Snow Removal on county roads in the Big Bear Valley is handled by the Department of Public Works. On state highways Caltrans is responsible for snow removal, and laying down cinders.
Interactive county road snow removal map:
Unlike the City of Big Bear Lake, San Bernardino County does not have a snow berm removal program, and will not remove berms or snow from private driveways.
Unless you have to get out of your driveway immediately, save yourself some shoveling chores. San Bernardino County snow-removal crews make at least two passes on each side of the road. Wait until the second pass before opening your driveway. If conditions are extremely cold, it may be necessary to shovel after both passes to prevent the berm from freezing over.
When shoveling out your driveway, throw the snow to the right as you look toward the road and you’ll be following the snowplow’s pattern. If you throw it to the left, the plow will bring part of it back into the driveway on the next round. Snowplows remove snow from left to right. Do not throw snow back onto roadway.
No On Street Parking when snow conditions exist, which generally can happen from October 15 through April 15 every year. Plowing starts when more than two inches of snow is on the ground. Plowing will continue until streets have been cleared to their full widths. Snow “storage” right of way extends three feet from the edge of the pavement. Remember, if it snows overnight, and your car is on the street, you are still subject to citation and/or tow because any vehicle interfering with snow removal or cinder spreading operations will be towed, cited with a maximum fine of $250, or both.
Cinders are put down after plowing is finished on certain roads to increase traction and are not a substitute for cautious driving, chains, snow tires, and other safety items required to navigate in snow prone areas. Not all streets are cindered they are placed on primary roads when icy, and school areas, at the request of law enforcement. You can request cinders when there are icy conditions on your road and your request will be investigated.
Children love to play in the snow. Please caution your child not to slide into onto streets. Also keep children away from the snowplows as they are dangerous pieces of equipment.
Garbage Cans put too close to the roadway may cause snowplows to go around them and leave your area unplowed. But, if you put them too far back, the garbage collector may not pick them up. So think about where you are placing them.
Weather Forecasts may be obtained by calling KBHR 93.3 at 909-584-KBHR (5247) and KBHR933.com. Weather updates are also available on www.wrh.noaa.gov/sgx.
Road Conditions for State of California highways are available by dialing 800-427-ROAD (7623), or online at https://roads.dot.ca.gov/roadscell.php. You will need to type in the highway number on both the phone and the web. The “front way” from Highland is Highway 330 and Highway 18. The “back way” from Redlands is Highway 38, and “Desert Way” through Lucerne and Victor Valley is Highway 18.
You may hear road conditions referred to as R-1, R-2, and R-3. These mean:
R-1: Chains are required on all vehicles except vehicles with snow tires.
R2: Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles except four-wheel/all-wheel drive vehicles with snow tires on all four wheels.
R3: Chains or traction devices are required on all vehicles, no exceptions.
Chains. Chains must be carried by ALL vehicles on mountain roads during the winter. So, keep chains in your car and use them when conditions warrant. Make sure they are the right size before you have to use them.
Make sure you allow for additional driving time (45 to 60 minutes minimum) during storm conditions. You may run into road closures, heavy fog, icy conditions or other situations which will delay you.
Be Courteous. Stormy conditions can bring on short tempers and sometimes even panic.
Don’t Stop Snowplows. Please do not stop the snowplows to ask questions or comment on the service.Remember, some snowplow drivers are not residents of your area and may not be familiar with situations particular to your neighborhood. If you need information about snowplowing, you should call the Radio Dispatcher (909/387-8063) or the County Communications Center at (909/356-3805) after 5:00 PM weekdays or on weekends and holidays. Information is also available on the San Bernardino County Website at http://www/sbcounty.gov/dpw. E-Mail inquiries may be directed to Dispatch@dpw.sbcounty.gov.
Responsibility For Snow Removal. There are several agencies which may be responsible for snow removal and cinder spreading. The San Bernardino County Department of Public Works is responsible for snow removal on most of the roads that are in the County maintained system. DO NOT ASSUME THAT ALL SNOWPLOWS AND CINDER SPREADING EQUIPMENT BELONG TO THE COUNTY. The County does hire private non-County contractors and their equipment to help clear snow. These contractors are required to provide their own insurance coverage, and are liable for any and all damage caused by their negligence.
Remember, repair of damage to any improvements installed in the County right- of-way without a permit is the responsibility of the property owner.
Contacting the County. You may contact the San Bernardino County Radio Dispatch at (909) 387-8063 or Dispatch@dpw.sbcounty.gov. For inquiries during storms, please call our Radio Dispatcher for updates and snowplow/cindering information. Snowplow-related claims may be directed to the Risk Management Division, (909) 386-8631.