News Releases

4/20/2018: This Week at NCDOT: Drone Safety and Blackbeard’s Flag on Ferries

This Week at NCDOT: Drone Safety and Blackbeard’s Flag on Ferries

Posted 4/20/2018 3:50:56 PM

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. Drone Safety and Summit As more people get outside, usage of Unmanned Aerial Systems, or drones, also increases. With more than 28,000 drones operating in North Carolina, there are some important guidelines to know while keeping this technology fun and safe. Before a drone takes to the sky, it must be registered by visiting the Federal Aviation Administration’s website if it weighs more than .55 pounds and less than 55 pounds. Permits are not required for recreational users, but government and commercial operators must become certified with the N.C. Division of Aviation. To stay safe, all drone operators should remember: To always fly below 400 feet and within line of sight; Do not fly at night; Don’t fly near stadiums, prisons, public events or directly over people; Never fly near aircraft, especially close to airports; and Do not fly near emergency response efforts. In addition, those wanting to learn more about the ever-changing drone industry will want to mark their calendars for the N.C. Drone Summit and Expo. Taking place in Greensboro from Aug. 5-7, the event will feature speakers, exhibitors and UAS flight demonstrators from around the world. Registration is open at ncdronesummitdot.com. Blackbeard’s Flag on NC Ferries Those taking a ferry this summer at the Outer Banks will do so under the black flag of North Carolina’s most infamous pirate, Blackbeard. In partnership with the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, the flag will fly on ferries serving the Hatteras-Ocracoke, Cedar Island-Ocracoke, and Swan Quarter-Ocracoke ferry routes. The Pamlico River route between Bayview and Aurora will also hoist the flag, as both areas have historic ties to the 18th century pirates. The flags are part of a series of events taking place in observance of the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard’s death in 1718. Ferry tickets can be booked online today.
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4/18/2018: NCDOT Announces 2018 N.C. Drone Summit and Flight Expo

NCDOT Announces 2018 N.C. Drone Summit and Flight Expo

Posted 4/18/2018 8:49:04 AM

GREENSBORO–  For three days this summer, Greensboro will be the center of the drone world. The2018 North Carolina Drone Summit and Flight Expo (NC Drone SAFE) at the Grandover Resort and Conference Center from August 5-7 will feature speakers, exhibitors and flight demonstrators from around the world that showcase the present and future of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS, or drone) industry.  The N.C Department of Transportation Division of Aviation’s UAS Program Office is hosting the event to bring together key leaders from the research, commercial and public safety community across N.C. and the nation.  “North Carolina is on the leading edge of this fast-growing industry,” said NCDOT Director of Aviation Bobby Walston. “We’re excited not only to be bringing the very best of the drone industry here, but also for the chance to showcase the innovation already occurring in our state to the world.” More than 350 people are expected to attend. Speakers and exhibitors at the event will include personnel from industry trailblazers, regulatory agencies and public safety drone users.  A full agenda will be released in the coming weeks. Additional information and registration can be found at ncdronesummit.com.
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Contact: James Pearce              jpearce2@ncdot.gov              (919) 812-1685 ***NCDOT***
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4/13/2018: NC Traffic Safety Brings Over 900 Professionals Together to Combat Roadway Fatalities

NC Traffic Safety Brings Over 900 Professionals Together to Combat Roadway Fatalities

Posted 4/13/2018 3:44:49 PM

WILMINGTON - More than 900 national, state and local traffic safety professionals convened this week in Wilmington for the N.C. Traffic Safety Conference & Expo hosted by the North Carolina Governor's Highway Safety Program (GHSP). The conference focused on strategies for reversing traffic-related fatalities and serious injuries, seeking to achieve a goal of eliminating roadway deaths. "The objective of the conference is to bring together, educate and leverage the multitude of traffic safety disciplines to ensure the safety of all roadway users," said Mark Ezzell, director of the GHSP. "If everyone is talking to one another and being educated about issues affecting traffic safety, it will allow us as a community to be more effective at addressing the issue." Conference participants were able to learn from leading experts in the fields of distracted and impaired driving and walking; as well as child passenger, pedestrian, bicycle, motorcycle, teen, and older driver safety; adult occupant protection; vehicle technology; law enforcement; and commercial vehicles. They discussed the latest research, evidence-based strategies, proven countermeasures and promising new approaches in a series of 98 workshops. The conference concluded with two sessions highlighting important traffic safety issues. The first was "The Ups and Downs and Ins and Outs of Traffic Fatalities in the U.S." presented by Robert Wunderlich, director for the Center for Transportation Safety at Texas A&M Transportation Institute.  The second session was a discussion moderated by Meg Miller, program manager at the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration on "Eliminating Distracted Driving". It featured Dr. Paul Atchley, senior associate vice president and dean of undergraduate studies at the University of South Florida, North Carolina State Senator Mike Lee, and Russ Dubisky with the Insurance Federation of North Carolina. For more information, visit www.nctrafficsafetyconference.org.  ***NCDOT***  
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4/9/2018: Spring into Action During the Statewide Litter Sweep

