Recipes for the Road

The Florida Department of Transportation District Two and the Community Traffic Safety Program are excited to present the 25th Annual Recipes for the Road. For a quarter century, we have worked to make a positive impact and help keep people safe on our roads during the holidays. This year we have printed a four-page Recipes for the Road card to distribute throughout Northeast Florida. A 25th-anniversary edition is available online as a digital flipbook or PDF download, and a special limited supply of printed keepsake books.

Much appreciation goes to Northeast Florida’s Community Traffic Safety Team members, partners, and volunteers that continue promoting traffic safety. They share our passion and goal of reducing alcohol-related traffic crashes and fatalities on our roadways. These people and organizations have been instrumental in the success of our Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver program, and the Recipes for the Road booklet for 25 years!  

Our goal is to help stop impaired driving and reduce alcohol-related traffic crashes and fatalities in Northeast Florida this holiday season and throughout the year. Every issue is filled with unique nonalcoholic drinks, mocktails, appetizers, treats, and traffic safety tips. Past editions from last year to the inaugural issue in 1997 are available below.

Recipes for the Road is part of our Celebrate Safely, Designate a Driver program. The program focuses on the SHSP strategies of both education and insight into creating safer communities. They are specifically designed to work with local partners, including law enforcement, team members, restaurants, and bars, to promote responsible alcohol service and personal use at events or party hosting. The campaign promotes safe transportation choices that encourage alternatives to driving while impaired.

Be Responsible – Do Not Drink and Drive

Thanksgiving through the New Year is a fun and festive time of year. Throughout this fall and winter season there are many celebrations, family gatherings, festivals, football pre-game tailgating and holiday parties. They are all best enjoyed when we celebrate responsibly. Please always drive safe and sober.

Please share and enjoy all these mocktails, food recipes, safety activity games and traffic safety tips. Click here to view our Mocktail drink and food recipe videos available online.

YouTube Mocktail Recipes for the Road Playlist:


Printable 8.5×11 Sheets with Recipe Cards, Traffic Safety, and Impaired Driving Tips

Previous Recipes for the Road Editions

Click here to view the Recipes for the Road digital flip bookcase of all volumes. The previous editions are below to view or download a PDF copy:


Additional Impaired Driving Information and Resources

Guide for Virtual CTST Meetings

FDOT District Two Community Traffic Safety Program uses Microsoft Teams for virtual team meetings. During the past two years, we have expanded the reach of our multi-county teams to serve our 18-county district better. We bring FDOT support to our monthly meetings from various department areas, including maintenance, public information, and engineering. This article is a guide for virtual CTST meetings and includes instructions for the Microsoft Teams platform and tips for looking and being your best as an attendee.

Meeting virtually has become the industry standard and allows more players to participate from a broader range across our district. While we miss meeting in person, this is an opportunity to save resources, reduce travel time and expenses, and bring vital members into the fold. 

How to Get Started

Teams can be downloaded as an app for your computer desktop, Android, or iOS: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-teams/download-app. Or you can join on the web: https://teams.microsoft.com/. Chances are, you have received a Teams invitation to a meeting, which might look something like the below. All you need to do is click on the link, and Teams will launch on your computer or in the mobile app. Using either the web version or the app version is just fine.

Guide for virtual CTST meetings

I clicked to join the meeting; what do I do on the first screen before I enter?

Once you click on the meeting link, you will have the chance to join via computer audio (which is the default) or by phone audio, in which case you would call in by phone and make sure your computer audio is off. You can also choose to join with your camera on or off. You can select a background filter (like a blur, a gallery photo, your photo, or no background filter, which means people WILL see your actual background in your space). Then, choose Join now.

I am in the meeting, now what?

Once you are in the meeting, you will most likely see a blank screen with tools on the screen’s top and/or side. Other members’ cameras (or their names) will begin to appear in the main part of the Teams screen as people join the meeting. Cameras/names will remain in this area until the host shares their screen with a presentation, if there is one. If not, cameras or names stay in that space.

How to toggle the camera and mic, how to share, and how to leave

You can click on the camera and the mic to turn them on and off. If you are asked to share your screen, click on Share and choose your screen or content. You can also leave the meeting by clicking on the red Leave button. We ask that you remain muted at all times unless you are speaking due to feedback and background noise.

How to use the chat feature, react, and view participants

We use the chat area to share our contact information and other helpful information, resources, and links. Everyone in the meeting can click on the “Chat” talk bubble to view the chat area. Teams does have a “Reactions” option that allows you to react to content (like, love, applaud, laugh, and surprise). We do not typically use the “raise hand” option in our meetings, it is an option if necessary. To see the other participants in the meeting, you can click on the “People” option.

Be the Best Virtual Meeting Attendee You Can Be

Let’s face it; meetings have always been a challenge.  But today, when people aren’t in the same room, it is more challenging than ever to get people to pay attention, let alone participate. Here are some tips on making your meeting experience more enjoyable for you and the other meeting participants.

Turn Your Camera On

Having your camera on lets the meeting host know that you care and plan to pay attention, versus not turning on your camera while multitasking and only half listening. Keeping your camera on whenever possible offers genuine involvement and helps everyone know you are engaged during the meeting.  

Call People By Name

All CTST meetings begin with the teams introducing themselves.  Discussions are much more successful and meaningful when people call you by name.  It automatically makes you feel important, and it makes you want to contribute to the meeting. 

Never Hold Side Conversations

Sometimes people in the same office need to join the team meeting, so they call together.  Calling in together is good and allows for camaraderie, but remember that you are in a group meeting.  If you need to take a phone call or engage in a side conversation with a co-worker, remember to mute your microphone so it will not interrupt the flow of the forum and distract the other attendees.

Remain Positive

Any meeting is always more enjoyable when the mood is upbeat.  Traffic safety is not rocket science, but we accomplish great things together.  We need to convey that energy – smiling when talking and acknowledging team members with accolades for tasks well done and solutions achieved.

How to Look Your Best During Virtual Meetings

While continuing to have remote meetings via video calls, we find people are looking more closely at how you show up, not less. Here are some tips and tricks to look your best because how you show up matters.

Lights

  • Avoid light behind you or in dark spaces, which add video noise and shadows and create imperfections
  • Face a window to allow the natural light to fill your features and hide facial lines and dark circles
  • If no window is available, place a tall lamp slightly behind the computer camera, so the light falls nicely on your face
  • Consider purchasing a “ring light” for consistent lighting (lots of options on Amazon for $15-30)

Camera

  • Position the camera slightly above eye level and angle down
  • Use a laptop stand ($16-40), box, basket, or anything stable to elevate the computer
  • Consider purchasing a webcam for more features and better quality ($30-$130)

Sound

  • Use earbuds or noise-canceling headphones
  • An external microphone that plugs into your computer via USB can be used to sound more professional for those of you hosting virtual meetings, podcasts, or webinars

Background

  • If you cannot find a great space in your home or office or out on location (e.g., parked in your car), use MS Teams Background filters to blur the background
  • Download a Traffic Safety Virtual Background from our website https://trafficsafetyteam.org/traffic-safety-virtual-backgrounds/ and in the Background settings, click +Add new, upload the file, and then select image

Professional Appearance

  • No hats are recommended, and hair should be neat
  • Limit touching your face, eating, or drinking on camera
  • Wear solid colors that compliment your skin tone and avoid busy or contrasty patterns
  • Make sure you are all buttoned up properly and no low-cut tops
  • Shoes are optional, but pants are not – you never know if you’ll need to stand up for any reason while the camera is still on
  • To help prevent the washed-out look video can give, consider using a face moisturizer, powder, and chapstick, or tinted lip gloss

Stay Engaged

  • Make eye contact with the camera when speaking
  • Avoid fidgeting and looking around too much (e.g., working on a second monitor)
  • Use the chat box and reaction icons when appropriate
  • Be active in the conversation and offer your professional input
  • Come prepared with something to discuss or a question you’d like to ask

CTST virtual meetings are an easy way to make a difference. Members can regularly address and solve roadway concerns affecting their local community by regularly participating. We appreciate the dedicated individuals and agencies consistently coming to the table and helping make the roads safer, ultimately reducing crashes, injuries, and fatalities!

Defensive Driving Tools for Safety

Defensive Driving Tools for Safety was written and presented by Jeff Hohlstein, a Community Traffic Safety Team member in Clay County, Florida. This educational driving and traffic safety video is geared towards aging road users. However, these are essential tips and reminders for all drivers.

Watch the Defensive Driving Video Presentation:

Learn about setting side view mirrors for blind spots. Understand the importance of keeping a safe following distance and obeying the speed limit. The “three-second rule” is a good idea for all drivers to keep in mind. While this rule is flexible and isn’t always appropriate in every driving situation, it can foster good driving habits that reduce the risk of rear-end collisions and similar accidents.

Gain an understanding of observing a vehicle’s front wheels, approaching intersections safely, and scanning through a signalized intersection. Learn how to use the OODA Loop while driving. OODA is an acronym for Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. When you do it again and again, it becomes a constant decision loop. Retired Colonel John Boyd, USAF, developed this rapid decision-making tool. Today, OODA is used by many Armed Forces and Police agencies and can be used as a defensive driving tool for motorists.

