U.S. Department of Transportation Sponsors Capitol Christmas Tree During Journey Across the United States
Highlights critical role of commercial trucks during holiday season and reminds public to share the road safely
MONTROSE, Colo. – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today joined the 2020 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree’s journey from its origin in Uncompahgre National Forest in Colorado to the nation’s capital. FMCSA’s on-the-ground team is working with local law enforcement to conduct a safety inspection of the commercial truck that will transport the 55-foot Engelmann spruce to its destination at the United States Capitol.
“As the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is being transported on a truck to its destination, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is partnering with this initiative to remind travelers to drive safely this holiday season,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.
The 2020 Capitol Christmas Tree was harvested by the U.S. Forest Service in Colorado’s Uncompahgre National Forest and will be transported nearly 2,000 miles by a large truck to the U.S. Capitol. During this year’s journey to Washington, the tree will be featured in 10 outdoor community celebrations along the truck route prior to being delivered to the U.S. Capitol on November 20. Throughout the transportation of the tree, FMCSA will feature a truck safety message on the tree and will be conducting public outreach to promote safe driving around trucks and buses.
“Large commercial vehicles play a critical role in moving people and goods throughout our nation. FMCSA is excited to once again be part of this effort to bring the Capitol Christmas Tree to Washington and we ask the public to do their part in sharing the road safely, especially during the high-traffic, busy holidays,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Wiley Deck.
FMCSA’s goal is to raise awareness for passenger vehicle drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians about the importance of sharing the road safely with large vehicles, particularly during the spike in travel around the holiday season. Commercial truck traffic increases in the last months of the year to accommodate holiday shipping.
There are approximately 12.5 million commercial motor vehicles on America’s roadways, and approximately 72% of fatalities in large truck crashes are occupants of other vehicles. FMCSA recommends drivers focus on safety by giving trucks and buses extra space for wide turns and extra distance to stop, being mindful of size differences, staying out of blind spots on large commercial vehicles, and never driving under the influence.
To learn more about sharing the roads safely with large trucks, visit: www.ShareTheRoadSafely.gov.
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