'Messages From Mom' on freeway signs aim to curb distracted driving

Published: Sunday, April 09, 2017 @ 1:36 AM

"Messages From Mom" are lighting up Oregon's freeway signs.(Oregon Department of Transportation)

Drivers, beware: Mom's watching.

According to KTVL, Oregon's freeway signs are lighting up with mom-inspired advice under a state Department of Transportation campaign to put the brakes on distracted driving.

>> Read more trending news

The project, dubbed "Messages From Mom," includes missives such as, "Drop the phone because I said so, that's why" and "Put the phone away, I'm going to count to 3."

Drivers traveling on Interstate 5 in the southern part of the state will see the messages through the end of the month.

Read more here.

>> Click here to watch the news report from KTVL

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WATCH: Highway severely damaged after tanker truck explodes

Published: Thursday, June 01, 2017 @ 6:22 AM

WATCH: Highway Severely Damaged After Tanker Truck Explodes

A busy stretch of Interstate 25 in Denver was severely damaged after a tanker truck caught fire and exploded Wednesday. The driver of the truck suffered injuries, but was pulled from the truck by passing motorists and workers.

>> Click here to watch

Firefighters responded to Interstate 25 in southern Denver around noon local time after the semi caught fire, CBS affiliate KCNC-TV reports

>> WATCH: Massive fire erupts on I-75 after deadly Ohio gas tanker crash

The station reports a preliminary investigation found a blown tire on the semi sparked the blaze, causing the tanker to explode, but an official cause was not released. 

 >> RELATED: Viewers capture Dayton, Ohio, I-75 crash, fire, explosion

A witness told KCNC-TV he saw the semi lose control and hit a barrier just before the fire started.

“When he came to a stop I could see fuel, on the road northbound,” said Dave Fretz, a witness to the incident. “It was smoking and there was some flames happening in the back part of it. I knew this guy was in a truck and I didn’t see him come out of the truck.”

 >> VIDEO: DOT camera captures Ohio I-75 crash, explosion

>> PHOTOS: Images from fiery wrong-way crash on I-75 in Ohio

Fretz told the station while he went to check on the driver’s side of the semi, two Colorado Department of Transportation workers had pulled the driver from the passenger’s side and were helping him away from the fire.

Fretz said the driver was suffering from head and arm injuries, but the official condition of the driver was unavailable. 

All 10 lanes of the highway, five in each direction, were shut down for several hours for crews to extinguish the blaze, forcing over 200,000 daily commuters to be diverted around the scene. By the Wednesday evening commute, three lanes were open on the southbound side of Interstate 25, but the northbound lanes remained closed into Thursday morning. 

>> Large fire leads to I-85 collapse in Atlanta

KCNC-TV reports the Colorado Department of Transportation will work overnight with hopes to reopen the remaining lanes by the Thursday morning commute. 

CDOT workers said damage to the highway on the southbound lanes went about three inches deep into the pavement, but crews had yet to evaluate the extent of damage to the northbound lanes. 

>> Read more trending news

Officials said they will need to remove the toxic mixture of chemicals, foam, and water still in the roadway before repairs could be made. 

Orlando airport standoff: Mother with children feared she'd be shot in the back

Published: Wednesday, May 31, 2017 @ 7:31 AM

Gunman Armed With Fake Gun In Custody After Standoff At Orlando International Airport

Operations at Florida's Orlando International Airport resumed as normal Wednesday morning, hours after the end of a standoff involving a 26-year-old man holding a fake gun, the Orlando Police Department said.

>> Watch the news report here

Michael Wayne Pettigrew was undergoing a psychological evaluation following the two-hour standoff during which he threatened to harm himself and pointed a fake gun at officers at a rental car area on the airport's ground floor, Orlando police Chief John Mina said.

>> Read more trending news

Police said that shortly before 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, they received a report that there was an armed man at the airport.

>> On WFTV.com: Watch: Passengers describe standoff at Orlando International Airport

"Our negotiators did a phenomenal job talking with the subject for about two hours and finally got him to peacefully surrender," Mina said.

The suspect surrendered at about 10 p.m.

Crystal Oliphant said she was picking up her husband from the airport Tuesday night.

