you have plenty of gas, you've got a cellphone charger, food, snacks and water and your vehicle is in tip top conditions with your tred depth."

So far as of 5 p.m. Wednesday, CHP has responded to a couple spin outs with minor injuries but they are expecting more snowfall to impact this area overnight and for road conditions to change.