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December 17, 2009 - Rob Weaver
Ohio Department of Transportation announced a pilot program Thursday in which drivers can get advisories about road conditions on major highways in Ohio’s largest cities — via Twitter.
Initially, the pilot project is to target Ohio’s six largest metro areas by sending out “tweets” — the 140-character updates sent via Twitter.com — when ice or snow impact travel on interstates and major highways, or when a winter-related accident causes significant traffic delays.
“Safety is always our top priority,” ODOT Director Jolene M. Molitoris stated in a release, which 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 Web sites such as Twitter are increasingly becoming a very useful tool in sharing information, especially among our younger populations.”
The Twitter feed is to be in addition to reports on traffic and road conditions available at www.BuckeyeTraffic.org, ODOT’s Web site.
ODOT’s news release announcing the program began with the headline “KNO B4 U GO” — because drivers should check for the tweets before hitting the road. In other words, don’t be reading text messages — or surfing for traffic reports on a smart phone — while driving.
But you knew that.
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