Idaho Transportation Department Director Offers Security and Emergency Management Plan
BOISE – Idaho Transportation Department Director Brian Ness revealed his plan to upgrade security and emergency-management measures for state transportation departments at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) annual meeting in Chicago. The AASHTO Board of Directors approved the plan Monday, Sept. 28.
As chairman of the Special Committee on Transportation Security and Emergency Management (SCOTSEM), Ness spearheaded a strategic-planning effort to include greater accountability and performance measures. SCOTSEM is a nationwide committee containing a representative from each of the four regions of AASHTO.
“It’s critical that we show leadership as a committee by setting performance measures and holding ourselves accountable in securing our transportation system prior to emergencies,” said Ness. “We have to remember nothing can bring a government agency to its knees faster than not being prepared to respond. Even though we are 14 years away from 9/11 and a decade since Hurricane Katrina, we have to always remain vigilant in preparing for emergencies.”
Under the new strategic plan, SCOTSEM has a new leadership structure. The sub-committee now has a chairman (Brian Ness), vice-chairman (Chuck Runyon of West Virginia), secretary (Jeff King, Federal Highway Administration), three new technical working groups (All-hazards Infrastructure Protection, Emergency Management, and Research Identification and Implementation), and a representative from each AASHTO region.
The new SCOTSEM structure serves as a model AASHTO could implement as the parent organization begins implementing its a new strategic plan.
Ness has been chairman of SCOTSEM since 2012, and is also the president of the Western region of AASHTO, which is called WASHTO.
The Idaho Transportation Department is responsible for all highways on the State Highway System – interstates, state highways and U.S. routes. All other roads are under the jurisdiction of the local, city or county entity.