Each year at the Department of Transportation, we make a special effort to recognize and celebrate the important contributions that women are making to transportation, and to our country. During the current national emergency, it is especially appropriate to recognize and celebrate the contributions of senior women leaders right here at the Department—as well as other women leaders in government- responding to the coronavirus national emergency. I want to give a special shout out to the tremendous women leaders on the White House Coronavirus Task Force—especially Dr.
As we’ve seen when regional natural disasters strike, it’s America’s truck drivers who rush to bring in groceries to restock store shelves and lifesaving medical supplies to hospitals. 80 percent of American communities rely solely on trucks for the delivery of goods.
The COVID-19 (coronavirus) is affecting our entire Nation. It is vitally important that America’s commercial drivers be able to meet the current heightened demand around the country for transport services. That’s why the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a national emergency declaration to provide hours-of-service regulatory relief for those transporting emergency relief in response to COVID-19. This allows drivers to work for longer stretches than currently permitted under ordinary circumstances.
Transportation systems are always important for communities and our country, and never more so than during a crisis. That’s why so many at the U.S. Department of Transportation are working overtime to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation affecting the U.S. and the world.
At the World Economic Forum this week, I’ve had the opportunity to share some of the best practices being developed in the U.S. to mitigate the risks involved in government permitting delays. These delays are becoming too commonplace, as permitting regulations at all levels have grown more complex, duplicative and burdensome.
I just attended the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, and had the opportunity to highlight the need to pay attention to the transportation needs of rural, as well as urban, communities. In many countries, including the United States, rural transportation networks are vital to economic growth, creating opportunity, and ensuring that no one is left behind in the 4th Industrial Revolution.
Earlier this week, at the Annual World Economic Forum, I participated in a discussion on the future of gender parity. We have come a long way since I started in the workforce, but there is still more that can be done to achieve this goal.
On Monday, January 20, America celebrates the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In addition to being a Federal holiday, Monday has also been designated by Congress as a national day of volunteer service to honor Dr. King and his vision for our Nation. 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of this day of service to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities.
Dr. King said, “Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.”
At the U.S. Department of Transportation, we are always working on ways to make transportation safer, more accessible, and better for everyone—today and in the future! Automated vehicle technologies is a rapidly evolving arena, with potential to save thousands of lives every year and improve quality of life through reduced traffic congestion and increased productivity. AVs would restore mobility for millions of people who face transportation challenges, such as the elderly and people with disabilities.
2020 has arrived and many are carefully selecting New Year’s Resolutions. Establishing challenging yet achievable goals is the essence of New Year’s Resolutions, a tradition that dates back 4,000 years to the ancient Babylonians.
While participating in this timeless tradition, I would like to promote a resolution that everyone can do together in 2020: Safer driving.
Here are a few ways that could save thousands of lives and prevent hundreds of thousands of injuries in 2020:
It’s hard to believe it’s been 18 years since terrorists attacked our country on September 11, 2001. As we honor the heroes of that day, and commemorate those who perished, I want to pay special tribute to our DOT colleagues who played such a critical role in safeguarding our national airspace, roads, bridges, tunnels and other forms of transportation on that day. Their magnificent efforts continue to inspire gratitude and pride. This year I once again have the honor of attending the special 9/11 ceremony at the Pentagon at which the President and the First Lady also participated.