Archive for December, 2018

Accidents and driver jobs

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

New data on fatalities on the road and driver jobs has just been released.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced that 2017 highway fatality numbers are down following two consecutive years of large increases.  In addition, preliminary estimates for the first six months of 2018 appear to show that this downward trend continues into this year.

“Safety is the Department’s number one priority,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao.  “The good news is that fatalities are trending downward after increasing for the two previous years.  But, the tragic news is that 37,133 people lost their lives in motor vehicle crashes in 2017.  All of us need to work together to reduce fatalities on the roads.”

In 2017, 37,133 people died in motor vehicle crashes, a decrease of almost 2 percent from 2016. While the full 2017 Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) data set will be available today, other notable changes include:

  • Pedestrian fatalities declined about 2 percent, the first decline since 2013;
  • For the second year in a row, more fatalities occurred in urban areas than rural areas;
  • Combination trucks involved in fatal crashes increased 5.8 percent;
  • Vehicle miles traveled (VMT) increased by 1.2 percent from 2016 to 2017; and
  • The fatality rate per 100 million VMT decreased by 2.5 percent, from 1.19 in 2016 to 1.16 in 2017.

“Dangerous actions such as speeding, distracted driving, and driving under the influence are still putting many Americans, their families and those they share the road with at risk,” said Deputy Administrator King.  “Additionally, we must address the emerging trend of drug-impaired driving to ensure we are reducing traffic fatalities and keeping our roadways safe for the traveling public.”

The 1.8-percent decrease from 2016 to 2017 compares to the 6.5-percent increase from 2015 to 2016 and the 8.4-percent increase from 2014 and 2015.

Automated vehicles and driver jobs

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

New guidance has been released regarding the safety of automated vehicles and driver jobs.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) released new Federal guidance for automated vehicles, advancing its commitment to supporting the safe integration of automation into the broad multimodal surface transportation system. ‘Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicles 3.0’ (AV 3.0) builds upon—but does not replace—voluntary guidance provided in ‘Automated Driving Systems 2.0: A Vision for Safety.’

The safe integration of automated vehicle technology into our transportation system will increase productivity, facilitate freight movement and create new types of jobs,” said Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

AV 3.0 incorporates the results of extensive stakeholder engagement to provide updated voluntary guidance and policy considerations for a range of industry sectors, including: manufacturers and technology developers, infrastructure owners and operators, commercial motor carriers, bus transit, and State and local governments.

AV 3.0 supports the safe development of automated vehicle technologies by:

  • Providing new multi-modal safety guidance
  • Reducing policy uncertainty and clarifying roles
  • Outlining a process for working with USDOT as technology evolves

Specifically, the new AV 3.0 guidance provides several updates to the Department’s initiatives relating to automated vehicles, by:

  • Stating that the Department will interpret and, consistent with all applicable notice and comment requirements, adapt the definitions of “driver” or “operator” as appropriate to recognize that such terms do not refer exclusively to a human, but may include an automated system.
  • Identifying and supporting the development of automation-related voluntary standards  developed through organizations and associations, which can be an effective non-regulatory means to advance the integration of automation technologies.
  • Affirming that the Department is continuing its work to preserve the ability for transportation safety applications to function in the 5.9 GHz spectrum.

 

Funding to affect driver jobs

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

A round of funding and several transportation improvements will affect driver jobs.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) made available more than $63.9 billion in FY 2018 multi-modal discretionary and formula transportation investments and $1.6 billion in FY 2017 discretionary funds. This marks a significant step forward in funding the Administration’s ambitious infrastructure goals.

The Department is committed to revitalizing America’s infrastructure using federal dollars as seed money to encourage additional infrastructure investment by states, localities and private sector partners.  Utilizing significantly increased levels of appropriations from Congress in the March 2018 omnibus funding bill, more investment is reaching areas and projects with the greatest impact.

Additionally, historic investment through DOT’s programs in FY 2018 has begun to address the long-awaited infrastructure needs of rural communities, streamlined project delivery, and invested in transformative projects that benefit all Americans.

The Department has released Notices of Funding Opportunity (NOFOs) for nearly 90% of the funding from FY 2018 to solicit applications, and many have been closed or awarded. Overall, the Department has made an unprecedented infrastructure investment in America by making available more than $65.5 billion for key projects this year.

In just six months, the Department of Transportation has:

  • distributed the entire $56.2 billion in formula funds from FY 2018;
  • announced $7.8 billion in discretionary grant availability from FY 2018;
  • and awarded $5.8 billion in FY 2017 and FY 2018 discretionary grants to specific recipients.