Recipes for the Road

The Florida Department of Transportation District Two and the Community Traffic Safety Program are excited to present our 26th Annual Recipes for the Road. For over 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 a 12-page Recipes for the Road book available as a digital flipbook, PDF download, and a limited print edition for team members.

26th Recipes For The Road card

We have two-sided Recipes for the Road cards and Celebrate Safely posters for our District Two team members to distribute. Click here to place your order.

Much appreciation goes to Northeast Florida’s Community Traffic Safety Team members, partners, and volunteers who 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!  

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 has unique nonalcoholic drinks, mocktails, appetizers, treats, and traffic safety tips. Past editions from last year to the inaugural issue of 1997 are available below.

Celebrating Over 25 Years of Recipes for the Road

Last year, we celebrated with a special 25th-anniversary edition, available as a digital flipbook or PDF download, and a limited supply of printed keepsake books. Check out our celebration video below, highlighting all past editions!

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

E-Bike Safety Discussion

During our March 2023 districtwide engineering concern meeting, we discussed the history of the CTSP and the importance of addressing roadway concerns. This led to issues regarding micromobility, specifically electric bicycles, electric scooters, electric unicycles, and golf carts. We held an e-bike/scooter/unicycle safety discussion for our districtwide meeting in April. Our next districtwide discussion will cover golf cart safety. Undoubtedly, tackling these topics will take a group effort.

Safety Concerns for E-Bicycles, E-Scooters, and E-Unicycles

In 2022, we created a presentation on micromobility, discussing terms, usage, and safety challenges nationally and in Northeast Florida. This general information is a great starting point for our e-devices safety discussion. Please take a moment to review the resource links below. Check out input from CTST member Brian Benwick of the North Florida Bicycle Club. Also, please read the approach to safety written by CTST member Antonia Donnelly.

Click here for Florida Legislation statutes regarding electric bicycles (PDF file).

Reference Materials for the E-Bike/Scooter/Unicycle Safety Discussion –

Amid growing popularity of electric devices, some university campuses are banning e-bikes and e-scooters due to safety concerns – primarily fire hazards and collisions with pedestrians.


E-Bike Insurance by Brian Benwick –

First, one of the main issues involving e-bike use and ownership should be mentioned… LITTLE OR NO INSURANCE. Click here for the Bicycle Floaters Chart. The liabilities arising from at-fault bicycle accidents can be covered automatically under one’s homeowner policy. However, they are not automatically covered if riding an e-bike. Neither the bike shops, parents, nor the kids who ride e-bikes are familiar with this issue. Generally, this makes e-micromobility somewhat of a public nuisance.

Updated 11/29/23: Markel’s specialty program, described in the chart, now has up to $300,000 maximum liability limit. This is good news because now, with the $300,000 limit chosen, your personal umbrella liability policy may recognize the underlying coverage and “dovetail” the e-bike cyclists’ coverage into your excess liability limits, albeit for an extra charge. You will probably need to submit a change application for approval first so that usage, driver information, e-bike policy number, limits and effective dates, along with a description of your e-bike with the serial number can all be reviewed by the personal umbrella underwriter.

Additional Points by Brian Benwick –

Secondly, we must consider the other types of micromobility before we can single out e-bikes for usage restrictions. Among bikes alone are road, mountain, gravel, cargo, commuter, unicycle, recumbent, elliptical, trikes, and more. And each of these categories more than likely has an e-bike version.  Hoverboards, skateboards, golf carts, scooters, segways, roller skates, wheelchairs, and others would also need to be considered.

Helmet requirements are another concern, as head injuries are devastating. Though not required by law, our club (NFBC) requires them for all participating riders, young or old. But I understand the hygiene issues involved in sharing helmets; we all don’t carry helmets with us wherever we go.

