ARLINGTON, Va. -- The American Trucking Associations President is applauding the US Senate for passing an historic, long-term highway bill, and is urging the House to quickly follow suit.
“The highway bill passed by the Senate is an example of how things should work in Washington,” said ATA CEO Bill Graves. “This bill advances the cause of highway safety and takes a number of important steps toward reforming our transportation system.”
According to a statement by Graves, the bill includes $2 billion a year in funding for highway freight-specific projects; reforms and consolidates redundant programs; speeds up project approval; and avoids use of tolls on existing Interstates.
“In particular, we’d like to thank Sen. Bingaman for his work to ensure that public-private partnerships protect the public interest, and that states do not get extra credit for selling off their transportation assets to the highest bidder. We also appreciate Sen. Hutchison’s efforts to prevent the spread of tolls,” Graves said.
Graves also lauded the bill’s attempts to make strides with highway safety. According to Graves, the bill “orders the creation of a clearinghouse for commercial drivers’ drug and alcohol test results, directs the federal government to create a notification system so employers can be told of drivers’ traffic infractions, moves [the industry] in the direction of establishing crashworthiness standards for large trucks, raises the bar new companies and drivers must clear before coming into the trucking industry; and orders the mandating of electronic logs for all commercial drivers,” Graves said.
“Now that the Senate has completed its work, I urge the House to pass its own bill and then quickly work with the Senate to send a bipartisan reform bill to the President, one which sets a new course based on the principles of promoting targeted, effective safety programs, and funding the most cost-beneficial transportation projects,” Graves added.