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Administration Safety Data Initiative Challenges App Developers

Posted on Thu, 2012-05-17 10:16 by Ray LaHood and Todd Park
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Safety is the number one priority at the US Department of Transportation (DOT), so National Transportation Week is the perfect time for DOT to help launch the Obama Administration's critical Safety Data Initiative--an historic effort to make government data relating to every aspect of safety, from transportation crime to consumer products much more accessible, and to stimulate the development of innovative apps and services fueled by those data.

We know that helping Americans gain access to practical information can help them make smarter, safer choices. So, coordinated by DOT, this new collaborative effort involving Federal agencies and members of the public aims to unleash Americans’ entrepreneurial spirit by encouraging participants to build a range of innovative digital tools and mobile applications to enhance public and product safety

To help kick off the Safety Data Initiative, today we are announcing two app challenges that take advantage of more than 700 open government datasets now available on

DOT has launched the Motorcoach Safety Data Student Challenge, which asks developers to use public performance data about interstate commercial bus companies found on to help consumers make smart safety decisions about their bus travel.

And the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Occupational Safety and Health Administration wants your help in building tools to educate the public about safety in the workplace through its Worker Safety and Health Challenge. The goal is to develop apps that can reduce the number of work-related injuries, which affected more than 800,000 individuals in 2009 alone.

The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, DOT, DOL, and other agencies are looking forward to seeing the safety apps that you’ll develop for America’s public safety officers and concerned citizens. Are you building apps that empower people to make informed decisions about their safety and the safety of others using data from  We want to hear about them!  Tell us about the safety apps you’ve built using the form on the White House site. In September, the Safety Data Initiative will host a Safety Datapalooza at which some of the most innovative safety applications submitted will be highlighted.

DOT and the rest of the Federal agencies with safety missions never stop working on your behalf. And now, with the Administration's new Safety Data Initiative, you can join us in keeping America safe.

Ray LaHood is Secretary of Transportation. Todd Park is US CTO.

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