Archive for August, 2018

Transportation safety and driver jobs

Monday, August 6th, 2018

New changes to transportation technology may affect the safety of driver jobs.

The Department of Transportation has launched the Solving for Safety: Visualization Challenge, a national multistage competition for local government, data scientists, technologists, academia and safety experts to analyze risk on the surface transportation system through advanced data analytics.

“Under Secretary Chao’s leadership, we have continued to make significant progress in transportation safety. Today’s announcement asks participants to apply advanced analytics and technological innovations to dramatically improve safety on our roads,” said Under Secretary for Policy Derek Kan.

“Recent innovations in data analytics and visualization tools give us the potential to understand risk at the system level, and to develop tools and discover insights that will lead to new, life-saving strategies that address injuries and fatalities on our roadways,’ continued Kan.

Solving for Safety focuses on encouraging technology firms and safety stakeholders to create data visualizations that illuminate important insights about solving the highway safety problem.

To do more to ensure our roads are as safe as possible for the millions of Americans who travel each day, DOT is opening its different datasets- many of which are siloed, analyzed separately, and made available on just an annual basis- and asking data experts to develop tools that can be used to reduce risk.

Factors like the weather, road conditions, and time of day all play a role in risk- and targeted, sophisticated analysis will create, as Kan said, ‘clear, compelling data visualizations’, which can be used to mitigate crash risks.

Kan encouraged attendees at the Department’s Safety Data Forum to join the challenge and develop an analytical visualization tool that helps Solve for Safety.

The Challenge also invites companies and organizations to participate as Innovation Agents, a resource for Solvers. Innovation Agents are critical to the success of the Challenge by providing real world knowledge, guidance, insight, issues, data and recognition of the issue to non-transportation safety populations. A judging panel of cross-functional technical experts and senior level staff will select finalists and award prizes. Over the next six months, solvers will solve for safety and compete for part of the $350,000 prize purse.

Grant will improve those with driver jobs

Monday, August 6th, 2018

A new grant for the city of Atlanta will affect the flow of those with driver jobs.

A proposed $184,124,447 Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant will go towards building additional, dedicated express lanes on State Route (SR) 400, a major commuter route for Atlanta residents.

“The new express lanes on SR 400 will enhance safety and decrease congestion and travel times for everyone,” said Secretary Chao.

“I’m grateful for the leadership of Secretary Chao, GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry, and all those who had a hand in bringing us to this point. This demonstrates the strong partnerships we have at each level of government,” added Congressman Rob Woodall (GA-07).

“The SR 400 Express Lanes project will play a critical role in helping improve mobility in a corridor that is vital to connecting people, jobs, and freight. We are grateful to the Department of Transportation for investing in Georgia’s transportation network,” GDOT Commissioner Russell McMurry said.

The SR 400 express lanes project is included in GDOT’s Major Mobility Investment Program (MMIP), which addresses congestion issues. GDOT projects that these lanes will reduce delay by over 19,000 hours per day along the SR 400 corridor by 2030.  The proposed INFRA grant would award $184,124,447 to construct approximately 17 miles of priced two-lane, bidirectional managed lanes along SR 400 from I-285 to McGinnis Ferry Road in Fulton County, and one managed lane in each direction from McGinnis Ferry Road north to McFarland Parkway in Forsyth County.

The project will connect with the SR 400 and I-285 Interchange Reconstruction project in Fulton and DeKalb Counties using approximately 8 miles of collector-distributor lanes currently under construction. There are 9 proposed access points for the express lanes, including three full interchanges, and six locations with slip lanes. The project area includes 22 bridges, approximately half of which will be replaced or widened.

INFRA grants support the Administration’s commitment to fixing our nation’s crumbling infrastructure by creating opportunities for all levels of government and the private sector to fund infrastructure, using innovative approaches to improve the necessary processes for building significant projects, and increasing accountability for the projects that are built.

New program affects driver jobs

Monday, August 6th, 2018

A new program is may go a long ways towards improving driver jobs.

The Department of Transportation will launch a pilot program to permit 18-20 year olds who possess the U.S. Military equivalent of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate large trucks in interstate commerce.

“This program will allow our Veterans and Reservists, to translate their extensive training into good-paying jobs operating commercial vehicles safely across the country, while also addressing the nationwide driver shortage,” said Secretary Chao.

As directed by Section 5404 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, the pilot program will grant a limited number of individuals between the ages of 18 and 20 to operate large trucks in interstate commerce – provided they possess the Military equivalent of a CDL and are sponsored by a participating trucking company.

“As our nation prepares to celebrate Independence Day, Secretary Chao and I were excited to highlight a program I helped champion to provide truck driver jobs to young veterans,” said Senator Fischer.

“This innovative program offers a way for our younger Veterans and Reservists to transition to the civilian workforce. I personally thank Secretary Chao and officials with the DOT who continue to find ways to utilize the training and talent of the men and women who served in uniform for our country,” said Congressman Bacon.

During the pilot program, which is slated to run for three years, the safety records of these drivers will be compared to the records of a control group of drivers.

Complete information on the pilot program and the related information collection is scheduled to be published in the Federal Register on July 5, 2018; an advance copy is available on FMCSA’s website at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/under-21-pilot-program-frn.

Before the pilot program can officially commence, FMCSA is required by Federal statute to allow a public comment period, followed by the Agency’s published responses in the Federal Register.