Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What's on Your Stupid List?

Forrest Gump had a way with words. His whole aura was, well – simple. But that doesn’t mean he didn’t have deep thoughts.
One of his favorite sayings was “stupid is as stupid does”. That simple statement says a lot in certain situations. Some things are funny, some are just plain STUPID.
What’s on your stupid list? Here are a few of my faves:
Jump out of an airplane with no parachute.
Spend your life savings on a condemned house.
Bang your head against a concrete wall.
Run with scissors.
Climb an electric fence.
Hug a cactus.
Swim with sharks.
Shave your eyebrows.
Go fishing in your bathtub.
Fight Chuck Norris.
By far, one of the dumbest things you can do is riding in a vehicle with NO SEATBELT.
It’s not just stupid. It could leave you injured, paralyzed or dead!

Tell us what's on your stupid list at www.facebook.com/saveMOlives

Buckle Up and ARRIVE ALIVE!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What's the Coolest Gadget in Your Truck?

From a microwave oven to devices that slow the truck down automatically, these truckers share the scoop about their coolest gadgets.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Free gas? Yes please!

With the high price of gas, I cringe every time I fill up my car. Now would be a really nice time to give away $25 gas cards, right? Oh wait - the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is! And it's really easy to win.

Go to the Save MO Lives Facebook page, pledge to wear your seat belt and be entered to win a $25 gas card donated by Casey's General Store. We have 225 total gas cards, so the odds of winning are in your favor. As are the odds of surviving a crash if you're buckled up!

The contest will run from May 23-June 12, 2011 and is open to Missouri residents 18 years of age and older. No purchase is necessary to win. Only one entry per person is allowed. Seventy-five winners will be randomly drawn each week and announced on the Coalition's website at http://www.savemolives.com/.

What are you waiting for - your car to run out of gas? Buckle and win!

Monday, May 23, 2011

MoDOT Expedites Motor Carrier Response to Joplin Emergency

As equipment and supplies stream toward Joplin, Mo., the Missouri Department of Transportation works to expedite permits and waive normal fees for large and heavy emergency loads as well as registration and fuel tax permits.

Motor carriers who plan to haul loads to the storm-affected area that are heavier, wider or longer than normally allowed must request an oversize/overweight permit. Out-of-state carriers that do not hold authority to operate in Missouri can request registration and fuel permits. All of these permits will be issued at no charge and the requests will receive priority service around the clock. Call 1-800-877-8499  between 7 am and 5 pm. For emergency permits only, call (573) 291-4853 or (573) 291-4517 after these hours.

All other traffic and motor carrier regulations that normally apply remain in place.  The expedited service and fee waiver is in effect through noon, Monday, May 30, 2011.
All travelers are advised to visit the MoDOT Traveler Information Map at http://www.modot.org/ for up-to-date road closure information.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Never Forget to Buckle Up

The morning of Sunday, April 3, 2011 rose sunny, warm and windy, unusual for Central Missouri in early April. The predicted high was 83 degrees. My friend’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Michaelah, dressed for the weather in shorts and some layered tank tops. She was headed just down the road to the church’s Walk for Life. But no one could predict that her seven-mile trip would have its own life-or-death scenario.
Before she left, she sent one last text message to a friend, said good-bye to her mom and hopped into her sister’s car, alone. Just over a mile into her drive that spring morning, a rabbit darted onto the road. She jerked the wheel to the left to avoid hitting it. In a split second the car was running off the left side of the road, she steered back to the right and overcorrected, then quickly pulled the wheel back to the left, and completely lost control. The car went airborne, hit a sign, then an embankment and then flipped over, coming to rest on its top.
Michaelah was left hanging upside down, held in by her seat belt and, she admits, freaking out. She scrambled to find her cell phone as glass from the shattered windshield rained down onto her face and into her mouth. The phone was on the ceiling of the car along with everything else in the car that wasn’t strapped in. She grabbed it and felt for the redial button. Her friend, thankfully picked up and help was on its way.
She is still recovering from bruises and sprains, but this sixteen year old was most certainly saved by her seat belt. This summer Michaelah will have a job babysitting, go to Florida on a trip earned through her church, enjoy Branson with her family, and feel a little uncomfortable behind the wheel. But, she will never forget to buckle up. Without her seat belt she may not have had a summer at all. In 2010, 438 people who were not wearing seat belts were killed in Missouri traffic crashes.
Buckle Up and ARRIVE ALIVE.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Know Before the Cones

It's the time of year when you're likely to see orange.Though MoDOT's construction budget is down, there are plenty of opportunities for those orange cones to appear in your windshield. Here are a few websites that can help you learn which highways have lane and bridge closures:

www.modot.org/tim - The map you use to check winter road conditions also provides the location for work zones. Use the interactive map link in the upper left corner to zoom in for a closer view.

www.modot.mo.gov/safeandsound - We're in the middle of a five-year program to fix 800 bridges. This summer, hundreds of bridges get a makeover. To complete the projects as quickly as possible, most bridges are completely closed. Go to the Safe & Sound site to learn which bridges are under construction, which are planned to start in the next several months and which will wait. The interactive map makes finding those on your routes easy.

www.modot.org/workzones - Visit this page to tell us how we're doing. Rate our work zones and let us know how we can improve. Do you have a suggestion or did we cause a problem? Let us know.

As always, you can call 1-888-Ask-MoDOT for questions, or visit www.modot.org.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Being Barrel Bob is Busy Business

Educating travelers around Missouri about work zone safety is hard work, and let me tell you, I have earned my stripes. Since Work Zone Awareness Week kicked off on April 4, I have been busy touring the state and telling everyone about keeping safe in work zones. You have to keep your eyes open though, because you never know where you’ll find me. The following are just a few of the places I’ve been spotted over the past few weeks:

In the Kansas City area, I’ve been seen on Interstate 70 and Interstate 435 as you enter the work zone close to the Blue Ridge cutoff. If you look closely, you may notice my partner Barrel Betty by my side.

