For emergency service personnel, the scene was all too real.
Smashed cars. Cracked windshields. Life-threatening injuries. A fatality. A drunk driver. Angry, grieving passengers.
Luckily, this time it wasn’t real. It was part of a mock DWI crash held last week in Columbia. The exercise was part of a three-day conference to help prevent drug- and alcohol-related accidents sponsored by Team Spirit.
Students from 11 Missouri high schools saw first hand why it’s a bad idea to drink and drive. Students witnessed a simulated head-on collision where the driver was impaired and one person dies. Last year, 951 underage drivers were involved in alcohol-related traffic crashes in Missouri.
At the end of the mock crash, the students were silent as the scene was recapped.
“It only takes that one lapse to create results like that,” said the narrator.
When asked how many people think a crash like this would affect their school, all hands were raised.
Watch the video below.
Friday, July 31, 2009
For emergency service personnel, the scene was all too real.
Thursday, July 30, 2009
However, MoDOT, in partnership with Union Pacific Railroad and Amtrak, has developed a very good list of proposed improvements. These projects will not only put people to work quickly, they will remove significant system bottlenecks and allow for increased train speeds. MoDOT has also been working with other Midwest states to acquire modern and efficient train equipment to replace the current 1960's-era trains.
Construction work on Missouri's first-ever publicly funded rail capacity project is on schedule for completion in 2009. This new 9,000-foot passing rail siding near California will eliminate a 25-mile section with no siding long enough to hold a freight train. This area has been a major bottleneck in the past.
Passenger ridership in Missouri remains strong, closing the state fiscal year 10 percent above last year. This is largely due to improved on-time performance, which has been above 95 percent since January 1st. People are running out of excuses for not using this service. What are you waiting for!? Go to www.morail.org and get aboard!
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
And if your team is up against a 64-foot player, good luck!
Monday, July 27, 2009
MoDOT opened the first-in-the-USA Diverging Diamond Interchange in June at the intersection of Kansas Expressway (Route 13) and Interstate 44 in Springfield.
Signs, pavement markings and concrete islands at the new interchange guide drivers on Route 13 as they criss-cross at traffic signals on both sides of the bridge at Interstate 44. That puts oncoming traffic on the right, but separated by concrete barriers that also form a pedestrian walkway down the center.
Left-turning vehicles on Kansas Expressway get a "free left" onto the I-44 on-ramps. At the same time, two lanes of traffic continuing north or south on Kansas Expressway are able to travel more steadily through the interchange.
A DDI is a great solution in high traffic areas. Motorists no longer have to cross opposing traffic. Left turn crashes are eliminated and the chance of being in a rear end crash is reduced. Motorists spend less time being stuck in traffic, which is also good for the environment as idle time is reduced at the interchange. Plus, Springfield’s DDI design came out to be cheaper and shaved about a year-and-a-half off the construction time.
Look for similar Diverging Diamond projects in Missouri, including one on National Avenue at the James River Freeway (Route 60) in Springfield and in Kansas City and St. Louis.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Littering is one of my biggest pet peeves. And many people don’t consider throwing out their cigarette butts as littering. Do people think that once the cigarette butt hits the road, it magically disappears? It’s really just like throwing a bag of garbage out the window. Cigarette filters can take years to degrade. And according to my online research, cigarettes are the most littered item with several trillion butts being littered worldwide every year.
I have picked up litter many times, as part of my Adopt-A-Highway group, and I’ll tell you, it’s not fun. But because people still litter, someone has get out there and clean it up. MoDOT already spends about $5 million a year to clean up litter off the roads, and our AAH groups contribute another $1 million in efforts. Although there are many different items that people throw out of their vehicles, cigarette butts are the things I see the most. Not only are they ugly and smelly, but the toxic residue in cigarette filters is damaging to the environment, and littered butts cause numerous fires every year, some of them fatal.
So what can we do? MoDOT is always accepting new volunteers in our Adopt-A-Highway or Sponsor-A-Highway programs. Just go to www.modot.org/ or call 888-ASK MODOT to join. Butt, if you happen to see someone flicking their butt out their car window, honk and let folks know you’re watching too.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Now those signs warning you about a sharp curve, narrow bridge or dead end up ahead will be even brighter.
MoDOT has changed the type of sheeting it uses on the diamond-shaped warning signs to a fluorescent yellow - bolder and brighter than before. So even if you're driving along singing with your favorite radio station, these signs should grab your attention.
They won't all go up at once. As a current sign is in need of replacement, the brighter one will be used. But as someone who has been known to host my own off-key live concert in my car, I appreciate all the help I can get.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Monday, July 13, 2009
Baseball greats will soon infiltrate Missouri for the 2009 Major League Baseball All-Star game. St. Louis will host the event for the first time since 1966, the inaugural season of the previous Busch Stadium.
MoDOT teamed up with the Illinois Department of Transportation and TEAM (Techniques for Effective Alcohol Management) Coalition to promote the importance of designating a sober driver and always buckling up at All-Star FanFest July 10-14.
FanFest features interactive exhibits and attractions for baseball enthusiasts of all ages. Fans can hit against some of the MLB’s best pitchers in the video batting cages, record their own play-by-play and attend free autograph sessions with baseball’s biggest stars.
The MoDOT booth encouraged fans to film a video or take the pledge to follow MLB’s Fan Code of Conduct, never drive impaired, always have a designated driver, and to buckle up and arrive alive. Fans also took souvenir photos in the replica Busch Stadium Cardinals dugout.
Check out the video from our FanFest booth below. You can also check out a number of the Fan Videos that were submitted during FanFest here.
If you are attending the All-Star Game events or watching at a sports bar or restaurant:
- Be a designated sober driver or designate your sober driver before the game begins
- Give your designated sober driver your car keys and your appreciation for making sure you get home safely
- Before you go out, program the numbers for local cab companies in your cell phone, so if you find yourself in need of a ride, it is just one touch away
- Remember, always buckle up and arrive alive.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
But suppose looming in the future is the likelihood your income will decline to almost a third of the current amount. You’ll be lucky to keep what you own, much less buy anything new.
That’s how it is with the Missouri Department of Transportation’s five-year highway construction program. As MoDOT Director Pete Rahn puts it, “It’s a lot like when someone comes to you and says, ‘Do you want the good news or the bad news. That’s how it is with our construction program. We’re going to be able to do a lot of great things at the beginning, but we won’t be able to maintain that momentum.”
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Enjoy this explosive video as a complement to the fireworks you see this weekend. Have a safe and happy 4th of July!