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7/1/2015: North Carolina Unveils Redesigned 'First In Freedom’ License Plate

North Carolina Unveils Redesigned 'First In Freedom’ License Plate

Posted 7/1/2015 4:15:52 PM

Raleigh - On this Fourth of July Week, North Carolina is unveiling a new state license plate that recognizes the state's historic role in the creation of the United States. Beginning today, North Carolina motorists can choose a new "First in Freedom" standard state license plate for the first time since 1982. The "First in Freedom" plate joins the "First in Flight" plate, as the second standard-issue option for vehicle owners.   "North Carolina is a state of firsts and we continue to be a leader in innovation," said Governor Pat McCrory. "What a great way to celebrate North Carolina's rich history and the birth of our nation by offering drivers a chance to proudly display a plate that honors our contribution to freedom, here in one of the most military friendly states."    The phrase "First in Freedom" recognizes two "firsts" established by North Carolinians during the early stages of the American Revolution. The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and the Halifax Resolves have been noted throughout history as the first steps by one of the original 13 colonies to secede from Great Britain.   "As a veteran I’m proud to help issue the 'First in Freedom' plate, honoring this important value that many North Carolina servicemen and women continue to fight for and uphold everyday," said NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata. "We look forward to seeing these plates displayed proudly on our state roadways soon."   This new version was designed by Charles Robinson, a Troy, N.C., resident, historian and license plate collector. The plate features an amber quill pen, which symbolizes the signing of the Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence and the Halifax Resolves. The signing dates of these two events, May 20, 1775 (Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence) and April 12, 1776 (Halifax Resolves), are featured at the top center of the plate over the title letters, which display "First in Freedom."   Robinson used the amber color as a key component of the quill pen as a tribute to the primary color of the classic state license plates of the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. Those plates were manufactured in amber and black.   The original First in Freedom plate was unveiled Jan. 10, 1975, as part of a collaborative initiative between the North Carolina Department of Transportation and North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. The initial plate was established to promote recognition of the 200th anniversary of the nation’s independence.   To apply for your "First in Freedom" license plate at no additional charge, please request the plate at the time of your registration renewal. A standard charge will be due if you apply for the plate at non-renewal times.   Vehicle owners may visit the Division’s website to find the location of license plate agencies who can take orders for the plates.   To view all license plates available through the Division, please visit the specialty plates website.
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Charles Robinson, left, receives one of the first "First in Freedom" license plates issued on July 1, 2015, from Division of Motor Vehicles Commissioner Kelly J. Thomas. Robinson, of Troy, designed the plate, which recognizes two "firsts" established by North Carolinians during the early stages of the American Revolution.
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6/26/2015: This Week at NCDOT: Making Your Travel Easier this Holiday Weekend

