November 21, 2018
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Impaired and impatient
MoDOT warns of traffic trifecta around Thanksgiving holiday

As thousands of Missouri drivers travel home to spend Thanksgiving with family and friends this week, the Missouri Department of Transportation is urging them to exercise patience, caution and good judgment behind the wheel. The holiday week brings a trifecta of concerns to the roadway, including impaired driving, distracted driving and heavy interstate congestion.
 
The night before Thanksgiving, often referred to as "Blackout Wednesday," has become a popular night for get-togethers at bars before the holiday, often resulting in heavy drinking. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, from 2013 to 2017, more than 800 people died in alcohol-impaired-driving crashes during the Thanksgiving holiday period, making it the deadliest holiday on our roadways.
 
"Driving impaired or allowing someone else to drive impaired is irresponsible and not worth the risk," said Jon Nelson, assistant to the state highway safety and traffic engineer. "Make the right choice this holiday season to drive sober or find another way to reach your destination."
 
Like Blackout Wednesday, Black Friday brings another hazard to Missouri roadways. On a day notoriously associated with impatient shoppers, MoDOT urges drivers to keep the online shopping out of the driver's seat.
 
"Everyone wants to hurry and find the best deals on Black Friday. Your best bet for staying safe on the way is to slow down, always buckle up, and put down the phone," said Nelson.
 
The likelihood of a distracted-driving incident increases during the holidays, as there are more drivers on the road. Rounding out the trifecta of holiday traffic concerns, the Sunday after Thanksgiving is one of the most popular travel days of the year, according to AAA, as most holiday travelers head home after a long weekend.
 
That means congestion. Missouri interstate routes will be heavily crowded, and MoDOT urges drivers to allow extra time for travel and plan their route according to the Traveler Information Map, which shows real-time road conditions and closures. The map is available at traveler.modot.org for desktop users, and mobile users can download the free mobile app from the iTunes App Store and Google Play.
Take the challenge: when you get into any vehicle, buckle up your seat belt. If you are a driver, put the cell phone down. Join the 5,691 individuals and 437 businesses who have joined the movement so far.

Click below to accept the challenge!


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Have You Seen This?
BUPD campaign wins awards
TransComm and Mid-Mo PRSA honor efforts

MoDOT was recognized by the American Association of Highway Transportation Officials and the Mid-Missouri chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for its Buckle Up Phone Down campaign.

"We're very excited that BUPD is gaining momentum across Missouri and our nation," said Nicole Hood, MoDOT state highway safety and traffic engineer. "More so, we know that the simple acts of buckling up and putting your phone down while driving are saving lives."

The award for Issues and Crisis Management Communication, Public Involvement Approach (without consultant) was presented at the annual meeting of the AASHTO Committee on Transportation Communication in Biloxi, MS on Oct. 2. Award submission highlights included the BUPD web page, which allows individuals and businesses to pledge to buckle up and put their phones down while driving. Participating businesses can also upload their logos to the site to show support.

Mid-MO PRSA awarded MoDOT the 2018 Campaign of Excellence during its fall conference in Columbia on Oct. 25. Highlights focused on the specific efforts centered around BUPD Day and franchised fast food restaurant involvement in central Missouri. By interacting with people and businesses, the goal is to change safety culture and make our roadways safer.

Find out how you and your business can get involved with these award-winning campaigns. For more information on Buckle Up Phone Down, go to www.modot.org/BuckleUpPhoneDown/. 
Know Before You Go
MoDOT Traveler Information Map

This time of year is a busy travel season for Missourians. Make sure you have all the information you need before heading out the door for holiday travel. MoDOT's website and mobile apps offer motorists several options for keeping up to date on what's happening on Missouri roadways.

Traveler Information Map App 
Users of iPhones, iPads and Android mobile devices who update the app will have access to statewide traffic flow information in addition to incidents, closures, work zones, message boards and weather-related road conditions:

The Traveler Information Map can also be found on MoDOT's website:  modot.org.

Text Alerts / Email Notifications
With MoDOT's E-update System you can receive email notifications on road work by county, by specific projects or statewide. You can also sign up for text alerts or email notifications for incidents and emergency closings (by county). It's easy to subscribe, and you can change or cancel your subscription anytime:  E-update.

Real Time Traffic
Real time traffic is available for these urban areas:
St. Louis -   http://www.gatewayguide.com/
Kansas City -  http://www.kcscout.net/
Springfield -   http://www.ozarkstraffic.info/index.html

Customers can always call MoDOT's customer service centers 24/7 for road conditions and other information - 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636).
Fatality update

Did you know...
In Missouri, reports indicate that nearly three-quarters of the fatalities involving a substance-impaired driver also involve driving in an aggressive manner.  

Aggressive driving includes behaviors such as speeding, driving too fast for conditions, following too closely, passing improperly and using/changing lanes improperly. All of these behaviors compound the problem and create more probability of injury and/or loss of life.

With a major holiday weekend upon us and millions of people traveling to and from their family gatherings, ensure EVERYONE makes it home safely by designating a SOBER driver to every event, activity and outing. 
 
Driving impaired changes EVERYTHING!
 
Statewide Fatality Totals 
as reported on the 
Missouri State Highway Patrol 
website as of Nov. 18, 2018: 

2018 Totals as of 11-18-18 - 814
2017 Totals as of 11-18-17 - 815
2016 Totals as of 11-18-16 - 840
2015 Totals as of 11-18-15 - 771
2015 Totals as of 11-18-15 - 662
2013 Totals as of 11-18-13 - 673
Photo from Wikipedia.
This day in transportation history

Nov. 21, 1925 - The deluxe passenger train Orange Blossom Special made its maiden run between New York and Florida on the Seaboard Air Line Railroad. The train became renowned for its wide range of amenities available for passengers. The Orange Blossom Special's final run took place in 1953.
Missouri Dept. of Transportation | (888) 275-6636
P.O. Box 270 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0270