News Releases

10/20/2014: Secretary Tata Pledges Commitment to Rail Safety, Encourages Others to Join

Secretary Tata Pledges Commitment to Rail Safety, Encourages Others to Join

Posted 10/20/2014 10:07:55 AM

RALEIGH - N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata visited the BeRailSafe booth at the N.C. State Fair today to sign a pledge stating his commitment to rail safety. The pledge encourages people not to walk on or along railroad tracks, and if they must cross, to do so at a public crossing and look both ways to be sure a train is not coming. “We want all North Carolinians to be safe around railroad tracks, and I welcome everyone to join me in signing this pledge and doing their part to keep themselves and their communities safe. Even one death on North Carolina’s railroads is one too many,” said Tata. Fairgoers are invited to stop by and sign the pledge, which is displayed at the BeRailSafe booth at Safety City, located behind Dorton Arena. Safety City is sponsored by NCDOT’s Governor’s Highway Safety Program. In North Carolina, walking on or along railroad tracks without the consent of the railroad company is illegal and a Class 3 misdemeanor. It can also be deadly – each year, an average of 32 people are killed or injured walking on railroad tracks across the state.  BeRailSafe is NCDOT’s statewide rail safety program that provides information and programming to adults and kids alike about the importance of staying safe around railroad tracks. BeRailSafe also trains first responders across the state in how to deal with emergencies that arise around railroad tracks. ***NCDOT***
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10/14/2014: No Fortify Lane Closures During the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh

No Fortify Lane Closures During the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh

Posted 10/14/2014 2:51:21 PM

NCDOT prepares for the influx of Fair traffic Raleigh— Good news for N.C. State Fairgoers.  There will be no lane closures on the Fortify construction project in south and east Raleigh during fair hours so the increased traffic projected for the 11-day event will be as smooth as possible.   From Thursday, Oct. 16 to Sunday, Oct. 26, there will be no lane closures from 9 a.m. to midnight on the 11.5-mile work zone stretch of I-40/I-440. The N.C. Department of Transportation reminds drivers to use caution and obey the speed limit of 55 mph in the I-440 Fortify work zone and 60 mph in the I-40 work zone for their safety, as well as the safety of passengers, other motorists and the crews working along the highway. Project Background The Fortify project involves the removal and replacement of the highway surface and substructure along 11.5 miles of interstate on I-40 and I-440. A chemical reaction in the 40-year-old substructure of the roadway is causing it to crumble, and in turn, damaging the road surface. That required constant repairs, and led to concerns of ongoing major travel disruptions along one of the state’s busiest stretches of highway. The initial phase focused on I-440 so it will be available as a possible alternate route for drivers to consider while construction  is underway on the second phase,  on I-40, where traffic will be in a three-lane pattern in both directions f or the duration of the project. Commuter Options Because of the expected traffic impact of the project, especially when work is under way full-time on I-40, NCDOT is partnered with Go Triangle, Triangle Transit and Capital Area Transit to promote options to help motorists avoid traveling through the work zone at peak travel times. A Fortify website provides comprehensive information, including alternate transit options, project maps and links to live traffic cameras. Employers can also access online resources to help them develop and implement a flexible work program. The site includes links to Twitter, Facebook and other social media to stay engaged with NCDOT and other commuters. Triangle Transit created new commuting options that include express bus service from Johnston County (JCX) and additional service from eastern Wake County. There is also a park and ride lot at the Wal-Mart at the Cleveland Crossings Shopping Center at I-40 and N.C. 42 for catching the JCX or meeting with carpoolers and vanpoolers to share a ride. To learn more about finding a carpool or vanpool, visit www.sharetheridenc.org. More new routes, including from Cary through west Raleigh and N.C. State University into downtown Raleigh, as well as a route from Fuquay-Varina into Raleigh are scheduled to begin as the project focus shifts to I-40. Bus On Shoulder System (BOSS) is now active along I-40 from Raleigh to Exit 312 for N.C. 42. BOSS enables buses on designated routes to travel in the shoulder of the interstate as long as traffic in travel lanes is moving at speeds lower than 35 mph.                                                                                   
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10/13/2014: Application Deadline Extended for 2015 Bicycle Helmet Initiative

Application Deadline Extended for 2015 Bicycle Helmet Initiative

Posted 10/13/2014 4:08:45 PM

RALEIGH – The deadline for applications to participate in the 2015 Bicycle Helmet Initiative has been extended to Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. Designed to help local organizations supply helmets to children in need, the Bicycle Helmet Initiative is funded by the Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation within N.C. Department of Transportation, and is now in its eighth year. Countless studies have shown that wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of severe brain injuries by up to 88 percent. Sadly, fewer than 50 percent of children are likely to wear a helmet when riding, and the problem becomes more pronounced with lower-income populations. As such, the primary goal of the Bicycle Helmet Initiative is to reduce child bicycle fatalities and other serious injuries across the state. Each year, select applicants are awarded helmets for distribution to low income children participating in their programs. In order for the initiative to be as successful as possible, all sorts of organizations are invited to apply for the initiative, whether they are already holding bicycle safety programs, or simply want to get involved by developing a new bicycle safety program. For more information, please visit the Bicycle Helmet Initiative website. There you can find a fact sheet outlining the history of the program, learn more about how the initiative is funded and file an application on behalf of your organization.   ***NCDOT***
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10/13/2014: Time to Pay More Attention to Deer on the Roadways; 2013 Marked 4th-straight year of more than 20,000 animal-related crashes in N.C.