Having owned a class 1 and a class 3 e-bike for four years, I’d like to share a few observations:
  • E-bikes are heavy (ranging from 35 -60 pounds or more). This is too heavy for some young kids who cannot manage that kind of weight. So, when they fall on you, they do hurt more.
  • The cheaper brands have components that have not been engineered to withstand the higher torque. They also have rear hub-mounted motors that provide 100% power to the wheel(s), making their acceleration unpredictable.
  • Mid-mounted frame motors usually have torque sensors that are managed by the rider, allowing a greater benefit from the gearing and being more predictable.
  • E-bikes are much more expensive to maintain and repair. The point here being electrifying a bike that uses old and cheap technology is an engineering recipe for disaster when components fail during a ride. (Batteries have burned down apartment buildings in NY, and Raad e-bike bad front brakes have killed the e-bike occupants.)
  • In group rides with pacelines, e-bikes can be helpful when leading the group. They can make drafting easier for those who follow them when confronting wind and hills.
More thoughts about E-Bikes to consider:
  • The more expensive e-bikes have safer and better batteries with smart technology and “blow up” less frequently. But, if they are equipped with traditional drivetrains, they are much more expensive to maintain. Even more than motor vehicles per mile.
  • With a 20-mph maximum for classes 1 & 2, the e-bike rider will get dropped on a group ride where the more athletic non-e-bikers will reach and sustain 22-25+ mph. Getting dropped takes the fun out of the experience for those who bought the e-bike for recovery or are older.
  • Europe adopted e-bikes before the US, and they limit their e-bikes to 15 mph as a standard. I don’t recommend this for the road, but I favor a speed limit for sidewalks.
  • Many e-bikes have 3-5 power levels. Most have motor wattage ratings of 250 watts (1/3 of a horsepower). Some have 500-watt motors and up to but not including 750 watts to fall within the law allowance. To reach a range of 20-40 miles, most will have to limit the power level to avoid a battery discharge. Charging a fully discharged e-bike battery takes 3-4 hours, depending on the charging rate. Batteries can be $750 to $1,500 to replace.

An Approach to E-Bike Safety by Antonia Donnelly –

Problem Statement:

Obviously, the e-bicycle situation is a hot topic. As professionals in the industry, we must take a step back and consider how to improve it. That must start with education. But it’s not just the community’s education – it is educating ourselves on the history, background, purpose, and advocacy. Like it or not, we need to understand and accept all society’s aspects of this mode of transportation.

The laws haven’t been formalized because lawmakers don’t know what they are dealing with. However, check any bicycle injury attorney website; they have already included e-bicycle injury in their portfolios. We can create promotional materials about safety and explain the rules we know about. Specifically the age restriction, speeds, and where the e-bicycle is allowed.

Background:

I have been a triathlete for nearly 16 years and someone who rides a non-powered bicycle in traffic. I learned the things necessary to ensure I don’t get hit by cars, golf carts, etc.  My “ah-ha” moment came after I was knocked off my bicycle while riding in the bike lane of SR 13 in St. Johns County. I was knocked unconscious and had no idea where I was or what had happened. The police report said, ‘I fell off my bicycle’ because no one came forward to say something had happened. 

Of course, kids getting on the e-bicycles have no such history or experience. They don’t understand that cars entering the roads at driveways or intersections can’t often see them. Sometimes, the motorist is hurrying and can misjudge the time it takes the bicycle to close the gap. Especially in Florida, we are constantly mixing users of various machines in the same travel corridors. We all must be more aware of our surroundings. This awareness applies to pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists – we all value life, safety, and property.

Subject Information:

I found some helpful information that can guide us. This is a starting point for the e-bike safety discussion and promotional materials.

The following tips are from the website EbikeSchool.com Electric Bicycle Safety Tips:  
  1. Wear a helmet.
  2. Use your lights. At least front white light and rear red LED light on your e-bike.
  3. Use warning devices (horns, bells).
  4. Ride on the right side of the road, with traffic not against it.
  5. Take the lane and watch for parked car doors opening ahead of you.
  6. Keep your tires properly inflated.
  7. Be a defensive driver – don’t expect traffic to anticipate your movements – slow down in questionable situations.
Safety tips from the North Florida Bicycle Club
  1. Ride predictably.
  2. Watch for road hazards (i.e., wet pavement, objects in the path, pedestrians, or other path users).
  3. Obey traffic laws.
  4. In Florida, the bicycle is legally defined as a vehicle. Bicyclists using a public roadway are considered operators of vehicles and are responsible for observing traffic laws. It is up to motorists and bicyclists to treat each other with care and respect. Adherence to the law is the foundation of respect.
And finally, here are some general guidelines:
  1. Understand where e-bicycles are allowed (sidewalks, multi-use paths, or bike lanes).
  2. Share the space with other users (pedestrians, cars, and other bicycles).
  3. Keep speeds within the limits of the path/roadway.
  4. Know and use hand signals to help traffic know what you are doing (especially when turning).

One thing is for sure; we cannot restrict the sale or use of e-bicycles and e-scooters. Additionally, we cannot task police officers to create enforcement rules about improper use because nothing is written on the matter. At this time, all we can do is come up with safety materials to help parents, students, and other users. Education of the dangers may help limit the number of accidents that could occur.

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 presentation is geared toward aging road users. However, these are essential tips and reminders for all drivers.

Flip through the Defensive Driving Tools for Safety Presentation:

Learn about setting side view mirrors for blind spots. Understand the importance of keeping a safe following distance and obeying the speed limit. Maintaining a safe following distance 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. In addition, being a safe driver can earn discounts on auto insurance premiums.

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.

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!