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Category Archives: Transportation

DOT Launches Free, Online Search Tool for Recalls Using Vehicle Identification Number

“Every year, millions of vehicles are recalled in the United States due to safety defects or noncompliance with federal safety standards. To help car buyers, owners and renters know that their vehicles are safe and their safety defects have been address, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today unveiled a new, free, online search tool consumers can use to find out if a vehicle is directly impacted by a recall. The new tool is available on www.safercar.gov/vinlookup and provides consumers with a quick and easy way to identify uncompleted recalls by entering their Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). All major light vehicle and motorcycle brands can be searched…Also effective today, under the new NHTSA mandate, all major light vehicle and motorcycle manufacturers are required to provide VIN search capability for uncompleted recalls on their own websites. This data must be updated at least weekly. NHTSA’s new VIN look-up tool directly relies on information from all major automakers, and regularly updated information from the automakers is critical to the efficacy of the search tool. Consumers can find their vehicle identification number by looking at the dashboard on the driver’s side of the vehicle, or on the driver’s side door on the door post where the door latches when it is closed. Determining whether there is a recall that consumers need to take action on is easy. After entering the VIN number into the field, results will appear if the consumer has an open recall on their vehicle, and if there are none, owners will see “No Open Recalls…”Today’s announcement builds on NHTSA’s current efforts to provide consumers with information to help them make informed decisions, including the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) 5-Star Ratings System, Recall envelope and Safercar mobile apps which provide on-the-spot information on crash protection features, advanced safety features, and recalls on new vehicles and many older models. In addition, NHTSA is working with the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) to help ensure that franchise dealerships across the United States become aware of and understand how to use the new VIN search tool.”

Pseudo-Classification of Executive Branch Documents

Pseudo-Classification of Executive Branch Documents: Problems with the Transportation Security Administration’s Use of the Sensitive Security Information Designation, Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. May 29, 2014. “Under the Air Transportation Security Act of 1974, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) created a category of sensitive but unclassified information, frequently referred to as “Sensitive Security Information” (SSI), andContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – CFPB, Drinking Water, Media Ownership, Railroad Retirement, Security Clearances

CONSUMER FINANCIAL PROTECTION BUREAU: Opportunity Exists to Improve Transparency of Civil Penalty Fund Activities, GAO-14-551: Published: Jun 26, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2014. DRINKING WATER: EPA Program to Protect Underground Sources from Injection of Fluids Associated with Oil and Gas Production Needs Improvement, GAO-14-555: Published: Jun 27, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 28, 2014. MEDIA OWNERSHIP: FCC Should Review the Effects ofContinue Reading

Apples and Oranges: Iceberg Trade Costs

Lashkaripour, Ahmad [Pennsylvania State University, College of the Liberal Arts - Department of Economics] Apples and Oranges: Iceberg Trade Costs (May 23, 2014). Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2470765 “The iceberg trade cost assumption is embodied in all major models of International trade. However, empirical evidence to support this rather conventional assumption is lacking. This paperContinue Reading

Obama Drone Order Fails to Safeguard Privacy

EPIC – “According to reports, President Obama is set to issue an executive order on drone privacy. The order would call for the development of voluntary best practices for the commercial use of drones. Senator Markey and Representative Welch immediately responded to the reports with a letter to the President urging “strong, enforceable rules – not voluntary bestContinue Reading

DOT Proposes Rulemaking for Safe Rail Transportation of Flammable Materials

“The U.S. Department of Transportation today released the details of its comprehensive rulemaking proposal to improve the safe transportation of large quantities of flammable materials by rail – particularly crude oil and ethanol – in the form of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and a companion Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM). The NPRM proposesContinue Reading

Mapbox – interactive map of no fly zones for unmanned aerial vehicles

Wired – “To help with the question of where it is legal to fly a drone, Mapbox has put together an interactive map of all the no-fly zones for UAVs they could find. Most of the red zones on the map are near airports, military sites and national parks. But as WIRED’s former Editor-in-Chief, Chris Anderson, nowContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Aviation Safety, Fair Labor Standards, Indian Gaming, NTIS, Patient Protection, Small Business, Space Launch System

AVIATION SAFETY: FAA’s Efforts to Implement Recommendations to Improve Certification and Regulatory Consistency Face Some Challenges, GAO-14-728T: Published: Jul 23, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 2014. FAIR LABOR STANDARDS ACT: Department of Labor Needs a More Systematic Approach to Developing Its Guidance, GAO-14-629T: Published: Jul 23, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 23, 2014. INDIAN GAMING: Preliminary Observations on the Regulation and Oversight ofContinue Reading

“Black Boxes” in Passenger Vehicles: Policy Issues

CRS – “Black Boxes” in Passenger Vehicles: Policy Issues - Bill Canis, Specialist in Industrial Organization and Business; David Randall Peterman, Analyst in Transportation Policy July 21, 2014. “An event data recorder (EDR) is an electronic sensor installed in a motor vehicle that records  certain technical information about a vehicle’s operational performance for a few seconds immediately prior toContinue Reading

U.S. Sanctions on Russia in Response to Events in Ukraine

CRS Report, July 18, 2014 (IN10048): “Many view Russia’s annexation of the Crimean region of Ukraine on March 18, 2014, and efforts to destabilize eastern and southern Ukraine as the culmination of long-standing Russian resentment of the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union. Russian leaders have claimed they have the right to protect Russian citizens and “compatriots” (thoseContinue Reading

Flightradar24

“Flightradar24.com has the largest online aviation database. The data is updated in real-time. Search for a particular flight, aircraft, or airport to get in-depth information.”

FAA Statement–Expanded Notice to Airmen Released

“On the evening of July 17, the Federal Aviation Administration issued a Notice to Airman (NOTAM) prohibiting U.S. flight operations until further notice, in the airspace over eastern Ukraine, due to recent events and the potential for continued hazardous activities. The restricted area includes the entire Simferopol and Dnepropetrovsk flight information regions (FIRs).  This actionContinue Reading