Transportation Funding Bill Should Not be Used to Compromise Traffic Safety Especially as Motor Vehicle Crash Fatalities and Injuries are at Historic Highs
Oppose Anti-Safety Amendments to and Sections in S. Amdt. 1092 to HR 4366 – the “Minibus”
We urge you to oppose pending amendments that would negatively impact making progress on traffic safety to reduce the mounting motor vehicle crash death and injury toll including:
- #1121 – adds unnecessary and onerous steps to the rulemaking process
- #1296 – prohibits use of funds for the salary of the current National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Acting Administrator
We oppose Sections 127, 131 and 132. Truck safety needs to be improved, NOT weakened.
- Sec. 127: Permits truck weight increases or increases in axle weight for certain trucks in Mississippi and West Virginia. Federal weight and size limits are essential to protecting truck drivers, the traveling public, and our Nation’s roads and bridges. According to the 2021 Infrastructure Report Card from the American Society of Civil Engineers, America’s roads receive a grade of “D,” and our bridges were given a “C.” Nearly 40 percent of our 615,000 bridges in the National Bridge Inventory are 50 years or older, and one out of 11 is structurally deficient. Raising truck weight or size limits also could result in an increased prevalence and severity of crashes.
- Sec. 131: Prohibits funding to enforce requirements related to electronic logging devices (ELD) for carriers transporting livestock and insects. Truck driver fatigue is a known and serious issue that contributes to truck crashes, fatalities and injuries. ELDs have been required since 2017 and are a proven technology to record hours of service (HOS) limits and to ensure drivers are not exceeding the maximum hours behind the wheel.
- Sec. 132: Prohibits use of funds to require inward-facing cameras for the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program (SDAP) and to require that the SDAP is registered with the Department of Labor’s “industry-driven, high-quality career” Registered Apprenticeship Program to ensure the integrity of the SDAP. Commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers under the age of 19 are four times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes, and CMV drivers between the ages of 19 and 20 are six times more likely to be involved in fatal crashes than all truck drivers. Commonsense safeguards for this ill-advised program should not be removed or weakened.
Roadway fatalities, injuries and related costs continue to be exceedingly high and need to be reduced, not compounded!