STRR Passes House; Highway Safety Claims Seem Dubious

On Thursday the House of Representatives passed their Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act. It still needs to be normalized with the Senate’s DRIVE bill and re-voted upon by both houses and signed by President Obama. So it’s not law, yet. But it is interesting. Particularly the portions that deal with “auto safety,” (worth noting: the bill claims to maintain auto safety):

  • Automakers now have 15 years, instead of 10, to fix recalled vehicles.
  • Evidence that an automaker failed to meet federal safety guidelines cannot be used against that company in court.
  • Authorizes money for and requires the safety administration to study and report on if and or at what levels a marijuana usage threshold should be implemented similar to a blood-alcohol limit for driving.

More related to our industry the bill authorizes additional funding for “freight corridors” and for technology infrastructure to facilitate trucking efficiencies.

There is a lot to like in this bill and there are also a lot that seem rather head-scratchingly absurd.

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