Ice and Snow… Take It Slow

KNO B4 U GO: ODOT Winter Warnings are now on Twitter

COLUMBUS (Thursday, December 17, 2009) - When winter weather hits Ohio’s highways, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) wants drivers to “know before they go” with a safe driving “tweet” from Twitter.

Using this widely-popular free website, ODOT will offer instant information on winter conditions along interstates and  highways in Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo.

“Safety is always our top priority,” said ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris, who noted that there were 44,725 crashes on Ohio’s roads last winter - with nearly one out of every three crashes involving drivers between the ages of 16-25. “Social networking websites such as Twitter are increasingly becoming a very useful tool in sharing information, especially among our younger populations.”

This pilot project will initially target the state’s six largest metropolitan areas, by sending out “tweets” - the short, bite-sized updates sent via Twitter.com - when icy or snowy conditions impact travel on interstates and major highways or when a winter-related accident causes major traffic delays.

Designed to give motorists updated information before they leave their home or office, these “tweets” will help drivers better prepare for the conditions they may face in their travels.

ODOT’s Twitter efforts build upon the success of the department’s premier traffic website www.BuckeyeTraffic.org. With user-friendly, map-based features, ODOT’s website had more than 32 million hits last winter driving season from Ohioans accessing up-to-date traffic information and 24-hour road conditions across the state.

Ohio joins a growing number of states using Twitter to offer updates on roadway conditions before motorists take to the highways. ODOT strongly discourages motorists from attempting to read these messages while driving.

During the winter, conditions on the road can change mile by mile, minute by minute. Being a careful and informed driver is the best way motorists can travel safely. ODOT’s best advice: in Ice and Snow… Take it Slow.

Follow ODOT’s winter weather warnings by logging on to www.BuckeyeTraffic.org/twitter. You can follow the specific Twitter feed for your city or destination.

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