Senate approves FY 2012 transportation safety appropriations bill

Washington – The Senate passed an appropriations bill on Nov. 1 that would fund a variety of transportation safety programs through at least Sept. 30, 2012. The bill passed the Senate by a 69-30 margin, and previously passed the House on June 16 by a vote of 217-203.

Significant safety program appropriations include allocations of $1.25 billion for aviation safety, $176.5 million to railroad safety and operations, $250 million to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, $140.1 million to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, $118.4 million to pipeline safety and $39 million to hazardous materials safety.

Key traffic safety program appropriation provisions include reporting requirements for FMCSA, which must provide biannual reports on its new high-risk carrier compliance review system and annual reports on its Mexico cross-border trucking pilot program.

Provisions for NHTSA include expenditure requirements on multiple safety incentive programs, including providing states grants to enact and enforce distracted driving, alcohol-impairment, and safety belt laws.

The bill will be forwarded to a committee of senators and representatives to discuss disagreements between versions passed in each chamber.

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