News Releases

5/3/2016: Governor McCrory Proclaims May As Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Governor McCrory Proclaims May As Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Posted 5/3/2016 11:30:40 AM

Raleigh – Governor Pat McCrory has proclaimed May as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month to encourage drivers to share the road with those riding motorcycles and to remind motorcyclists to practice safe riding.  The N.C. Department of Transportation (NCDOT), N.C. Governor’s Highway Safety Program (GHSP) will promote awareness of motorcyclists during May to help prevent motorcycle crashes, deaths and injuries on North Carolina roadways. Motorcycle related injuries decreased in North Carolina with 3,618 in 2014 and 3,359 in 2015.  Crashes involving motorcyclists also decreased from 3,783 in 2014 to 3,641 in 2015.  However, motorcycle fatalities have increased 14.2 percent from 2014 (148) to 2015 (169). As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, more people are on the roads, including more than 469,000 drivers licensed in North Carolina with a motorcycle endorsement.  “We want motorists to understand motorcycle safety challenges such as size and visibility, and riding practices like downshifting and weaving to be able to anticipate and respond to motorcyclist behavior,” said Don Nail, director of the GHSP. Our message is for all drivers and riders: Share the responsibility of keeping our roads safe—always share the road.” The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that 1,630 lives were saved in 2014 because of proper helmet usage, but another 715 lives could have been saved if helmets had been worn. A motorcycle rider not wearing a helmet is five times more likely to sustain a critical head injury than a helmeted rider.  North Carolina’s law requires all motorcyclists to wear a Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 218 helmet.  The GHSP BikeSafe North Carolina program invites motorcyclists to participate in a free “Rider Skills Day” class that offer an assessment of current driving skills and advice to help make their experience as a motorcyclist safer and more enjoyable. For more information, including a full schedule of classes, visit the BikeSafe North Carolina website. The NCDOT and GHSP offers the following important safety tips to motorcyclists and other drivers: Motorcyclists: Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn Wear brightly colored clothes, gear, and reflective tape to increase visibility Obey the posted speed limit Never ride distracted or impaired Other drivers: Share the road. Motorcyclists have the right to a full lane Stay alert. Be aware that motorcycles can be easily hidden in a car's blind spot; take an extra moment to thoroughly check traffic when changing lanes, especially at intersections Always signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic Keep a safe distance. Allow more following distance – three to four seconds – behind motorcycles Be cautious. Be aware that not all turn signals on a motorcycle are self-canceling, thus some riders sometimes forget to turn them off after a turn or lane change Obey the posted speed limit Never drive distracted or impaired View the proclamation here. ***NCDOT***
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5/2/2016: N.C. Ferry System Begins Summer Schedule Switch May 3

N.C. Ferry System Begins Summer Schedule Switch May 3

Posted 5/2/2016 8:57:24 AM

Manns Harbor - As seasonal visitors begin their summer treks to the North Carolina coast, the North Carolina Ferry System is switching to peak season schedules on its popular Hatteras-Ocracoke route Tuesday, May 3. The number of daily trips on the route will double from 18 departures from each side to 36. The summer schedule will run through October 10. In addition, the Ferry Division is once again encouraging travelers to make their trips to Ocracoke Island earlier in the day to avoid peak travel times that can sometimes lead to long wait times. “Our statistics show that people who arrive at Hatteras before 9 a.m. can usually avoid long lines,” said Ferry Division Communications Officer Tim Hass, “and if they travel between Friday and Monday have an even better chance of getting onto a ferry quickly.” Three weeks later, the Ferry Division will also increase Ocracoke access via its Pamlico Sound routes, with five daily round trips from Cedar Island and four from Swan Quarter beginning May 24. Those summer schedules will last through September 26. “We look forward to serving thousands of residents and visitors this summer on all our routes,” said Ferry Division director Ed Goodwin. “There’s no better place to spend time in the summer than the North Carolina coast, and the Ferry System is very proud to be a part of that experience.” Schedules for all seven of the North Carolina Ferry System’s routes can be found at: http://www.ncdot.gov/download/transit/ferry/ferryschedule.pdf   ***NCDOT***
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4/29/2016: This Week at N.C. Transportation: Motorcycle Safety Awareness and National Bike Month

This Week at N.C. Transportation: Motorcycle Safety Awareness and National Bike Month

