Preserving department history digitally
The department has a rich tradition, dating back to the creation of the Department of Highways (we transitioned to the Idaho Transportation Department in 1974). ITD's predecessors in road-building were the Department of Public Works, the Bureau f Highways and the original State Highway Commission. At the end of 1918, Idaho had more than 2,200 miles of road, but only one five-mile section of pavedhighway existed in the entire state.
“When I started going through the paper copies of the Transporter, I would come across a story or a picture that brought back memories of that person or that event. I thought others might enjoy reading about the past and seeing pictures of people and events,” she added.
When the project is complete, employees will be able to search through the old department newsletters online. The most recent Transporters are alreadsy available electronically, but this project will also make older issues available. In the meantime, here’s the first in an occasional series highlighting some of the articles of yesteryear:
ITD Vault: 17 Years Ago
Foreman’s detective work pays off with thief’s capture
ITD Vault: 30 Years Ago
Governor Signs Safety Belt Order
On Feb. 13, 1985, Governor John Evans issued an executive order directing all state employees to use seat belts when traveling on state business. He directed all state department chiefs to start enforcing the new rule immediately.
Governor Evans said that greater use of safety belts would cut highway deaths and injuries dramatically. He said studies indicate an employer suffers direct and indirect costs of more than $120,000 when an employee is killed in an automobile accident.
“The opportunity to cut needless suffering and loss of valued employees of the State of Idaho and reduce economic losses” will benefit both employees and taxpayers, Evans said. The order applies to all state employees traveling in vehicles equipped with safety belts when on official business.
ITD has had a safety belt policy in force for some time now and headquarters employees have a safety belt use rate that is higher than that of other state employees. A recent survey conducted by the Office of Highway Safety showed a 35% rate of use of safety belts. The governor’s order serves as further reinforcement for a life-saving safety policy of ITD.
Editor’s 2015 Note: According to Idaho’s Office of Highway Safety, the cost of crashes involving unrestrained occupants was $773 million in 2013, the most recent dates for finalized statistics. Safety restraints are the most effective safety feature ever introduced for vehicles, cutting in half the likelihood for fatal and serious injuries resulting from traffic crashes, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports.