NAPT MultiView News Brief
April 13, 2010

DOT proposes to ban truckers, bus drivers from texting while driving
Government Technology
In another effort to clamp down on distracted drivers, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has proposed a rule to ban commercial truck and bus drivers from texting while driving. The proposal, announced Wednesday, March 31, seeks to make permanent a temporary ban - announced in January by DOT Secretary Ray LaHood - that applies to bus and commercial truck drivers of vehicles that weigh more than 10,000 pounds.More

Connecticut school district latest to share in nationwide $100 million STA education stimulus plan
PR Newswire
Student Transportation of America (STA), the nation's third largest and most progressive school transportation company, today announced Regional School District 17 (RSD 17) which serves the towns of Haddam and Killingworth, Connecticut is the latest North American school district to share in the STA $100 Million Education Stimulus Plan. STA designed the plan to provide school districts across America with much-needed capital to invest back into education when they contract their school bus operations to STA.More

EPW hearings focus on congestion & reducing transportation's environmental impacts
AASHTO Journal
The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, in preparation for drafting a multiyear surface transportation reauthorization bill later this year, held a pair of hearings recently on traffic congestion and environmental issues.More

Transportation groups urge lawmakers not to divert user fees
AASHTO Journal
Any proceeds from a "carbon tax" on gasoline purchases should go directly toward improving the nation's highway and public transportation systems, according to a group of organizations representing everything from bicyclists and construction unions to state transportation departments.More

Report: Phoning while driving
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety
A new survey (see p. 2) indicates drivers use their phones not only on the open road but also in stop-and-go traffic. A quarter say they phone in fast, heavy traffic. Based on how much phoning while driving motorists admitted to surveyors and the estimated risk of driver phone use, an Institute analysis suggests this practice could account for 22 percent of all crashes, or about 1.3 million in 2008.More

Barnegat to bond $500,000 for sidewalks
Asbury Park Press
As the township bears the brunt of cuts in New Jersey state aid on both municipal and educational fronts, the township committee voted to introduce an ordinance Monday night that would bond for a half million dollars to install 7,000 feet of sidewalks in part to help with school transportation costs.More

South Korea and Japan streets ahead in smart transport
CNN
Juwan Yoo was tired of calling up the old-school telephone hotline to find out when his bus would come - and excited about the iPhone's arrival in South Korea. So the 17-year-old developed the "Seoul Bus" application, which crawls public transport Web sites to give real-time updates for all bus stops in the capital and its surrounding provinces. More

Is a national dashboard for open data on the horizon?
Government Executive
Sunshiny days have come to government, as transparency Web sites, iPhone apps, online dashboards and data feeds have proliferated across the Internet. The movement is changing the playing field for how citizens obtain government information. Since President Barack Obama made transparency and open data early priorities of his administration, public agencies have put thousands (if not millions) of data sources online, creating a rich pool of material that once was hidden in dusty file cabinets and available only through freedom-of-information requests.More

More enforcement planned against distracted driving
The Wall Street Journal
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said he would escalate efforts to stop motorists from texting or talking on mobile phones, funding pilot programs to ticket distracted drivers in New York and Connecticut and urging auto makers to rethink hands-free communications systems in cars.More

Inside Inrix: How traffic data is collected, what it means to your commute
Consumer Reports
Traffic information for drivers on the go has come a long way since the days when it was limited to Bob in Chopper Nine, flying around the metropolitan area and reporting on whatever bridge or highway was beneath him. Bob is still up there, at least in some media markets, but now he's only part of the picture. Today, traffic info comes from a variety of sources, sometimes even including the cars stuck in traffic themselves.More