News Releases

10/31/2014: Halloween “Booze It & Lose It” Campaign Kicks Off

Halloween “Booze It & Lose It” Campaign Kicks Off

Posted 10/31/2014 9:29:35 AM

RALEIGH – Halloween festivities usually involve spooky tricks and sweet treats, but the scariest situations of all can often be found on North Carolina’s highways. Drunk drivers make a terrifying decision when they get behind the wheel and risk creating real-life nightmares for themselves and others. The N.C. Department of Transportation and the Governor’s Highway Safety Program remind drivers this Halloween that if you drink and drive, you could pay deadly consequences. “Nothing is scarier on Halloween than a drunk driver,” said GHSP Director Don Nail. “Those who decide to drive after drinking should know that they can’t hide behind a mask. Law enforcement officers are stepping up their patrols across the state and will catch anyone who doesn’t drive sober.” NCDOT and GHSP recommend following these simple tips for a safe Halloween:  • Before the Halloween festivities begin, plan a way to safely get home at the end of the night. • Always designate a sober driver; even one drink is too many to get behind the wheel. • If you are drunk, take a taxi, call a sober friend or family member, or use public transportation. • Walking impaired can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Designate a sober friend to walk you home. • If you see a drunk driver on the road, contact local law enforcement. • If you know someone who is about to drive or ride impaired, take their keys and help them make safe travel arrangements to where they are going. So far this year, there have been approximately 230 alcohol-related crashes, resulting in 242 fatalities in North Carolina. Law enforcement officers across the state are working day and night to ensure that number does not rise during Halloween and throughout remainder of the year. The Halloween “Booze It & Lose It” campaign runs from today, Oct. 31, through Sunday, Nov. 2.  ***NCDOT***
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10/27/2014: NCDOT Invites You To Participate In The 485 "Madd Dash"

NCDOT Invites You To Participate In The 485 "Madd Dash"

Posted 10/27/2014 5:16:08 PM

Bring the family out for a 5K, 10K, Fun Bike Ride to benefit Mothers Against Drunk Driving   CHARLOTTE – In July 1988, the N.C. Department of Transportation started building the I-485 Outer Loop around Charlotte. By spring of 2015, the final segment of this 67-mile highway will be complete, closing the loop around North Carolina’s largest city.   Although the Loop remains under construction into next year, NCDOT is committed to its partnership with the State Employees Combined Campaign in hosting the “485 Madd Dash” at 1 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2.  More than 600 runners to date are registered to take part in this event to benefit Mothers Against Drunk Driving (Madd).   Participants can choose from a 5k, 10k or Fun Run on the final segment of I-485 before it opens to traffic. Bike riders can also pay $5 the day of the event to ride along the new roadway. 10k runners will be able to traverse the new turbine interchange at I-485 and I-85, a new connection to the final section of The Loop.   Online registration for $35 will continue through midnight Wednesday, Oct. 29. Walkups to the event can participate for $40.  The Fun Bike Ride will be held after the race for $5 (no prior registration is required). This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to run, walk or bike on I-485 before you can drive on it!   NCDOT this week will continue to post updates on Facebook and Twitter leading up to Sunday’s event.  
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10/13/2014: Application Deadline Extended for 2015 Bicycle Helmet Initiative

Application Deadline Extended for 2015 Bicycle Helmet Initiative

Posted 10/13/2014 4:08:45 PM

RALEIGH – The deadline for applications to participate in the 2015 Bicycle Helmet Initiative has been extended to Oct. 31 at 5 p.m. Designed to help local organizations supply helmets to children in need, the Bicycle Helmet Initiative is funded by the Division of Bicycle and Pedestrian Transportation within N.C. Department of Transportation, and is now in its eighth year. Countless studies have shown that wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of severe brain injuries by up to 88 percent. Sadly, fewer than 50 percent of children are likely to wear a helmet when riding, and the problem becomes more pronounced with lower-income populations. As such, the primary goal of the Bicycle Helmet Initiative is to reduce child bicycle fatalities and other serious injuries across the state. Each year, select applicants are awarded helmets for distribution to low income children participating in their programs. In order for the initiative to be as successful as possible, all sorts of organizations are invited to apply for the initiative, whether they are already holding bicycle safety programs, or simply want to get involved by developing a new bicycle safety program. For more information, please visit the Bicycle Helmet Initiative website. There you can find a fact sheet outlining the history of the program, learn more about how the initiative is funded and file an application on behalf of your organization.   ***NCDOT***
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10/13/2014: Time to Pay More Attention to Deer on the Roadways; 2013 Marked 4th-straight year of more than 20,000 animal-related crashes in N.C.

Time to Pay More Attention to Deer on the Roadways; 2013 Marked 4th-straight year of more than 20,000 animal-related crashes in N.C.