>> On WFTV.com: Watch: Orlando police Chief John Mina news conference on OIA standoff

"(We were) terrified," she said. "Immediately, we think that there's a bomb or that there's a shooting going on. And we're not getting any information. And there's hundreds of police (officers) just coming in."

Passengers and employees bolted once they realized what was happening.

Witness Kim Turner told WFTV that she saw the suspect dressed in black but she couldn't make out his face because she was hiding with her two children.

>> On WFTV.com: Photos: Standoff at Orlando International Airport

Turner waited for an opportunity to run to safety, and when she did, she said she saw the suspect point what appeared to be a gun at his own head.

Although the gun was fake, it seemed very real to Turner.

"I actually had a thought of me getting shot in the back," she said. "I was standing here, literally just sitting here, looking at him, waiting, because everybody else is gone."

No one was injured in the incident.

The Golden Gate Bridge turns 80

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2017 @ 3:54 PM

The Golden Gate Bridge is awash in warm light from the setting sun in San Francisco, California, February 13, 2015.
John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images
The Golden Gate Bridge is awash in warm light from the setting sun in San Francisco, California, February 13, 2015.(John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images)

The Golden Gate Bridge marks its 80th year Saturday. 

The iconic bridge opened to pedestrians on May 27, 1937, and opened to vehicular traffic the next day.

>> Read more trending news

The Golden Gate Bridge, which took over four years to construct, was an engineering marvel of its time. The bridge continues to be one of the country's most recognizable landmarks.

Taking Uber or Lyft? Read these 7 safety tips before getting in the car

Published: Thursday, May 25, 2017 @ 1:48 PM

City dwellers, students, travelers and citizens without vehicles of their own often rely on ride-hailing services such as Uber or Lyft to get from one place to the next.

>> Read more trending news 

But with all the news stories involving imposter drivers, driver-involved assaults and violent altercations, passengers should take some precautions before getting into the vehicle.

» Related: Is Uber safe? People questioning after reports of recent assaults 

Here are some safety tips for passengers when using a rideshare service:

Confirm the name of the driver and make of the vehicle.

There have been several cases of people posing as drivers, but both Uber and Lyft offer passengers details such as the driver’s name, their photo and car type.

According to Campbell Matthews, a Lyft representative, the company also offers an “amplified” way to identify your driver.

Lyft drivers have a bright, color-changing pill-shaped device (called the Amp) made of multiple LED lights on their dashboards.

The color in your Lyft app will match the color of the Amp in your driver’s car. 

Before getting in the car, make sure you’re getting in the right one.

» Related: Uber driver charged with assault on pregnant passenger 

Check the driver’s rating.

Just like you’re less likely to sign a lease on an apartment known for its low management or maintenance ratings and reviews, rideshare ratings can be used to determine the quality and safety of your ride.

Rideshare apps give passengers their potential driver’s ratings ahead of the car’s arrival, so if you’re uncomfortable with the rating, cancel your ride and call another.

Share your trip details with friends or family.

According to Uber, you’re able to tap “Share status” in the mobile app and share your driver’s name, photo, license plate and location with a friend or family member.

They can then track your trip without downloading the Uber app.

» Related: Uber plans to take ride-sharing off the ground 

Lyft users can tap the “Send ETA” icon on the bottom bar, which will send a text message to family or friends with a link to your current route and location.

If your ride-hailing service doesn’t offer a quick status or ETA share, snap a photo of the vehicle’s license plate and send the photo (and any additional details) to a family member or friend.

Avoid riding in the front seat.

Passengers (especially women) who ride up front have been on the receiving end of assaults, groping and other aggressive, unwanted behavior, according to Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association spokesman Dave Sutton.

» Cops: Fake Uber driver sexually assaulted woman leaving Buckhead bar 

Follow along in your own maps app.

Open up your own maps tool, enter your destination and follow along, noting any odd route shifts.

Travel in groups when possible.

There’s often safety in numbers. Try riding with a friend or two or consider using the carpool option some ride-hailing services offer (Uber Pool, Lyft Line).

Trust your gut.

If you have an inkling of discomfort or sense something fishy, don’t get in the car. If you’re already on the road and are in an emergency situation, call 911 immediately.

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