Time to Pay More Attention to Deer on the Roadways; 2013 Marked 4th-straight year of more than 20,000 animal-related crashes in N.C.

Posted 10/13/2014 10:06:32 AM

RALEIGH — The arrival of the fall season not only means dropping temperatures and leaves, but also an increase in the chances of a collision with a deer across North Carolina. Between 2011 and 2013, nearly half of the more than 61,000 animal-related crashes took place in October through December.  About 90 percent of those involved deer. A N.C. Department of Transportation study shows that in 2013, there were 20,308 animal-related crashes, a slight increase over the 2012 figure, but still well below the numbers reported in 2010 and 2011. Over the past three years, animal-related crashes claimed 18 lives, injured more than 3,400 drivers and passengers, and caused more than $149 million in damages. “Drivers need to be careful on the roads all the time, but even more so over the next few months,” said NCDOT Director of Mobility and Safety Kevin Lacy.  “Increased deer activity and decreasing daylight hours mean vigilance by motorists needs to increase for their own safety and the safety of others.” For the 11th year in a row, Wake County led all counties in the number of animal-related crashes with 1,135, a slight increase over 2012 figures. That is primarily due to the combination of decreasing amounts of wooded area in the county and the increasing number of drivers and road mile usage. Guilford County had more than 500 fewer animal-related crashes (620) and was the runner-up for a second year in a row.  Duplin and Pitt counties tied for third with 539 animal-related crashes, followed by Randolph (499) and Johnston (492) counties. Rounding out the top 10 were Columbus, Rockingham, Mecklenburg and Pender counties. Counties in the far western section of the state, where there are considerably fewer drivers and road mileage, once again reported the lowest number of crashes. Swain County had the fewest number of animal-related crashes with 5, falling just below Graham (9) and Jackson (11) counties. Deer are on the roadways more during the fall into winter months due to the hunting and mating seasons. They also travel more at dawn and as it grows dark in the evenings, with the largest number of crashes coming between 5 and 8 a.m., and 6 and 10 p.m. In addition to more deer moving about and crossing roads at those times, decreased driver visibility makes it more difficult to see animals on or near roadways. NCDOT offers the following suggestions for motorists to avoid being in a deer-vehicle crash: Slow down in posted deer crossing areas and heavily wooded areas, especially during the late afternoon and evening;Always wear your seat belt. Most people injured in deer-vehicle crashes were not wearing their seat belt;Statistics indicate most deer-vehicle crashes occur in areas where deer are more likely to travel through, such as near bridges or overpasses, railroad tracks, streams and ditches;Drive with high beams on when possible, and watch for eyes reflecting in the headlights;Remember that deer often travel in groups, so do not assume that if a deer crosses the road, there won’t be others following;Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer away;Increase the distance between your vehicle and other cars, especially at night. If the car ahead of you hits a deer, you may also become involved in the crash;Do not swerve to avoid a collision with deer. This could cause you to lose control of your vehicle, flipping it over, veering it into oncoming traffic or overcorrecting and running off the road, causing a more serious crash;Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences or reflectors to deter deer as these devices have not been proven to reduce deer-vehicle crashes; andIf your vehicle strikes a deer, do not touch the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself. The best procedure is to get your car off the road if possible, and call 911. ***NCDOT***
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10/10/2014: NCDMV to Offer ID Cards, Driver License Renewals and Duplicates at the North Carolina State Fair

NCDMV to Offer ID Cards, Driver License Renewals and Duplicates at the North Carolina State Fair

Posted 10/10/2014 11:30:03 AM

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles will join the family fun, excitement and entertainment at the 2014 North Carolina State Fair from Thursday, October 16 – Sunday, October 26. An NCDMV mobile unit will be open for business from 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. each day, providing information. The unit will be located adjacent to Dorton Arena, near the Hillsborough Street side of the fairgrounds. The Division will offer all customers the opportunity to renew their driver licenses, as long as a written or road test is not required. Driver services will be conducted from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Driver licenses are issued through age 65 for eight years and are priced at $4 per year. Drivers 65 and older are issued licenses for five years.  Duplicate driver licenses and ID cards for children and adults can be ordered at the mobile unit for $10 each. The unit will also provide state transportation maps, driver handbooks and brochures. NCDMV urges citizens to come prepared with the necessary documents to order ID cards. Citizens applying for an ID card for the first time will need to provide proof of their full name and date of birth. They will also need to provide a Social Security card and proof of residency in North Carolina. A full list of acceptable documents is available on the official NCDMV website.
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