Iowa DOT News Release



Winter 2009 news tips

Posted on: December 19, 2008


Bypass traffic immersed in a winter wonderland

Truck Mild weather days during the winter travel season provide opportunities to enjoy Iowa's eight state-designated and two nationally-designated scenic byways. Don’t just drive somewhere, make your travel time part of your vacation. Scenic byways are a great way to experience the state’s natural beauty, history and culture. The recent re-design of the scenic byways Web site now makes it easier than ever to plan your next trip. Visit the Web site to learn more about Iowa’s byways or obtain a brochure of the routes.

Visit the scenic byways Web site – www.dot.state.ia.us/scenic_byways.htm

Contact:
Troy Siefert, Office of Systems Planning, 515-239-1369 troy.siefert@dot.iowa.gov

Recognizing risk factors for deer-vehicle collisions

Cardeer Many Iowans know that late fall and early winter are the mating "rut" and foraging seasons for deer. One-half to two-thirds of all vehicle collisions with deer occur in October, November and December. What you may not know is that weather, time of day and other easily recognizable factors can also affect the level of deer activity and alert motorists to times when deer may be more likely to enter a roadway.

Deer are most likely to enter an open area, such as a road, at dusk and dawn. One study conducted by T.R. Michels and posted on Bowhunting.net found that on average, deer are most active from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and 4 a.m. to 10 a.m., with movement until noon. Clouds, fog and light precipitation can provide the illusion of dusk or dawn, and increase deer movement. During periods of heavy precipitation, deer are less likely to move because their senses of sight and hearing are diminished.

To read the entire article, visit – http://www.bowhunting.net/artman/publish/article_364.shtml

Contact:
(safety tips) Tom Welch, Office of Traffic and Safety, 515-239-1267 or tom.welch@dot.iowa.gov
(statistics) Scott Falb, Office of Driver Services, 515-237-315 or scott.falb@dot.iowa.gov

Restrain Yourself

Restrain Iowa students in grades 9-12 are invited to compete in Restrain Yourself, a challenge to produce a 25-second video or audio public service announcement (PSA) encouraging their peers to show restraint from dangerous behaviors while driving. Dangerous behaviors include not wearing a seat belt, using cell phones or other distractions, inattention or speeding in a work zone, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The first place video producer(s) (maximum of two people) will receive $600 each, and have their spot premiered on KDSM-Fox 17 during the finale of American Idol.

The first place audio producer(s) (maximum of two people) will receive $300 each, and have their spot broadcast on 61 Iowa radio stations through the Radio Iowa network.
For more information about the contest, visit the Web site and click on the Restrain Yourself logo – http://www.thinkfirstiowa.org/

Contact:
Tracey Bramble, Office of Media and Marketing, 515-239-1314 or tracey.bramble@dot.iowa.gov

Winter driving tips

Icesnow  Winter weather will happen – ready or not – and it’s never too early to remind drivers “Ice and Snow … Take it Slow.”

“Every winter we need to remind motorists about the importance of driving safely on winter roads,” said Dennis Burkheimer, winter operations administrator at the Iowa DOT. “And using the national “Ice and Snow … Take it Slow” public education campaign is a good way to get the message out to Iowans.”

“The safety message is one that drivers can connect with and act on,” said Burkheimer. “The goal of the safety campaign is to educate drivers to help prevent injuries and fatalities, and get travelers home safely on winter roads. That’s everyone – professional drivers, folks out there on company business, teen drivers, motorists in their personal cars …”
The essentials for safe winter driving are on the DOT’s Web site under “Winter Information.” This site offers safe driving tips, information about operating around snow removal equipment and a wealth of other topics dedicated to keeping you safe during your winter travels.

Contact:
Dennis Burkheimer, Office of Maintenance, 515-239-1335 or dennis.burkheimer@dot.iowa.gov
Helpful link – http://www.dot.iowa.gov/maintenance/internetpages/winteroperations/winteropsindex.htm


Decreases in fuel sales and vehicle miles traveled add to funding concerns

Rising construction costs, increased freight movements and an aging infrastructure present Iowa’s road funding with some very significant challenges to overcome. In addition, a statewide decrease in fuel sales and number of vehicle miles of travel is affecting the revenue generated for the Road Use Tax Fund. Compared to 2007, Iowa’s fuel sales have decreased an average of 3.4 percent so far this year. January alone ended with a 6.6 percent decrease in sales compared to Jan. 2007. Statewide vehicle miles of travel on Iowa’s state highway system have dropped by 0.8 percent from 2006 to 2007.

Contact:
Dale Vander Schaaf, Office of Policy and Legislature, 515-239-1383 or dale.vanderschaaf@dot.iowa.gov

A look back at the 2008 Floods

Floodphoto The flooding that occurred in Iowa during the summer of 2008 is something that will remain forever etched in the minds of all who witnessed what Mother Nature is truly capable of. Perhaps the most vivid memories are of those who experienced personal devastation. One thing Iowans are certain to look back on is the way we all persevered and banded together to help our neighbors.

The 2008 floods closed 149 sections of the Primary Highway System, including 464 miles of roadway and 303 bridges and culverts. An additional 247 sections of the Primary Highway System were affected, but the impact or damage did not necessitate a road closure. In addition to the state roads, many county roads and city streets were affected.

News release – http://www.news.iowadot.gov/newsandinfo/2008/07/department-of-t.html


Iowa highway in the evening