US Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood has announced that he will not serve a second term in President Obama's Cabinet, but will stay on until a successor is confirmed. Of his and the Department of Transportation's many initiatives, the one LaHood will perhaps be remembered for most is his efforts to reduce distracted driving, particularly the dangers of texting while driving. Secretary LaHood even addressed Autoblog readers directly about the subject back in 2010.

Before becoming Transportation Secretary, LaHood was a member of the House of Representatives representing the 18th district of Illinois and served on the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Well known as a champion of bipartisan cooperation, LaHood was one of two Republicans appointed to the President's Cabinet in 2008, the other being Robert Gates as US Secretary of Defense.

Scroll down to read an email sent by LaHood to Department of Transportation employees announcing his plans.

"I have let President Obama know that I will not serve a second term as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation. It has been an honor and a privilege to lead the Department, and I am grateful to President Obama for giving me such an extraordinary opportunity. I plan to stay on until my successor is confirmed to ensure a smooth transition for the Department and all the important work we still have to do.

As I look back on the past four years, I am proud of what we have accomplished together in so many important areas. But what I am most proud of is the DOT team. You exemplify the best of public service, and I truly appreciate all that you have done to make America better, to make your communities better, and to make DOT better.

Our achievements are significant. We have put safety front and center with the Distracted Driving Initiative and a rule to combat pilot fatigue that was decades in the making. We have made great progress in improving the safety of our transit systems, pipelines, and highways, and in reducing roadway fatalities to historic lows. We have strengthened consumer protections with new regulations on buses, trucks, and airlines.

We helped jumpstart the economy and put our fellow Americans back to work with $48 billion in transportation funding from the American Recovery and Investment Act of 2009, and awarded over $2.7 billion in TIGER grants to 130 transportation projects across the Nation. We have made unprecedented investments in our nation's ports. And we have put aviation on a sounder footing with the FAA reauthorization, and secured funding in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act to help States build and repair their roads, bridges and transit systems.

And to further secure our future, we have taken transportation into the 21st century with CAFE Standards, NextGen, and our investments in passenger and High-Speed Rail. What's more, we have provided the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy with the funding and leadership it needs to prepare a new generation of midshipmen to meet our country's rapidly-evolving defense and maritime transportation needs.

Closer to home, we also have made great strides. In December, the DOT was recognized as the most improved agency in the entire Federal government in the 2012 "Best Places to Work" rankings published by the Partnership of Public Service. Even more impressive, DOT was ranked 9th out of the 19 largest agencies in the government.

Each of these remarkable accomplishments is a tribute your hard work, creativity, commitment to excellence, and most of all, your dedication to our country. DOT is fortunate to have such an extraordinary group of public servants. I look forward to continuing to work with all of you as the selection and confirmation process of the next transportation secretary moves forward. Now is not the time to let up - we still have a number of critical safety goals to accomplish and still more work to do on the implementation of MAP-21.

I've told President Obama, and I've told many of you, that this is the best job I've ever had. I'm grateful to have the opportunity to work with all of you and I'm confident that DOT will continue to achieve great things in the future.

Thank you, and God bless you."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      Although the frontrunner to replace Lahood is Villaraigosa, who despite attending law school and 4 attempts, was unable to pass the California bar exam.
      Robert Fahey
      • 2 Years Ago
      Finally embarking on his true career as a nude male model.
      • 2 Years Ago
      • 2 Years Ago
      he should take the entire administration home with him.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good riddance to the dumbest, stupidest, most ludicrous Transport Sec in all of US History.
        • 2 Years Ago
        I'll reserve judgement until I see the next bozo.
          • 2 Years Ago
          What I said only compares him to his predecessors. I am sure Obama-Biden Morons can exceed themselves in the next appt.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Good, he's a complete moron.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Today is the day that all rational car lovers rejoiced!
      • 2 Years Ago
      Woohoo!!!! Good riddance to a big schmuck! He came to our company for an inane dog & pony show presentation about the dangers of distracted driving. At the end was a Q & A session. I asked him if we could pass a national law making the left lane of freeways a passing-only lane. His response: "the police have more than enough to keep them occupied, and this would be too much to enforce." Really?! Another co-worker asked why we couldn't adopt select U.S. roads to unlimited speeds like the Autobahn. LaHood: "I never knew that the Autobahn had sections without speed limits. That sounds dangerous." That was seriously his lame response...
      • 2 Years Ago
      Buh-bye Mr. Ray TheHood!!! DLTDHYWTGLSY!!!! Now maybe we can get rid of some of the other miscreants in the Little Barry Soetoro administration.
      joe shmoe
      • 2 Years Ago
      useless schmuck.
      • 2 Years Ago
      I always thought that this corrupt, incompetent idiot Lahood looks exactly like Mister Bean's older and much dumber brother.
      • 2 Years Ago
      Ding dong the witch is dead.
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