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With Thanksgiving weekend almost upon us, the roads and skies will be filled with record numbers of travelers. The U.S. Department of Transportation would like to provide you with information that will keep you safe this holiday season.

As air fares fall, Americans are increasingly opting for air travel. In fact, 4.27 million Americans will be flying this holiday weekend, up 5.4% from last year. Fortunately, the Department has rolled out its redesigned and streamlined airline consumer website, which advises passengers on aviation consumer and civil rights matters. Be sure to familiarize yourself with this vital information while planning your trip.

Thanksgiving infographic: Travel Statistics for Holiday Weekend.

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Emergency Relief program, provides funds for emergency and permanent repairs on Federal-aid highways and roads, tribal transportation facilities, and roads on Federal lands that the Department finds have suffered serious damage because of natural disasters or catastrophic failure from an external cause. 

Transportation becomes even more important when communities are struggling to recover from natural disasters and catastrophic failures.  Federal support is often key to getting highways and bridges back up and running again. People often rely on these vital links in order to go about their daily lives.  Businesses also need them to move their goods and reach their customers. Without this stream of funds, states would be burdened when making these necessary repairs. 

USDOT's Emergency Relief Program

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The U.S. Department of Transportation has been working around the clock to support recovery efforts for areas hit by Hurricane Florence.  For those returning home, your safety remains the number one priority.  Power outages, flooding, and debris left by the storm will continue to make traveling difficult. Please do not drive around barriers or drive through flood waters. If you do not need to be on the roads, stay where you are and leave the path clear for emergency response teams.

The Department’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS) has launched an interactive mapping application showing the location of major transportation infrastructure layered over dynamic, near real-time maps. These include weather and flooding information from NOAA, traffic speeds on major roads, and traffic incident information. The tool allows infrastructure managers to update information, and first responders to gain a general understanding of potential regional or multi-state transportation system impacts.

Additionally, check your State DOT’s website for updated road closures and important safety messages.  

https://www.ncdot.gov

https://www.scdot.org/

http://www.virginiadot.org/

http://www.dot.ga.gov/

BTS Interactive Mapping Application Screen Shot

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The Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Automated Track Inspection Program (ATIP) helps America's railroads improve railroad quality and safety under statutes mandated by Congress. ATIP cars conduct operational surveys of the United States rail transportation network determining railroad compliance with Federal Track Safety Standards (FTSS).  The ATIP data is used to assess the effectiveness of railroads' track maintenance and inspection processes, provides data to assess track safety trends, and provides data to railroads to assist in making repairs and improving safety and maintenance quality. To learn more about the Automated Track Inspection Program (ATIP) and the advancement of track inspection technologies and improvement of railroad safety, visit https://bit.ly/2wFIVm0

Federal Railroad Administration Automated Track Inspection Program

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Shipping packages containing hazardous materials (hazmat) is tricky because those items can become toxic and explosive if they are handled incorrectly. Additionally, you may not be aware that an item you are shipping is considered hazardous. Every year, there are approximately 1,500 reported incidents involving shipped undeclared hazmat in our transportation system. Annually, about 3 billion tons of regulated hazmat is transported within the United States.     

To raise awareness of the risks of shipping hazmat, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) rolled out the “Check the Box” campaign in August 2018. The program helps shippers identify hazmat and receive guidance on how to safely ship it. PHMSA will continue to release videos, public service announcements, news articles and advertising, reminding shippers to “Check the Box.”

For more information on identifying hazardous materials and how to properly ship them, please visit CheckTheBox.dot.gov

Check The Box Logo

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