News Releases

12/2/2016: This Week at NCDOT: Employees Recognized for Heroism

This Week at NCDOT: Employees Recognized for Heroism

Posted 12/2/2016 11:25:02 AM

RALEIGH — The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. The stories below are also featured in the department's weekly newscast N.C. Transportation Now. Hurricane Matthew Repairs and Western North Carolina Wildfires  At the height of the impact of Hurricane Matthew, about 600 roads were closed in central and eastern North Carolina. That number is now down to about 180. Most of the repairs that still need to be completed require replacing large pipes that must be specially ordered. There are a limited number of suppliers that make these pipes and they are in high demand right now. This means that some repairs may not be completed until the spring. In addition, temporary repairs may be made until the temperature warms up enough to pave in the spring. In the western part of the state, wildfires have burned more than 69,000 acres. Since wildfires create smoke that can quickly reduce visibility and make travel unsafe, transportation officials have worked closely with other responding agencies to monitor the impact on infrastructure and travel., U.S. 441, which is a National Park Service road, is the only major road in North Carolina closed due to the fires. NCDOT Employees Recognized for Heroism The N.C. Board of Transportation meeting this week, nine employees were recognized for their heroic efforts during the recent storms. William Audrey Creech, Marty Lee Jernigan and Stacy Allen Mizelle from Bertie County Maintenance rescued a woman whose vehicle was trapped in rising flood waters during Tropical Storm Julia. Kenneth Faircloth with Sampson County Maintenance was responding to a washed out road when he heard someone screaming for help. He yelled back at them and honked the horn to let them know he was there and getting help. He then called 911, and the Salemburg Fire Department arrived and rescued a woman and two children. Clifton Merritt, Roger Peeden and Luther Thompson from Wayne County Maintenance were involved in two separate rescues during Hurricane Matthew. First, on the afternoon of the storm, Merritt and Peeden rescued a woman whose car was stalled out in floodwaters. Later that night, Merritt and Thompson also rescued another woman whose car was stranded on the side of the road in knee-high water. In addition, Terry Haley and Wayne Steele with Wake County Maintenance called 911 to rescue a motorist who drove through a barrier into flood waters and was clinging to a tree. NCDOT Employee Receives National Award Also at the Board of Transportation meeting, Secretary Tennyson recognized Division One Roadside Environmental Engineer Pat Mansfield, who recently received the 2016 Turney Hernandez Roadside Excellence Award from the National Roadside Vegetation Management Association. This is the association’s highest honor—named for its founder—and is awarded to outstanding roadside vegetation management programs or individuals throughout the country. Division One covers 14 counties in northeastern North Carolina.   Rail Safety Reminder Transportation officials remind everyone not to park, walk or take photos on railroad tracks. It is illegal and unsafe.  ***NCDOT***
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12/2/2016: 1,961 Safety Belt Violations Cited Over Thanksgiving Holiday

1,961 Safety Belt Violations Cited Over Thanksgiving Holiday

Posted 12/2/2016 11:20:46 AM

RALEIGH – State and local law enforcement officers issued 1,961 seat belt and 340 child passenger violations during the Governor’s Highway Safety Program’s Thanksgiving Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign on Nov. 20–26.  “No one ever plans to be in a traffic crash, so the Click It or Ticket campaign is about saving lives and changing the way people think,” said Don Nail, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “The seat-belt enforcement efforts are about reminding people that failing to buckle-up is not worth risking a ticket, a traffic crash, or your life.” Over the holiday enforcement period, state and local law enforcement agencies held 2,786 checkpoints and stepped-up patrols, issuing 3,209 traffic and criminal violations.  The top five counties for occupant restraint violations were: • Wake County: 210 • Guilford County: 100 • Robeson County: 100 • Forsyth County: 99 • Lenoir County: 96 • Cabarrus County: 90 In its 23rd year, the Click It or Ticket education and enforcement campaign reminds motorists that wearing a seat belt is the single most effective action that a person can take to save their life. The campaign aims to increase driver seat belt usage rates and reduce fatalities across North Carolina and has yielded significant results over the years. Between 2010 and 2014, an average of 545 lives were saved per year due to the use of seat belts in passenger vehicles. The overall seat belt usage rate for North Carolina increased from 89.9 percent in 2015 to 91.7 percent in 2016.  The Governor’s Highway Safety Program believes that increased enforcement efforts from law enforcement and the expansion of public awareness campaigns will result in maintaining a high usage rate. For county by county totals and more information regarding the Click It or Ticket program, contact Jonathan Bandy at 919-618-1974, or visit the GHSP website.  ***NCDOT***
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12/2/2016: Get Informed on Drone Safety This Holiday Season