This Week at NCDOT: Making Your Travel Easier this Holiday Weekend

Posted 6/26/2015 3:03:57 PM

25th anniversary of I-40 from Raleigh to Wilmington, travel tips for the Fourth of July, Booze it & Lose it: Operation Firecracker keeps drunk drivers off the road, moped registration requirements start July 1 and congressmen make a visit to the Port of Wilmington RALEIGH — The following are highlights from the past week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. Several of the below stories are also featured in our weekly newscast, NCDOT Now, which can be viewed by clicking here.  25th Anniversary of Interstate 40 from Raleigh to Wilmington June 29 marks the 25th anniversary of the opening of I-40 from Raleigh to Wilmington. This 121-mile-long stretch of interstate connected North Carolina’s mountains to the coast with a four-lane, divided highway. It was also the last section of I-40 to open in the country, completing the 2,554-mile-long interstate.  NCDOT Aims to Help Travelers Save Time, Money Over Fourth of July WeekendTo make sure everyone has a safe and stress-free trip during the holiday weekend, NCDOT will suspend most road construction activities on major routes across the state. Eliminating traffic delays will help you reach your destination quicker and safer, while also saving on fuel consumption.  Booze it & Lose it: Operation Firecracker From June 26 through July 5, law enforcement agencies across North Carolina will step up efforts to get drunk drivers off the roads as part of Booze it & Lose it: Operation Firecracker. The campaign also serves to remind drivers that they have options and drunk driving is not one of them. Instead of driving, you can: take the bus or cab, get a ride from a friend, or use an app to get a ride.  NCDMV State Moped Registrations Begin July 1 On Wednesday, July 1, the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles will introduce new statewide requirements for moped operators in accordance with House Bill 1145. These new regulations require all moped operators to register their vehicle with the DMV, and obtain a registration card and license plate, which must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle at all times.    Congressmen Shuster, Rouzer Talk Harbor Improvements at Port of WilmingtonThe North Carolina State Ports Authority welcomed Congressman Bill Shuster (PA-9) and Congressman David Rouzer (NC-7) to the Port of Wilmington on Friday, June 19, where they discussed the importance of the Wilmington Harbor and the Port of Wilmington’s impact on the state’s economy. North Carolina's Ports in Wilmington and Morehead City, plus inland terminals in Charlotte and in Greensboro, link the state's consumers, businesses and industry to world markets, and serve as magnets to attract new business and industry while receiving no direct taxpayer subsidy. For more information on NCDOT Now, contact the NCDOT Communications Office at (919) 707-2660. Additional news stories from throughout the week can be found on NCDOT’s online newsroom. ***NCDOT***
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6/26/2015: NCDOT Aims to Help Travelers Save Time, Money over July 4th Weekend

NCDOT Aims to Help Travelers Save Time, Money over July 4th Weekend

Posted 6/26/2015 2:40:38 PM

RALEIGH – As families begin traveling this Independence Day weekend, the N.C. Department of Transportation will suspend most road construction activities on major routes across the state to help make their trips a little smoother. By avoiding traffic delays, motorists can reach their destinations safely and efficiently, while cutting down on fuel consumption and costs. NCDOT will put on hold most construction projects along interstate, N.C. and U.S. routes from 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 2, until 9 a.m. on Monday, July 6, with these exceptions: U.S. 158 (Elizabeth Street) in Elizabeth City is reduced to one lane in each direction from Road Street to the Pasquotank River Bridge for rehabilitation of the old bridge;U.S. 264 in Dare County will be reduced to one of two lanes controlled by temporary traffic signals in five locations for the replacement of five bridges. Lane closures are located between Stumpy Point and the Hyde County line;Two bridges in Brunswick County on N.C. 211 over the Honey Island Swamp will have intermittent lane closures in order for crews to realign the roadway and replace both bridges and approaches;Third Street in New Hanover County is closed for a bridge replacement with a signed detour;I-85 southbound from the Virginia state line to Dabney Drive (Exit 213) will be in a one-lane pattern along sections of the route with speed limit reductions in those closures; andI-73 in Guilford County is reduced to two lanes in each direction between Wendover Avenue and I-85. Here are some additional tips for navigating the highways safely during the holiday travel season:Leave early to get a head start on your drive. Travel at non-peak hours when possible.Stay alert. Even if work is suspended, you may encounter narrowed lanes and traffic shifts in work zones.Be patient and obey the posted speed limit.Use alternate routes, when possible, to avoid traffic congestion.Stay informed. Real-time travel information is available online and over the phone by dialing 511.Don’t drive drowsy. Travel at times when you are normally awake, and take frequent breaks.Avoid distracted driving. When drivers stop focusing on the road ahead, they react more slowly to traffic conditions and are more likely to be involved in an accident.For real-time travel information at any time, visit the Travel section of the NCDOT website or follow NCDOT on Twitter. Another option is NCDOT Mobile, a phone-friendly version of the NCDOT website. Also, the Fourth of July Governor's Highway Safety Program (GHSP) “Booze It & Lose It” campaign has started, running June 26 through July 7. The campaign zeros in on drunken drivers with innovative and extensive anti-driving while impaired (DWI) enforcement and education initiatives. Sobriety checkpoints will be continually set up in all North Carolina counties as part of the state's highly effective anti-drunk driving campaign.GHSP and NCDOT have launched a new marketing campaign—“Don’t Drink and Drive. You’re Smarter Than That.”  The campaign is directed at building awareness of the variety of options available to get home safely after drinking. If you are out this Fourth of July holiday remember to call a friend, take a taxi, ride public transportation or designate a sober a driver because you don’t want to drink and drive, “you’re smarter than that.” 
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***NCDOT***
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6/25/2015: NCDMV State Moped Registrations Begin July 1

