The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT) urges the public to use extra caution when approaching traffic signals following a heavy snowfall event. Motorists and pedestrians should be prepared to stop at intersections with traffic signals, as snow-covered traffic indications can be challenging to see.

For reasons of energy efficiency and longer service life, most of the state’s traffic signals have switched from incandescent bulbs to light-emitting diodes (LEDs). LEDs produce less than half the heat as incandescent bulbs, and do not emit enough heat to melt off snow and ice that may accumulate on them.

“Following a snow event, our top priority is clearing roads for the traveling public. Once complete, city, county, and state maintenance crews address other key areas,” said MnDOT District Traffic Engineer Scott Thompson. “We urge motorists to come to a complete stop before going through intersections with snow-covered traffic signals. It’s the safest solution until city and county crews can clear them.”

It requires three trucks per traffic signal to perform snow-removal maintenance. Due to the number of traffic signals and the limited availability of maintenance crews during a snow event, MnDOT reminds the public that it can take up to a few days to address all snow-covered traffic signals.

For updated statewide road conditions, call 5-1-1 or visit