Archives: October 2014
October 31, 2014
October 29, 2014
Can you imagine a time when you would travel on a highway and the road simply ended when you reached the state border. That actually happened in the early days of transportation. With commodities and travelers needing to move farther, it didn’t take long to realize that connecting one state to another, creating a regional and eventually national and international transportation system, was critical to enhancing just about every aspect of our lives.
October 27, 2014
Halloween is Friday, so this week will be filled with activities, parties and beggar’s night. The scariest part of Halloween is not the spooky costumes and scary pranks. It is alcohol-impaired drivers. In 2012, almost half of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver. Across the United States in 2012 alone, 26 people were killed in drunk-driving crashes on Halloween night. Drive sober so that your Halloween doesn’t turn into a nightmare.
It’s alright to dress as a ghost for Halloween, just don’t become one. Buckle up. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nI9_BTm41MI&feature=youtu.be
October 23, 2014
Are you a Dum Dum or a Smartie? That’s the question Amy Sievers, a driver’s license supervisor in Spencer, was asking high school students this week.
“Since it is National Teen Driver Safety Week, I thought we needed to do something at the local high school,” said Sievers. “I called the assistant principal and he was all in with my idea to hand out candy to kids as they came to school on Monday morning. If the driver and any passengers were wearing seat belts, they got a roll of Smarties candy. If they were unbelted, it was a Dum Dum sucker.”
Sievers, who was assisted by the assistant principal and Spencer High School student council members, said she was impressed by the number of students who were buckled on the way to school. “We gave out a lot of Smarties on Monday. When we went back out Wednesday afternoon after school, we still handed out more Smarties, but the Dum Dums were definitely higher than Monday morning. It just proves that we all need to be reminded to wear our seat belts every trip, every time.”
October 23, 2014
Herburger, a 28-year veteran of the Iowa DOT, and his wife, Deborah, are very active people. Part of their active lifestyle is spent with friends in a tandem bicycle club in Dubuque. On July 11, the Herburgers were riding their bicycle-built-for-two with six other tandem teams on Rockdale Road in Dubuque. The street lived up to its name and a rock punctured the front tire, sending the Herburgers tumbling down the hilly road.
October 20, 2014
October 20, 2014
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 14-18 year olds, both in Iowa and in the U.S. In fact, almost half of the teen drivers involved in a crash die. Yet, a recent survey show that only 25 percent of parents have had a serious talk with their kids about the key components of driving. You are the parent, they are your children, and they still have a lot to learn. You can teach them and you may just help save their lives.
Take some time this week to talk to your teen driver about the five driver behaviors (shown below) that are within their abilities to control. Does your teen tell you that they don’t text while driving? Don’t stop the conversation there. Ask about SnapChat, Instagram or Twitter… it’s not just about texting anymore!
It might be a good time to reflect on your own driving habits. Parents are the biggest source of information and imitation for children and teens, whether we like it or not. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R2JWM6hppWY&feature=youtu.be
Here are the top five things you can discuss with your kids:
- Eliminating distractions
- Don’t drive while impaired (alcohol, drugs, prescription meds)
- Wear seat belts – every seat, every trip
- Obey posted speed limits
- Don’t drive if you are drowsy
October 17, 2014
Great engineering is critical to the success of transportation worldwide. Great engineering is dependent on great engineers. The ability to get kids excited about technical fields early in life will be key in the Iowa DOT’s ability to later hire these problem solvers to take our transportation system into a quickly changing future.
Nationally, the charge to increase education in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) that will mold technical minds has brought much attention, but how early is too early to begin introducing our future engineers and scientists to the disciplines?
October 16, 2014
For years, the Iowa DOT has collected traffic data using sensors embedded in the pavement or mounted at the side of the road or on other structures such as bridges or weather stations. The data is very useful to both travelers wanting real-time traffic speeds and transportation planners looking at ways to improve the system.
October 15, 2014
Are you ready for winter? The Iowa DOT is. The agency’s traditional winter season runs from Oct. 15 to April 15. Craig Bargfrede from the Iowa DOT’s Office of Maintenance, said, “Most years, the start to the season is pretty uneventful, like we expect it to be this year. But we do everything we can to plan ahead and be ready to keep the roads in great shape should an early winter set in.”