Posted 10/13/2014 10:06:32 AM

RALEIGH — The arrival of the fall season not only means dropping temperatures and leaves, but also an increase in the chances of a collision with a deer across North Carolina. Between 2011 and 2013, nearly half of the more than 61,000 animal-related crashes took place in October through December.  About 90 percent of those involved deer. A N.C. Department of Transportation study shows that in 2013, there were 20,308 animal-related crashes, a slight increase over the 2012 figure, but still well below the numbers reported in 2010 and 2011. Over the past three years, animal-related crashes claimed 18 lives, injured more than 3,400 drivers and passengers, and caused more than $149 million in damages. “Drivers need to be careful on the roads all the time, but even more so over the next few months,” said NCDOT Director of Mobility and Safety Kevin Lacy.  “Increased deer activity and decreasing daylight hours mean vigilance by motorists needs to increase for their own safety and the safety of others.” For the 11th year in a row, Wake County led all counties in the number of animal-related crashes with 1,135, a slight increase over 2012 figures. That is primarily due to the combination of decreasing amounts of wooded area in the county and the increasing number of drivers and road mile usage. Guilford County had more than 500 fewer animal-related crashes (620) and was the runner-up for a second year in a row.  Duplin and Pitt counties tied for third with 539 animal-related crashes, followed by Randolph (499) and Johnston (492) counties. Rounding out the top 10 were Columbus, Rockingham, Mecklenburg and Pender counties. Counties in the far western section of the state, where there are considerably fewer drivers and road mileage, once again reported the lowest number of crashes. Swain County had the fewest number of animal-related crashes with 5, falling just below Graham (9) and Jackson (11) counties. Deer are on the roadways more during the fall into winter months due to the hunting and mating seasons. They also travel more at dawn and as it grows dark in the evenings, with the largest number of crashes coming between 5 and 8 a.m., and 6 and 10 p.m. In addition to more deer moving about and crossing roads at those times, decreased driver visibility makes it more difficult to see animals on or near roadways. NCDOT offers the following suggestions for motorists to avoid being in a deer-vehicle crash: Slow down in posted deer crossing areas and heavily wooded areas, especially during the late afternoon and evening;Always wear your seat belt. Most people injured in deer-vehicle crashes were not wearing their seat belt;Statistics indicate most deer-vehicle crashes occur in areas where deer are more likely to travel through, such as near bridges or overpasses, railroad tracks, streams and ditches;Drive with high beams on when possible, and watch for eyes reflecting in the headlights;Remember that deer often travel in groups, so do not assume that if a deer crosses the road, there won’t be others following;Slow down and blow your horn with one long blast to frighten the deer away;Increase the distance between your vehicle and other cars, especially at night. If the car ahead of you hits a deer, you may also become involved in the crash;Do not swerve to avoid a collision with deer. This could cause you to lose control of your vehicle, flipping it over, veering it into oncoming traffic or overcorrecting and running off the road, causing a more serious crash;Do not rely on devices such as deer whistles, deer fences or reflectors to deter deer as these devices have not been proven to reduce deer-vehicle crashes; andIf your vehicle strikes a deer, do not touch the animal. A frightened and wounded deer can hurt you or further injure itself. The best procedure is to get your car off the road if possible, and call 911. ***NCDOT***
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10/8/2014: The Sky is the Limit for NC Students Considering NCDOT Careers

The Sky is the Limit for NC Students Considering NCDOT Careers

Posted 10/8/2014 3:09:42 PM

Raleigh-- The North Carolina Department of Transportation's Office of Education Initiatives kicked off a new program for high school students called the NCDOT Career Exploration Program. The Career Exploration Program is a job shadowing opportunity for students to gain insight into the transportation industry and learn about career paths within NCDOT.   Students spend time with NCDOT staff and learn about various workforce demands within the state through worksite visits. Students interact with staff in fields including Construction, Aviation, Rail, Bike and Pedestrian, Communications and much more! The Career Exploration Program is offered to high school students interested in science, technology, engineering and math fields as it relates to the transportation industry. Students who choose to participate in the NCDOT Career Exploration Program gain valuable insights including the following:  1.  Gain sufficient knowledge and understanding of the NC Department of Transportation and     various career paths within the department.  2.  Experience the day to day operations and functions of specific NCDOT division offices.  3.  Develop a vision and goal for a future career within the transportation industry. The NCDOT Career Exploration Program began this September with Independence High School in Charlotte, NC and Wake NCSU STEM Early College High School in Raleigh, NC. For more information on the Career Exploration Program, please contact Ashley Goolsby, Director of Education Initiatives at angoolsby@ncdot.gov.                                                                               
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