Infrastructure Bill Aims to Cut Traffic Fatalities

Mar 22, 2011

Construction on side of highwayTwo senators introduced legislation last week to revamp the nation's surface transportation system, aiming to cut traffic deaths by 50 percent by 2030.

 

Sen. Jay Rockefeller, D-W.Va., chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, and Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., chairman of the surface transportation subcommittee, introduced a bill to set sweeping policy goals for the nation's transportation system.

 

"The United States' population is projected to increase by 50 percent between now and 2050," Rockefeller said. "What's needed is a sound, national blueprint for a 21st century system that's safe, efficient, and improves the mobility of people and American-made goods."

 

Rockefeller and Lautenberg want to reduce national motor vehicle-related fatalities by 50 percent by 2030.

 

The bills would have required NHTSA to act to upgrade numerous auto safety standards and would have given NHTSA more power to get dangerous vehicles off the roads and higher fines to deter automakers.

 

The senators also want to reduce national per capita motor vehicle miles traveled on an annual basis and cut greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles.

 

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood told reporters at the White House on Wednesday that the administration will work with Congress to properly fund transit construction projects. But he said the administration will not propose a gas tax increase or other mechanism to fund additional spending.

 

The surface transportation programs authorized under a 2005 law expired at the end of 2009. The Obama administration and Senate transportation leaders want a six-year extension of transportation policy.

 

[via The Detroit News]

 

Photo courtesy of Beatrice Murch and re-used under the Creative Commons license.