Archives: May 2015
May 27, 2015
Roads and bridges don’t last forever. At the Iowa Department of Transportation, we need to keep a constant watch on the condition of our transportation assets. That’s where transportation asset management comes in. This is the third post in a series of articles about how the Iowa DOT evaluates and manages Iowa’s transportation system using a transportation asset management plan.
In general, transportation asset management is all about providing the right treatment to the right asset at the right time. The Iowa DOT considers an asset to be any of the more than 9,400 miles of road or nearly 4,200 bridges on the state system, roads marked as state highways, U.S. highways, or interstates. County road and city streets are not part of the state system.
May 25, 2015
What matters to you? The things we hold dear shift as our life circumstances change. But, for the vast majority of us, our family members will always be on top of the list of priorities. This time of year we’re planning family vacations, celebrating graduations and preparing for weddings. One bad decision can changes those plans in an instant.
Memorial Day is traditionally a day of memorial services, parades and 21-gun salutes for our war heroes, honoring those who gave their lives in service to our country Tragically, for many families, the day hits closer to home as they spend the day visiting the grave sites of sons, daughters, mothers and fathers who were tragically killed on our highways.
May 18, 2015
Investigating the potential impact to cultural and environmental resources is a part of almost every Iowa Department of Transportation construction project. While our main task is to provide a safe and efficient transportation system, we strive to be good stewards of the land and do what we can to protect and preserve environmentally and historically sensitive areas.
One recent project investigation brought together staff from the Iowa DOT’s Office of Location and Environment, consultants of the Office of State Archeologist (OSA), and fifth and sixth graders from the Belmond-Klemme Community School to do a little research on a proposed construction site that skirts the school’s outdoor classroom.
May 18, 2015
Keep Calm and Carry On was a motivational poster produced by the British government in 1939 in preparation for World War II. The poster was intended to raise the morale of British citizens, threatened with widely predicted mass air attacks on major cities.
Our version of that message and numerous others in the last few years all encourage readers to not panic and focus on the task at hand. With Iowa’s traffic deaths approaching 100, it seems like a good time to remind drivers to focus on the five behaviors that cause the majority of our fatalities.
1. Distracted driving
2. Drunk driving
3. Drowsy driving
4. Reckless or aggressive driving
5. Not wearing seat belts
If you are curious about how the 97 fatalities compare to previous years, check out this one-page summary that Motor Vehicle Division creates each day. http://www.iowadot.gov/mvd/ods/stats/daily.pdf
Today’s 97 fatalities are an increase of 7 from last Monday.
May 15, 2015
One core element of the Iowa Department of Transportation’s mission is getting you there safely. Our own law enforcement folks in the Office of Motor Vehicle Enforcement provide key services to fulfill that mission. So what exactly is an MVE officer? Their primary focus is making sure that commercial vehicles, most of us just call them semis, are operating in a safe and legal manner. However, MVE officers regularly take part in speed and traffic enforcement, as well as testing all types of drivers for impairment from drugs or alcohol. Iowa DOT MVE officers are fully licensed peace officers with the ability to conduct all law enforcement activities, with additional specialty training related to motor carrier safety.
May 14, 2015
If you knew Renee Devine, you liked Renee Devine. Devine, an 18-year veteran of the Iowa Department of Transportation, was posthumously recognized May 7 as the 2014 Driver’s License Examiner of the Year, after losing a hard-fought battle with cancer June 11, 2014. Accepting the award on her behalf was her husband, Tom, also a fellow DOTer working in the Office of Finance; son, Tim and daughter-in-law, Susan.
May 14, 2015
May 14, 2015
Career paths rarely run as we anticipate they will. The twists and turns along the way provide opportunities if we are willing to step up and do the work to turn goals into reality. Like every other work place, working for the Iowa Department of Transportation isn’t always easy, but for most of us, the effort is well worth it. For Tom Robinson, newly accredited land surveyor in District 5, the career path has been long and sometimes not exactly what he expected. He wanted to share his story with employees as encouragement to those who may be looking for opportunities for personal growth.
May 11, 2015
With Iowa’s many manufacturing, agricultural, and processing industries, long shifts are quite common and have caused drowsy driving to become a serious issue. Drowsy drivers have slow reaction times, often swerve in and out of lanes, veer off the road, and have a higher propensity to cause a crash.
May 4, 2015
“May the Force be with you” is a charge made in each of the Star Wars movies, most often to Luke Skywalker as he sets out to battle the Galactic Empire. Popular culture has turned the phrase to honor “Star Wars” day with “May the Fourth be with you.”
In the movies, battling the evil Galactic Empire seemed like an impossible task. For many drivers, putting your phone away while driving is just as daunting. In 2013, www.distraction.gov posts that 3,154 people in the United States were killed in crashes related to distracted driving. A recent University of Iowa study showed that six out of every 10 teen crashes are caused by distraction.