Get Informed on Drone Safety This Holiday Season

Posted 12/2/2016 9:05:02 AM

RALEIGH – This holiday season, don’t end up on the naughty list by ignoring guidelines for recreational drone use. Whether they’re called quadcopters, radio controlled planes, or any of the high tech brand names, drones are expected to be at the top of many wish lists, with some estimating as many as 1.2 million will be sold by the end of December, a 112 percent increase over last year. Because of this demand, it’s important to know some guidelines and safety tips. “UAS technology is thrilling, but it needs to be used responsibly,” said Division of Aviation Director Bobby Walston. “We want to help ensure the safety of people in the air and on the ground while allowing enjoyment of this activity.” All of these devices mentioned fall under the category of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). UAS technology is a fun and developing field, which can lead to confusion for both UAS owners and the general public. The N.C. Department of Transportation is providing tips to help UAS owners enjoy their new technology while protecting citizens’ safety and privacy. In efforts to educate citizens, the NCDOT Aviation Division will host a Facebook Live session at noon on Tuesday, Dec. 6. Please log on to the Aviation Division’s Facebook page to learn more about the guidelines for recreational use and ask questions. Many UAS owners who receive a drone during this holiday season will use them solely for recreational purposes. While these flights are not heavily regulated, the FAA and model aircraft enthusiast groups have established a number of guidelines which should be followed to ensure a fun and safe experience: Always fly below an altitude of 400 feet and fly within your direct line of sight. Do not fly within five miles of an airport, near stadiums or other public events, or for compensation. Do not fly UAS that weigh more than 55 pounds. Do not fly at night, even if your UAS is equipped with lights. Take lessons before flying. UAS operators, whether recreational, government or commercial, should keep in mind that North Carolina has laws governing drone use. UAS users are subject to all North Carolina laws, even if UAS technology is not specifically mentioned. Current and potential drone owners can find more information about state and federal UAS regulations on the Division of Aviation’s website. If giving someone a drone this holiday season, be sure to include this information sheet along with it so they can learn the guidelines and safely enjoy their gift.
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12/1/2016: NCDOT Launches Annual Customer Survey

NCDOT Launches Annual Customer Survey

Posted 12/1/2016 10:28:15 AM

RALEIGH –The N.C. Department of Transportation has opened the department’s second annual customer survey. All citizen feedback will be collected online. Citizens wishing to participate can visit go.ncsu.edu/customerservice2016. The survey takes 15 minutes to complete and the survey link is mobile friendly. The N.C. General Assembly requires the survey to gauge how the transportation department is providing great customer service. Participation can help NCDOT identify ways to make North Carolina transportation services safer, more efficient and customer focused. The online survey will close December 31. The results will be available to the public on NCDOT.gov in 2017. ***NCDOT***
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12/1/2016: Save Money on Holiday Travel with the NC Quick Pass Transponder Sale

Save Money on Holiday Travel with the NC Quick Pass Transponder Sale

Posted 12/1/2016 9:01:49 AM

RALEIGH – The holidays are here, which means travelers will be hitting the road to visit friends and family. To help you save time and money on your road trips this holiday season –  while also being great stocking stuffers – NC Quick Pass is dropping the price of its E-ZPass compatible transponders. Save 50 percent on your transponder purchase, paying just $10 with this winter promotion that runs Dec.1 through Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2017. The NC Quick Pass E-ZPass transponder provides drivers with discounted tolls when traveling locally on the Triangle Expressway, and can also be used on toll highways and bridges along the East Coast where the E-ZPass, Sun Pass, and Peach Pass are accepted.  The transponder works at over 50 participating toll facilities, located in the following 18 states: North Carolina; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Illinois; Indiana; Kentucky; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New York; Ohio; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; Virginia; and West Virginia. “We are excited to offer our customers the opportunity to save time and money before beginning their holiday travels with a 50 percent discount on the NC Quick Pass E-ZPass transponder,” says Turnpike Authority Executive Director Beau Memory. “You won’t need to worry about receiving bills in the mail or looking for change and stopping at toll plazas as your transponder account will ensure your tolls are paid seamlessly.” Once you set up your NC Quick Pass account and place the transponder on the inside of your windshield, you are ready to go. You can get more information on how to sign up for a NC Quick Pass E-ZPass transponder and maintain your account on the NC Quick Pass website by calling the customer service center at 1-877-7MY-PASS (1-877-769-7277), or by visiting the service center at 200 Sorrell Grove Church Road, Suite A, in Morrisville (off Airport Boulevard, Exit 284, south of I-40).
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