BEND, OR -- During winter storms, the Oregon Department of Transportation sends nearly 50 trucks out across the region to try and keep state highways clear. But, ODOT’s Peter Murphy says despite their best efforts, the department still get complaints from frustrated drivers. He says many don’t realize how easy it is to get road conditions and crash reports in real time. "A couple of years ago, it was much more of a challenge to get information than it is now. Today, if you have a mobile phone, you can go to tripcheck.com; we have cameras all across the state, so you can see what’s going on. If you can call 511, that’ll give you information about the state’s highways."
He says ODOT also now has a full-time social media manager who works to get information and pictures posted, sometimes within minutes. "We’re doing a much better job getting information out about what’s taking place on the highway, complete with pictures. So, Twitter and Facebook
are really good sources too; plus, Tripcheck
and 511 – those are four sources that you can reach, whether it’s the middle of the night or you’re away from a radio station."