"We are moving in the right direction"

News AASHTO Journal December 12, 2001
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Addressing more than 1,300 attendees at the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials' 87th annual meeti


Addressing more than 1,300 attendees at the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials' 87th annual meeting, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta stressed that ensuring the safety and security of the nation's transportation system is the department's top priority.


"Across every mode we are moving rapidly to reach the desired level of protection for our high-value, high-consequence transportation assets," he said. "We are moving in the right direction to restore confidence in America's transportation system."


According to Mineta, the Transportation Security Administration, created under the Aviation and Transportation Security Act of 2001 signed by President Bush last week, will be larger than the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Agency and the Border Patrol combined. He said that Kip Hawley, who has returned to the DOT as Core Team Coordinator, will assist in getting the new administration up and running, along with Deputy Secretary Michael Jackson.


Mineta cited several security activities underway under the direction of the Surface Transportation Direct Action Group, and also noted the importance of new technologies to enhance transportation safety, such as wireless enhanced 911 service and the Integrated Incident Management System. He called for the creation of a National Highway System "INFO-structure," a nationwide system of sensors and information systems that gather up data on National Highway System usage and conditions.


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