The Department of Transportation has formed a new Safety Council in an effort to address critical transportation safety issues.
Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, who created the Safety Council in order to break down organizational stovepipes, convened the first meeting of the group recently.

"Now is the time to identify and address the top safety issues that cut across our agencies," said LaHood. "The Council will take our commitment to safety, which is our highest priority, to the next level."

LaHood formed the group to provide a more formal process for sharing data, best practices and strategies. The group is meant to enhance the safety focus throughout all 10 agencies of the department and improve the impact of the agency's safety programs.

"The Council will enhance the department's safety culture which should then resonate out into industry," said Transportation Deputy Secretary John Porcari, who chairs the Council.

The Council is made up of the heads of the department's 10 agencies, including the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, the Maritime Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, the Research and Innovative Technology Administration and the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation.