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Snow plow drivers warn drivers to stay back and slow down

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Snow plows have been clearing and salting since Thursday night. They work 12 hour shifts to make roads safe. But too many other vehicles are crowding the plows.

Milton Ballentine is a snow plow driver who had just come off a long night shift on Saturday morning. The thick ice that has collected on his windshield is the same slick stuff he's been battling on the roads all Friday night.

"The ice is the big problem. Snow is not the problem. It’s when you have ice," said Ballentine.

Unfortunately, ice-covered roads aren't the only hazards these plow operators face. The sign on the back of the plows clearly asks drivers to stay back. But as these plows headed east on 470, there were a lot of people who refuse to heed that warning.

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, it happens during nearly every storm.  Drivers following too close, and even trying to pass plows, and it inevitably results in accidents.

Plow operators say they usually have pretty good visibility in their trucks, but they are focused largely on the pavement in front of them and when another driver sneaks up beside the plow in an effort to pass.  It’s easy not to see them.

So veteran drivers plead, stay back and by all means:

"Slow down, slow down, of all things slow down!" said Ballentine.

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