Tennessee DOT, Text Messaging Bans, Secure Drivers Licenses and Other Transportation News

In case you missed it: transportation news wrap.

by / June 22, 2009

Tennessee DOT Manages Traffic Flow and Decreases Incident Clearance Time

Tennessee DOT recently received 200 RTMS (Remote Traffic Microwave Sensor) radar products for its statewide SmartWay transportation infrastructure project. SmartWay will reduce traffic congestion and improve roadway safety by making emergency response times faster, lowering the number of secondary accidents and deceasing incident clearance time. The state now has more than 1,000 radar units which use advanced information technologies to improve the safety and operation of highways and other modes of transportation. SmartWay uses solar-powered RTMS radar units to measure real-time highway traffic flow and wirelessly communicates it to traffic management centers. It also uses electronic message boards and highway advisory radios to send urgent traffic notices to drivers.

Senate Offers Alternative to Real ID Program

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano said recently that the new plan for secure drivers' licenses, Pass ID, which was introduced Monday, would make some changes to the Real ID program but maintains the security requirements of the law.

The Real ID program, as it was originally passed, was not being implemented by states. The National Governors Association helped write the new proposal, which they say will be more affordable for states and will still contain several layers of security features to prevent forgery. The association said the current law would cost states $4 billion while the new plan could cut the costs to between $1.3 billion and $2 billion.

North Carolina Becomes 14th State to Ban Texting While Driving

Gov. Bev Perdue of North Carolina today signed a law banning all drivers from text messaging while driving, bringing the total number of states with anti-texting laws to 14. In the first six month of 2009, seven new states have passed texting-while-driving bans. The Governors Highway Safety Association expects this number to continue to grow.

Current state cell phone and text messaging bans and a variety of distracted driving backgrounders can be found online.