Flip through the Defensive Driving Tools for Safety Presentation:

Most people set their side view mirrors straight back and miss their blind spot completely. The video covers how to set your side view mirrors to cover your blind spot.

This video discusses how to use OODA to stay safe while driving. Defensive driving is much about managing space around your vehicle. The most controllable area you have is your safe following distance. OODA will help you do that right. OODA will also help you develop scan patterns for navigating intersections and avoiding a collision when someone unsafely enters your right-of-way.  

Uses of OODA in defensive driving:

  • Observe > Following distance, traffic patterns; intersections of all kinds; vehicles around you.
  • Orient > Calculate the following distance; identify other potential conflicts.
  • Decide > Action to maintain safe following distance; plan to avoid those other conflicts.
  • Act > Establish/reestablish safe following distance; avoid those other conflicts whether or not the crash would have been your fault.
  • Do it again > Practice OODA until it’s as natural as driving itself.
Jeff Hohlstein presenting Defensive Driving Tools for Safety

Click here to read Jeff Hohlstein’s first article, Three Defensive Driving Tools to Avoid Great Impact, and what the video presentation from 2020.

Be Our Virtual Volunteer

Be a Community Traffic Safety Team “Virtual Volunteer” – It’s as easy as 1, 2, 3.

traffic safety virtual volunteer logo

Become a virtual volunteer! As part of our Northeast Florida Department of Transportation’s Community Traffic Safety Program, we create and share original traffic safety reminders and tips on our social media channels several times per week! Topics include Florida’s Strategic Highway Safety Plan key emphasis areas to work towards zero fatalities and serious injuries on our local roadways.

Each year, we have thousands of combined views and impressions on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube, but we need your help.

Join us and help change behavior and save lives! You can do this by:

  • Liking or following us.
  • Sharing or reposting our content (don’t forget to tag and/or mention us).
  • Inviting others to follow us.
  • Repeat!

Connect with the Northeast Florida Community Traffic Safety Team on social media!

Volunteering without being physically present is not new. For years, volunteers have been off-site and have used the telephone, fax and postal mail to communicate. However, the revolution in information technology has opened up many new possibilities for volunteering and giving back to your community.

Even prior to the COVID-19 healthcare crisis and social distancing, there has been an increase in working from home. Virtual volunteering is a wonderful way to take advantage of contributing volunteer work over the internet. Social media has opened the door to expand the reach of our traffic safety tips and campaigns.

Benefits of Virtual Volunteering:

  • Increase community awareness.
  • Minimal investment of your time.
  • Flexible to your schedule with no time constraints.
  • Easy and feels good to send positive messages.
  • Help reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities on your local roadways.

We also love sharing YOUR photos, stories and events! You can email us at TrafficSafetyTeam@dot.state.fl.us. Be sure to let us know how to tag and mention your organization on social media!

traffic safety virtual volunteer thank you
Thank you for your time and consideration!

Walk Safe Activity Card

Presenting our Walk Safe Activity Card. Since last year’s Florida Mobility Week through this October’s Pedestrian Safety Month, the FDOT District 2 Community Traffic Safety Program distributed 15,000 Walk Safe activity cards. They are available for free at all 18 county local library systems in Northeast Florida.

Walk Safe - Walk the Path to Safety card
Walk Safe – Pedestrian Activity Card with Safety Tips for Drivers and Walkers

This Walk Safe activity card is double-sided with a walking wise crossword puzzle and a walk the path to safety maze. Great for kids, parents, teachers, and homeschoolers. Libraries are a wonderful place for key traffic safety education and information resources for our CTSP to distribute at no cost to our local communities. Pedestrians and drivers should always pay attention, put phones down, keep eyes up, look, and listen.

Walk Safe - Walk the Path to Safety card

We have also created this free digital, one-sided 8.5×11 Walk Safe, Pedestrian Safety resource available here for downloading, printing and sharing with your community.

Remember to Always Be Cautious and Pay Attention – Walk Safe!

Walk Safe, a pedestrian safety and educational resource, is part of a series. The Ride Safe, Drive Safe and Bike Safe pieces are available online below. Each piece has a different activity or puzzle with important traffic safety tips and reminders. Our goal is to help reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities on our roadways through education and community outreach.

More Pedestrian Safety Tips

Pedestrians are a vulnerable road user. Whether walking for enjoyment, exercise or engaged in work on the roadway, they need to be safe. Our goal is to increase driver awareness and education of pedestrian traffic safety. Click here for more pedestrian safety tips.