Motorists in Iowa will soon see Department of Transportation (DOT) staff out on the state’s roadways as the agency begins its annual traffic data collection surveys. Each year, the DOT canvases a specific quadrant of the state to collect information on the number of cars, trucks, and other vehicles using state, county, and city roads. This year’s focus is on northwest Iowa, and drivers may notice employees parked in DOT-marked vehicles at various locations in the region counting morning, noon, and evening traffic. Staff will also be out installing and checking portable traffic recorders, which look like black rubber hoses spanning the roadway. Generally, drivers barely notice the annual survey while it is underway, but the DOT reminds motorists to use increased caution when they see an agency employee outside their vehicle on the road. For the latest information on current road conditions throughout Iowa, log on to www.511ia.org.