Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "Transportation" ...

  • Guns in Airports, Passengers Packing Heat

    2018 set a record for people trying to carry guns through airport TSA checkpoints. 4,239 guns were found in carry-on bags at airports across the country, that’s 12 guns every day. 86% of those guns were loaded. Our 11-month investigation focused on who was attempting to take firearms through security checkpoints and examined why there has been such a sharp increase in the numbers of weapons found in airports in recent years.
  • WKMG News 6 Gets Results for Drivers during SunPass Upgrade Meltdown

    In June of 2018, The Florida Department of Transportation and its state vendor, Conduent, underwent a massive upgrade to the state’s tolling system known as Sunpass. It failed miserably, causing the SunPass computer system to crash and led the entire billing process into turmoil. For more than 2 months, drivers were not billed for their toll charges, leading to a backlog of nearly 330 million transactions. That created a consumer nightmare, with customers dealing with a deluge of backlogged tolls, computer glitches, duplicate billing, questionable and erroneous toll charges, and long wait times for help both on the phone and in person. WKMG News 6 kept viewers informed on every problem, every development, and even offered solutions and an interactive tutorial on how to check their accounts for duplicate or erroneous toll charges. We also created a timeline of events, exposed when the SunPass Website failed to allow customers to turn off auto-pay online, had the wrong date and time stamp on millions of toll transactions, and delayed sending out toll by plate invoices due to continued issues with toll data accuracy.
  • Drivers Under Siege

    They are not police officers or firefighters, yet Bay Area bus drivers who work for the Alameda-Contra Costa Transit District (AC Transit) face some of the most dangerous working conditions with the fewest protections. Using public records and video footage, our analysis found that bus drivers with AC Transit faced more violent assaults than any other district in the San Francisco Bay Area. After we started asking questions, AC Transit announced it would test out new bus shields to protect drivers and California lawmakers introduced a federal bill in Congress with bipartisan support that will require transit districts across the country to reassess their safety measures. The new law would allocate $25 million a year for five years to pay for shields, de-escalation training, systems for transit agencies nationwide to track assault data and report that data to the Department of Transportation.
  • Unprotected

    An NBC 5 investigation found the Texas Department of Transportation failed to put up guardrails in locations where state and federal guidelines suggest they should have been installed. In some of those spots with no guardrails drivers have died after colliding with large concrete bridge posts that sit unprotected, some just feet from the roadway.
  • Big Buses, Bigger Problems: Investigating DCS

    This in-depth investigation uncovered serious safety concerns inside Dallas County Schools (DCS), a government agency responsible for transporting more than 75,000 students to school each day in the Dallas Fort Worth area. http://www.nbcdfw.com/investigations/Dallas-County-Schools-Investigative-Series-401118835.html
  • Hidden Dangers on America's Roads

    “Hidden Dangers on America’s Roads” is a compilation of CBS News investigations revealing lax government regulation and the unwillingness of automakers to address potentially fatal issues in transportation safety. Those issues include vehicle defects, outdated federal automotive safety standards and policies surrounding the medical qualifications, or lack thereof, of commercial interstate drivers. These stories exposed weaknesses that inspired members of Congress to push for an upgrade of federal motor vehicle safety standards, forced the National Highway Traffic Safety administration to launch programs to identify potential changes to standards and led to a recall of more than a million vehicles worldwide.
  • Frankenstein Guardrails

    The FOX31 Denver’s investigative unit discovered Colorado Department of Transportation maintenance crews assembling guardrail systems with mix-and-match parts from competing manufacturers. By “Frankensteining” already questionable end-cap terminals, with incompatible rails, the state had been creating serious road safety hazards for years. Within a week of the revelation, the Federal Highway Administration ordered a nationwide warning and Colorado began inspecting every guardrail system in the state (42,000 end-cap terminals/21,000 guardrail systems), repairing hundreds of dangerous installation errors.
  • Dangerous Air Bags

    The Department of Transportation is investigating Knoxville, Tenn. based ARC Automotive for potentially manufacturing faulty air bag inflators. The inflators can become clogged over time, investigators believe, causing the driver to be hit with shrapnel in a low-speed crash. WBIR 10News tracked down and interviewed a victim who was nearly killed in such a crash. Her complaint sparked the nationwide recall investigation.
  • Deadly failure on the runway

    Less than a week after multimillionaire businessman Lewis Katz consolidated his ownership of The Philadelphia Inquirer in a high-stakes auction, he and six others were killed in a fiery takeoff crash of his Gulfstream G-IV. One month before the National Transportation Safety Board publicly issued its findings, The Inquirer put the readers inside the cockpit for the takeoff roll’s crucial last seconds as the pilots boosted the plane’s speed far above its reputed design limit – and then lost precious moments trying to electronically free the elevator, rather than simply aborting the takeoff. Early reports focused on a lack of required safety checks by the pilots. But that did not account for a central mystery – the plane’s fail-safe system did not prevent the jet from reaching takeoff speed despite their error. The newspaper found that a flaw in the jet’s “gust lock” system - meant to keep the plane’s elevators locked when a jet is parked - allowed the pilots to reach takeoff speed but unable to get lift, a deadly combination.
  • Growing Oil Train Traffic is Shrouded in Secrecy

    Oil train traffic in the Northwest is on the rise, as more oil from the Bakken fields of North Dakota arrives at Washington refineries. But despite numerous incidents of oil trains catching fire and exploding around North America, the companies transporting that oil aren't sharing enough information with local and state emergency responders. Ashley Ahearn examined the consequences of that data gap and the risk to the public, and profiles citizens who are taking matters into their own hands and tracking the oil trains themselves.