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Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Contact:  pressoffice@dot.gov

Safe Thanksgiving Travel by Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Thanksgiving weekend in 2017 is projected to bring out the highest number of American travelers since 2005, and the U.S. Department of Transportation is focused on safety wherever you’re traveling.

Recently, the Department rolled out the first phase of its airline consumer website redesign as part of an effort to better help air travelers understand their rights.  The improved design and streamlined pages will help passengers access needed information before, during, and after their flights now that the busy holiday travel season has kicked off. 

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is urging air travelers to pack safe and leave hazardous materials at home. Many common items such as lithium batteries, lighters, and aerosols may be dangerous when transported by air. Vibrations, static electricity, and temperature and pressure variations can cause hazardous materials to leak, generate toxic fumes, start a fire, or even explode. Check the FAA’s Pack Safe website for the rules on carrying these items. When in doubt, leave it out.

As millions of Americans get on the roads to travel home and spend Thanksgiving holiday reconnecting with friends and loved ones, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is serving them a reminder: “Make It to the Table: Don’t Drink and Drive this Thanksgiving Eve.”

The Federal Railroad Administration would like to remind the nearly 45.5 million Americans hitting the roads this holiday weekend to brush up on your state’s railroad crossing laws before you go. Nearly 94% of all rail-related fatalities and injuries occur at railroad crossings or due to trespassing. Sadly, almost all of these deaths or injuries are preventable.

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Secretary Elaine L. Chao kicked off the 50th Secretary’s Awards Ceremony to a thunderous ovation. Recipient’s from all Agencies, Offices and as far away as Juneau, Alaska, were gathered in the West Atrium of DOT headquarters to receive awards on excellence and merit.  The Secretary took the opportunity to give a special thanks to the more than 300 DOT employees who have volunteered for special assignments to assist with recovery efforts after the recent series of devastating hurricanes.

“As many of you know, I traveled with Vice President Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence to the devastated areas. The spirit of the volunteers and recovery workers was inspirational.” The Secretary added. “Repairing damaged infrastructure will be a key factor in the recovery and the DOT has an important role to play in helping these regions get back on their feet.”

In total, DOT recognized 47 individuals and 22 team leads. The work of the Department has gone above the call of duty to ensure America’s critical infrastructure is safe, secure and strong. Through innovation and dedication, these teams and individuals have taken our mission one step further.

For a list of award winners: click here

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In observance of Veterans Day, The U.S. Department of Transportation proudly takes the time to acknowledge the sacrifices given by veterans and their families. It’s important to recognize those who make it their mission to protect our country and way of life. Today's veteran brings a wealth of knowledge and skills to the job. The US Military provides service men and women with top notch training and robust practical work experience in areas of critical importance to DOT such as information technology, engineering, communications, security, information gathering, administrative support, human resources and financial management.

On behalf of the entire U.S. Department of Transportation, we salute veterans, active military and the spouses for your sacrifice and commitment. It is only through your diligence that we can remain free.  Thank you for your service.

For more information about hiring veterans, you can visit www.transportation.gov/veteranstransportationcareers

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Mobility on Demand (MOD) Initiative is helping communities nationwide incorporate the latest technology into their public transit services, with the goal of making them more effective, efficient, and equitable. Travelers in urban, suburban, and rural communities will benefit from better first- and last-mile connections, improved paratransit services, enhanced trip planning capabilities, and more.

Learn more about FTA’s MOD Sandbox Program 

Mobility on Demand Stats Graphic

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) are working together to help keep pedestrians safe this Halloween.  As trick-or-treaters take to the streets on Halloween, their risk of being injured by motorists increases greatly. Dark colored costumes and masks which challenge children’s peripheral vision are additional reasons for parents and motorists alike to be even more watchful for children on Halloween. Motorists should reduce speeds in residential neighborhoods and obey all traffic signs and signals. Drive at least 5 mph below the posted speed limit to give yourself extra time to react to children who may dart into the street.  Parents should also review safety precautions, including pedestrian and traffic safety rules.

On Halloween night 2016, between (6 p.m. until 5.59 a.m.)

  • 47 people died and nearly a third were due to drunk drivers – three times the fatalities of an average day.
  • Thirty percent of Halloween crash fatalities were pedestrians, compared to only 16 percent on an average day.
  • Over the last four years, from 2012-2016, 22 percent of pedestrian fatalities on Halloween night involved a drunk driver.

Keep Halloween Safe Graphic Facts and Figures 
 

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