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.
NCDOT Awarded First-Ever Waiver for Drone Bridge Inspections
Drones are NCDOT’s newest tool in maintaining the state’s bridges and other infrastructure. The Federal Aviation Administration approved a waiver that allows NCDOT to operate drones beyond visual line of sight while conducting bridge inspections.
This announcement makes the department the first state transportation agency to have been awarded such a waiver, paving the way for other states to fully use drones in bridge and infrastructure inspections.
Roadway Death Rates Drop Across NC
There’s promising news on our roadways – North Carolina’s traffic deaths decreased in 2019 by 4.4%, according to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The decrease is nearly twice the national rate. According to the report, 1,373 people were killed in North Carolina traffic crashes in 2019, which is 63 fewer than 2018.
October: Statistically Deadliest Month on NC Roadways
The department is stressing safety awareness this month because October is statistically the deadliest month on North Carolina roadways.
Law enforcement agencies across the state will increase patrols this weekend, looking for impaired drivers and speeders and checking for seat belt usage as part of this month’s Operation Crash Reduction campaign. The weekend leading up to Columbus Day weekend trails only Independence Day for the number of fatal crashes, so please remember to always buckle up, slow down, avoid distractions and never drive impaired.
Also, for many communities, the first full week in October is when we come together for Walk to School Day. While many students aren’t learning in the classroom this semester, it’s important to remember that when the time comes everyone should take responsibility for making sure the walk to school is a safe one. In 2018, 17% of children 14 and younger killed in traffic crashes nationwide were pedestrians. For tips on how we can reduce pedestrian injuries and deaths, visit watchformeNC.org.
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.