The new standard

| July 02, 2006

Hugel joined the agency May 30 and will serve as the acting administrator until Hill takes over the post.

Hugel joins the U.S. Department of Transportation after heading the Maryland Division of Motor Vehicles for the past three years. He replaces Warren Hoemann who left the deputy’s post effective May 13.

Hugel has worked in the public and private sectors but has focused on motor vehicle issues for the past 19 years. He was an on-site consultant at the U.S. Department of Transportation, assisting the FMCSA and the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Motor Carriers.

There, he was involved in a wide variety of issues ranging from implementation of congressionally mandated changes for commercial drivers licenses to a comprehensive revision of federal motor carrier safety regulations. From 1987 to 1995, he was director of government affairs for the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators.

A Vietnam veteran, Hugel has a juris doctorate and master’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Baltimore.
- Brittani Tingle

Survey: Minneapolis Motorists Have Best Manners
A survey of driver behavior in 20 cities indicated Minneapolis is the most courteous city and Miami the least, while Los Angeles is the city most likely to have motorists involved in distracting activities.

The Driver’s Seat Road Rage Survey was released May 16. The AutoVantage auto club commissioned an independent research company to conduct 2,040 interviews with a margin of error of 2.2 percent.

Nashville ranked as the second most courteous city, followed by St. Louis. After Miami, Phoenix drivers were the rudest, followed by New York.

Thirty percent of respondents reported seeing drivers engaged in non-driving behavior while driving, such as shaving or reading. Forty-three percent of Los Angeles respondents witnessed this, compared to only 18 percent of Seattle respondents.

Drivers nationwide named speeding as their biggest cause of driving stress, with 57 percent reporting they witnessed it daily. Half reported seeing daily tailgating, and 40 percent stated other drivers cut over without notice daily.

Forty percent of those surveyed said they reacted to rude or bad driving behavior by honking their horn, while 32 percent cursed the other driver. Only 5 percent reported the motorist to authorities.

The survey indicated no difference in experiences between men and women but showed that younger drivers and those with the longest commute are the most sensitive to aggressive or rude driving.

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