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In The News
Jan/Feb 2011 Issue

Louisiana gets in the groove for safety

The rumbling that Louisiana motorists will begin noticing more on state highways this year is the sound of safety.

The Louisiana Department of Trans-portation and Development (DOTD) is installing centerline rumble strips on more than 2,100 miles of state highways across the state, including around New Orleans, Alexandria, Baton Rouge, Hammond and Lafayette. The rumble strips are grooved patterns that are ground into the center of a roadway that work by producing a noise and a vibration that alert motorists that they are beginning to leave their lane.

The strips have been used in Louisiana before on the shoulders of roads, but this is the first time they’ll be used in the center. Installing centerline rumble strips is a way to prevent head-on collisions and opposite-direction sideswipe crashes on two-lane roadways. According to the American Association of State and Transportation Officials, centerline rumble strips can reduce these types of crashes by 15 percent.

Work on the project has already begun in some areas, and all of the strips should be installed by the summer traveling season. The project, which will cost more than $12 million, is being funded using Federal Highway Safety Funds at a cost share of 90 percent federal funds and 10 percent state matching funds.

License renewals can be self-serve in Mississippi now

The thought of visiting the DMV is enough to give many people a headache, but new self-service technology in Mississippi might just be the cure.

Mississippians are the first in the country to be able to use self-service kiosks to renew and replace their driver’s licenses. Available in 31 locations across the state, the kiosks resemble ATMs and are designed to eliminate long lines.

Users simply swipe an expiring driver’s license or current credit card, and then with a touch screen verify information, take a new picture and pay using a debit or credit card. The kiosk issues a receipt that is a temporary license until a permanent one is mailed. The cost is a $4.50 more than waiting in line for a renewal, which is $21. For details, visit www.dps.state.ms.us.

 



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