November 25, 2015
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Change the Numbers This Holiday Season - Motorists Urged to Travel Safely

The holiday season is upon us. From now through the New Year, calendars will fill with holiday shopping, caroling and parties at offices and homes across the state. The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety wants to remind those who plan to celebrate to designate a sober driver or call a cab to avoid driving impaired. Statewide, law enforcement will be on the lookout for impaired drivers with targeted enforcement efforts Dec. 18, 2015, to Jan. 3, 2016. 

There were 50 people killed and 272 seriously injured in Missouri traffic crashes between Dec. 12, 2014 and Jan. 1, 2015. Seven of the fatalities and 48 of the serious injuries involved a substance-impaired driver. That equates to potentially over 300 families whose lives were changed in an instant during what should be the most wonderful time of the year. It's time to change the numbers.

"We want everyone to enjoy a safe and happy holiday season," says Bill Whitfield, executive chair of the coalition. "So we are making a special effort to reach motorists with reminders to plan ahead for a safe and sober ride home."

What's tragic about these crashes is that they are clearly preventable. Substance-impaired driving is a crime, not an "accident", and is one of America's most often committed and deadliest crimes. There are no excuses to drive impaired. The facts are known - drinking and driving can be a lethal combination. The consequences are fines, jail time or even death. Enforcement will be out in full force this holiday season. If you choose to drive impaired, you will be arrested.

To learn more, visit savemolives.com, or find them on Facebook and Twitter at Save MO Lives, #DriveSoberMO.
To Grandmother's
House We Go!
Before heading out this
holiday weekend, or for any fall or winter travels, be sure to check out MoDOT's travel advisory map. 

The map shows winter
road conditions, work zones, incidents and
other closures so you
can get to your destin-
ation safely.

It can also be down- 
loaded as an app for your mobile device.

Check it out - Map.
Social Media
Have You Seen This?
Focus on the Road Winner Announced - 2015 Ford Focus Given to Lebanon Finalist

Charles Feldbush of Lebanon, Mo. pledged to focus on the road and not drive distracted. On Thursday evening, as a result of that pledge, he won a new car just in time for the holidays.

A 2015 Ford Focus from Joe Machens Ford was awarded to Feldbush at the Machens dealership in Jefferson City as part of an awareness campaign to keep drivers attentive behind the wheel. The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety teamed up with Machens Ford and KRCG-TV to sponsor the "Focus on the Road" campaign.

KRCG visited seven high schools and five college campuses statewide, teaming up with ThinkFirst Missouri, to give personal testimony to the dangers of driving distracted. Over 8,000 Missourians made the pledge on KRCG's website to stay focused on driving. Of the entries, 13 finalists were chosen and each was given a key to try in the new vehicle and the winner was announced during KRCG's live evening broadcast.

Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. A driver using a communication device was involved in nearly 2,000 (9.6 percent) of Missouri traffic crashes involving a distracted driver in 2014.

"No conversation or text is worth the risk of a crash," said Bill Whitfield, executive chair of the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety. "When you're behind the wheel, there is no more important activity than being focused on the road."

For more information about staying focused on the road, visit www.saveMOlives.com, or find them on social media at Save MO Lives.
Traveler Information Map "How To"

When winter weather hits, Missouri drivers need to know the latest road conditions. That's why MoDOT hosts the Traveler Information Map on its website. It's easy to check the map online or download it as an app for your mobile device. 

Although checking the map for winter road conditions is very popular with drivers, the map also shows work zones, incidents and other closures that help drivers get to their destination.
To make the map even easier to navigate, a short video was created to show all the options available. Check it out here - TIM How To Video.

View From the Chair
Missourians Deserve Solutions, Not Excuses
by Steve Miller, Chairman, Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission 

As the Commission approached the task of recruiting a new director to lead our department of transportation, the national search firm warned us to be realistic with our expectations. Why would someone want to come to a state that ranked near the bottom in transportation funding and had spent the last five years eliminating 1,200 jobs, closing over 120 facilities and selling off nearly 750 pieces of heavy highway equipment? These cuts put $600 million dollars back on the roads - but only delayed the inevitable decline of an underfunded transportation system: 641 critical-condition bridges; the inability to preserve the system; the rationing of repairs and maintenance; the suspension of the cost- share program; the deferral of planning studies and an increase in fatalities. Most distressing, however, was the apparent lack of will to identify and implement a long-term reliable funding solution to arrest this serious decline. Recognition of the situation was not a problem, but taking action has proven to be.

How would we explain to candidates a state which in previous generations had the courage to build out the nation's 7th largest transportation system; to pull the state up and out of the mud; to construct an enviable farm-to-market network of roads; to give birth to the interstate highway system - but had now lost its way? How would we make sense of a state where the importance of transportation is recognized, yet years pass without a viable long-term funding solution? At a time when neighboring states are raising new revenues, attracting new jobs and generating economic opportunities, how would we explain a state where excuses substitute for action?

We assured the search team that Missouri was a better place than it appeared. Yes, the statistics were true. And resignation of the House Speaker and political maneuvering last spring had prevented even a modest increase in one of the nation's lowest fuel taxes from even coming to a vote. But great leaders seek out great challenges - and Missouri represents a challenge.

The department had been cut to the core but still retained its core competencies with a dedicated and talented work force. Any new revenues which might be enacted were protected by the constitution from being diverted for other purposes. We did have good leaders committed to transportation, we just needed to continue to educate the naysayers. And, as the hub of the greatest economic engine in the world, Missouri was blessed with a logistic centrality which was the envy of the nation. In short, Missouri had great unrealized potential. Read More.
Happy Thanksgiving
       

Missouri Dept. of Transportation | (888) 275-6636
P.O. Box 270 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0270