Raleigh - The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. Several of the below stories are also featured in our weekly newscast, N.C. Transportation Now, which can be viewed by clicking here.
NCDOT Creates One-Stop Shop for NC Drone Operators
As drones become more common in American households and businesses NCDOT is working to help promote safety on the air and on the ground by educating drone operators in our state.
Both the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the NCDOT Division of Aviation classify Drones, also called Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), flight operations by three categories: Recreational; Government; and Commercial. Starting January 2016, all government and commercial drone operators must obtain a permit from NCDOT's Division of Aviation. At the direction of the North Carolina General Assembly, NCDOT launched a permitting system for commercial and government drone operators in North Carolina to help owners better understand restrictions on the use of their technology through a simple and efficient online process. Current and potential drone owners can find more information about state and federal drone regulations on the Division of Aviation's website.
NCDOT Seeks New Partners for 2016 Watch for Me NC Campaign
NCDOT is now accepting applications from communities interested in participating in the 2016 Watch for Me NC program, a nationally recognized bicycle and pedestrian education, safety and enforcement program. Communities looking to help address local pedestrian and bicycle safety are encouraged to apply by the Feb. 23 deadline. Communities selected will receive free law enforcement training and technical assistance, as well as safety materials to support their local efforts such as bicycle lights, reflective arm bands and bumper stickers. Each community will also be eligible to receive advertising such as billboards, transit ads and public service announcements paid for by NCDOT. To learn more about the program or download an application, visit the Watch for Me NC website.
New DMV Mobile Office Hits the Road
On Thursday, Jan. 28, Columbus-area residents were the first in the state to experience North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicle's new mobile office. About 30 customers visited the mobile office, which carries two driver license examiner stations and mirrors the driver license services that are offered in brick-and-mortar offices. After leaving Columbus on Thursday, the mobile office made stops in Hayesville and Robbinsville this week before returning to Columbus. DMV plans to add three more mobile offices that will make 70 stops throughout the state.
The new mobile offices are part of Governor McCrory's Driving Change initiative at DMV to improve services and reduce wait times. To find the DMV office nearest you, including the mobile office schedule, visit DMV's website.
Fans Don't Let Fans Drink and Drive
Many North Carolinians will be cheering on our home team Carolina Panthers this Super Bowl Sunday. No matter which team you’re pulling for, make sure you get home safely.
If you plan to drink, leave your keys at home. Designate a sober driver, whether it’s a friend, relative, taxi, ride share, public transportation, or app your ride. If you plan to drive, refrain from drinking any alcohol. Instead, enjoy the game with food and non-alcoholic drinks. Being a sober, designated driver is a key role on Super Bowl Sunday. You might just save a life. If you’re hosting a party, designate a responsible driver before the game begins.
Remember: Fans don’t let fans drink and drive. You’re smarter than that.
For more information on N.C. Transportation 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.