FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 28, 2021
CONTACT: Pete Daniels / firstname.lastname@example.org / 301-442-2249 (C)
Statement of Cathy Chase, President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), On U.S. Senate’s Bipartisan Transportation/ Infrastructure Bill
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act fails to meaningfully address the leading safety threats on our roadways as is accomplished by the INVEST in America Act.
Today, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators released the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Unfortunately for the American public, it fails to include provisions needed to significantly address the persistent physical, emotional and economic toll of motor vehicle crashes occurring every year, and even worsening. In 2020, although there was less traffic on the roads, crash fatalities reached their highest level in over a decade.
Surface transportation and infrastructure legislation provides a once-in-a-half-decade opportunity to comprehensively improve our nation’s surface transportation safety policies. In its current form, the bill not only falls short, it also disrupts the historical precedent of substantial safety strides being incorporated in major infrastructure bills. Without a course correction, an estimated 183,000 people will be needlessly killed and 14 million more injured over the next five years. The comprehensive costs of motor vehicle crashes during the same period is expected to be more than $5 trillion.
In sharp contrast, the INVEST in America Act (H.R. 3684), passed on a bipartisan vote by the U.S. House of Representatives on July 1, includes provisions that “set the bar” for vehicle safety. We commend Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio (D-OR), Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce Chair Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) for their leadership and determination to bring these safety advances over the finish line. These game-changing and life-saving improvements must be included before the bill is sent to President Joe Biden (D) for his signature.
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance of consumer, medical, public health, law enforcement, and safety groups and insurance companies and agents working together to improve road safety in the U.S. Advocates’ mission is the adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that prevent motor vehicle crashes, save lives, reduce injuries, and contain costs.