MoDOT surveying drivers about safety measures

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

New stripes and low-tech reminders to stay in one lane are just two safety features added to many Missouri roads. Now MoDOT wants to know if drivers have noticed.

To get feedback, the state has launched an online survey, with a link at www.modot.org, asking drivers' opinions.

According to Brian Chandler, traffic safety engineer for MoDOT, the survey is a small part of a larger study on whether the changes made along 2,200 miles of roadway as part of the state's Smooth Roads Initiative have reduced the number of highway accidents.

During 2005 and 2006, MoDOT road crews updated the stripes that define traffic lanes, using a tougher, brighter paint. In some cases, the paint was applied to rumble strips and rumble strips were moved closer to the driving lane. Small reflective tabs were added to concrete medians. The visual reminder of traffic lanes is called delineation.

"The bulk of the study is, what have been the safety benefits? How have we prevented severe crashes by doing this work for this project?" he said.

Midwest Research Institute is examining accident data as well as conducting the survey. The entire study will cost the state $50,000, Chandler said.

The safety study is an analysis of traffic accident statistics from years prior to the changes as well as the time since.

Chandler said combining rumble strips and reflective paint will help the lines stay brighter longer because the paint won't be as exposed to snow plows during the winter. On rainy days, the paint on the rumble strip angles is supposed to reflect light better. On some two-lane asphalt roads, Chandler said, the highlighted rumble strips are used along the middle of the road.

Safety reflectors similar to those added to median cable barriers along Interstate 70 and Interstate 44 will be added to Interstate 55 and U.S. 67 some in 2008 Chandler said.

To learn more, call MoDOT at 888-275-6636 or take the survey by visiting www.modot.org and clicking on the link that says "Give us your opinion."

pmcnichol@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 127

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