News Briefs

Back to School – with VDOT

teachers watch demonstrationOct. 26, 2016: Several Chesterfield County teachers visited VDOT's Richmond District recently to see and learn real-life examples of how science, technology, engineering and math can be used and taught as examples in the classroom.

Seven district sections gave presentations, led exercises, demonstrated tests and made field observations during the half-day tour. 

This included sessions and demonstrations about:

  • How math formulas are used in bridge designs
  • Traffic operations and incident management
  • Survey equipment use and its latest technology
  • Hydraulics and roadway design
  • A cylinder concrete break
  • Wetland delineation.

“Thanks to VDOT, teachers now have real-life examples of when topics they’re discussing will be used after work in the classroom,” said Rick Mason, Central Office Human Resources talent coordinator. 

“This information could just inspire the next generation of VDOT employees!”


Talk To Teen Drivers About Road Rules

teen driving artworkOct. 21, 2016: It’s National Teen Driver Safety Week. 

VDOT is joining with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to encourage all parents or other family members to talk to teen drivers about the rules of the road.

Vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in teens, ahead of all other types of injury, disease or violence. 

NHTSA’s website has detailed information and statistics on teen driving and five basic rules parents can use to help save the lives of teen drivers:

  • No drinking and driving.
  • Buckle up. Every trip, every time, everyone—front seat and back.
  • Eyes on the road, hands on the wheel. All the time.
  • Stop speeding before it stops you.
  • No more than one passenger at a time.

You can help protect teen drivers by talking with them about these risks. 

Surveys show that teens whose parents set firm rules for driving typically engage in less risky driving behaviors and are involved in fewer crashes.


Hampton Roads District Workers Praised for Quick Action

bus with burned brakesOct. 17, 2016: Two of VDOT's Stony Creek Area Headquarters employees are credited with helping avoid a potentially dangerous situation involving a Sussex County school bus on Oct. 4.

Transportation Operators Tony Branch and Joe Rideout were working in a dump truck on Route 659 when they smelled brakes burning and then spotted smoke coming from the rear tire of the bus.

The pair immediately flagged down the driver to let the driver know about the fire. 

Tony used a fire extinguisher to contain the fire while Joe helped the driver evacuate the children from the bus.

Their actions helped avert a potentially “devastating and life threatening situation,” according to their manager, Maintenance Supervisor Terence Stiltner. 

“All the children and the bus driver were able to go home to their loved ones unharmed,” Stiltner said.


Salem District Employees Pull Child from Harm’s Way

Troutville crewOct. 14, 2016: As crew members from our Salem District’s Troutville area headquarters prepared to lay asphalt in a Botetourt County subdivision, a call of “Nobody move!” went out on the radio. 

The flaggers had spotted a little girl running toward the road, and into the middle of the work zone, in her bare feet.

“It was a pretty hot day and I was concerned because she was on the asphalt road without shoes on and so close to our equipment,” said Transportation Operator Greg Fowler, who picked up the child.

The crew talked with and entertained the girl to keep her calm. 

After about 30 minutes of knocking on doors, a neighbor was able to contact the mother and the little girl was returned safely.

“This is a good reminder to everyone to be cautious and not get into a routine because you never know who or what will run out into the road,” Transportation Operator Marshall Funk said. 

“I am proud of the people I get to work with every day for their fast reaction and the way they handled the situation safely.”


Page last modified: Oct. 26, 2016