ODOT Moving Ahead - November 2008

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Safe winter driving starts with a trip check, preparation Preparation is the best protection for you and your vehicle during winter. While there’s no sure-fire way to prevent breakdowns on the road, you can avoid many problems before you even leave your driveway.

traffic and the drivers’ experience,” ODOT District Manager Jerry Marmon said. “When we announce chains are required on the Siskiyous, everyone has to chain up except vehicles equipped with four-wheel drive.”

“The first thing you need to do is get a basic check, a 52-point inspection,” said Lisa McClease-Kelly, owner of Kelly’s Tool Box in Grants Pass and Kelly’s Technical Automotive in Medford. “Trip checks are very important. We see a ton of tow-ins, especially during the holidays, with people from Portland or San Francisco who didn’t do a trip check first.

Winter Driving Tips

“Just a basic trip check would save them a lot of hassle.”

• Include battery booster cables, road flares, a properly inflated spare tire, vehicle jack, lug wrench and a basic tool kit;

Kelly said drivers should know their vehicle’s basic functions and be attentive while driving. Often problems occur when a driver simply ignores a noise. “If you are hearing a noise, don’t keep driving,” Kelly said. “We’ve seen many people blow up their engines because they just keep pushing their vehicle further down the highway.” Kelly offers a free car care clinic for women. If you are interested in attending, contact Elizabeth Baines at 830-4005. ODOT provides winter driving safety tips, including tips on chaining up and driving with chains, online at www.oregon.gov/odot.

Siskiyou Pass The Siskiyou Pass is also the only mountain pass in Oregon where all-weather or studded tires cannot be substituted for chains. “We got to a higher standard on Siskiyou Pass because of the grades, the

To ensure your vehicle is properly equipped for winter driving, the ODOT Traffic Safety Division offers these tips: • Carry a windshield scraper, snow brush, warm weather clothes (especially gloves and boots), and an emergency kit;

• Make sure your fuel tank is full; • Pack a small shovel, cat litter or sand for traction and a plastic tarp to help keep you dry when installing tire chains or in case you get stuck; • Don’t forget to carry water and any medications you need to take; • Take your cell phone with fully-charged extra batteries; and • If you travel with a baby, pack extra food, warm clothes and blankets, toys and games, and extra diapers. Properly use your child safety seat.

Santa reminds everyone to carry chains in snow zones.

Check the highways first Southwest Oregon features three new road cameras on TripCheck. com, the award-winning travel information Web site. Two new cameras are along U.S. 101 – on the McCullough Bridge north of Coos Bay and in Reedsport. The third is located on Interstate 5 at Barton Road, north of the Douglas-Josephine county line.

Cell phones, PDAs Go to www.TripCheck.com/mobile. An easy-to-use menu offers access to traffic alerts, incident information, road conditions, and traveler services. You can also create and save a list of the cameras you check most often.


November 2008


5-1-1 service TripCheck’s information is available over the phone at 511. If your phone company doesn’t support the 511 service, dial our other toll-free number 800-977-ODOT (6368). From outside the state of Oregon, dial 503-588-2941. Use TripCheck 511 system’s voice recognition system to ‘speak’ your instructions into the system, just follow the prompts provided.

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The Rogue Valley features 12 road cameras, including multiple cameras on the Siskiyou and Sexton Mountain passes.