UDOT helps Utahns stay safe on the roads

(Source: John Gleason) UDOT snowplows remove snow from I-15.

Ice and snow can make driving difficult, especially when speeding. The Utah Department of Transportation is responsible for all things related to Utah roads, such as the snowplows, to keep the roads drivable and safe for Utah residents.

UDOT offers winter driving tips that, if followed, can help reduce traffic accidents, as well as guidelines for bicycle and pedestrian accommodations and information on highway safety projects and programs.

One feature of UDOT is the UDOT Traffic Smartphone Application. This app can be downloaded at the iPhone App Store and Android Market. The UDOT app allows users to access traffic information such as current conditions on Utah’s freeways and major streets, information about accidents, road construction or closures, weather conditions and forecasts, and even traffic camera images on their mobile devices.

Weber State University senior Matthew Norman said he travels a lot during the holiday/winter season and wasn’t aware UDOT had an app he could use.

“Wow, (that’s) amazing. I wish I knew about this sooner,” Norman said. “I’m downloading this . . . as soon as I can get a signal on campus.”

The UDOT app is free and provides updates throughout the day. UDOT has more than 700 traffic cameras and 1,500 in-road traffic sensors that constantly capture photos, video and data of all major roads, and it provides all the traffic information to local and national news organizations so they can communicate it to the public.

According to the UDOT website, “UDOT Traffic has invested in this advanced system to capture and distribute traffic information in an attempt to make driving in Utah more efficient and less frustrating . . . UDOT Traffic is committed to forge ahead with more traffic cameras, more intelligent data and more traffic solutions for Utah’s growing driver population.”

UDOT is only responsible for the roads of the state, and WSU members’ woes about the snowy conditions don’t end there. Entering campus, students, faculty and staff still have to deal with snow-packed parking lots and icy conditions on Edvalson Street and Dixon Drive. With some of the WSU community being new to Utah, winter weather can make driving feel like a whole new experience.

(Source: John Gleason)

Assistant communication professor Nicola Corbin, who has recently moved to Utah from Georgia, said she doesn’t like walking on the icy pathways and wishes WSU did a little bit better job keeping campus safe for its members.

“I know that they can’t keep up with the snow, but a continuous cleanup would be appreciated,” Corbin said, “especially if they took care of the ice.”

Snow-covered parking lots is a whole other category. “I wish there were a better place that they could put it,” said Ashley Neal, WSU freshman. “Parking here in the mornings is hectic enough, but with snow covering up possible parking spaces it makes it harder to find an open spot here in the morning before class.”

UDOT and WSU Facilities Management ask that Utah residents focus on driving safely and to rely on them for keeping the roads safe.