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Before Answering The Siren Call Of San Bernardino's Snow-Tipped Mountains, Follow These Safety Tips For Driving In Snowy Conditions

SAN BERNARDINO (CBSLA) — It's snow season in Southern California, but authorities want to remind eager snow enthusiasts to remember a few safety tips for driving in inclement weather.

Tuesday's storm dropped 10 inches of fresh snow on Bear Mountain in the San Bernardino Mountains, and more snow could be on the way for the Christmas holiday. So Caltrans, the Forest Service, the National Weather Service and several other local agencies want people to be prepared for a safe snow day.

mammoth mountain driving
(credit: Mammoth Lake Tourism)

For anyone driving into the mountains from November through April, tire chains should be kept in the car even if there is no chain control at the time – weather conditions can change without notice. When chains are needed, motorists should avoid installing chains in the roadway or in traffic lanes, and consider utilizing the service of a permitted chain installer for a fee.

Southern California is famous for its warm weather, and its mountains are famous for surprising visitors with freezing temperatures. Visitors should bring warm clothes, appropriate shoes and booths, a charged cell phone and a charger, and have a fully prepped vehicle with a full gas tank – check tires, wipers, and engine fluids before hitting the road. Authorities also urge visitors to bring a trash bag because litter can be harmful to wildlife and attract bears.

Upon arrival, travelers should keep a close eye on their children and head for legal snow play areas to avoid trespassing on private property. Drivers should also make sure to keep clear of snowplows and other heavy equipment that are being used to clear the roads. Once snow play is done, travelers should remember to dispose of broken sleds in an appropriate trash bin.

And drivers who need to park for, say, a bite to eat, there's a new $150 fine for parking in "No Parking" zones on local and state highways in San Bernardino County mountain areas.

Mountain roads are notoriously curvy, tight and can get bottlenecked on busy days, so drivers who want to avoid traffic should avoid Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and leave plenty of time for travel.

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