June 21, 2018
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Zero Heroes highway safety nominations sought

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety is accepting nominations for individuals, organizations and events to be recognized as Zero Heroes for their efforts to promote safe driving. Nomination forms are only online and available at www.savemolives.com until July 15, 2018.

"The goal of our Coalition is to reduce fatalities on Missouri roads, and we know there are a lot of people in Missouri who contribute to the success we've had to lower the number," said MoDOT Highway Safety and Traffic Engineer Nicole Hood. "This is an opportunity to recognize those who are helping to save lives by encouraging safe driving," she said.

The Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety has seven regions it serves including Northwest, Northeast, Kansas City, Central, St. Louis, Southwest and Southeast. There are five statewide awards and two awards for each of the seven Coalition regions. The statewide awards include:
  • Lay Down the Law Award recognizing an individual or a group in law enforcement
  • Tempe Humphrey Award recognizing an individual or group who have focused efforts on our younger drivers
  • Arrive Alive Award recognizing an individual or group for their leadership and dedication to reducing fatalities
  • Show Me Safety Award recognizing an individual or group for an event
  • Safety-Neer (Engineering) Award: recognizes an engineer(s)/team who has incorporated a unique or proven safety feature in a highway project that has resulted in reduced fatalities
The regional awards include the Arrive Alive Award and the Show-Me Safety Award. Details can be found at www.savemolives.com. The form is online and simple to complete. Nominations are due by July 15. Five individuals with an interest in transportation safety have been selected throughout the Midwest to judge the awards. Regional awards will be judged by the regional coalitions or independent judges they choose.

The winners will be recognized at the 2018 Traffic Safety and Blueprint Conference held at Columbia in September. Award winners and those who nominate them will be notified in early August. Submit your nominees today!
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 4,563 individuals and 379 businesses who have joined the movement so far.

Click below to accept the challenge!

Social Media
Have You Seen This?
Reader raises question about fatality rate

"I think an article needs to be written talking about the 15 to 30 percent jump in highway fatalities over the last five years," writes Keith Templeton from St. Joseph. "In 2013, there were 253 deaths in the first five months of the year. In 2016, there were 340 deaths in the same period. That is almost a 35 percent increase in three years. Yes, it is slowly declining but it is still a crazy, stupid number."

Statewide fatality totals have actually been on a slight decrease for the past three years but, we agree, the increase from 2013 to 2016 is a crazy, stupid number. Most experts agree that the increase is likely due to distracted driving.

Research shows that sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for nearly five seconds. Imagine that you have to drive the length of a football field--from one goalpost to the other--at 55 miles per hour while blindfolded.

According to statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there were 3,477 people killed and an estimated additional 391,000 people injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2015 alone. In a 2017 report, NHTSA estimated that 481,000 passenger vehicles were being driven by people using handheld cell phones at a typical daylight moment in 2016. Additionally, young drivers 16 to 24 years old have been observed manipulating electronic devices at a rate that is more than twice that of drivers aged 25 to 69.

Closer to home, the Missouri Highway Patrol reports that cell phones contributed to 2,470 crashes in Missouri in 2016, and statistics from American Automobile Association show texting increases the risk of a car crash by 50 percent.

Missouri is one of only 16 states with no primary seat belt law and one of only three states without an all-driver texting ban. That's why MoDOT has joined with the Missouri Coalition for Roadway Safety to initiate the Buckle Up Phone Down campaign. To date, hundreds of businesses and thousands of individuals have taken the pledge to require everyone in the car to buckle up and to urge the driver to put his or her phone down when behind the wheel.

Distracted driving kills, and as cell phone usage becomes more and more common, the more distracted drivers there are on the roads. You can show you're serious about roadway safety by taking the Buckle Up Phone Down challenge at MoDOT.org/BuckleUpPhoneDown.
Illustration of the Great Central Station train shed. Originally published in Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, 2 (Aug. 30, 1856). From Wikipedia.
This day in transportation history

June 21, 1856The intercity train depot Great Central Stations was officially opened in Chicago. It was the Illinois Central Railroad's first permanent station in Chicago and served as the headquarters for the company. The building remained in service until 1893, when it was torn down in favor of a larger facility. 

Safer Roadways

Fatality update

Did you know...Construction season in Missouri is in full swing! When you are out and about be sure that you pay close attention in work zones and keep your cool (even in this heat) if you encounter a wait due to construction. The people working out there are dads, moms, husbands, wives, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters, and they all want to go home safe each day. Using Zipper Merge to help navigate work zones will help. Click the image or here to see how it works - Zipper Merge.

Statewide Fatality Totals 
as reported on the 
Missouri State Highway Patrol 
website as of June 17, 2018: 

2018 Totals as of 6-17-18 - 378
2017 Totals as of 6-17-17 - 389
2016 Totals as of 6-17-16 - 386
2015 Totals as of 6-17-15 - 342
2014 Totals as of 6-17-14 - 317
2013 Totals as of 6-17-13 - 302
Did You Know This?
Kansas City crews take advantage of Interstate 70 closure to perform needed maintenance 

Motorists in the Kansas City area should notice a cleaner, smoother ride on a section of Interstate 70 in Jackson County. While construction crews shut down I-70 during the weekend of June 8 to remove the Crysler, Pittman and Phelps bridges, MoDOT maintenance crews worked overtime to take care of some maintenance needs on the seven-mile stretch of closed interstate. 

MoDOT maintenance crews took advantage of the recent Interstate 70 closure to do repairs along the seven-mile stretch of interstate.
"We decided to take advantage of the closure to get some maintenance work done that is much more difficult to do with traffic on the roadways," said MoDOT Superintendent Stephen Butler. "We were able to squeeze in about a month's worth of work in two days."

Five crews worked more than 20 hours on Saturday and Sunday on drainage, sweeping, flushing, traffic control and mowing. Some of the other work included:
  • Cleaned 22 drains and flushed out six clogged pipes that were causing drainage issues. Pipes are more than 70 feet long and three feet wide.
  • Flushed eastbound and westbound I-70 bridges over U.S. Route 40 and Sterling Ave.
  • Patched eastbound and westbound I-70 from Manchester to Highway 291 using three tons of patching mix.
  • Swept from Manchester to Highway 291, and the barrier walls on several bridges and ramps. In total, crews collected four truckloads of trash.
"We saved motorists from future traffic impacts by doing this work while the road was already closed," Butler said. "And our employees were able to work more safely at the same time. Hopefully motorists will notice a smoother, cleaner drive in that area now."
MoDOT's bike-ped program plans for all road users

MoDOT works with planning partners to create transportation facilities that work for all users because we value bicycle and pedestrian travel. 

Accommodating for bicyclists or pedestrians may be as simple as providing a well-designed road that has room for all road users to share or as complex as a separate-grade structure, such as on a bridge.

Developing appropriate facility design for non-motorists depends on a variety of geometric and operational factors that are inter-related, such as available right-of-way, projected traffic counts and adjacent roadway design speeds.

We strive to integrate non-motorized travel into the existing system to provide connections where none exist to promote efficiency and to focus on a primary concern-the safety of those who depend on walking or bicycling to reach their destinations.

Click to read more on MoDOT's Bike-Ped Program.
Missouri Dept. of Transportation | (888) 275-6636
P.O. Box 270 Jefferson City, MO 65102-0270