Previously Passed Highway Safety Measures Endangered by Funding Resolution

By September 21, 2012Car & Truck Accidents

On September 13, 2012, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a six-month funding measure for the federal government that will run until early 2013. However, the resolution scrapped the new, additional funding for national transportation and transportation safety that was approved by Congress in a bill earlier this year.

The bill, known as Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act – MAP-21, for short – is a 27-month transportation bill that passed on a strong bi-partisan vote in both the House and U.S. Senate. It consolidated approximately 60 current federal programs.

MAP-21 includes:

• $21.8 billion for a National Highway Performance Program, which includes funds to repair existing roads and a call for the Department of Transportation to set minimum standards for Interstate highway pavement conditions and bridge decks. In essence, states with inferior road infrastructure will have to spend more for repair.

• $2.4 billion for an expanded Highway Safety Improvement Program, which would double current funding for infrastructure safety, and focuses on updated federal and state efforts to reduce roadway accident injuries and deaths.

• $220 million for the Railway-Highway Crossings Program, which pays for eliminating hazards and installation of protective devices at public railway-highway crossings.

Regulations requiring electronic logging devices that record truck drivers’ hours of service

• Establishment of a National Freight Strategic Plan that encourages states to improve the safety of freight transportation and provides funding for more truck-only lanes and improvements to truck bottlenecks on the Interstate system.

The Senate now must vote on the continuing resolution to determine the fate of MAP-21 and its enhanced roadway safety measures.