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11/18/2014: NC Ferry Crew Receives Governor's Award For Excellence In Safety And Heroism

NC Ferry Crew Receives Governor's Award For Excellence In Safety And Heroism

Posted 11/18/2014 1:33:06 PM

(RALEIGH) - A North Carolina ferry crew was honored on Tuesday, Nov. 18, with the Governor's Award for Excellence in Safety and Heroism for the September 2013 rescue of two people in rough seas off of Ocracoke Island. The crew received the award in an afternoon ceremony at the North Carolina Museum of History in Raleigh. The rescue occurred on the evening of September 26, 2013 when John and Renee Hoffman of Black Mountain, NC were sailing in the waters of Big Foot Slough. Suddenly, deteriorating weather conditions caused their sailboat to capsize. "It all happened so fast", said John Hoffman. "The boat flipped and we were thrown into the water." Fortunately, the M/V Cedar Island was nearby, having just departed Ocracoke on its 8 p.m. run across Pamlico Sound. Captain Steven Goodwin maneuvered the Cedar Island into position and launched the ferry's 16-foot rescue boat, which crew members Glenn Salter and Daniel Smith piloted through 4-5 foot seas and 30 knot winds in the dark. Salter and Smith were able to pull the Hoffmans out of the water, and the rest of the crew brought them all back onto the ferry, where passengers already onboard the Cedar Island erupted into cheers. "We could not be more proud of this ferry crew," said North Carolina Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. "Our crews are well trained to respond to emergency situations on the open water, and in this case that training and this crew's bravery saved two lives. These people deserve every bit of recognition they're getting today." Receiving the award are: Captain Steven Goodwin; Chief Engineer Gerry Gilliken; Oiler David Paul Styron; Crew Members Glenn Salter, Daniel Smith, and Randy Willis; and Mate Paul Morris.***NCDOT***
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[The crew of the M/V Cedar Island: From left to right: Ferry Crew Member Glenn Salter, Ferry Crew Member Daniel Smith, Oiler David Paul Styron, Ferry Crew Member Randy Willis, Captain Steven Goodwin, Chief Engineer Gerry Gilliken, Mate Paul Morris.] 
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11/12/2014: Nearly 600 Drunk Drivers Arrested in North Carolina During Halloween “Booze It & Lose It” Campaign

Nearly 600 Drunk Drivers Arrested in North Carolina During Halloween “Booze It & Lose It” Campaign

Posted 11/12/2014 3:35:42 PM

RALEIGH – During this year’s Halloween “Booze It & Lose It” campaign, law enforcement officers from across the state arrested 583 drunk drivers before they could create real life nightmares on North Carolina’s roadways.  “The safety and security of our citizens is a top priority of our administration and North Carolina’s law enforcement,” said Governor Pat McCrory. “North Carolina’s ‘Booze It & Lose It’ Campaign is saving lives in our state and I’m proud of their efforts on Halloween, and every day of the year.” The top five counties for DWI arrests during the Halloween “Booze It & Lose It” campaign include: •    Wake County with 69 DWI arrests; •    Mecklenburg County with 61 DWI arrests; •    Forsyth County with 33 DWI arrests; •    Guilford County with 27 DWI arrests; and •    Brunswick County with 21 DWI arrests. Nearly 400 law enforcement agencies participated in the Halloween “Booze It & Lose It” campaign, which ran from Oct. 31 to Nov. 2. Officers issued 16,854 traffic and criminal citations at 1,701 checking stations and saturation patrols across the state. To complement the increased enforcement efforts, the N.C. Department of Transportation and Governor’s Highway Safety Program expanded their use of Twitter and Facebook to remind drivers to designate a sober driver. In particular, they used social media to target males 18-34 years old, which research shows are more likely to drink and drive. For more information regarding “Booze It & Lose It” activities and county totals, contact Heather Jeffreys at (919) 707-2665 or visit the GHSP website. ***NCDOT***
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11/12/2014: North Carolina’s Quick Pass and Georgia’s Peach Pass Now Interchangeable

North Carolina’s Quick Pass and Georgia’s Peach Pass Now Interchangeable

Posted 11/12/2014 1:12:00 PM

RALEIGH –Drivers who have a North Carolina Quick Pass transponder for their vehicles can use their device to pay for traveling on the I-85 Express Lanes near Atlanta, as well as any future toll roads that accept the Georgia Peach Pass transponder. That is a result of an interoperability agreement reached between North Carolina, Georgia and Florida, which allows owners of toll transponders in each of those states to use them when traveling in the other two. N.C. Quick Pass has had such an agreement with Florida and its SunPass system since July 2013. This is North Carolina’s third such transponder partnership, giving the state’s Quick Pass customers the largest coverage area of interoperability in the nation. A similar arrangement exists between Quick Pass and EZ Pass, which operates in15 states in the east, northeast and Midwest sections of the country. “This is another example of strong collaboration across several states to improve travel and enhance customer service,” said N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata. "Expanding the reach of Quick Pass will give our customers access to key highways in the southeast, improving their travel experience in those states." The I-85 Express Lanes cover a 16-mile stretch of I-85 northeast of Atlanta, featuring variable toll rates, dependent on the traffic congestion. The result is faster travel times in exchange for the toll, even during times of heavy congestion on the general purpose lanes. Peach Pass customers will now be able to use the Triangle Expressway outside of Raleigh and any future toll roads in North Carolina, with the payment directly billed to their Peach Pass account. This convenience is already in place when SunPass customers use the Triangle Expressway. In Florida, the interoperability agreement allows Quick Pass transponders to be used in the SunPass-only lanes for more 700 miles of toll highways and bridges, including in Miami, Tampa, Orlando, St. Petersburg and Fort Myers. For N.C. Quick Pass information, including payment and purchase options, call 1-877-7MY-PASS (1-877-769-7277) or visit the N.C. Quick Pass website.  For more information on Florida’s SunPass and  Georgia’s Peach Pass, go to the respective websites at www.SunPass.com and www.PeachPass.com.*** NCDOT ***
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11/7/2014: Two Haywood County IMAP Drivers Receive NCDOT's 'Extra Mile' Award

Two Haywood County IMAP Drivers Receive NCDOT's 'Extra Mile' Award

Posted 11/7/2014 1:36:52 PM

SHELBY — Two Haywood County Incident Management Patrols (IMAP) drivers were honored for their quick thinking and life-saving efforts when responding to a medical emergency in August.On Thursday, N.C. Department of Transportation Secretary Tony Tata presented the “Extra Mile” Award to Trey Silver and Cody Hyatt during the State Board of Transportation meeting in Raleigh.In early August, Silver and Hyatt were at the NCDOT Maintenance Facility on Paragon Parkway in Haywood County. They were preparing to return to their patrols when Haywood County's Emergency Operations Center received a call for a reported cardiac arrest in the apartments nearby. Silver and Hyatt have experience and training in medical emergencies from previous work with fire departments. They arrived on the scene of the reported cardiac arrest, found the patient and performed CPR until emergency responders arrived. “While our IMAP drivers often go above and beyond as part of their daily responsibilities, on Wednesday, August 6, Trey and Cody truly took this commitment to the next level,” Tata said.The “Extra Mile” Award is reserved for those who go “above and beyond their daily responsibilities” as NCDOT employees. Silver and Hyatt were applauded by the Secretary for their “outstanding actions” on Aug. 6 and received a standing ovation from the Board of Transportation and everyone in attendance. IMAP drivers, like Silver and Hyatt, are trained NCDOT personnel who assist stranded motorists, clear the roadway and provide temporary traffic control, when needed. They help keep the state's roadways flowing smoothly. ***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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