Department of Transportation (DOT)

News & Analysis as of

Why is the Government Interested in my Drone?

Everyone has heard of drones. Amazon is going to use them to deliver packages soon, right? What is a drone and what do individuals and businesses need to know about drone usage? Drones are defined simply an unmanned,...more

Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions - February 2016

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update includes the recently signed U.S.-Mexico bilateral agreement that liberalizes air services between the two countries, new Cuba-related regulations loosening...more

Lower Gas Prices Mean More Accidents for Chicago

Lower gas prices put a smile on drivers’ faces as they pull away from the pump with the saving in their pockets. A drop in fuel costs can also mean lower costs on everything from food to airline tickets as companies pass...more

P.H. Glatfelter to Pay $180,000 to Settle EEOC Disability Discrimination Lawsuit

Paper Manufacturer Screened Out Individuals With Disabilities Based on Unlawful Qualification Standard, Federal Agency Said - PHILADELPHIA - P.H. Glatfelter Company, a global paper manufacturer headquartered in York,...more

“Proactive Safety Principles” Agreement Reached with NHTSA

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and all of the major automakers doing business in the United States have agreed on a Statement of Proactive Safety Principles that are intended to reaffirm the agency...more

Current Developments Affecting Hydraulic Fracturing Operations (January 2016)

With most state legislative sessions in recess and federal legislative action unlikely until after the November 2016 election, it was no surprise that there were only a handful of new developments in the fracking world during...more

Generators of Regulated Medical Waste in New Jersey Must Meet Federal Standards After Preemptions

Generators of regulated medical waste (RMW) in New Jersey may need to revise their handling, marking and storage practices and procedures to meet federal hazardous materials requirements (49 CFR parts 171-180) (the federal...more

Government Proposes $3.9 Billion for Autonomous Cars

You get a billion! You get a billion! You get a billion! And, you get a billion! The Federal Government went full Oprah on everyone at the North American International Auto Show recently, throwing around a few billion dollars...more

Recent Buy America Developments

At the end of 2015, two modal administrations of the United States Department of Transportation (US DOT) have encountered changes to their Buy America programs. Both the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) and the Federal...more

Autonomous Vehicle Technology: Can Lawyers Avoid Being Back-Seat Drivers?

The old joke in my family is that my Mom, Sandy Wagner, was generations ahead of her time when it came to the now ubiquitous Google Maps and Garmin direction devices. “Shelly! Turn here! NO, not here, there! In 100 feet! ...more

Geeking Out on Transportation

This week, our transportation attorneys attended the Transportation Research Board 95th Annual Meeting, which is affectionately deemed the nexus of all-out, unabashed transportation “nerdom” by industry insiders....more

Safety First? When Safety and Employment Laws Collide

In keeping with the old adage "Safety first!" employers in certain industries are quick to put safety concerns and compliance with those laws and regulations governing safety above a conservative compliance with employment...more

DOT Lowers Random Drug Testing Rate to 25 percent for 2016

Last month, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that it is reducing the minimum percentage of annual random drug tests for commercial motor vehicle drivers from 50 percent...more

New Federal Permitting Council to Aid Large Infrastructure Projects — Emphasis on Energy

In December 2015, Congress passed the first major transportation infrastructure bill in over a decade, covering a large range of infrastructure projects and ensuring funding for the next five years. One section of the bill...more

FAA Announces Drone Registration Rule

On December 14, 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) introduced a new web-based aircraft registration process for owners of small unmanned aircraft (“UAS”), also known as “drones.” The new registration process...more

Drive Carefully! Mandatory Random Substance Abuse Testing Of Truck Drivers To Be Cut In Half

The U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration of the Department of Transportation announced yesterday that it is reducing by half the minimum percentage of drivers who must be randomly tested for controlled substances....more

FMCSA Lowers Random Drug Testing Level to 25 Percent in 2016

On December 21, 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it is reducing the minimal annual percentage rate for random drug testing for drivers subject to the Department of Transportation’s...more

U.S. Commercial Flights to Cuba to Resume in 2016; Trade Embargo Remains Intact

On December 16, the U.S. government reached (but has not yet signed) an agreement with Cuba that would allow commercial airlines to resume scheduled air service between the two countries. The U.S. State Department said that...more

Update on Significant DOT, FAA and Other Federal Agencies’ Aviation-Related Regulatory Actions - December 2015

This edition of the Cozen O’Connor Aviation Regulatory Update includes looming revisions to the Visa Waiver Program, DOT’s plans for an additional round of new regulations on disabled passenger-related issues, the FAA’s new...more

Some New Red Tape for Drones

On December 14, 2015, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) announced new federal rules that will require all present and future operators of small unmanned aerial systems (UAS) to register their drones beginning December...more

FAST Act Authorizes $305 Billion in Transportation Spending Over Five Years

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, signed into law by Pres. Barack Obama, authorizes approximately $305 billion in federal highway and transit spending over the next five years for transportation projects. The...more

DoT Announces “Smart City” Challenge to Increase Infrastructure Efficiency in Urban Areas

On December 7, 2015, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for “Beyond Traffic: The Smart City Challenge,” the first in a two-part solicitation for a federally funded...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: - SC19165 - Dept. of Transportation v. White Oak Corp. - SC19165 Dissent - Dept. of Transportation v. White Oak Corp. Despite a very convoluted history, the essence of...more

U.S. Department of Transportation Smart Cities Challenge Funding Opportunity

This week, the Department of Transportation announced a $40 million funding opportunity entitled Beyond Traffic: The Smart City Challenge. This award will be given to one mid-sized city that puts forward bold, data-driven...more

DOT Smart City Challenge Grant Applications Now Being Accepted

The U.S. Department of Transportation launched the Smart City Challenge earlier this week for cities to compete for a grant of up to $40 million. The ideal Smart City applicant has an approximate population between 200,000...more

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