As National Distracted Driving Awareness month draws to a close, the Department of Transportation wants to remind drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. In 2015, distracted driving killed 3,477 people and injured 391,000.
To help raise awareness of the potentially tragic outcomes of texting and driving, NHTSA is hosting a Tweet Up on Friday, April 28, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to spread the message about the dangers of distracted driving. People can follow along using the hashtag #JustDrive, and should feel free to mention @NHTSAgov.
America’s highways are in need of upgrades, especially when more people are expected to be on the roads in the years ahead. Because the nation’s travel needs are continuing to grow, we need to find new ways to pay for improvements.
The Highway Trust Fund still provides the bulk of highway funding, but it’s not keeping up with the rising cost of repairs and construction. Thankfully, the Federal Highway Administration’s Surface Transportation System Funding Alternatives (STSFA) program is helping guide the country toward new options.
Cutting-edge technologies are helping to improve America’s highway system, and real-time data reporting systems are helping us make better use of our highways and bridges.
The Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment Program (ATCMTD) is doing just that by funding state-of-the-art transportation improvement technologies that reduce congestion and help us maintain our infrastructure. Now in its second round, the program is providing $60 million in funding again this year. Last year, the program funded eight innovative projects in various parts of the country intended to improve the efficiency and safety of the transportation system and make the most use of existing capacity for commuters and businesses.
In addition to its Washington, D.C., headquarters office, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has pipeline safety and hazardous materials safety offices in five regions around the country, and a pipeline inspector training center in Oklahoma City. While many people may hear about happenings from our D.C. office, we’d like to introduce you to PHMSA's Pipeline Inspector Qualifications and Training Division's Training Center to examine the crucial role that it plays in our shared safety mission.
New technologies are disrupting transportation every day, and the U.S. Department of Transportation has an unprecedented opportunity to shape how Americans move, and how America does business.
That’s no small order, but at the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, our history of providing multimodal expertise shows we are up to the task. The Volpe Center is a unique federal organization within USDOT that for more than 45 years has supported modal agencies and others pursuing innovative solutions to America’s most pressing transportation challenges.
This week, we remember the anniversary of a bombing that, just after rush hour on April 19, 1995, claimed 168 lives – including 11 FHWA employees. The bomb of a domestic terrorist destroyed the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, causing a pain that – even now – America still feels. I urge you to join me in remembering our fallen colleagues and families of all the victims who have spent the last 22 years in grief. Let us never forget their loss, and let our actions honor their sacrifice.
America’s first responders put their lives on the line every day to help save ours.
In 2016, 135 law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty. Of the 53 that were killed in traffic-related incidents, 15 were struck and killed while performing their duties outside of their vehicle and on the roadside. In fact, in the 20 years prior to 2016, traffic-related incidents were the No. 1 cause of officer fatalities for 15 of the years. These roadside deaths are 100 percent preventable. It’s up to us to move over to give law enforcement the room they need to work more safely.
At 6:12 p.m. on Thursday, March 30, a fire underneath an Atlanta I-85 bridge was reported to authorities. By 7 p.m. the bridge had collapsed.
Astonishingly, despite this incredible event happening during rush hour to one of the city’s busiest thoroughfares, there were no major injuries reported. President Donald Trump and Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao this week credited Atlanta’s first responders with ensuring the public’s safety that day and thanked many of them in person at the White House for their heroic efforts.
Seventy-four tribes were part of a $9 million award this week that will support 77 road safety projects in 22 states. The funds, which come from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)'s Tribal Transportation Program Safety Fund (TTPSF) are dedicated to improving transportation safety on tribal lands that are statistically some of the most hazardous in the nation because of poor physical condition and other factors. Congress created TTPSF in 2013 in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act to improve highway safety on tribal roads and other transportation facilities.
Today, we commemorate the anniversary of a legendary event in our nation’s history: The Great Locomotive Chase.
The Civil War
On this day in 1862, exactly one year after the Civil War began at Fort Sumter, Union civilian agent James Andrews led a raid deep into Confederate territory to destroy the railroad line between Atlanta and Chattanooga. The Western & Atlantic Railroad (W&A) line was targeted because it was a critical lifeline for the western Confederate armies. Just as railroads today serve a vital role in our nation’s transportation network, so did the W&A. Destroying the railroad line would prevent the Confederacy from re-supplying and holding Chattanooga, a strategic location against advancing Union forces.