May 25, 2017
Top of the Page
Watch out for summer work zones

To help ensure summer travels are as carefree as possible, MoDOT has developed a list of significant work zones to be on the lookout for this summer. Drivers will encounter delays in work zones on Interstate 44, Interstate 55 and Interstate 70 for resurfacing and bridge repairs across the state. Lane restrictions are also expected on several other major routes including Route 54 and Route 63 north of Jefferson City and Route 65 in Springfield.


Driver inattention was the number-one cause of work zone crashes last year. The average text takes five seconds to read. Traveling at 55 mph, you will travel more than the length of a football field blindfolded. MoDOT's slow moving maintenance operations move as slow as 10 mph and if you aren't paying attention to the road, you will come up on the closed lane very quickly.

"You are driving two tons of steel. It's hard to do more than one thing at a time so focus on the road," said MoDOT Chief Engineer Ed Hassinger. "Put your phone down and make work zones no phone zones."

Motorists should pay attention to all signing, follow the posted speed limits and take turns merging every other car, like a zipper, where lanes are closed. Always wear safety belts and be alert for slowed traffic, narrowed lanes or a reduced number of lanes. Many of these work zones may cause congestion and traffic delays especially during the peak travel times of daily rush hours and weekends such as Friday evenings and Sunday afternoons.

MoDOT created a list that provides information on how the major interstate work zones will affect travel and for how long. Information on all MoDOT work zones statewide is available up to a week in advance on the department's Traveler Information Map located at www.modot.org. The map is available as a free app available for iPhone and Android phones. The map also displays current traffic speed conditions and live camera views. Motorists can also call MoDOT's 24/7 customer service toll free at 1-888-ASK-MoDOT (275-6636).

Click here to see the complete list of major work zones -  Work Zones for 2017.
Join the Movement!
Take the pledge: when you get into any vehicle, buckle up your safety belt. If you are a driver, put the cellphone down.  Join the 416 people (78 of which represent business) who have taken the pledge so far. 

Click below to accept the challenge!

Social Media
Have You Seen This?
Hood named MoDOT's state highway safety and traffic engineer

MoDOT's new State Highway Safety and Traffic Engineer Nicole Kolb Hood.

Nicole Kolb Hood, who has served MoDOT for the past 21 years, has been named state highway safety and traffic engineer following the retirement this spring of Eileen Rackers. Hood is a 1995 graduate of the University of Missouri-Columbia and a licensed professional engineer in Missouri. She started her MoDOT career as a transportation planner in Central Office. During her career, she has worked in positions in design, traffic and planning. For the past three years, Hood has served as assistant state design engineer.

"In my new role, I'm excited to use my leadership skills and experience to continue to strengthen the department's focus on safety for our citizens," said Hood. "As a public servant, I take pride in delivering a safe and reliable transportation system for Missourians."

Safety on Missouri's roads continues to be a top concern as 947 people were killed in crashes on the system in 2016. Human error is attributed to 94 percent of all traffic crashes.

"It takes each and every one of us to lead by example, focus on the road, buckle up and put our phones down," Hood said. "Seven out of ten drivers use smart phones when driving. We have to work together with our safety partners to find ways to reverse this trend and drive toward zero deaths."

Hood's passion for road safety also comes from her family. She and her husband have three children; of whom two are teenagers.
Did You Know This?
Updated state highway system mileage

Here are some interesting facts about Missouri's highway system.

Total miles of Missouri Roadways 
Interstate Highways
U.S. Routes 
State Routes 
Lettered Routes 
Other (outer roads,
business routes, etc.)

Major Routes
Minor Routes
33,856 miles
1,380 miles
3,414 miles
8,272 miles
19,042 miles
1,748 miles

5,517 miles
28,339 miles

Safer Roadways
Missouri still below national average for safety
Click it or Ticket encourages everyone to always buckle up

Though the safety belt usage rate in Missouri has slowly risen over the past 17 years, reaching 81 percent last year, the state is still well below the national average of 90 percent.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is joining with state and local law enforcement May 22-June 4 in the national "Click It or Ticket" campaign to highlight the importance of wearing your safety belt. 

"Safety belts decrease your risk of dying in a crash by 45 percent," said Missouri State Highway Patrol Superintendent Colonel Sandra Karsten. "And last year alone, 943 lives were lost in Missouri crashes - 64 percent of them being unrestrained."

The coalition also wants to remind drivers to keep their phones down while behind the wheel to reduce the risk of a crash. "Even if you aren't texting and driving, another driver could be. It's still vital to wear your safety belt at all times - it could save your life," said Highway Safety Director Bill Whitfield.

It's the driver's duty to assure all passengers are buckled before driving, including having all children in the appropriate restraints. Missouri's child safety seat survey revealed that when drivers were not buckled up, 33 percent of children were not restrained either, but when the driver was buckled up, 98 of children were also restrained. To ensure safety, make sure kids use a car seat that is appropriate for their height and weight. Infants should travel in rear-facing car seats until age 2 or until they grow out of the rear-facing car seat's height and weight requirements. Children should travel riding in the back seat of the vehicle until age 13.

To check that your car seat and child are restrained correctly, please contact a Child Passenger Safety Technician in your area by calling 800-800-2358.

For more information about Click It or Ticket, visit www.saveMOlives.com or social media at Save MO Lives.
Focus on the Road winner announced
2017 Ford Focus given to Jefferson City finalist

Mary Lea Reinkemeyer of Jefferson City pledged to focus on the road and not drive distracted. Earlier this month, as a result of that pledge, she won a new car.

Left to right: Zach Paul, KRCG TV, Mary Lea Reinkemeyer, contest winner and MoDOT Highway Safety Director Bill Whitfield. 
A 2017 Ford Focus from Joe Machens Ford was awarded to Reinkemeyer 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 eight high schools and four college campuses state wide, teaming up with ThinkFirst Missouri to give personal testimony to the dangers of driving distracted. Over 6,000 Missourian's 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 broadcast.

Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. Preliminary 2016 data indicates distracted driving contributed to 19,046 traffic crashes in Missouri.

"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."

Visit www.saveMOlives.com for more information.
 
Missouri Dept. of Transportation | (888) 275-6636
P.O. Box 270 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0270