Iowa DOT and Safety Go Together Like Pumpkin Spice and the Holidays

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If you were driving in Iowa over the Thanksgiving weekend, you probably saw the message on electronic message boards stretched across the state’s major highways – north to south and east to west.

“What doesn’t go with pumpkin spice? Drunk Driving”

Iowa DOT’s pre-Thanksgiving highway safety message

With the holiday season at hand, pumpkin spice is seemingly everywhere. Unfortunately, drunk driving remains nearly ubiquitous. The Iowa Department of Transportation hopes the public makes the connection.

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Oregon, Washington Take on Distracted Driving Epidemic with New Campaigns, Tougher Laws

798px-I-55_I-40_West_Memphis_AR_distracted_driving_warning_signIn Oregon, 75 percent of drivers admit to driving distracted. Nationally, at least that many drivers are eating, shaving, putting on makeup, texting, reading the newspaper … while driving a vehicle.

“As a culture I think we’re ready for a change,” said Tom Fuller, Oregon DOT communications manager, in a recent news release announcing a new statewide campaign there intended to help people drive more safely.

“The stories of deaths and injuries from distracted driving are as horrific as they are preventable,” Fuller added.

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Reversing the Trend: How Will U.S. Reduce, Eliminate Fatal Traffic Crashes

UtahDOT

State transportation departments use message signs to encourage people to drive safely. In 2015, Utah began a “100 deadliest Days” effort to highlight how the summer driving season is traditionally the most dangerous.  Photo courtesy Utah DOT.

It was not much of a surprise to the people who work to make the nation’s transportation system safer when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration recently released preliminary numbers showing traffic deaths had increased nearly 8 percent in 2015 to 35,200.

 

According to the official NHTSA news release, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said, “We are analyzing the data to determine what factors contributed to the increase in fatalities and at the same time, we are aggressively testing new safety technologies, new ways to improve driver behavior, and new ways to analyze the data we have, as we work with the entire road safety community to take this challenge head-on.” Continue reading

Tuning In: Pokemon Go #Safety Message

Not every current event is appropriate for a transportation social media feed. But the folks at Washington State Department of Transportation continue to show off their deft ability to connect with their audiences by tying in with the latest Pokemon game.

Release July 7, Pokemon Go challenges players to find Pokemon characters – in the real world. So basically, people are walking around – or worse driving around – looking for these virtual characters. Clearly, a word of safety advice is in order here, right?

Here’s the tweet from @wsdot:

And before you think that WSDOT was just overly opportunistic, consider this item posted on Vine: (editor’s note: the Vine was deleted from the site. But visit Vine to see other examples.)

And there are even people who in just the first week think walking and playing the game is too “boring.” So, they are trying to figure out how to drive and play the game “safely.”

As if the world of driving wasn’t already difficult enough!