Funding continuation delays transportation safety initiatives

Washington – A House continuing resolution that would fund government agencies until March 27, 2013, does not include the increased levels established in the surface transportation funding bill (MAP-21) (.pdf file) signed into law over the summer.

The Continuing Appropriations Resolution (H.J. Res. 117) passed the House in a 329-91 vote and, at press time, had moved to the Senate.

Some of the safety initiatives potentially affected include:

  • A two-year study on the safety impact of increasing maximum truck weight limits on highways
  • Development of new motorcoach safety standards on safety belts, rollover protection and structural safety
  • A field study on the restart provision in the 2011 hours-of-service final rule that allows commercial motor vehicle drivers to “reset” their weekly driving hour limit one time after 34 hours of continuous time off
  • Establishing new child safety standards, such as for child safety seat anchoring systems and impact protection during crashes

Washington-based Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety stated in a letter (.pdf file) that the House resolution also could affect incentive grants designed to encourage states to pass stricter transportation safety laws during early 2013 legislative sessions.

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