This Week at NCDOT: Drone Safety and NC Train Hosts by
RALEIGH – The following are highlights from this week at the N.C. Department of Transportation. The stories below are also featured in NCDOT Now, the department’s weekly newscast. Drone Safety Over the holidays, many people received unmanned aircraft systems, or drones, as gifts. While these are fun to use, there are some safety tips and guidelines to follow. Drone technology is constantly evolving, which can lead to confusion about what can and cannot be done when flying them. Remember: Your drone must be registered on the Federal Aviation Administration’s website, even if it weighs as little as .55 pounds; Always fly below 400 feet and within your line of sight; Don’t fly near airports, stadiums, prisons, public events, directly over people or at night; and Don’t fly for compensation or use a drone that’s over 55 pounds. For those wanting to learn more, throughout the year, the N.C. Division of Aviation is hosting a series of workshops for government and commercial operators to attend. The workshops will focus on ways drones can be used to help in areas such as emergency response, data management and newsgathering. The first workshop is taking place on Jan. 24 in Gaston County. To register or check future dates, visit the Division of Aviation’s website. NC Volunteer Train Hosts On another note, if you’ve ever ridden the train between Charlotte and Rocky Mount, there’s a good chance you met one of the onboard train hosts. More than 100 volunteer hosts across the state serve as North Carolina’s goodwill ambassadors. They help passengers with travel questions and other information while at the station and on board the train, helping ensure each traveler’s ride is smooth and enjoyable. Started in 1993, North Carolina’s program was the first of its kind nationwide and has served as a model for other passenger rail systems. Last year, this volunteer group donated nearly 11,000 hours of their time to being a friendly and helpful face to those traveling within our state. To learn more about becoming a North Carolina volunteer train host, visit ncbytrain.org. Additionally, if you’re looking for other volunteer opportunities as part of your New Year’s resolution, consider the Adopt-a-Highway program. You and your group will clean up a roadway four times a year, keeping our communities and state a beautiful place to live. To learn more or sign up, go to the Adopt-a-Highway page.
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