By Molly Messick
Laramie, WY – A new law will allow drivers to travel on closed roads, in certain kinds of winter storms. Motorists can now pre-apply to travel on specific sections of road beyond closure points. Wyoming Department of Transportation spokesman Bruce Burrows says the aim is to let people get home, or get to livestock, for example, when long stretches of road are closed, but shorter sections may be passable. He says the new system should be much easier than the old one, in which drivers would request case-by-case approval to drive past road closure gates.
"In the past we relied on folks to call in to the Highway Patrol dispatch," Burrows says. "This really simplifies that process. If it's one of those events where we feel that that section of road is passable, if they're preauthorized and they have received notification, then they're good to go."
Under the authorized travel program, drivers will receive e-mail and text notification after roads have been closed, letting them know whether they may travel on the specified local stretches of road. Drivers must re-apply for the program each year. Under Wyoming law, people violating road closures can be fined as much as 750 dollars, and may also have to serve jail time.