Safety talks move online

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is following the lead of other Transportation Department agencies by launching an Internet-based effort to encourage public involvement in improving transportation safety.

The FMCSA's discussion Web site (spp.fmcsa.dot.gov) allows the public to participate in a discussion of the agency's long-term strategy to improve truck and bus safety, known as the 2010 Strategy and Performance Plan.

The site, announced on Aug. 29 by Transportation Secretary Rodney Slater, will be available until Dec. 15.

The agency announced plans to set up the site just weeks after the completion of a month-long, Internet-based workshop about the effects of new technologies on driver distraction sponsored by the department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

"President Clinton and Vice President Gore believe that information technology is increasingly important for full participation in America's economic, political and social life, and this process takes full advantage of the Internet to support safety, our highest priority," Slater said in a DOT statement.

The Internet discussion site will enable the public to view and comment on research papers in progress, review draft safety action plans and submit suggestions and alternate safety strategies for how to improve truck and bus safety in the next 10 years, according to the DOT statement. Visitors to the site can register to receive automatic periodic e-mail notifications as documents are posted.

FMCSA, with help from NHTSA and the Federal Highway Administration, will prepare a 10-year truck and bus safety strategy that will be completed and sent to Congress by year's end.

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