VTrans relaxes mask policy for solo snow plow drivers

by Guy Page

State snow plow drivers need not wear masks when driving alone, the Vermont Agency of Transportation decided this week. The decision reverses a mandatory masking policy.

Until January 7, all snow plow drivers were required to wear the masks even when driving solo. Then the Vermont State Employees Association (VSEA) argued mandatory masking is dangerous because it can make the driver’s glasses fog up. AOT relented, while still requiring that drivers wear the masks around their necks at all times.

According to an article in the January 8 VSEA Week In Action Newsletter, “VSEA’s AOT plow operators pushed back immediately against the AOT mask policy because, in their opinion, it could jeopardize the operator’s safety and the public’s. Many said the masks caused their glasses to fog up, making what was already tough visibility even tougher. The members also pointed to other occupations where the employee is solo in a vehicle but is permitted to operate it unmasked, i.e. troopers, local law enforcement, tow operators, etc..”

“I was pleased to hear about the relaxation of the AOT policy,” VSEA President Aimee Towne said. “Our AOT brothers and sisters provide a critical service to Vermonters, especially during snow season, when they are known to work plenty of extra hours, and I thank them for bringing this potentially serious safety issue to our attention and then working with us to create change.”

4 replies »

  1. It would be nonsensical for solo drivers to be required to wear masks. Not only would it fog glasses, but masks have also been found to cut down on oxygen intake creating a hypoxic environment. Elevated levels of carbon dioxide can also be retained. Both of these effects would result in making the drivers lethargic thus creating a much more dangerous driving environment.


    • And these amazing leaders with their rules and mandates will lead us to the promised land.

      I can now be absolutely sure I will not be infected by a Vermont Plow Driver.
      Or that I might infect a plow driver when I drove past him/her.
      And I presume also that each solo plow driver must be at least 6 feet from any other solo plow driver

  2. Also masks cause fatigue and headaches. The last thing you want is a 35 ton hunk of steel with a fatigued driver with a headache and fogged up glasses on slippery roads going 40+/- mph with other traffic. Glad somebody stood up for these hard working women and men we need them healthy and safe! Thank you all.

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