Skip Navigation

Pa. has a shortage of snowplow drivers

  • Scott LaMar
Washington Dept. of Transportation snow plows work on a stretch of eastbound Interstate Highway 90, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, as snow falls near Snoqualmie Pass in Washington state. More U.S. drivers could find themselves stuck on snowy highways or have their travel delayed this winter due to a shortage of snowplow drivers as some states are having trouble finding enough people willing to take the jobs.

Ted S. Warren / AP Photo

Washington Dept. of Transportation snow plows work on a stretch of eastbound Interstate Highway 90, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2021, as snow falls near Snoqualmie Pass in Washington state. More U.S. drivers could find themselves stuck on snowy highways or have their travel delayed this winter due to a shortage of snowplow drivers as some states are having trouble finding enough people willing to take the jobs.

Listen to Smart Talk every weekday at 9:30 am and 7:30 pm on WITF 89.5 & 93.3. You can also stream WITF radio live on our website or ask your smart speaker to “Play WITF Radio.”

Snow fell on areas of Pennsylvania Monday for the first time this winter. The first snowfall always is a bit of a challenge as drivers get acclimated to driving on slippery roads again and state and local governments coordinate snow removal efforts.

In an ongoing theme of shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation doesn’t have a full complement of snow plow operators or drivers. In fact, there are almost 60% fewer drivers than in a normal winter.

Among the reasons for the shortage are that drivers have to have commercial licenses to operate a snow plow, there’s competition for truck drivers in other industries where there are also shortages and the ongoing pandemic.

Will it mean roads won’t be cleared as quickly if more drivers aren’t hired this winter?

PennDot District 8 Safety Officer Fritzi Schreffler is on Tuesday’s Smart Talk with more information.

 

Support for WITF is provided by:

Become a WITF sponsor today »

Up Next
Smart Talk

Is 5-day COVID quarantine good guidance?