Posted 4/29/2016 1:29:17 PM

Moped owners reminded of new insurance requirement; Governor Pat McCrory Helps Christen New Dredge for Ferry Division; and the Ferry Division is increasing departures for popular summer routes RALEIGH — The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. The below stories are also featured in our weekly newscast, N.C. Transportation Now, which can be viewed by clicking here. Safety Awareness Warmer weather and longer daylight hours, unfortunately, mean an increased risk for crashes involving pedestrians, bicyclists or motorcyclists. May is designated as Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month and National Bike Month to remind all road users that we share the responsibility to make sure North Carolina roads are safe for everyone. For motorists, this means being extra watchful for others on the road, driving at a slower speed, avoiding distraction, and being prepared to yield to pedestrians in crosswalks. Also remember to share the road; motorcyclists and bicyclists have the right to a full lane. They also can be easily hidden in a car's blind spot, so take an extra moment to thoroughly check traffic when changing lanes. Bicyclists, motorcyclists and pedestrians also share in the responsibility and should make themselves visible at all times and follow all traffic rules and signals. More safety tips regarding bicyclists and pedestrians can be found here. NCDMV Reminding Moped Owners of Insurance Requirement The N.C. Division of Motor Vehicles is reaching out to registered moped owners to remind them that beginning July 1, they are required to carry liability insurance. Owners must provide proof of insurance to their local license plate agency or risk having their license plate revoked. Governor Pat McCrory Helps Christen New Dredge for Ferry Division Governor Pat McCrory and Secretary Nick Tennyson were joined by other state and local leaders this week at the Ferry Division’s shipyard in Manns Harbor to christen a new dredge. The Dredge Manteo features state-of-the-art technology, including sensors to measure the amount of material dredged, and software to map the dredge location and area to be dredged, as well as being able to dredge to a depth of 30 feet. Keeping our state-maintained waterways navigable is essential for our economy as well as safety, and is part of Governor McCrory’s 25-Year Vision for transportation. Ferry Division Increasing Departures for Popular Summer Routes   The Ferry Division is gearing up for the busy summer travel season. To better accommodate riders on the popular Hatteras-Ocracoke ferry route, the division will be providing 36 daily departures from each side beginning Tuesday, May 3. That’s double the number of off-season departures. Lines are shortest before 9 a.m., so arrive early to avoid delays. Beginning Tuesday, May 24, the two other routes serving Ocracoke Island — Swan Quarter and Cedar Island — will also increase their departures. Swan Quarter goes from three to five departures and Cedar Island goes from three to four departures. Reservations are recommended for these longer routes to ensure your desired departure time. Up-to-date schedules for each of our ferry routes are available online.   ***NCDOT***
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4/15/2016: Two Wake Schools Win Annual Model Bridge Building Contest

Two Wake Schools Win Annual Model Bridge Building Contest

Posted 4/15/2016 3:15:21 PM

Raleigh – Students from Thales Academy Middle School in Rolesville and Franklin Academy High School in Wake Forest took top honors today in the annual Model Bridge Building Competition sponsored by N.C. Department of Transportation and the Carolinas Associated General Contractors. (View photos from the competition.) The two groups have hosted the event annually since 2000 to encourage students to develop math and science skills. Students work in teams, allowing them to also demonstrate critical thinking, problem solving, communication and research skills. The teams were judged in four categories: written report, oral presentation, design drawing and model efficiency. Pamela Koloustroubis, adviser to the Franklin team, said her team includes students who are planning to study engineering, many of them at North Carolina State University and one at West Point. Keith Church, adviser to the Thales team agreed, saying that many of his students are inspired to study engineering. The other winners in the competition were: Second place: Middle School: Clarkton School of Discovery, Clarkton High School: Polk County Early College High School, Columbus Third place: Middle School: Polk County Middle School, Mill Spring High School: North Moore High School, Robbins Fourth place: Middle School: West Pine Middle School, West End High School: Wilson Christian Academy, Wilson The teams coming in first place received $500 checks for their schools, second place teams received $400, third place $300 and fourth place $200. ***NCDOT***
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Franklin Academy High School
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Thales Academy Middle School
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4/12/2016: Adopt-A-Highway Volunteers and NCDOT Promote Litter Sweep

Adopt-A-Highway Volunteers and NCDOT Promote Litter Sweep

Posted 4/12/2016 1:29:53 PM

Campaign runs April 16-30 RALEIGH — Hundreds of volunteers from across North Carolina are gearing up for some spring cleaning – outdoors. The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Adopt-A-Highway program kicks off its Spring Litter Sweep on April 16. Volunteers from local businesses, schools, non-profits and community groups work with NCDOT to help keep North Carolina’s roadways clean throughout the year. Adopt-A-Highway groups are encouraged to participate in the biannual litter sweeps, which take place in the spring and fall and help increase cleanup and motivate the community to be good stewards of the environment. The Adopt-A-Highway Program was established in 1988 to decrease the amount of litter on the state’s roadsides and improve environmental beauty and quality. Roadsides are available for adoption in all 100 North Carolina counties. Adopt-A-Highway groups commit to cleaning their designated roadways at least four times a year. NCDOT provides all groups with safety vests, gloves and bags. “We are proud of our volunteers,” says Don Lee, state roadside environmental engineer. “We appreciate their work in helping us keep North Carolina clean, green and beautiful.” Visit the Adopt-A-Highway website for more information or to apply. Questions regarding the program or applications can be directed to Mike Causey at 919-707-2956 or Kim Wheeless 919-707-2974. ***NCDOT***
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