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As Halloween nears, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is reminding Americans to drive sober and to keep an eye out for trick-or-treaters. Drinking and increased pedestrian traffic on Halloween night has historically been a dangerous combination.

On Halloween night in 2015, 106 people died nationwide, and more than half of those deaths (55) involved a crash with a drunk driver, compared to one-third on an average day. More than one-quarter of Halloween crash fatalities were pedestrians, compared to 15 percent on an average day.

As children take to the streets on Halloween to trick-or-treat, their risk of being injured by a motorist increases greatly. Excited trick-or-treaters often forget about safety, so motorists, parents and caregivers must be even more alert. 

Anti-drunk driving ad

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From local streets to major interstates, bad weather creates hazardous conditions for drivers and slows down traffic. The disruptions and delays cause frustration, while it’s often costly to fix and maintain our highways under severe weather conditions. 

In October, FHWA officially became a 'Weather-Ready' Nation Ambassador as part of a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) initiative aimed at improving the nation’s preparedness and strengthening resilience for extreme weather events. 

Picture of snowy highway

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This month, I’ve joined representatives from State DOTS, MPOs, industry, local agencies and academics in Baltimore and Minneapolis/St. Paul for the first two of seven regional Every Day Counts (EDC) summits set to take place this Fall around the country.

Picture of highway and skyline

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Today’s #TranspoStory feature comes from Catherine from Cleveland, Ohio. Catherine shared her transportation story through DOT’s Share Your Story website.

“My first mode of transportation was walking - a couple miles to and from school every day no matter how much snow or ice was on the ground or how cold it was. No, I wasn't barefoot, but this built strength knowing that I could count on myself no matter what the circumstances. 

Share Your Story logo

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Small businesses in America are engines of creativity and employment opportunities, but it can sometimes be difficult for small businesses to turn their innovations into reality.

That’s why the U.S. Department of Transportation’s highly competitive Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program awards contracts to small businesses to pursue research and development to find solutions to our nation’s biggest transportation challenges.

The SBIR program—administered by Volpe, DOT’s go-to center for innovative, multimodal research—has opened its latest solicitation period and will accept proposals through December 21, 2016.

SBIR logo

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One year ago, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) temporarily assumed direct safety oversight over the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metrorail system. In that short time, FTA has provided more thorough safety oversight over WMATA than it has ever received.

While FTA does not run or operate the WMATA Metrorail system, we are identifying problems and guiding WMATA as they implement needed safety changes.  However, for all the safety improvements WMATA has made, it remains a long and difficult task to instill the strong safety culture that is required for true and lasting change.

Picture of Metro station

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As the country’s population and economy continue to grow, many communities are thinking critically about their transportation, housing, and small business development needs. These areas each have their own distinct challenges and opportunities, but all can be addressed through smart, integrated policies.

Yesterday, I returned to my hometown of Charlotte, North Carolina to tour the up-and-coming LYNX Blue Line Extension of the area’s light rail system, which is a perfect example of how transportation, housing, and development can all go hand-in-hand. 

Pictur ef Foxx and Donovan

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I remember teaching my kids how to drive – a milestone in any young person’s life. Learning to maintain speed, negotiate turns, and checking the blind spot were always areas of concern.

Like many parents of teenagers, I worried, especially about whether I had taught them enough about safety behind the wheel. Now, years later, I’ve learned that it’s not so much about what I taught them, but how they applied it. 

To help parents and teenagers in this important time, last week we at NHTSA led National Teen Driver Safety Week (NTDSW). This week is all about bringing teens, parents, educators and community leaders together to help prevent car crashes – the leading cause of death for American teens. 

5 to Drive logo  

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Every day, as new technologies get closer and closer to deployment, it becomes more important for us in the federal government to have access to expert advice from those who are on the front lines of innovation.

That’s why this week I announced the formation of a new Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation (ACAT), which will assemble 15 experts from a variety of fields to help USDOT assess new transportation technologies and their long-term impacts.

Picture of AV policy announcement

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A native of Marianna, Arkansas, former Secretary Rodney Slater shares his personal story, from growing up in rural America to serving as our nation’s 13th Secretary of Transportation.

Picture of Rodney Slater

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