ORISKANY, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — When the snow falls, plow drivers have one of the most important and challenging jobs.

“The challenges for our operators would be driving in very poor conditions,” said Mark Laramie, the Commissioner of Public Works for the Oneida County Department of Public Works. “When we choose to stay home, itis their jobs to be on the road to make the roads passable so that emergency vehicles and motorists can generally do their business.”

To make the job of the plow driver easier, Oneida County put green lights on 25 of their larger plows.

“Anything that we can do to make the traveling public aware of a plow vehicle or to catch their attention to aware of a plow vehicle is an excellent opportunity for us to make the roads safe.”

Mark Laramie, Oneida County Commissioner of Public Works

Laramie explained the state assembly passed legislation this year allowing municipalities the ability to use these green lights.

The plows already have amber lights that will flash. His team added two green lights in the front and two in the back.

But why green?

“Studies performed by the state of Michigan and other municipalities in the western part of the country have shown that green light tends to be much more visible during low light and inclement weather conditions,” Laramie said.

Drivers, when you see these lights flashing slow down.

“Be very cautious around any snow removal vehicle. Whether it be a county vehicle with green lights flashing or any other municipality. They’re very large vehicles being driven in very hazardous conditions. The safer the public travels, the safer our employees will be.”

Mark Laramie

While the lights will be getting their first official, Laramie said from the tests his team has run for this pilot program, it’s improved their visibility. So, they’ve already received the return on their investment.

Laramie said they paid $5,000 for the lights.

He also said Oneida County DPW lent a plow that has the green lights to Camden after fire destroyed its DPW building this week. He said his team will help them with whatever they need.