Archives: December 2016
December 28, 2016
December 26, 2016
You see the images everywhere this time of year – wonderfully decorated Christmas trees with beautifully wrapped gifts underneath. Many families look forward to a guessing game of what’s inside and the excitement when the secrets wrapped in colorful paper are finally revealed.
One of the most valuable “gifts” the majority of vehicle owners automatically receive are the airbags inside your vehicle. These safety features may not seem like much of a gift as they sit dormant inside the steering wheel, dashboard, or side impact zones, but as most anyone who has been in a crash that triggered one of these devices can tell you, they are lifesavers.
December 23, 2016
Iowa is setting the bar high related to traffic safety. The state’s Multidisciplinary Safety Team (MDST) Program, a coordinated effort between the Iowa Department of Transportation, Iowa Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP), and the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau, is the first of its kind in the country.
Before a crash or emergency or after one occurs, there are a number of professionals in the area of emergency management; first responders such as fire and emergency medical; engineers; law enforcement; traffic planners and more who work to keep the public safe. These professionals come from a variety of agencies who all have their own areas of focus and ways to do business. It is extremely important to have an avenue for these professionals to come together.
December 22, 2016
With the holiday season upon us, we can take for granted how easily all those gifts and goodies get to stores and even directly to our doorsteps. Just because our transportation system is good, that doesn’t mean it can’t be better. Developing and maintaining a system for the efficient movement of people and goods is the core task of the Iowa Transportation Commission and the Iowa Department of Transportation. Making sure the transportation system is improved in the right places at the right time takes a lot of planning behind the scenes year-round.
As part of the Iowa Transportation Commission and Iowa DOT’s long-term planning effort, Iowa in Motion 2045, several planning efforts are being connected together to get an overall picture of how the transportation system is functioning and where there is room for improvement. To make a good system better, Iowa DOT planners are collecting and analyzing data in new and innovative ways.
December 19, 2016
Which list are you on? By now you’ve heard the reasons why buckling up is not just a good idea, it likely would save your life in a crash. But there are always those few out there who simply refuse to listen to either the law or common sense.
We know it’s the holidays and everyone wants to be upbeat, but we’re going to be blunt about this. Iowa’s highway fatalities are alarmingly high this year. While there are several factors involved in the larger-than-usual loss of life, approximately 47 percent of the people who died might have been saved with one simple click of a seat belt.
December 13, 2016
Freedom. How different it looks outside the borders of the United States. The Iowa Department of Transportation and other Iowa government leaders are learning that firsthand as they embark on cooperative traffic safety efforts with Iowa’s sister-state of Kosovo.
A little about Kosovo
Kosovo is a land-locked Eastern European country of about 2 million people located between Serbia to the north, Albania to the southwest, and Macedonia to the southeast. Since the Roman Empire, the area now known as Kosovo has been occupied or claimed by many different empires and nations.
In 2008, Kosovo declared independence from Serbia. In 2011, the Iowa-Kosovo National Guard Partnership was established with the long-term goal of assisting the people of Kosovo to develop security forces and establish a relationship between Iowa and Kosovo. In its March 17, 2011, news release, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad’s office wrote, “The program’s goals are to link National Guard states and territories with partner countries for the purpose of fostering mutual interests and establishing habitual, long-term relationships across all levels of society.”
December 12, 2016
What’s your excuse for using your phone while driving? We hear these all the time.
“Traffic is going slow enough, I can handle looking at my phone.”
“I need to know what’s going on in the world.”
“My mom (dad, spouse, boss, friend) texted me and I have to respond or they’ll be angry.”
Of the hundreds of reasons you could give to drive distracted, not one of them is worth your life.
Twitter may not be full, but according to Statista.com, there are 317 million active monthly users worldwide, that’s up from 30 million in 2010.
For those who may not get the movie reference, this is a play on a line from Christmas Vacation.
The fatality count of 372 is an increase of nine from last Monday. In all of 2015, 320 people were killed on Iowa highways. To see statistics published daily by the Office of Driver Services, go to daily fatality count.
December 9, 2016
December 7, 2016
What started off as an idea to use your phone to show your driver’s license has snowballed into an international movement to create a universal form of electronic identification that can be used anywhere in the world to confirm identity and convey driving privileges.
You may remember back in 2015, former Iowa DOT Director Paul Trombino and about 100 other Iowa Department of Transportation employees who held state-issued mobile devices were involved in a pilot project to test the idea of a phone application that could serve as legal identification and a mobile driver’s license (mDL). The Iowa pilot spawned discussion all over the United States and spread to other nations, as well.
December 6, 2016
In life, do you sometimes question decisions you made years ago? At the Iowa Department of Transportation, every day is a learning experience where we try to build on successes and learn from the less-than-successful projects of the past.
New technology and information that is available to highways designers today has significantly changed the way roadways are constructed. The problem is, roadways that were constructed 40 or 50 years ago are still being used, even though they are not always up to today’s design standards. Using data to target the highways and updates that would be most beneficial is the goal. This is the story of one of the highways where updates have saved lives.
As long as residents near the small central Iowa town of Randall can remember, a specific stretch of U.S 69 west of town has been known as “Dead Man’s Curve.” It didn’t get this nickname by chance.