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At the Federal Highway Administration, we’ve reached the end of the year but definitely not the end of the road.

Last January, I helped kick off the year near the Piscataqua River between Kittery, Maine, and Portsmouth, New Hampshire, at the first groundbreaking of any U.S. bridge for 2015 – the $201 million Sarah Mildred Long Bridge replacement project, which relies heavily on a $25 million TIGER grant and other federal funds. Originally slated to open 2 years later in 2017, that project set the tone for what proved to be a year filled with historic achievements and new beginnings.

For example, America’s highways and byways carried more U.S. drivers than ever before, with an estimated 3.1 trillion vehicle-miles traveled expected this year. And overall freight tonnage is estimated to have increased this year as well. With more drivers, more freight, and more overall weight, America’s highways and byways are doing more work than ever...

MassDOT Whittier Bridge

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Ever since we saw Marty McFly break the handlebars off a little girl’s scooter to facilitate his escape in 1985, American youth have been waiting for real-life hoverboards to hit the market. This year we got pretty close, and their explosive popularity is apparent; just take a look at the thousands of videos of ridiculously talented riders or --to see the flip side of that coin-- do a search for “hoverboard fails” and try pulling yourself away.

Hoverboard scene from Back to the Future as an animated G.I.F. file

There’s just one problem. Hoverboards and many other common electronic devices are operated by lithium batteries, a powerful, lightweight and rechargeable source of energy that is generally safe when manufactured and handled properly...

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WASHINGTON, DC.  In late-breaking news, the Department of Transportation has approved an application submitted by a Mr. Kris Kringle (d/b/a "Santa Claus") for special air transportation operating authority.

That authority, limited to a single night, was announced in a hastily-assembled press conference by U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  According to Foxx, Kringle has outfitted his vehicle, an "airborne sleigh," with an 8 RP engine and has on hand a ninth reindeer equipped with supplemental safety and navigation gear.  The Federal Aviation Administration has inspected the unusual vehicle and certified its airworthiness...

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From Evergreen, Alabama, to Mistletoe, Kentucky, U.S. roads tie communities together like ribbon on the world’s biggest gift. And whether you're heading to Santa Claus, Arizona, or Santa Claus, Indiana, this week, our highways and byways will carry you and millions of other Americans looking forward to celebrating the season with friends and family.

North Pole, Alaska, to Christmas, Florida

From the Boston Post Road of the 18th century to the Cumberland Road of the 19th, the Eisenhower Interstate Highway System of the 20th, and our newest Interstates in this century, the highway network truly is a gift that keeps on giving, no matter what the season.

But this season, our roads do get crowded, and weather conditions can get messy. So, if you’re one of the many who will be doing some holiday driving this week, give yourself more time than normal, and please drive safely...

Welcome sign for North Pole, Alaska

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Today marks a major milestone in our ongoing work to safely integrate unmanned aircraft into the National Airspace System and protect both safety and innovation in aviation.

Beginning today, anybody who buys a small unmanned aircraft weighing more than 0.55 pounds and less than 55 pounds must register before they fly outdoors. People who previously operated their UAS must register by Feb. 19, 2016.

Register your drone web banner

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At NHTSA, we spend a lot of time in December talking about drunk driving. That’s because the holiday season is a particularly dangerous time on our roads. Too often, when people celebrate the season with alcohol they then choose to get behind the wheel. According to figures the agency just released, 9,967 people died in drunk driving crashes in the United States in 2014. In December 2014, 788 lives were lost due to drunk driving – one death every 57 minutes.

That’s why we are again teaming up with State and local law enforcement nationwide this holiday season to keep drunk drivers off the streets. This annual campaign is called the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over holiday enforcement crackdown and this year it runs from December 16 to January 1.  More than 10,000 police departments and law enforcement agencies will be on the road to enforce the law and protect the public.

We also released a video from Antonio Mason, who was a student-athlete attending community college before seeing his dreams of playing basketball at a four-year college cut short by a drunk driver...

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The United States and Mexico have a strong, longstanding relationship when it comes to aviation.  And I’m happy to announce that after over two years of negotiations, our two nations are on the threshold of entering a new era in this important relationship.

Today, I was proud to join Mexico’s Secretary of Communications and Transport Ruiz Esparza, Undersecretary Mascott, colleagues from the U.S. Departments of State and Commerce, and aviation stakeholders from Mexico and the United States to sign a new, modern air transport agreement between the United States and Mexico.

Photo of Secretary Foxx and Mexico’s Secretary of Communications and Transport Ruiz Esparza signing a new, modern air transport agreement between the United States and Mexico

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On December 9, I had the honor of being in Piti, Guam, to celebrate completion of a $50 million modernization and expansion of the Jose D. Leon Guerrero Commercial Port —the first upgrade of Guam’s port infrastructure and landside facilities in nearly half a century.  While I’m always pleased when the Maritime Administration (MARAD) is able to contribute to and spotlight port improvement projects, this was a truly historical occasion for the island of Guam as well as the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas, and I’ll tell you why...

Photo of the Guam commercial port

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If you’re an avid traveler, you’ve probably heard by now that the U.S. and Cuba reached an arrangement to restore scheduled air service between our two nations.

This is a great step forward in President Obama’s policy of engagement with Cuba. In the past year, the U.S. and Cuba have reopened embassies in Washington and Havana and have taken many other steps to normalize relations...

Airplane in flight

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If you're like many Americans, there's a good chance you'll be going to the movies in the next couple of weeks. There's also a good chance that in the time it takes to sit through a movie—about two hours—two Americans will die in drunk driving tragedies. In total, 9,967 people died in drunk driving crashes in the United States in 2014.

The holidays are a particularly dangerous time as many celebrate the season with alcohol and then make the often deadly choice to get behind the wheel impaired.

Here at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, we’re passionate about protecting Americans when they’re on the road. That’s why we team up with State and local law enforcement every holiday season to keep drunk drivers off our streets. We call it the Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over holiday enforcement crackdown, and this year it runs from December 16 to January 2 —the days of celebration that too often turn deadly because of drunk driving.

More than 10,000 police departments and law enforcement agencies will be on the road to combat this safety threat. So be warned: if you drink and drive, you’ll be caught, arrested, and prosecuted. We’ll also be showing our brand new ads about the dangers of drunk driving before screenings of one of the most anticipated new films of the year, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

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