February 14, 2016

Sales of Nebraska’s sesquicentennial license plate off to slow start

NE-150-PlateThe Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) is seeing little interest in a new license plate commemorating the 150th anniversary of Nebraska’s statehood.

Rhonda Lahm, DMV director, says since sales began in October, roughly 230 have been ordered.

“We didn’t know exactly what to expect,” Lahm tells Nebraska Radio Network. “It’s a unique plate and, obviously, it’s a unique time. We know there hasn’t been a lot of talk out in the communities yet regarding the sesquicentennial, so we anticipate as more conversation happens out in the public at large, that the plate sales will probably pick up.”

The state’s 150th anniversary is March 1, 2017, and Lahm says the plates will be available through 2022.

“We’ve provided sample plates to the county treasurers and we’ve provided posters, and it’s on our website,” Lahm says about promoting the plate. “We’ve also had social media on our Facebook page. A lot of the marketing is being done through the Sesquicentennial Commission.”

The Nebraska 150 plates cost an additional $70, with most of that going to the state’s Sesquicentennial Commission.

Roads resembling moonscape? Here are some tips to avoid potholes

PotholeOur cars are taking a beating as this winter’s freeze-thaw cycle is leading to deep potholes on virtually all of Nebraska’s roads.

A spokeswoman for the state’s largest auto insurer says smacking a pothole just right may do a lot more than rattle your teeth, it can translate to an expensive repair bill.

Ann Avery, at State Farm in Lincoln, offers a few tips for avoiding the bumps in the road.

“Try to take roads you know well because your familiarity may help you avoid the potholes and see them coming,” Avery says. “When driving at night, travel on well-lit roads, if you have the option, as it helps you see the surface so you’ll be able to see the pothole before you get to it.”

It’s also an advantage to slow down and give yourself a chance to spot the pothole and avoid it before you’re in it.

“If you’re approaching a pothole and you can’t avoid it safely, do your braking before impact. There’s likely to be less damage when the tire is rolling rather than skidding over the hole,” Avery says. “If you do hit a pothole, take a good look at your tires and your wheels. If they have any damage, if the car is handling differently, if it’s ‘pulling’ one way or another, it might be time to get your car checked by a professional.”

A close encounter with a road crater can lead to wrecked tires, dented wheels and suspension trouble.

“If you do have damage from a pothole, that can cost anywhere from $300 to $700 on average,” she says.

Potholes can be a bigger hazard for motorcyclists. She recommends riders try to go around the chuckholes and to do so safely, you must be able to spot them from a distance. Slow down before reaching the obstacle and make sure you have enough room before changing direction.


I-80 re-opens across Nebraska

I-80 at Aurora/NSP photo

I-80 at Aurora/NSP photo

Interstate 80 has re-opened in Nebraska.

The Nebraska Department of Roads closed the interstate, from Lincoln to North Platte, as blizzard conditions stranded vehicles and made travel nearly impossible on I-80 Tuesday. The interstate remained closed for more than 200 miles as vehicles were removed and snow plows pushed snow off the pavement.

NDOR re-opened the interstate in intervals, opening it at Kimball at 1:30pm Wednesday, then at Ogallala at 1:45pm. I-80 opened for traffic at all other locations at two o’clock this afternoon.

The severe winter storm shut down a number of roads in Nebraska, severely crippling travel in the southwestern part of the state. At one time, blizzard conditions forced NDOR to pull snow plows off the roads in the northeastern part of Nebraska.

For up-to-date information on road conditions, click HERE for NDOR’s road condition report.


Still hazardous driving conditions; I-80 in Nebraska still closed

I-80 closed in Nebraska from Lincoln to North Platte

whiteoutInterstate 80, from Lincoln to North Platte, is closed.

The Nebraska Department of Roads closed the interstate due to the heavy snowfall and high winds of the winter storm that is still making its way through Nebraska.

NDOR says road crews continue to plow snow in southwest and south-central Nebraska in an effort to keep roads open. Snow plows have been taken off of northeast Nebrasaka in the Nofolk area due to poor visibiity. Travel remains difficult. Both NDOR and the Nebraska State Patrol discourage traveling due to drifting snow and severely reduced visibility.

For current road conditions, click HERE for the NDOR road conditions report.