Raleigh - The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. The stories below and others are also featured in the department's weekly newscast N.C. Transportation Now.
Don't Let Your Drone Land You on the Naughty List
The Division of Aviation wants to make sure you do not end up on Santa's naughty list this year by ignoring guidelines for recreational drone use. Also called quadcopters, radio controlled planes and other high-tech names, these devices all fall under the category of Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), and are expected to be popular gifts again this year.
The Aviation Division hosted a Facebook Live session on Tuesday, Dec. 6, to help educate citizens about safety and privacy laws and guidelines regarding recreational use of drones, as well as to answer questions. State and federal UAS regulations can be found on the division's website. If you are giving a drone as a gift, be sure to include the informational gift tag that is also available on the webpage.
Annual "Tree of Life" Lit in Memory of Traffic-Related Crash Victims
The annual "Tree of Life" was lit on Dec. 2, in memory of the 1,387 people who died in traffic-related crashes in 2015. The Governor's Highway Safety Program, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and law enforcement agencies from across the state joined families and friends of the victims on the grounds of the State Capitol to light the tree. The ceremony was followed by a candlelight vigil in memory of those who died as the result of a drunk driver.
The tree is illuminated with 431 red lights memorializing the victims of alcohol-related crashes, 955 white lights commemorating the lives lost in all other vehicle crashes, and one blue light recognizing the law enforcement officer who lost his life in a traffic crash.
To reinforce this important message and protect everyone on our roadways, law enforcement officers across the state participate in safety campaigns such as Click It or Ticket and Booze It and Lose It.
During the Governor's Highway Safety Program's Thanksgiving Click It or Ticket enforcement campaign, which ran Nov. 20 -26, state and local law enforcement officers issued 1,961 seat belt and 340 child passenger violations. This year's Holiday Booze It and Lose It campaign will run Dec. 9 -Jan. 1, 2017.
Give Us Your Feedback Through NCDOT's Annual Customer Survey
The department has opened its second annual customer survey. The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete and is available online at this website: go.ncsu.edu/customerservice2016. The survey closes on Dec. 31.