Work Zone Mobility and Safety Program
Photo collage: temporary lane closure, road marking installation, cone with mounted warning light, and drum separated work zones.
Office of Operations 21st Century Operations Using 21st Century Technologies

Fact Sheet 1 - Oregon's QuickFax Service

July 2000

Truckers Get Immediate Information on on Traffic Delays and Closures

workman and right lane closed signCommercial truckers can get up to-the-minute information on closures and traffic delays on Oregon State highways through the Oregon Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) QuickFax service. Bulletins are faxed to approximately 154 trucking companies and 30 truck stops to inform them of immediate traffic delays related to incidents or weather.

This system was developed through ODOT’s public affairs department after a 1997 flood shut down many of Oregon’s major highways. “We were trying to keep the media informed about the road closures and it would take about three hours to fax the information out to all who needed it,” said Dave Davis, ODOT Region 2 Public Affairs. He said that by the time they got the information to all the media it was already outdated. Then U.S. West started a broadcast fax system, which delivers 50 faxes at once. This system cut notification time from 3 hours to 20 minutes.

Information Helps Truckers Plan Their Trips

traffic alert signage"It seemed natural to develop this system for the trucking industry. We contacted the Oregon Trucking Association and other organizations to ask them to subscribe to the service,” said Davis. Initially the service had about 50 trucking companies and a few truck stops as subscribers, but the program has now become a staple of truckers in the Oregon area. Trucking companies call in and get on the broadcast fax list. When incidents and road closures occur, ODOT then sends an alert to QuickFax subscribers. The service’s subscriber base reaches truck stops as far away as Virginia, Nebraska, Wyoming, and California, so truckers heading into Oregon from those locations can have advance warning of any long-term road closures.

Stewart-Stiles Trucking Company in Salem, Oregon, is a QuickFax subscriber and dispatches the information to its truckers. Dispatcher Joe Darby said the information is useful because it alerts them in time to plan alternate routes for truckers. According to ODOT, this project defers 10 percent of traffic from a delayed area. Davis said, “Our goal is to prevent just one trucker from having to waste time sitting at a roadblock.” Additionally, he said the system has been extremely helpful in getting information to the media on traffic congestion on the heavily traveled I-5 corridor.

System Provides Flexibility for Getting the Message Out to a Specific Corridor of Traffic

This service also provides ODOT with various alternatives for using the system, said Laurie Gould, Region 4 Public Affairs. The broadcast fax system allows for a specific cluster of fax groups, which is useful for reporting information to a specific area. “If we have an accident on I-97, I can go to the fax machine and dial one number for the I-97 corridor group and send information to trucking companies, truck stops, and the media to let them know that the highway is closed.”

trucker's advisoryQuickFax Cost Is Worth It for Speed and Accuracy

ODOT’s Davis said the system is worth the $1,600 average monthly expense because of the speed in which you can get out information. Specific incidents have raised that cost to as much as $7,000 per month such as when a rock slide closed U.S. 101 for 3 months. Davis said they were sending out faxes every few hours when one lane was finally reopened. He said the lesson learned is to use the system only when traffic flow is affected for 3 hours or more.

Travelers, including truckers, can also get up-to-the-minute travel information at ODOT’s Travel Advisor at

Dave Davis
Oregon Department of Transportation
Region 2 Public Affairs Office
455 Airport Rd. SE, Bldg. B
Salem, OR 97301-5845
Phone: 503-986-5845
Fax: 503-986-5847

Victoria Kinne
Traffic & Safety Engineer
Federal Highway Administration
530 Center Street, N.E.
Salem, OR 97301
Phone: 503-399-5749

To share your Best Practices, contact:

Phillip Ditzler

Federal Highway Administration
400 Seventh Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20590
Phone: 202-366-0855

U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
Publication No. FHWA-OP-00-022