Transportation Matters fOR Iowa

Category: Operations

Plow cam images provide more than just a glimpse at winter weather

Plow cam images provide more than just a glimpse at winter weather

January 24, 2023

Wills SunDogYou know when you have this idea that you think is pretty good, but you have no concept of how it might explode into something much more than you expected over time? That’s what happened with the snow plow camera images the Iowa Department of Transportation began using eight years ago.

Roadside Chat - Flashing lights? Do what's right. Move over

Roadside Chat - Flashing lights? Do what's right. Move over

November 18, 2022

11-18 do whats rightTo keep everyone safer on the road, every state across the country has enacted some form of a “Move Over” law to encourage motorists to either slow down or move over when they come up on a crash scene. National data shows that nearly 30 percent of people are unaware that these laws exist.

As we finish out Crash Responder Safety Week, here’s a reminder about Iowa’s “Move over” law. The law (Iowa Code 321.323) was enacted in 2002 to help protect responders and motorists. It was expanded in 2018 to include not only emergency vehicles but any vehicle alongside the road with flashing lights.

New research searches for ways to “see” through bad weather

New research searches for ways to “see” through bad weather

November 9, 2022

Snowplow workingWe can’t say it enough – safety is at the core of everything we do at the Iowa DOT. But the nature of being on the road in all kinds of conditions puts some of our team members in danger, such as snow fighters working in weather that can make it tough to see out of the windshield. We must find ways to make those situations as safe as possible.

To help accomplish one of our five-year priority goals to grow innovation, we are working with Iowa State University’s Institute for Transportation to develop equipment that allows our folks to “see” better in bad weather. This includes equipping snow plows with sensors and driver aids to allow our staff to continue working in low visibility situations that improves the safety of both those traveling on the roads and our staff.

Enhancing worker safety – new technology may light the way

Enhancing worker safety – new technology may light the way

October 26, 2022

Highway workerHighway maintenance workers will tell you, to work along the road, you must keep a constant eye on both the work you are doing and the traffic moving around you. But splitting your concentration isn’t ideal and it can be dangerous.

As part of the Iowa DOT’s Business Plan,  a one-year objective for 2022 seeks to “Improve Work Zone Safety.” One element of that objective is focused on helping motorists better see work zones, theoretically helping them avoid crashes in work areas.  With the 2020 deaths of two of our employees, Lynn Roder and Jeff Arbogast, fresh in our hearts and minds, this objective has become even more urgent.

Using roadside technology to help you better plan a safer trip

Using roadside technology to help you better plan a safer trip

October 25, 2022

Smart arrow board on highwayWhether you’re planning a weekend getaway or a trip to visit family and friends, having the best information about your route will help you have a safer, quicker, and less stressful journey. While winter is coming, the Iowa Department of Transportation and our construction partners will still have many active work zones as long as the weather holds. These work zones and associated delays can sometimes put a kink in your travel plans if you’re not prepared for them.

Automation of sound warning to increase safety in Iowa work zones

Automation of sound warning to increase safety in Iowa work zones

October 24, 2022

Crashed attenuatorMaking sure you are paying attention when you’re driving near those working on the road is essential to helping you avoid a crash and keeping everyone in the area safe, the main priority of the Iowa Department of Transportation. Last year we told you about a program that added a loud noise to a piece of equipment known as an attenuator. An attenuator is typically a trailer pulled by a large truck. Their purpose is to block oncoming traffic from entering a work zone and they are designed to take a hit instead of a worker if a driver happens to not be paying attention. While we’ve seen success with adding sound to this equipment, the next step to keeping you safer on the road is to automate the triggering of the noise.

Multi-year I-80/380 project transforming travel in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids corridor

Multi-year I-80/380 project transforming travel in the Iowa City/Cedar Rapids corridor

August 22, 2022

TransportationImpacts_I80_380Whenever you have a large amount of traffic of various vehicle types converging on one spot, there are a unique set of safety concerns. With “Safety First, “People Matter” and “Customer Focused” as three of our Iowa DOT core values, addressing these concerns is a top priority.

The Interstate 80/380 interchange in Iowa City is a major crossroads for the state of Iowa and the rest of the nation. As one of the busiest interchanges in the state, I-80/I-380 is a vital link in the overall connectivity, mobility, freight movement, and economic well-being. A multi-year project now underway includes installing new directional ramps to increase the safety and flow of traffic and replacing the current loop ramps that have seen weaving traffic which created congestion and safety issues.

New app tests process of identifying available truck parking

New app tests process of identifying available truck parking

August 19, 2022

IMG_7843Driving down the interstate, you get a feel for all the commerce that moves in the trailers of semis. With “Safety First” as a core value of the Iowa Department of Transportation, we’re doing everything we can to support professional drivers, including assisting in research to help them find parking when they need to rest.

Roadside Chat - Keep your load off the road. Tie it or tarp it

Roadside Chat - Keep your load off the road. Tie it or tarp it

July 29, 2022

7-29 keep your load off the roadWith eyes on the road 24/7/365, what do our Traffic Management Center operators see? Tires, ladders, couches, construction materials, and all kinds of other debris are common sights on Iowa’s roadways. From January through the end of June, operators have logged 806 reports of debris on the road.

This debris doesn’t just make Iowa roads look bad, it can be very dangerous for you and your family. Whether you run over the debris and damage a tire, swerve out of the way to avoid debris, or get hit by items flying out of another vehicle, the potential for disaster is high.

Keeping you safer on Iowa’s roadways – update on joint operating procedure agreement between Iowa DOT and Iowa State Patrol

Keeping you safer on Iowa’s roadways – update on joint operating procedure agreement between Iowa DOT and Iowa State Patrol

July 26, 2022

JOPS Graphic v2The Iowa Department of Transportation and the Iowa State Patrol have similar goals to do everything we can to promote safe travel on Iowa’s roadways. In recent years, the two agencies have collaborated on a document to spell out exactly how the agencies work together on traffic incidents on Iowa’s state and U.S. highways and interstates. This Joint Operations Policy Statement sets goals and objectives for collaboration.

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