Two-Year Highway Bill Approved by House and Senate
Thursday, July 5, 2012
On Friday, June 29, the House and Senate approved a two-year highway bill to fund construction and safety programs through September 2014. On the same day, President Obama signed a one-week extension and is expected to sign the full law in the coming days.
The bill, HR4348 or "Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” (MAP-21) allows $100 billion to be spent on highway, mass transit and other transportation provisions, which include:
- A mandate that all trucks have electronic onboard recorders.
The creation of a federal alcohol and drug clearing house so carriers can check driver records.
- A requirement for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to conduct a field study on the effectiveness of the 34-hour restart provision in its hours-of-service rule.
- A funded comprehensive study to include crash data on the ability of roads to handle higher weights, different axle configurations, occurring freight diversions, and many other factors.
- A requirement for carriers starting a new business to take a proficiency test as part of the application process for federal authority. FMCSA is directed to develop the test with the particulars being outlined in the rulemaking process.
- The ability for FMCSA to deal with companies who want to skirt safety and compliance regulations. The bill expands on reasons for motor carriers to be shut down.
See the bill's full text.