In Mid-Missouri, I’ve been in work zones on Route 50 in Cole County, the downtown MoDOT General Headquarters building during the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission meeting, the westbound Interstate 70 rest area in Boonville for awhile, then in Benton County along Route 65 in Warsaw just south of Route 7. Currently, motorists can find me along westbound Route 54 at the Route Y interchange in Camden County.

In the St. Louis area, I began the week at the Page Avenue construction project on Interstate 270, visited the Chain of Rocks rest area, worked at the Traffic Management Center in West St. Louis County, at Interstate 44 and Bowles Avenue near Fenton for a resurfacing project and I even attended the Meet the Machines event on Lake Bluff Drive.

In my off time, I provide regular updates of my travels, as well as photos, radio spots, and sometimes even funny comments on my personal Facebook page. In fact, you might even say I’ve become somewhat of an international phenomenon since I currently have fans from eight different countries, several states and many cities. My fans even speak more than five different languages! But, no matter how you say it – my message is still the same … Don’t Barrel Through Work Zones! Keep on the lookout for me in a work zone near you.

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Steamy Topic

Earlier this year, we asked you to help route the steam to Missouri and vote to bring a Union Pacific steam engine through our state on tour.

And you did it! The Little Rock Express route received the most votes and now a schedule has been set. Check the schedule to see where you can meet up with a piece of living history!

After you plan your visit, don't forget to check out some facts about this engine and it's place in history. For example, did you know this engine has been blowing steam since 1944?

Hope to see you at one of the stops of the Little Rock Express!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Public Discussion

Community briefings are happening throughout Missouri to explain the recently announced Bolder Five-Year Direction for MoDOT. Briefings will be held throughout the month, leading up to June 8 when the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission meets to take final action on the proposed plan.

A complete list of briefings can be found at www.modot.org. If you're unable to attend, you can participate through an online briefing at www.modot.org. The online meeting will run through June 3.

Other ways to comment on the proposed direction:

  • Comment online via www.modot.org
  • Send an e-mail to MHTC@modot.mo.gov
  • Call 1-888-Ask-MoDOT
  • Write to MoDOT, Central Office, 105 W. Capitol Ave., P.O. Box 270, Jefferson City, Mo., 65102
  • Contact us via social media at www.modot.org/emodot

All comments from the public received during this month-long process will be shared with MoDOT leadership and commission members prior to June 8.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Director Keith Presents a Smaller, More Efficient MoDOT

Last week, Director Kevin Keith presented a plan to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission to create a smaller, more efficient MoDOT. The Bolder Five-Year Direction involves reducing the size of the department's staff by 1,200, closing 135 facilities and selling more than 740 pieces of equipment. By 2015, the proposed direction will save $512 million that will be used for vital road and bridge projects across the state.

A dramatic decrease in available funding means we have to make the best possible use of every dollar. Watch below as Director Keith talks about why these changes are necessary and how MoDOT will focus on maintaining the safest, most reliable transportation system possible for Missourians.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Bolder Five-Year Direction

Faced with a severe decline in funding and the inability to match federal funds in the near future, MoDOT Director Kevin Keith presented a plan today to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission that includes reducing the size of the department's staff by 1,200, closing 135 facilities and selling more than 740 pieces of equipment. By 2015, the proposed direction will save $512 million that will be used for vital road and bridge projects.

"We asked the director to put forth a bold plan of action to address our transportation funding crisis, and he delivered," said Commission Chair Grace Nichols. "We don't like having to head in this direction, but the reality of our funding situation makes it necessary."

Find full details at www.modot.org.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Celebrate Safe and Sober

The day I got my license was an exciting day for me. It opened up a whole new world: nights out, trips with friends, part-time jobs, independence.

But it wasn't all friends, fun and freedom. With my license also came responsibility. Sure it took me two speeding tickets to figure that out but I did - eventually.

Getting your license isn't a right - it's a privilege. One that comes with strings attached. One of those strings is don't drink and drive.

Between 2008 and 2010, 98 people were killed and 426 seriously injured on Missouri roadways in crashes involving a drunk drivers under the age of 21. What's tragic about these crashes is they are clearly preventable.

It is illegal for a person under 21 to possess or consume alcohol in Missouri. Missouri has a zero tolerance law. If you're under 21, your license will be suspended if you're caught with even a trace of alcohol in your system.

With prom and graduation season here, Missouri youth have much to celebrate. From May 4-13, high-visibility enforcement and education will remind teens and their parents that underage drinking is not only wrong - it's against the law.

Celebrate safe and sober. Zero tolerance means zero chances.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Motorcycle vs. Car

In a crash involving a car and a motorcycle, who do you think will win? Simple physics tells us the motorcycle will always lose. The freedom and wind-in-your-face feeling that most motorcyclists enjoy also comes with the responsibility of using extra caution so that riders do not end up as part of a tragic statistic.

Responsibility falls on motorists driving cars and trucks as well, who need to take care and watch out for the motorcyclists sharing the road. This is particularly important during this time of year, when the weather is warming up and more motorcyclists are taking to the roads.

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month, and a good opportunity for us all to think about safe driving, whether on two wheels or four.

Motorcycle experts recommend motorcyclists complete training before getting out on the road. In Missouri, there are 26 locations for training, and you can find the one nearest you at www.mmsp.org.

And with motorcycle use growing throughout the state, it's even more important for cars to watch out and look twice for motorcyclists. Always make a visual check in mirrors and blind spots before entering or leaving a lane of traffic and at intersections.