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Safety was on my mind when, yesterday, I went up to Capitol Hill to speak before the Senate Commerce Committee. My testimony came one week to the very hour after a train carrying crude oil derailed near downtown Lynchburg, Virginia. The crash sent oil spilling into the James River, and ignited flames on the banks of that river, causing the evacuation of a 20-block area.

As I told committee members, we’re very fortunate no one was killed, let alone hurt.

I also told them about two steps we took earlier yesterday to make transporting oil by rail safer: a Safety Advisory, strongly urging those shipping or offering Bakken crude oil to use tank car designs with the highest level of integrity available in their fleets, and an Emergency Order requiring shippers and energy companies to identify the routes Bakken crude oil is traveling and to notify state emergency responders so they can work with communities along those routes to prepare local police and fire departments...

File photo of Anthony Foxx

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This morning, thousands of students and parents across the country strapped on their helmets and backpacks and rode their bikes to school. Many of them do this every day, but for many of them it was a special ride in celebration of the third annual National Bike to School Day.

Bike to School Day – coordinated by the National Center for Safe Routes to School – is an opportunity for schools, communities, bike advocates, health organizations, and parents to introduce kids to the benefits of bicycling safely to school. And it was great to join National Center Director Lauren Marchetti at Lincoln Park here in Washington, DC, for the Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Association's festivities.

Victor Mendez (right) holds bike-to-school day banner

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Yesterday, I joined the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, the Southwest Movers Association, the American Moving and Storage Association and the Better Business Bureau to kick off National Moving Month in Austin.

In 2014, more than 35 million Americans will move, and the month of May marks the start of the prime moving season. This is the time when many families and individuals think about what moving company to hire, and our job is to ensure that it will be a productive and safe one. With our focus on safety and consumer protection, we are working to enforce rules and educate consumers on how to protect themselves against moving fraud. Last year, FMCSA received more than 3,100 consumer complaints – many of these were against “rogue” movers who take advantage of consumers.

Photo of Anne Ferro at Protect Your Move kick-off

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As Secretary Foxx has said many times, the only way we’re going to fix America’s transportation infrastructure is if everyone puts their ideas on the table and has an honest discussion about how we can find common ground and forge a path forward.

That’s why, one week ago, Secretary Foxx submitted the Department’s surface transportation proposal GROW AMERICA to Congress, and that’s why America’s maritime industry came together yesterday in Washington, D.C., to chart a sustainable marine transportation system course for the future...

The Maritime Administration's web banner

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Last month, as part of the Decade of Action for Road Safety (2011-2020), the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution encouraging the international community to take road safety into consideration and recognizing the value of an integrated approach to sustainable transportation. Now, when Americans think of sustainability, we often focus on fuel economy and emissions, but safety is a key part of the sustainability equation, particularly when, around the world, 1.24 million people are killed in road traffic incidents every year and more than 50 million are injured.

Young adults aged between 15 and 44 years account for 59% of those deaths globally. Closer to home, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for young people (ages 5-24) in the U.S. That's why the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is proud to join with the National Organizations for Youth Safety (NOYS) in sponsoring Global Youth Traffic Safety Month...

Photo of N.O.Y.S. student advocates gathering to kick-off Global Youth Traffic Safety Month

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On November 6, 2006, a cable television technician was on a routine service call at a home in Huntington, Indiana, and inadvertently drove a grounding rod through a one-inch natural gas pipeline. A gas company employee quickly arrived at the scene, but within minutes the house exploded, killing a resident of the home and Alan Dalrymple, the responder for the gas company. This tragedy is a sad reminder that a call to 8-1-1 could have saved a life.

In this new video from the Pipelines and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Brandon Dalrymple--the oldest of Alan Dalrymples' two sons left fatherless that day--reminds viewers that a quick call to 8-1-1 could prevent a call to 9-1-1.

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Last Tuesday, it was a privilege to be able to send Congress the GROW AMERICA transportation bill, our comprehensive plan to create millions of good new jobs building the transportation system America will need to remain competitive in today’s economy. And it was an honor to cap the day by addressing the National Association of Rail Passengers (NARP) annual citizen advocacy event, "NARP Day on the Hill."

NARP members know as well I do that America will be home to 100 million more people by 2050, so we need to make sure we give people as many transportation options as possible – including rail.

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The American public expects a safe transportation system--that includes trucks and buses. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) team in the field is indispensable for keeping unsafe drivers, vehicles, and truck and bus companies off the road, making roadways safer.

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to take part in a special occasion for roadway safety, the graduation of 22 new safety investigators and five new border inspectors to be the most recent members of our FMCSA family.

Photo of FMCSA Administrator Ferro giving the oath of office to the new class

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Today, we’re seeing a significant change in Americans’ transportation choices. Americans are voting with their feet—by walking, running, and cycling—for alternative ways to get around. And when you think about it, everyone is a pedestrian at some point during the day because we all step off the curb or walk across a parking lot on our way to work, shop, or play.

But, as Americans are increasingly walking or biking, we’ve seen an increase in pedestrian and cyclist deaths. In 2012 alone, 4,743 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes and tens of thousands more were injured. That’s one pedestrian’s life lost every two hours and one injured every seven minutes.

At DOT and NHTSA, we’re working to provide support for enforcement and to spread information that will help protect everyone on the road. As part of our “Everyone is a Pedestrian” initiative, we announced last Friday that we are awarding three states approximately $1.6 million to help implement new initiatives for their Pedestrian Safety Action Plans....

Photo of David Friedman of NHTSA announcing the grants in New York's Times Square

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As the winter gives way to spring, the busy season for America's general aviation community really takes off. But did you know that weather is the most lethal of all major causes of general aviation accidents?

That's why today, along with our general aviation partners, the Federal Aviation Administration is launching the Got Weather? (#GotWx) campaign to encourage general aviation pilots to make sure they’re prepared for the weather this flying season.

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