At the U.S. Department of Transportation, we are always working on ways to make transportation safer, more accessible, and better for everyone—today and in the future! Automated vehicle technologies is a rapidly evolving arena, with potential to save thousands of lives every year and improve quality of life through reduced traffic congestion and increased productivity. AVs would restore mobility for millions of people who face transportation challenges, such as the elderly and people with disabilities.
2020 has arrived and many are carefully selecting New Year’s Resolutions. Establishing challenging yet achievable goals is the essence of New Year’s Resolutions, a tradition that dates back 4,000 years to the ancient Babylonians.
While participating in this timeless tradition, I would like to promote a resolution that everyone can do together in 2020: Safer driving.
Here are a few ways that could save thousands of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of injuries in 2020:
It’s hard to believe it’s been 18 years since terrorists attacked our country on September 11, 2001. As we honor the heroes of that day, and commemorate those who perished, I want to pay special tribute to our DOT colleagues who played such a critical role in safeguarding our national airspace, roads, bridges, tunnels and other forms of transportation on that day. Their magnificent efforts continue to inspire gratitude and pride. This year I once again have the honor of attending the special 9/11 ceremony at the Pentagon at which the President and the First Lady also participated.
There are many competitions taking place this August, including the Pan American Games in Peru, and the extreme sports X Games, being held in Minneapolis. August also sees the start of the US Open tennis championship.
Move Over. It’s the Law.
If your car has ever broken down or had a flat tire, leaving you stranded on the side of a road, you know how dangerous and unnerving it can be. Cars and trucks speeding by just inches away leaves too little margin for error and could so easily result in a disastrous crash. America’s first responders – police, fire, EMT’s – face this peril every day in the line of duty.
With more people on the road than ever before – including pedestrians and bicyclists -- it has never been more important for all road users to be sober and solely focused on safe travel. But two developments in the past decade have set back these traffic safety goals: increased drug-impaired driving and increased cell phone use while driving.
Few traditions have proved so enduring as New Year’s resolutions. There are over 167 million Internet search results on the topic of 2019 resolutions. Most seek to improve health and well-being. Of course, that is easier said than done. Still, good to keep trying!
As Secretary of Transportation, I’d like to propose some New Year’s Resolutions that are easy to accomplish and, if widely adopted, would save thousands of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of injuries in 2019. Such as:
The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) theme for 2018 — “Show Some Love” — rings true at DOT. Since 2005, DOT employees in the D.C. metropolitan area alone have contributed over $18 million through CFC. Overall, federal employees contribute about $100 million every year through CFC.
“With the passing of President George H.W. Bush, our country has lost a heroic patriot, distinguished statesman and loving patriarch of an eminent American family, who dedicated his life to serving others. I was honored to serve as Deputy Secretary of Transportation and Director of the Peace Corps during his Presidency, becoming one of the many young people who benefited from his expansive vision to move our country forward. America celebrates the legacy and achievements of this extraordinary leader as he is laid to rest.”