MassDOT asks public to avoid driving Thursday

BOSTON (WHDH) - With a major snowstorm set to slam the region on Thursday, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation is asking the public to stay off the roads.

Related: Major winter storm could dump more than a foot of snow on Thursday

“The weather forecast is calling for snow to begin before the morning commute on Thursday, become heavy quickly, and continue throughout the day, decreasing visibility and braking time,” said Highway Administrator Thomas J. Tinlin.

Up to a foot of snow is expected in many areas. The storm is expected to reach its height during the midday and early afternoon hours. Winds could gust up to 50 mph in some areas and create near white-out conditions.

“Safety is our greatest priority, and as this snow storm is expected to create potentially hazardous conditions for the morning and evening commutes, we encourage all travelers to make safe and smart decisions and avoid heading out onto the roadways if they are able to,” Tinlin said.

If motorists do take to the roadways, officials advise them to lower their speeds, allow for extra time and avoid “crowding the plow.”

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