August 20, 2015
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Statewide Fatalities Increase by 13 Percent Over Last Year
A single vehicle crash that claimed the lives of 16 people would definitely make the news as a national tragedy. However, just this past weekend, 16 lives were lost on Missouri's roadways, day by day - in single and multiple numbers.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 519 lives were reported lost this year in Missouri traffic crashes as of Aug. 17. Sixty-one percent of those killed were not wearing seat belts. The top causes of these fatalities were driver inattention, speeding, driving impaired and not wearing a seat belt.

"Drivers must take personal responsibility for safety when they get behind the wheel of a vehicle," said MoDOT's Director of Highway Safety, Bill Whitfield. "Fatalities are preventable if drivers take proper measures to ensure their safety and the safety of others."

Since 2006, Missouri has seen a downward trend in statewide fatalities. However, currently, there is a 13 percent increase in fatalities over this time last year.

Combined efforts in engineering, law enforcement, education and emergency medical services aid in the reduction of roadway fatalities, but there is still much work to be done to prevent traffic crashes from occurring.

MoDOT offers the following tips to drivers to help prevent a fatal crash:

  • Never drive distracted.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Always wear a seat belt, and make sure your passengers are buckled up.
  • Never drive impaired by alcohol, illegal or prescription drugs.
  • Maintain a safe following distance behind other vehicles.
  • Slow down, and obey the speed limit.
  • Obey Missouri traffic laws.
Highway safety begins with you. Learn more by visiting, or
Did You Know?
Six out of 10 people killed in 2014 Missouri traffic crashes were not wearing a seat belt.

Missouri's overall safety belt usage rate is 79 percent, compared to 87 percent nationwide. This includes safety belt use on drivers and front seat passengers of passenger cars, SUVs, vans and pickup trucks.

Top contributors to fatalities are:

  -Impaired driving
  -Unbelted drivers and
Social Media
Transportation News
New Law Allows Some Heavier Shipments of Livestock, Grain
The 2015 Missouri State Legislature passed. and Gov. Jay Nixon signed into law, Senate Bill 12. Among other provisions, the law allows livestock haulers to operate commercial motor vehicles loaded with animals up to a weight of 85,500 pounds statewide. The law also states that commercial motor vehicles loaded with grain or grain co-products during time of harvest may weigh as much as ten percent more than the maximum weight limitation indicated by a weight-by-axle chart contained within the law.

"Heavier loads could result in more rapid deterioration of Missouri's supplementary system of roads and bridges at a time when funding for transportation improvements is stretched to the limit," said Becky Allmeroth, MoDOT state maintenance engineer. "It is vital that livestock and grain haulers are aware of the responsibilities that coincide with the new weight allowances." Haulers, though, must observe posted weight limits on bridges - no exceptions.

Several highway, bridge and equipment issues are associated with the legal changes that take effect on August 28, 2015.

Read more here - New Law.
MoDOT Commission Welcomes Its Newest Member
This month the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission welcomed its newest member, Mary Nelson of St. Louis. She has a long and distinguished record of public service and currently is general counsel and chief legal officer for the St. Louis Community College District.

She said she was honored to be serving the MHTC "at a critical time for the state of Missouri and this Commission." She was also elected to fill a vacancy on the board of trustees for the MoDOT and Patrol Employees' Retirement System.

Photo - left to right: Commissioner Michael Pace, new Commissioner Mary Nelson, Vice Chairman Lloyd Carmichael, Chairman Stephen Miller, Commissioner Michael Waters and Commissioner Gregg Smith.
Southwest District Engineer Takes MoDOT's Tough Choices Message to The Airwaves
MoDOT's Southwest District Engineer, Becky Baltz, was part of a panel discussion on Ozarks Public Television's program, "Sense of Community." She was included on a panel with Ozarks Transportation Organization Executive Director, Sara Fields, and Springfield Public Works Director, Dan Smith.

The public affairs program focused on the health of Missouri's roads and bridges and the consequences of MoDOT's declining revenues. The hour-long broadcast featured questions and comments from viewers sent via e-mail and social media as well as from moderator Scott Harvey.

You can view the program in its entirety by clicking on the image.
Have You Seen This?
Kansas City Scout Introduces Ramp Meters Along U.S. Route 69
Drivers along northbound U.S. 69 near the 135th Street interchange regularly feel the pain of a stop-and-go commute during the work week. But KC Scout - a traffic management center funded by KDOT and MoDOT - has a solution to ease some of the pressure.

Recently, KC Scout activated a set of ramp meters at U.S. 69 and 135th Street in Overland Park.

Click above to watch a short video of the congestion on U.S. Route 69 and the benefits of ramp metering at this intersection.
Ramp meters are special traffic signals that regulate the rate at which vehicles enter the freeway from the on-ramps, which, in turn, helps improve safety and decrease congestion by improving the flow of traffic.

These specialized signals work and look similar to traffic signals. Drivers must obey them as they would other traffic signals. A red light means stop; a green light means go.

Ramp Meters, The Unseen Benefits:

While the goal of ramp metering is to get commuters from point A to point B as efficiently and safely as possible, ramp meters can benefit the environment at the same time.

When they promote smoother traffic flow and allow motorists to drive at or near the posted speed limit, roadways reduce the amount of vehicle pollutants that are released into the air.

Ramp meters help reduce vehicle emissions and fuel consumption by decreasing the time that cars spend waiting in traffic. Any time spent waiting on freeway on-ramps is made up in travel time savings once on the freeway.

Learn more about ramp meters and the many benefits to traffic on

To learn more about KC Scout, visit or find them on Twitter and Facebook. 
MoDOT Hiring for Winter Weather
MoDOT employs  2,400 maintenance employees across the state to maintain its 33,891 miles of state routes. If you're looking for diverse opportunities, challenging work and a friendly environment, come join a dynamic team working to support the finest Department of Transportation in America.

There are three different types of workers in our maintenance department - full time maintenance workers, seasonal maintenance workers and emergency operators.

Visit the website for more information and to complete an online application - MoDOT Maintenance Workers.
Missouri Dept. of Transportation | (888) 275-6636
P.O. Box 270 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0270