2013 US Trucking Industry News – Arkansas DOT Launches a New Website

 

A new website is set to give Arkansas motorists and truck drivers some real-time info regarding the state highway system.

According to the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (ASTHD), this website offers their visitors with some facts about construction zones, live traffic, weather conditions, and travel information.

The ATSHD is a government department found in Arkansas. Their mission is to provide safe, efficient, and aesthetically pleasing intermodal transportation systems for the user. It manages the state highway system, and is involved with public transportation systems within the state. ATSHD’s headquarters are found in Little Rock.

Arkansas highway

Arkansas highway

Residents of Arkansas, as well as out-of-state-drivers who operate a vehicle on the state’s roadways, are all required to obey the Department of Transportation (DOT) laws. Business owners who advertise their products or their services on Arkansas highways also need to comply with the regulations. Police officers and state troopers implement driver-specific portions of the laws, such as speeding or running red lights.

DOT LAWS

The Arkansas Department of Transportation’s (ADOT) Drivers’ License division has required that the driver needs to have a valid state driver’s license before operating a car, truck, or motorcycle on roadways. He needs to have around six months to get an Arkansas driver’s license after relocating to the state. People as young as 14 can receive a driver’s license in Arkansas, given that a licensed adult driver who is 18-years-old and above must accompany him every time he operates a motorized vehicle. The driver can receive an unrestricted driver’s license once he turns 18. To obtain a driver’s license, the driver must present a proof that he is a US citizen, and a legal resident of Arkansas. He must also pass a vision, written, and road test.

State Driving Under the Influence (DUI) statutes allow Arkansas traffic officials to arrest those who are driving with 0.08% blood alcohol content. The first DUI conviction can cause the driver to receive a fine of $500 to $1000, and a suspension of their driver’s license for up to 120 days. If the driver is younger than 18 years, and is arrested for driving a BAC of 0.02% or higher, then he could be fined up to $2,000. His driver’s license could also be revoked until he turns 21. If found guilty of DUI, then he could lose his commercial driver’s license for one year.

The Arkansas Child Passenger Protection law states that children who are younger than six years old, or are lighter than 60 pounds, should be placed in a federally approved child care seat before being transported to a motor vehicle. Children who are 6 to 15 years old and weigh more than 60 pounds can be transported in a motor vehicle with only a seatbelt. If the driver fails to comply to this law, then he will receive a fine of $100.

In compliance with the Arkansas Manual in Uniform Traffic Control Devices service sign policy, commercial service signs (gas station, attraction signs) should be mounted so drivers can read the sign easily while travelling through Arkansas roadways. A company logo must also accompany the sign. This sign should be placed on a roadway found no more than 15 miles away from an actual service station. Attraction signs can’t be more than 30 miles away from an actual attraction. No more than four signs should be mounted on the state’s roadways within the 15-30 distance limit.

Among the types of info that can be accessed include color-coded markers that highlight the weight-restricted roads, and icons that show weight-restricted bridges. This data of bridge restriction gives length and width information, as well as weight restrictions for three to five axle vehicles.

More layers of data can be toggled on and off to give motorists a better understanding of what is going on in the state highway system. Scott Bennett, the ATHD Director of Highways, has said that this is a ‘know before you go’ type of website. It is also designed to teach the motoring public where these construction zones are located, and to help them make informative decisions with taking alternative routes, or adjusting travel plans.

The displays of live traffic are color-coded in real time to state whether the traffic is flowing at a slow or normal pace, or if it is standstill. Additional data can be turned off or on using the website’s display buttons.

The site was officially announced on October 30 2013, during the October Arkansas Highway Commission meeting, right after making its debut in the Arkansas State Fair.

Representatives of the ATHD have noted as well that this website will focus more on sharing road closures that are related to two statewide construction programs – The Connecting Arkansas Program, and the Interstate Rehabilitation Program. Both of them were voter-approved construction programs, and drive a lot of the highway construction in the state. This info gives a lot of detailed explanations of both funding mechanisms. It also gives a listing of projects that will be completed, as well as the schedule on when these products will begin.

STATEWIDE CONSTRUCTION PROGRAMS

The Interstate Rehabilitation Program (IRP) was voted on by the people of Arkansas. It allows the Arkansas Highway Commission to issue up to $575 million in GARVEE bonds to help improve as well as repair existing Interstates in Arkansas. The IRP is expected to support more than $1 billion in construction on the interstate highways of Arkansas over the life of the program.

Meanwhile, the Connecting Arkansas Program (CAP) is the largest ever highway construction program that was undertaken by the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Development. Through a voter-approved constitutional amendment, the residents of Arkansas passed a 10-year half-cent sales tax to improve highways and infrastructure highways.

Benefits of the CAP include improving transportation connections between cities throughout the state, and increasing capacity. They do this by widening highways, moving people and goods more efficiently. The CAP also supports job growth and improves the economy of Arkansas. It improves the safety of their travelers, and accelerates the completion of highway improvement projects.

 

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