Transportation Matters fOR Iowa

Category: Traffic Incident Management

Keeping you safe - Iowa’s traffic incident management community gathers to learn from each other

Keeping you safe - Iowa’s traffic incident management community gathers to learn from each other

December 13, 2022

Crash sceneYou may have heard it said that heroes are the ones who run toward danger instead of away from it. In Iowa, we’re very lucky to have a group of these heroes in the form of responders who work together to get emergencies on the road under control quickly and clear the way as soon as possible for travelers. Their actions save lives. Recently, a group of those heroes gathered in Ames for the 2022 Traffic Incident Management Conference to learn more about how working together at a crash scene can keep everyone safer.

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.

Roadside Chat - Vets protected you. Protect others by driving sober

Roadside Chat - Vets protected you. Protect others by driving sober

November 11, 2022

11-11 veterans dayEvery Nov. 11 we take a step back to honor those who have served our country. Celebrations of Veterans Day often include ceremonies thanking those brave individuals who leave their homes and families to protect our freedom.

While veterans have protected us from threats we may not always see, threats here at home are often much easier to combat. Drunk driving is one. If you’re going to be drinking, here are some basic tips to protect yourself and everyone else on the road.

Heads up! Iowa DOT is using technology to give you more information when you’re on the road

Heads up! Iowa DOT is using technology to give you more information when you’re on the road

October 28, 2022

IMG_0841Chances are if you spend much time driving, you’ve come up on a line of traffic that is stopped or slowed down due to road construction. These lines or “queues” as traffic safety professionals call them, put drivers at a high risk of rear-end crashes if they’re not paying close attention to what is up ahead. This construction season the Iowa DOT explored additional technology that can provide drivers with more detailed information about stopped or slow traffic ahead.

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.

New Fort Dodge intersection developed to reduce number of crashes and serious injuries

New Fort Dodge intersection developed to reduce number of crashes and serious injuries

September 20, 2022

IMG_7869If you’re a parent of more than one child, you know a thing or two about how to reduce conflict. Some sage advice includes separating the conflicting items (in this instance, children) to give them time to think about what to do next, potentially reducing the risk of injury.

It’s really not so different with drivers approaching an at-grade intersection on a four-lane highway. The more you can separate the drivers and give them time to think about what’s next, the fewer conflicts or crashes will happen and the severity of the conflicts that do happen is reduced.

That’s exactly what is going on right now on U.S. 20 at Poplar Avenue near Fort Dodge. A new “reduced-conflict” intersection was opened recently with the goal of seeing fewer crashes and injuries at an intersection that may be getting much busier soon with the opening of a travel plaza.

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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