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Posts Tagged ‘U.S. Department of Transportation’

Federal Safety Agency Won’t Force GM to Park Cars

Foxx tells Senators action isn’t necessary.

by on May.08, 2014

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx told two U.S. Senators that his department would not force GM to issue a park-it-now order for 2.6 million recalled vehicles.

Despite the persistent efforts of two U.S. Senators, the federal government will not force General Motors to issue a “park-it-now” order for the 2.6 million small cars subject to recall for faulty ignition switches.

“Such an action is not necessary at this time,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in letters to Senators Edward Markey (D., Mass.) and Richard Blumenthal (D., Conn.). The two had asked last month for that warning.

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It marked the second time in two months that GM has dodged an order to park the vehicles immediately. A federal judge in Texas denied a request in April for an emergency order that GM tell owners to quit driving the cars, saying that only the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) had the power to issue such a mandate. (more…)

USDOT to Host Driver Clinics for Connected Vehicles

Experts say Intellidrive could save lives, fuel.

by on May.18, 2011

The next big safety breakthrough could come from having vehicles talk to each other - a concept called IntelliDrive.

The U.S. Department of Transportation will host six clinics across the country to introduce drivers to vehicle-to-vehicle communications aimed at reducing traffic accidents and saving lives.

The first clinic will be at Michigan International Speedway in August. MIS has been the site of testing by companies that are developing the technology.

The remaining clinics will be held in Minneapolis, Orlando, FL, Blacksburg, VA, Dallas and San Francisco.

Researchers are developing systems that would allow cars to connect with other vehicles as well as infrastructure to reduce accidents as well as improve efficiency. In fact, some experts say that accident-free roads are possible.

Click here to read a story about the debate over connected vehicles.


Fight Looms Over Our Dysfunctional Transportation Policy. Kicking the Problem “Down the Road”

After decades of neglect, a huge bill is due as the deficit soars.

by on Jul.07, 2009

DOT Project in Wyoming

A budget-busting bill of $500,000,000,000 alters Federal funding of transportation, increasing it 40%.

Minnesota Democrat James Oberstar has introduced a bill that calls for sweeping changes in U.S. transportation policy, as well as how taxes and fees are assessed to keep the now bankrupt Highway Trust Fund solvent. It’s a half a trillion dollar program.

He also wants to restore rail freight service, institute high-speed train travel between major cities, and increase funding for mass transit by establishing higher fees on highway users.

His “Surface Transportation Authorization Act Of 2009″ introduced late last month in the House of Representatives claims to be a “blueprint for investment and reform,” and directly challenges the Obama Administration. It has cleared a sub-committee, and markups are proceeding. [See Oberstar here]

Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood wants to defer the larger discussion of transportation policy that is being prompted by the impending bankruptcy of the Highway Trust Fund. It runs out of money this month.  And the current transportation bill expires this October 1, when the new fiscal year begins. The new bill has good bipartisan support in the House.


LaHood is kicking the core issue down the road.

LaHood proposes maintaining the status quo for 18 months by injecting, oh, $10 to $20 billions of dollars into the existing system to keep the money flowing to the states, which then can divert up to 50% of the money for other purposes. Oberstar wants accountability and coherence to the unsupervised spending. LaHood ducks this core issue by saying he thinks that it will take 18 months for Congress to “think creatively as we search for sustainable funding mechanisms.”

Translation: your taxes are going up

Gas Tax Free!

Gas Tax Free!

The Obama Administration doesn’t want to deal with this right now, although it’s tough for me to foresee just when increased taxes will become more popular. And what about Obama’s claim that it is time to stop kicking tough problems “down the road” — I guess that doesn’t apply to our actual roads. 


U.S. DOT Proposes New Tire Fuel Efficiency Ratings

This is one of many changes required under The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007.

by on Jun.19, 2009

The U.S. Department of Transportation has proposed a new, “consumer-friendly replacement tire label,” which would include for the first time information about the tire’s impact on fuel economy and CO2 emissions. Tires with lower rolling resistance (and proper inflation pressures) can contribute to better fuel economy.

This technical advantage has been consistently opposed by auto maker designers who continue to insist on larger, heavier tires with lower aspect ratios, which increase a tire’s rolling resistance.

“Today’s proposal takes the guess work out of buying the best tires for your vehicle,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “Our proposal would let consumers look at a single label and compare a tire’s overall performance as it relates to fuel economy, safety and durability.”

NHTSA Proposed Tire Rating Label

NHTSA already offers tire safety information on the web.

NHTSA said that it is hoped that the proposed rule will have benefits in terms of fuel economy, safety, and durability. “At the very least, the proposed rule should enable consumers to make more informed decisions about these variables.”

In addition to the new fuel efficiency ratings, the proposal by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also would provide consumers with two other vital tire performance indicators, wet weather traction and tread wear. All three ratings would be prominently displayed on a removable label attached to the replacement tire at the point of sale. (more…)