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U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Emphasizes Importance of Safety at USDOT Summit

WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao today hosted the 2019 U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) Safety Summit at their headquarters in Washington, D.C. In keynote remarks before USDOT employees and industry stakeholders, Secretary Chao discussed the Department’s data-driven approach to making regulatory decisions grounded in strong science and research that uphold the safety of our nation’s transportation modes.

“At the U.S. Department of Transportation, ensuring the safety of our nation’s transportation systems is the foundation of everything we do,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

At the Safety Summit, senior Departmental officials participated in a series of panel and roundtable discussions regarding the safety of our transportation systems, with a key emphasis on advancing safety through innovation and automation.

Under Secretary Chao’s leadership, USDOT has launched numerous initiatives to strengthen safety. This includes the Safety Data Initiative, which uses advanced analytics to provide insights into transportation safety risks, and create data visualizations to help policy makers arrive at safety solutions. The Department has also built on the success of drunk driving campaigns to launch the first-ever national awareness campaign about the dangers of drug-impaired driving.

Reflecting the Secretary’s emphasis on protecting first responders, the Department has ramped up efforts to train emergency workers responding to traffic accidents as well as the driving public. In addition, during the Secretary’s tenure, implementation of Positive Train Control – a key railroad safety technology – dramatically accelerated to nearly 80 percent of the total route miles that must be done. The Department also re-launched the “Stop. Trains Can’t.” safety campaign, to remind drivers to respect flashing lights, bells or closed gates at railroad crossings.

Secretary Chao is also a strong advocate for the importance of infrastructure and innovation in strengthening safety and our nation’s economic competitiveness and economic growth. As Secretary of Labor, she focused on increasing the competitiveness of America’s workforce in a global economy, promoted job creation, and achieved record results in workplace safety and health.

A transcript of Secretary Chao’s keynote remarks at today’s 2019 USDOT Safety Summit is available here.


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