Raleigh - The following are highlights from this week at the N. C. Department of Transportation. The stories below are also featured in NCDOT Now, the Department's weekly newscast.
School Bus Safety
Governor Roy Cooper signed into law Senate Bill 55 in July to help protect students from unsafe drivers and give parents and teachers added peace of mind when sending children to the school bus.
SB 55 follows several instances of students being injured or killed by unsafe drivers while waiting for, or getting on or off, a school bus. Now, North Carolina school systems will be able to use the same technology that catches drivers who run red lights to catch violators who pass stopped school buses.
Cameras are being installed on buses to capture photos and video of drivers who illegally pass stopped school buses. Violators will be issued tickets and ordered to pay a fine of at least $400. Law enforcement officers can also use the videos to bring criminal charges when warranted.
To learn more about school bus safety in North Carolina, visit ncbussafety.org
Booze It & Lose It
The end of summer also means the start of the Governor's Highway Safety Program's annual Labor Day Booze It & Lose It campaign.
In its 23rd year, Booze It & Lose It complements NC Vision Zero initiative, which aims to save lives on North Carolina roadways. The goal is to reach zero traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries through coordinated agency-to-agency efforts that help reduce risky driving behaviors.
"The main thing we're interested in doing is reducing the instances of drunk driving. We want to keep people alive," said Mark Ezzell, Director of the Governor's Highway Safety Program. "Our vision is Vision Zero, making sure there are zero deaths in North Carolina related to transportation, and Booze It and Lose It is an important component of that."
GHSP urges everyone to make a plan to get home safely if they plan to drink. Visit BeSmarterThanThat.com, an innovative site that provides users a way to download ride apps, designate a sober driver, call a cab, or find public transit options.
For more information about NCDOT Now, contact the NCDOT Communications Office at (919) 707-2660. Additional news stories from throughout the week can be found on NCDOT.gov