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Every holiday season, hundreds of lives are lost due to drunk drivers.  Nationally, over the past 5 years, an average of 300 people died in drunk driving crashes the week between Christmas and New Year.  Alcohol-impaired fatalities make up more than a quarter of all crash fatalities.  In 2016, 781 people lost their lives in drunk-driving-related crashes in the month of December alone.

Drunk driving is against the law in all 50 States, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. During the Holiday season, law enforcement agencies will increase patrols and drivers will begin seeing a set of ads depicting the consequences of driving drunk. 

The ads and law enforcement blitz is part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over safety campaign.  The campaign runs December 13-31, 2017.        

Americans can reduce the toll of drunk driving this Holiday season, by never drinking and driving, planning a safe ride with a designating a sober driver, or by using NHTSA’s SaferRide app to call a taxi or a friend to be picked up. The app is available for Android devices on Google Play, and Apple devices on the iTunes store.

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The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) addresses human trafficking by engaging transportation industry leaders, training stakeholders, disseminating public awareness materials, and developing tools and resources. We started our efforts at home by requiring all 55,000 DOT employees to take human trafficking awareness training.

To maximize collective impact, DOT launched the Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking (TLAHT) initiative, which has engaged with over 200 transportation and travel industry stakeholders to date.  TLAHT partners issue leadership statements, sign pledges, develop reporting protocols, train their employees, and conduct public awareness campaigns.  Our TLAHT website supports transportation stakeholders by offering awareness tools and resources to expand their advocacy.  Public awareness campaign materials available through our TLAHT site include “Put the Brakes on Human Trafficking” posters, banners, and modal logos.

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The Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System provides a safe, efficient and reliable commercial waterborne connection between the Great Lakes region of North America and foreign markets worldwide.  If the Great Lakes region were a country, it would rank as the third largest economy in the world.

Maritime commerce on the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway System annually sustains 227,000 U.S. and Canadian jobs, and generates $35 billion in annual business revenues, $14 billion in annual wages and salaries, and $5 billion in federal, state, provincial, and local taxes each year.  Annual commerce on the Great Lakes Seaway System typically exceeds 164 million metric tons and serves U.S. miners, farmers, factory workers, construction projects, and commercial interests, particularly those in the Great Lakes region.


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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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