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KNO B4 U GO: ODOT to ring in New Year with special Midnight Traffic Tweet

COLUMBUS (Wednesday, December 30, 2009) - To help motorists ‘know before they go’ into the new year, the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) will offer a special midnight “traffic tweet” on travel conditions along interstates and major highways in the state’s six major metropolitan centers Thursday night.

Using the free website Twitter.com, drivers in Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo will be able to use their cell phones or wireless internet connections on New Year’s Eve to check on their routes home before they get behind the wheel.

Since mid-December, ODOT has been using Twitter to send out traffic tweets - short, bite-sized updates - when icy or snowy conditions impact travel on interstates and major highways or when a winter-related accident causes major traffic delays.

In two weeks, more than 2,800 followers have subscribed to receive the free updates by logging on to www.BuckeyeTraffic.org/twitter.

Wanting to give motorists updated information before they leave head home from celebrating the start of the new year, ODOT strongly discourages motorists from attempting to read these messages while driving.

ODOT’s Twitter efforts build upon 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.

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.

ODOT also joins the Ohio Department of Public Safety and the Ohio Highway Patrol in reminding motorists to drive Safe and Sober during this New Year’s holiday: always designate a sober driver and buckle up - a seat belt is your best defense against a drunk driver.

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For more information contact:
Scott Varner, Central Office Communications, at 614-644-8640

Or Your Local Communications Office, at 216-584-2006