Hashtag TxDOT is tweeting to save lives - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Hashtag TxDOT is tweeting to save lives

One driver said TxDOT’s new social media endeavor is not just a life saver, but a time saver. (Source: KLTV) One driver said TxDOT’s new social media endeavor is not just a life saver, but a time saver. (Source: KLTV)
TYLER, TX (KLTV) - An East Texas department is using Twitter to help save lives. Tyler TxDOT is starting a new program called #safezone. This comes in the midst of National Work Zone Awareness Week.

One driver said TxDOT’s new social media endeavor is not just a life saver, but a time saver.

You know to slow down for orange construction signs and police cars, but what about a tweet?

Detrich Morgan uses Twitter for sports and weather updates, but now, he’s also getting TxDOT tweets.

“I work with a major company and we all get along at work so we’ll retweet," Morgan said. "I have a lot of followers that work with me.”

He works for a Longview distribution company and passes construction zones on Highway 31 daily.

“We really run into a problem, especially with stores that have a time stop,” Morgan explained. “It’s always really a headache to be able to time it up and get where we need to be on time.”

TxDOT will tweet out those safe zones on Fridays giving followers the weekend to share and plan ahead, so that nobody is tempted to tweet and drive.

“Go execute your plan as you drive,” Larry Krantz, who runs the TxDOT Tyler twitter account, said. “If you know there’s a work zone coming up, whether or not you see the hash tag, you may want to think about taking an alternate route.”

He said the goal is to spread the word.

“Four out of five people killed in work zones are motorists and so they need this information as much as we need to put it out,” Krantz said.

Morgan agreed.

“It’ll benefit both of us in both ways," Morgan said. "We need to be on time and they’ll be safe while they’re out there taking care of the roads to make it safer for us, too, so, I guess, it’s like a win win situation.”

A winning tweet that has nothing to do with sports and everything to do with safety. It’s one Morgan said he plans on retweeting.

“It would benefit me at work so much. Like, that would be a main priority for me to check that Friday so I know what I run into Monday,” Morgan explained.

And that hashtag also means police will be nearby.

“We don’t carry badges and guns, we can’t write tickets, but we have friends who can,” Krantz said.

So the next time you see #safezone think police zone.

TxDOT said this initiative is aimed at motorists 35 and younger who are most likely to use twitter, but also most likely to be involved in a work zone incident.

The construction areas include 8 counties across East Texas that fall under TxDOT Tyler's jurisdiction, but Krantz said he hopes other departments pick up the concept, too.

Click here to follow Tyler TxDOT on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TYLPIO

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