August 6, 2015
Back to School Safety
School and Bus Safety
For many children, riding the bus or walking to school represents a new level of freedom and maturity. It also creates new risks that you and your children should be aware of.

School buses are nearly eight times safer than passenger vehicles; however, a majority of bus-related deaths and injuries that do occur involve pedestrians - mostly children - who are struck by a bus or injured when they are exiting the bus to cross traffic.

Make every trip to and from school a safe one by following these guidelines:
  • Always stay in sight of the bus driver.
  • Don't hurry off the bus. Make sure to check traffic first.
  • Don't go back to the bus after exiting.
The Safe Routes to School program makes bicycling and walking to school a safer and more appealing transportation alternative. By encouraging more students to walk, wheel or bike to school, the program encourages a healthy and active lifestyle from an early age.

Safe Routes to School projects include sidewalk improvements, traffic calming, pedestrian and bicycle crossing improvements, bicycle parking facilities and traffic diversion - http://www.saferoutesinfo.org/.
Back to School
Safety Messages
During the month of August, at times when MoDOT's digital message signs are not being used to convey critical information to motorists, the signs will be used to reinforce safe driving practices for back to school:
  • Today's Homework - Don't Text and Drive
  • Back to School Back to Basics - Buckle Up 
Where's Baby?
Look Before You Lock!
The beginning of another school year means a busy time for students and parents.

Remember, heatstroke is the leading cause of non-crash-related fatalities for children. Play it safe with these tips:


Never
leave a child alone in a parked car.

Always look in both the front and back seats when you leave the vehicle.

Lock your vehicle doors and place the the keys out of a child's reach to ensure they cannot accidentally trap themselves inside the vehicle.

Whether dropping off a child is part of a daily routine or something only done occasionally, there are some simple steps to help remember that a child is in the vehicle:

Place an item that you need for your destination next to the car seat.

Call
your spouse after you drop the child off, and have them contact you if they don't receive your call so you don't forget.

Have
the daycare call you if your child does not show up.
Social Media
Don't Drive Distracted
Click above to watch a short video on distracted driving. 
Driving Safely Back to School
Back to school also means that high school and college students will be driving, not only to school, but to work and extracurricular activities; the list goes on and on. This is a good time of year to stop and think about what we should and should not be doing while driving. Not just for students, but for all of us.

Distracted driving includes anything that distracts you from driving, including texting, eating, talking, changing the radio and more. Unfortunately, the statistics aren't good in Missouri when it comes to distracted driving.
  • Nearly 20 percent of Missouri traffic crashes involve some form of distracted driving
  • 4.6 seconds - the amount of time texting drivers take their eyes off the road (if driving 55 mph, this is the length of a football field)
  • 50 percent of teens say they text while they drive
  • $100 or more fine (could well exceed $100) if you get caught texting and driving under 21
The bottom line is: when driving, just drive.

Always Buckle Up!
Seat Belts and Teens - What Parents Need 
to Know  
Under the Graduated Driver License Law, teens from age 15-18 are required to wear their seat belts, and it's a primary offense if they don't, meaning they can be pulled over solely for not wearing their seat belt.

Teen seat belt use in Missouri is only 67 percent, much lower than state (79 percent) and national (86 percent) seat belt use. Also alarming, Missouri has 28 schools with a seat belt usage rate of 50 percent or less.

Teens are most likely to follow parental example. Parents who buckle up on a regular basis have kids that make the same safe choice. So the next time you're in the vehicle with your family, make the right choice, set the example and buckle up.
For more information on safe driving, visit the Missouri Coalition
for Roadway Safety's website at www.savemolives.com.
Have You Seen This?
Annual Youth Transportation Conference
Twenty-nine high school students participated in MoDOT's 14th Annual Youth Transportation Conference July 19-24 in Jefferson City. The conference, which is put together by MoDOT's Equal Opportunity and Diversity Division (EODD), promotes transportation and engineering careers to youth. It was open to all students from across the state entering ninth to 12th grade in the upcoming school year.

"We want to increase interest in civil engineering in our youth today," said Elizabeth Reed, Youth Transportation Conference coordinator and senior Human Resources specialist in EODD. "We get the opportunity to expose new people to our field of work who wouldn't have had these types of opportunities otherwise."

At the end of the week-long camp, parents were invited to hear their children's group presentations on transportation solutions to problems students identified specific to Missouri. These presentations included topics on Interstate-70, natural disasters, bridges and flooding, earthquakes and alternative winter roadway solutions.
MoDOT's Safe & Sound Bridge Program Wins DBIA National
Design-Build Project/Team Award
The Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA), the only organization that defines, teaches and promotes best practices in design-build, announced its 20th annual Design-Build Project/Team Award Winners. Recognized for exemplary collaboration and integration in design-build project delivery, the award-winning projects were evaluated by a distinguished panel of industry experts.

MoDOT's Safe & Sound Bridge Program won in the category of Transportation (Non-Aviation). MoDOT and its partners were given the award. The Design-Builder was KTU Constructors, a joint venture of Kiewit Western Co., Traylor Brothers Inc. and United Constructors Inc., with HNTB and the LPA Group (a division of Michael Baker Jr. Corp.).

"To win a National Design-Build Project/Team Award, projects must not only achieve budget and schedule goals, but also demonstrate advanced and innovative application of design-build best practices," said Lisa DBIAWashington, CAE, Executive Director/CEO of DBIA. "This year's winning projects exemplify Design-Build Done Right in their design-build process, excellence in design and extraordinary teaming performance. The jury's difficulty in choosing winners demonstrates how much design-build expertise has expanded since we started the awards program in 1996."
Road Deaths in Missouri
     
Missouri Dept. of Transportation | (888) 275-6636
P.O. Box 270 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0270