Overdrive Staff | February 01, 2010

NEVADA. Expect delays from construction on about 2.5 miles of I-80 at Sparks. The project is scheduled for completion this summer.

NEW YORK. The state has increased by 5 percent tolls on the New York Thruway. For an east-west Thruway trip from Albany to Buffalo, the toll for a 5-axle truck increases by $3.32 to $66.55 cash, or $63.22 with E-ZPass. On a north-south Thruway trip from Albany to the New York City area, the toll rises to $19.60 cash, or $18.60 with E-ZPass.

TENNESSEE AND NORTH CAROLINA. State Route 40 (U.S. 64) will remain closed until mid-March as construction continues following a Nov. 10 rockslide. The highway had been heavily used by truckers rerouted since late last year by another rockslide that covered I-40 three miles east of the Tennessee-North Carolina border. Work is expected to be completed in March on I-40, which has been closed since Oct. 25.

TEXAS. The most congested highway in the state is I-45 between State Route 8 and I-610 north of Houston. This 9-mile stretch leads to more than 4.2 million hours of delay annually, according to the state Department of Transportation.

VERMONT. A detour is in place indefinitely while the Lake Champlain Bridge that spanned the lake between Crown Point, N.Y, and Chimney Point, Vt., is replaced. The 100-mile detour includes U.S. 4 in New York and Vermont routes 22A and 17.


Distracted driving group formed

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and National Safety Council President Janet Froetscher announced the creation of FocusDriven, the first national nonprofit organization devoted to raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.

Group leader Jennifer Smith has been an advocate against distracted driving since her mother was killed by someone talking on a cell phone while driving in 2008. FocusDriven grew out of the September national Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, D.C.

FocusDriven’s new website, www.focusdriven.org, hosts information on distracted driving and help for victims and family members.

FocusDriven is modeled after Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), which has changed society’s attitudes towards drinking and driving with the use of advocates who have experienced the terrible consequences firsthand.

FocusDriven also hopes to provide support for victims of distracted driving and to expand its mission to include education and the evaluation of new technologies.

The U.S. DOT recently launched a website, www.distraction.gov, with comprehensive information on distracted driving.

“I first met several of the founding members of FocusDriven at our Distracted Driving Summit, and I’m deeply impressed by their commitment to turn these tragic events into positive actions that will help save lives,” LaHood says. “Their stories are not just heartbreaking – they’re also a clear and compelling call to action.”

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