U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces That He Will Not Serve for a Second Term
WASHINGTON – Secretary Ray LaHood has announced to the employees of the U.S. Department of Transportation that after serving for four years in President Obama’s Cabinet, he would not be staying on for the second term. The Secretary sent the following email to DOT employees across the country, informing them of his plans:
“I have let President Obama know that I will not serve a second term as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. It has been an honor and a privilege to lead the Department, and I am grateful to President Obama for giving me such an extraordinary opportunity. I plan to stay on until my successor is confirmed to ensure a smooth transition for the Department and all the important work we still have to do.
As I look back on the past four years, I am proud of what we have accomplished together in so many important areas. But what I am most proud of is the DOT team. You exemplify the best of public service, and I truly appreciate all that you have done to make America better, to make your communities better, and to make DOT better.
Our achievements are significant. We have put safety front and center with the Distracted Driving Initiative and a rule to combat pilot fatigue that was decades in the making. We have made great progress in improving the safety of our transit systems, pipelines, and highways, and in reducing roadway fatalities to historic lows. We have strengthened consumer protections with new regulations on buses, trucks, and airlines.
We helped jumpstart the economy and put our fellow Americans back to work with $48 billion in transportation funding from the American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009, and awarded over $2.7 billion in TIGER grants to 130 transportation projects across the Nation. We have made unprecedented investments in our nation’s ports. And we have put aviation on a sounder footing with the FAA reauthorization, and secured funding in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act to help States build and repair their roads, bridges and transit systems.
And to further secure our future, we have taken transportation into the 21st century with CAFE Standards, NextGen, and our investments in passenger and High-Speed Rail. What’s more, we have provided the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy with the funding and leadership it needs to prepare a new generation of midshipmen to meet our country’s rapidly-evolving defense and maritime transportation needs.
Closer to home, we also have made great strides. In December, the DOT was recognized as the most improved agency in the entire Federal government in the 2012 “Best Places to Work” rankings published by the Partnership of Public Service. Even more impressive, DOT was ranked 9th out of the 19 largest agencies in the government.
Each of these remarkable accomplishments is a tribute your hard work, creativity, commitment to excellence, and most of all, your dedication to our country. DOT is fortunate to have such an extraordinary group of public servants. I look forward to continuing to work with all of you as the selection and confirmation process of the next transportation secretary moves forward. Now is not the time to let up - we still have a number of critical safety goals to accomplish and still more work to do on the implementation of MAP-21.
I’ve told President Obama, and I’ve told many of you, that this is the best job I’ve ever had. I’m grateful to have the opportunity to work with all of you and I’m confident that DOT will continue to achieve great things in the future.
Thank you, and God bless you.”
NHTSA sponsored Motorcycle Safety Program Coordination Training Courses in 2013The Research and Innovation Technology Administration (RITA), Transportation Safety Institute (TSI) will be conducting two National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) sponsored Motorcycle Safety Program Coordination Training Courses in 2013. These are on-line courses so they can be completed from your office during normal work hours. One course will be conducted on March 19 and 20 and the other on June 4 and 5. The training is interactive and lasts approximately 3 hours each day (total of 6 hours per course). The course focuses on the comprehensive approach to motorcycle safety and reviews successful and promising practices. NHTSA’s 11 components for a comprehensive approach are the foundation for this training.
If you want to participate in this course, contact your state highway safety office for information on how to register for this course.
Michael Jordan Going to FMCSA
Michael Jordan has been NHTSA’s motorcycle safety guru for the last seven years. Many of you probably met him at an SMSA conference or maybe while serving on one of NHTSA’s motorcycle safety committees. Michael recently announced that he would be changing jobs. He will now be working at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Instead of motorcycles, he will now be working with commercial vehicles.
The SMSA appreciates all the work Michael has done for motorcycle safety. He was always a great resource and a supporter of the SMSA. He will be missed. Our loss is the FMCSA’s gain. The SMSA wishes Michael great success in his new position and say THANK YOU for a job well done.
SMSA Seeking Volunteers for Committee Structure Working Group
SMSA is still seeking member volunteers for the new SMSA Committee Structure Working Group. The SMSA Committee Structure Working Group will be responsible for proposing a new committee structure for the Association. The structure will define how committees operate, report to the Executive Committee and will define the process for reciting member volunteers. The working group will examine the committee structure of other national associations and will complete its efforts by July 2013 to propose the new structure during the 2013 Annual Business Meeting.
SMSA is also seeking volunteers for the new Policies and Positions Subcommittee, the new Establishment of Motorcycle Safety Coalitions Working Group and the new Promising Practices for Program Quality Assurance Efforts Working Group. For more information or to submit your request to volunteer, please contact the SMSA Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Updated 2013 Summit Information
The SMSA National Summit on Comprehensive Motorcycle Safety Programs will be held on August 23-25, 2013 at the Westin Kansas City at Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri. Supported by our host state, the Missouri Motorcycle Safety Program, and with special events sponsored by the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, the National Summit will provide attendees with three days of informative and interactive sessions addressing motorcycle safety across the country.
The Summit registration form as well as Sponsorship and Exhibitor Opportunities are available on the SMSA website at 2013 Summit and Events.
Call for Papers
The SMSA is actively seeking presenters for the 2013 SMSA National Summit.
The 2013 Summit will focus on the NHTSA’s Uniform Guidelines for State Highway Safety Programs Guideline No. 3 Motorcycle Safety promoting comprehensive motorcycle safety programs. The SMSA would like to see presentations submitted that address countermeasures, initiatives and/or working strategies in the following areas:
- Program Management
- Motorcycle Personal Protective Gear
- Motorcycle Operator Licensing
- Motorcycle Rider Education and Training
- Motorcycle Operator Under the Influence of Alcohol or Other Drugs
- Legislation and Regulations
- Law Enforcement & Emergency Medical Services
- Highway Engineering
- Motorcycle Rider Conspicuity and Motorist Awareness
- Communication Program
- Program Evaluation and Data
If you or someone you know has a professional, quality presentation on an aspect of motorcycle safety, please click here for more information on the call for papers.
2013 SMSA Outstanding Contribution Award
The SMSA Award Committee is seeking nominations for the 2013 SMSA Outstanding Contribution Award. This annual Award, formerly known as the Chairperson Award, recognizes individuals who through their dedication, commitment and contribution to motorcycle safety have made a positive impact on a national, state or local level. SMSA selects one person annually for this award. Nominees may be currently or previously associated with the SMSA or an SMSA member’s program or organization. Individuals may not nominate themselves and individuals that have previously received this award are not eligible. Members of the Award Committee are also not eligible for nomination.
SMSA Outstanding Contribution Award Nomination Form
2013 SMSA Outstanding State Award
The SMSA Award Committee is seeking nominations for the 2013 SMSA Outstanding State Award. This is a new award that recognizes a state with a comprehensive state motorcycle safety program (NHTSA Highway Safety Program Guideline No. 3 – Motorcycle Safety Program) and has implemented strategies that are successful, effective and can be measured, evaluated and serve as best practices.
State Award Nomination Form