Spring into Action During the Statewide Litter Sweep

Posted 4/9/2018 9:32:49 AM

RALEIGH – As you clear out closets in your house for spring cleaning, why not also put on an orange safety vest and gloves to participate in the N.C. Department of Transportation’s Adopt-A-Highway Spring Litter Sweep? This year’s campaign runs April 14-28. Volunteers from local businesses, schools, non-profits and community groups work alongside NCDOT to help keep North Carolina’s roadways clean throughout the year. Groups are encouraged to participate in the biannual litter sweeps which take place in the spring and fall, helping to increase cleanup and motivate the community to be good stewards of the environment. Now in its 30th year, the Adopt-A-Highway Program helps decrease the amount of litter on the state’s roadsides and improves environmental beauty, quality and safety. Roadsides are available for adoption in all 100 North Carolina counties. Groups commit to cleaning their designated roadways at least four times a year and NCDOT provides them with safety vests, gloves and bags. In 2017, nearly 5,000 Adopt-A-Highway groups removed close to 1 million pounds of litter from almost 10,000 miles of state roadways. “We want to thank the thousands of volunteers who give up their time every year to help make sure our state is a beautiful and safe place to work, live and visit,” says David Harris, Roadside Environmental Engineer. “We couldn’t do this without all of them.” Additionally, businesses, individuals and other organizations can also participate in the state’s Sponsor-A-Highway initiative. In return for cleaning a one-mile stretch of interstate highway, sponsors have their organization’s name or logo attached to the Sponsor-A-Highway sign. Visit the Adopt-A-Highway or Sponsor-A-Highway websites for more information or to apply. Questions regarding the programs or applications can be directed to Kim Wheeless at 919-707-2974. ***NCDOT***
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4/5/2018: Blackbeard’s Flag to Fly on NC Ferries This Season

Blackbeard’s Flag to Fly on NC Ferries This Season

Posted 4/5/2018 3:07:56 PM

(Manns Harbor) – Ahoy, mateys! If ye be sailing for Ocracoke or Bath this year, be prepared to do so under the black flag of the dreaded pirate Blackbeard. The North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources has teamed up with the NCDOT’s Ferry Division to fly the flag in observance of the 300th anniversary of Blackbeard’s death in 1718. The flag will fly on ferries serving the Hatteras-Ocracoke, Cedar Island-Ocracoke, and Swan Quarter-Ocracoke ferry routes, as well as the Pamlico River route between Bayview and Aurora. Both areas have historic ties to the 18th-century scallywag. “We’re honored to take part in this celebration of an important piece of North Carolina history,” said Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas. “It will be a great reminder for our passengers that they’re plying the same waters that Blackbeard sailed 300 years ago.” The Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is leading the charge in the state’s official observance of the Blackbeard anniversary, and purchased the flags to install on the ferries.  “We are so thrilled that the Ferry Division agreed to partner with us to commemorate the Blackbeard 300th anniversary this year,” said LeRae Umfleet, chairwoman of the NCDNCR’s Blackbeard 300 Committee. “We’re not only celebrating Blackbeard and the golden age of piracy, we’re also celebrating North Carolina’s maritime history, and the ferries have been a part of that history for 75 years.” The Blackbeard 300 Committee will be hosting exhibits, educational opportunities and events throughout 2018. The anniversary will wrap up at Blackbeard’s Pirate Jamboree in Ocracoke, Oct. 25-28. Learn more about Blackbeard and find a complete schedule of events at www.ncdcr.gov/bb300. (NCDOT)
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NCDOT Ferry Division Director Harold Thomas, Blackbeard 300 Committee Chair LaRae Umfleet, and Ferry Division Deputy Director Jed Dixon display one of the Blackbeard flags to fly on North Carolina ferries this year for the 300th anniversary of the pirate's infamous adventures in N.C. waters. 
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