'Safety Senator' Frank Lautenberg dies at 89
Washington – New Jersey Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, author of multiple laws related to transportation and workplace safety, passed away on June 3 due to complications from viral pneumonia.
Among his transportation safety accomplishments (.pdf file):
- Cracked down on impaired driving by authoring bills for states to establish a 0.08 blood-alcohol concentration limit, require repeat offenders to use ignition interlocks (.pdf file) and standardize the legal drinking age to 21 years old
- Sought to prevent heavier large trucks from operating on U.S. roadways and helped ban triple-trailer trucks from New Jersey and most other states
- Helped with the requirement to install new safety technologies at rail-grade crossings and on rail lines and rail cars
- Authored legislation to require trucks and buses to install electronic onboard recorders to track hours-of-service compliance
“Frank’s tireless advocacy for transportation safety saved many lives – he truly was the Safety Senator,” Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood said in a June 3 statement.