NCDMV State Moped Registrations Begin July 1

Posted 6/25/2015 2:16:45 PM

RALEIGH — On Wednesday, July 1, the North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles will introduce new statewide requirements for moped operators in accordance with House Bill 1145. These new regulations require all moped operators to register their vehicle with the DMV, and obtain a registration card and license plate, which must be displayed on the rear of the vehicle at all times.    Moped operators will be required to visit their local license plate agency for the registration process. The office locations can be found on the DMV website. The cost of registering each moped is $18 annually. Durham ($15), Orange ($15), Randolph ($1) and Wake ($5) counties each charge an additional transit tax.   Operators must be 16 years of age or older and must have a valid N.C. driver license or N.C. ID card along with the moped manufacturer’s certificate of origin (MCO). If an operator does not have an MCO for their vehicle, the operator can fill out an Affidavit of Facts for the Registration of a Moped form (MVR-58) to serve as proof of ownership. State statute defines a moped as having two or three wheels with an engine capacity of 50 cubic centimeters or less, no external shifting device or the ability to exceed 30 miles per hour on a level surface. To help customers determine if their vehicle falls within the moped category, Division License and Theft Bureau inspectors will be available at most license plate agencies during the first week of issuance to answer questions. If an L&T inspector is not available, you can visit your nearest L&T District office. Please visit the Division’s website to find Frequently Asked Questions and other information about registering and operating a moped. ***NCDOT***
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6/19/2015: Work on I-40 Continues to Make Progress

Work on I-40 Continues to Make Progress

Posted 6/19/2015 11:05:46 AM

Raleigh – Drivers who travel through the Fortify work zone should be noticing the traffic pattern changes that signal the start of the biggest part of the project, the reconstruction of 8.5 miles of I-40 in Raleigh Lane shifts are now in place on both sides of the highway from Lake Wheeler Road to U.S. 1. Although the number of open lanes hasn’t changed, the inside lane closest to the median is closed off, shifting traffic onto the shoulder of I-40. On I-40 West, orange barrels initially used to close off the inside lanes and median have been replaced with concrete barriers, which will provide additional safety for workers who have already been breaking up pavement to begin rebuilding the inside lanes and median. Meanwhile on eastbound I-40, the same swap-out of orange barrels for concrete barriers is underway and should wrap up next week. The changes will put traffic the same pattern that will be used for the next several months on this 3-mile section of interstate. Next month, crews are scheduled to complete traffic shifts on the remaining portion of I-40 between Lake Wheeler Road and the I-40/440 split. This part of the Fortify project is expected to have a bigger impact on traveling through the work zone, as the four and five-lane sections on this part of the interstate will be reduced to three lanes in each direction.The three-lane pattern will remain in effect for the duration of the project, which is expected to be complete by late 2016. This is also when commuters in the area might want to gear up their search for alternate routes to work, take advantage of public transportation or find out from their employer if flex scheduling or telework are options for them. The expected impact on drivers is an additional 30 minutes each for the morning and evening commute time. And that is if there are no issues, such as a disabled vehicle, accident or bad weather. Meanwhile, final work on the I-440 section of the Fortify project is scheduled to be finished by mid-July. Once that happens, the second lane to get on I-440 East from the U.S.64/264 bypass will be reopened, virtually completing that part of the project and clearing the way for I-440 to be used as an alternate route to get around the work zone on I-40. ***NCDOT***
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