Big Bear, Ca, December 27, 2011, 5:00pm – The California Highway Patrol and Cal Trans want to remind motorists of safe mountain driving tips to help ease traffic, and prevent accidents this holiday season.  There are three routes up to the Big Bear Valley, and during busy holiday weekends such as these, it is advised to utilize the “East is Least” route of Highway 38 through the Redlands/ Mentone area, or the back grade of Highway 18 through Lucerne Valley and the High Desert.  Utilizing these routes could save you from spending an excess amount of time in traffic on the front grade Highway 18 to Highway 330.  If you want to play in the snow, do so in a designated snow play area, or ensure that your vehicle is safely pulled off the side of the road, where it will not be blocking lanes on the road. Also be aware of sledding hills in their relation to traffic, as some areas are not safe or suggested because sleds can continue onto the roadway, putting the snow player and motorists on the road in danger.   If you are driving on the highways and have vehicles behind you, use one of the many turnouts found on all routes in and out of the Big Bear Valley.  You can receive a ticket if you do not use the turnouts and you have five or more vehicles behind you.  Make sure that you carry chains in your vehicle, no matter what kind of vehicle you have, as it is the law that you carry chains in the winter months when traveling in the mountains.