New Safety Plan Unveiled by the DOT

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Innovating and assessing current technologies and supporting systems will be a priority in the latest safety initiative unveiled by the Department of Transportation.

The plan will begin in 2023 and prove useful until they revisit and reassess in 2026. DOT officials put this in place to bring attention to safety strategies associated with human factors, cybersecurity, and data-driven systems for road users such as long-haul truck drivers. DOT’s aim is to eradicate serious injuries and fatalities throughout the nation’s transportation system.

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The DOT plan proposed an action that would develop new methods and tools for safety data collection, management, analysis, and evaluation. It will also evaluate the safety performance of infrastructure design development and promote the use of effective safety countermeasures.

On the topic of technology itself, DOT officials are set to leverage innovative technologies to monitor, predict and plan ways to reduce injuries and fatalities among the transportation workforce and the traveling public. This will contribute to a future transportation system where transportation-related harm is eliminated.

“We must harness investment and ingenuity to create good-paying jobs and ensure that innovative technologies are safe and accessible so that no matter who you are or where you live you will see the benefits of these investments in transportation” (said Secretary Pete Buttigieg in a statement accompanying the plan).

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He continues: “Our role as a department is to ensure that the enormous potential of U.S. transportation innovation advances our priorities, reflects American values, and ultimately serves to benefit our nation and its people. This means empowering workers and expanding access to training and good jobs with the free and fair choice to join a union. It also means we can’t be afraid to do things differently, to experiment and learn from our failures.”

Robert Hampshire, deputy assistant secretary for Research and Technology added: “Economic disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic have brought renewed attention to the importance of a strong transportation workforce, a robust freight system, and a resilient supply chain”.

The complex plan also will serve as a tool for assisting the implementation of about $5 billion dedicated to innovative research projects. This funding is a direct result of the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. The infrastructure law enabled $500 million to the Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation, or SMART, program, as well as investments in University Transportation Centers; which those centers focus solely on climate, equity, and innovation projects.