Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Transportation

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 proposes enhanced tank car standards, a classification and testing program for mined gases and liquids and new operational requirements for high-hazard flammable trains (HHFT) that include braking controls and speed restrictions. Specifically, within two years, it proposes the phase out of the use of older DOT 111 tank cars for the shipment of packing group I flammable liquids, including most Bakken crude oil, unless the tank cars are retrofitted to comply with new tank car design standards. The ANPRM seeks further information on expanding comprehensive oil spill response planning requirements for shipments of flammable materials. Both the NPRM and ANPRM are available for review here and will be open for 60 days of public comment. Given the urgency of the safety issues addressed in these proposals, PHMSA does not intend to extend the comment period.”

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

NHTSA Study – Motor Vehicle Crashes Have $871 Billion Economic, Societal Impact on U.S. Citizens

“The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today released a new study that underscores the high economic toll and societal impact of motor vehicle crashes in the United States. The price tag for crashes comes at a heavy burden for Americans at $871 billion in economic loss and societal harm. ThisContinue Reading

New NASA Images Highlight U.S. Air Quality Improvement

News release includes charts/graphics: “Anyone living in a major U.S. city for the past decade may have noticed a change in the air. The change is apparent in new NASA satellite images unveiled this week that demonstrate the reduction of air pollution across the country. After ten years in orbit, the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite hasContinue Reading

Cost of High Speed Rail in China One Third Lower than in Other Countries

World Bank – “By the end of 2013, China had built a high speed rail[1] network of over 10,000 route-km, far exceeding that in any other country and larger than the network in the entire European Union. It has been accomplished at a cost which is at most two-thirds of that in other countries. AContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – ATF, Export-Import Bank, DOD Human Capital, Improper Payments, NOAA Aircraft

BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, TOBACCO, FIREARMS AND EXPLOSIVES: Enhancing Data Collection Could Improve Management of Investigations, GAO-14-553: Published: Jun 30, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 9, 2014. EXPORT-IMPORT BANK: Information on Export Credit Agency Financing Support for Wide-Body Jets, GAO-14-642R: Published: Jul 8, 2014. Publicly Released: Jul 9, 2014. HUMAN CAPITAL: DOD Should Fully Develop Its Civilian Strategic Workforce Plan to Aid Decision Makers, GAO-14-565: Published:Continue Reading

Making the Grade Report 2014 – Infrastructure Leadership

“A new report was released that outlines innovative new ways that the federal government, industry and other stakeholders can work together to solve the crisis of the failing state of U.S. infrastructure. Entitled Making The Grade, the report is the result of experts from 45 different organizations, including corporations, professional organizations, think tanks, financial advisorsContinue Reading