ODOT unleashes new cyber-tools to target ice and snow

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 25, 2010

COLUMBUS — No longer are snowplows and salt the Ohio Department of Transportation’s only tools to keep drivers safe during the winter season. This year, ODOT is unleashing several new cyber-tools to help motorists “KNO B4 U GO.”

By adding Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube to ODOT’s already successful traffic website www.BuckeyeTraffic.org, the department expects to break the record number of 131 million hits on its website last winter season.

“Safety is always our top priority,” said ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris, who noted that there were 33,110 crashes on Ohio’s roads related to ice and snow last winter, down last year from the two previous years. “Using these widely-popular social media tools allows motorists to be better informed and safer before they begin their travels.”

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Starting today, Facebook fans can learn more about ODOT’s ice and snow efforts by searching for ODOT Ice and Snow on www.Facebook.com. The site will be updated by ODOT’s safety experts with winter driving tips and statistics.

It will also offer Ohioans an opportunity to share winter weather conditions, photographs and feedback with ODOT’s Ice and Snow team.

Through Twitter, ODOT offers instant information on winter conditions along interstates and highways in Akron, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Dayton, and Toledo. First used by ODOT last year, this successful effort has already generated nearly 9,500 followers.

Designed to give motorists updated information before they leave their home or office, ODOT will “tweet” when icy or snowy conditions may impact rush-hour travel on interstates and major highways or when a winter-related accident causes major traffic delays.

Each tweet begins with the reminder KNO B4 U GO. To follow ODOT’s tweets, visit www.BuckeyeTraffic.org/twitter.

Going multi-media with its efforts, ODOT is also launching the first “Ohio Transportation Channel” on YouTube. With a library of dozens of videos, www.youtube.com.