Archives: August 2018
August 28, 2018
What does the word engage mean to you? If you use the dictionary definition it can mean several things – to hold something (like attention), to bind yourself to do something (like getting married), or even to go into battle (to engage the enemy). But in our workplaces, being engaged means we’re involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to our work and workplace. It’s a powerful thought – being engaged drives results, productivity, and innovation, and most importantly makes work a better place for each one of us. But an engaged work culture’s not a given – it’s a result we must work toward together to achieve and hold ourselves responsible for.
As you may have read in Mark Lowe’s August director’s report, we’ll soon be starting an initiative we’re calling #Engage. The strategy is to measure how engaged we are, and couple that with analysis and training that gives managers and supervisors the information and resources we all need to work together to sustain a culture of engagement over time. Starting down this path is not a sign that we’re doing anything wrong or that our culture is bad, but only the recognition that in his area, better is always a good thing.
August 28, 2018
Our Motor Vehicle Enforcement officers often go out to trucking companies to educate drivers on what it takes to have a successful commercial vehicle inspection. A few weeks ago, our officers hosted a group of high schoolers at our Dallas County scale facility to show them what we look for
when shipping animals on Iowa highways.
The group was part the United State Department of Agriculture’s AgDiscovery program. These 16 high schoolers from around the country were selected through a competitive application process to get a glimpse into college life and careers related to veterinary medicine, animal science, laboratory diagnostics, and wildlife biology. The stop at our Iowa DOT scale site was just one day of their two-week Iowa experience.
August 27, 2018
Every week there is a safety message and a number that shows all the people who have been killed on Iowa’s roads so far this year. If one of those people is a loved one or friend, today’s message probably stirs up some emotions. We dearly miss those who have been taken from us.
A few naysayers have commented to us that they think these messages are insensitive to family and friends of people killed in crashes. Those comments often come from people who have not lost loved ones in a car crash. We have found that even though some of the messages stir up sadness, families who have suffered loss want to spare others from going through the same pain by spreading messages of safety behind the wheel.
August 21, 2018
August 20, 2018
What is a drink worth to you? In Iowa, a typical conviction for your first offense of operating while intoxicated costs about $10,000 when you factor in legal fees, fines, higher insurance rates, and paying for rides.
How much is too much? It is difficult to calculate how many drinks it takes until a driver is over the legal limit because everyone is different. The law, however, is the same: Any BAC (blood alcohol content) 0.08 percent or higher is considered legally “drunk.” That being said, even a single drink can affect your driving, motor skills, and reaction time. Here are some facts to think about.
August 13, 2018
August 13, 2018
When a major project requires us to close a traffic lane, traffic from two lanes may have to merge into one lane. There are some different theories on the best merge tactics, but here, we like to embrace “Iowa Nice” which really boils down to working together to make the act of merging as safe as possible.
August 6, 2018
The old saying credited to Ben Franklin goes that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. As many of you know, we’re not short on planning around the Iowa DOT, but most of those plans are fairly specific related to a highway corridor, transportation mode, or focus area.
An example would be the development of the I-80 Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) reports led by the Office of Location and Environment (https://iowadot.gov/interstatestudy). Those reports lay out a compelling case for the need to invest in the rural sections of I-80, and a vision for the future. They form a critical underpinning of our next steps, which is to take that vision and start to plan specific projects and timeframes.
August 6, 2018
Who doesn’t love the convenience and portability of food on a stick? Whether it’s a salad, corndog, pork chop, fried cheese, or a frozen chocolate-covered banana, portability is key for eating your way around the Iowa State Fair that begins later this week.
The convenience of arriving safely doesn't require a stick, but it does require a click – a click of your seat belt and the seat belts of everyone in the vehicle with you. Front seat or back, taking a couple of seconds to secure your belt will greatly decrease the chances you’ll be killed or seriously injured should you be involved in a crash.
August 1, 2018