With Deadliest Driving Days of Summer Ahead, Safety Advocates Urge Congress to Pass Safety Advances in Transportation Bill

Comprehensive Bipartisan Safety Title Will Save Lives, Reduce Injuries and Create Jobs

May 31, 2012, 11:00 ET from Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety

WASHINGTON, May 31, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- As the June 7th deadline for the conference report and the June 30th expiration of the current transportation spending extension near, safety advocates took to Capitol Hill to urge that Congress keep the safety advances in the Senate-passed version of the legislation.  The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), S.1813, passed by a strong bipartisan vote of 74-22, including provisions negotiated with auto, truck, and motorcoach industries that if enacted into law, will save lives, reduce injuries, and create jobs. More information is available at www.saferoads.org on the bill's safety provisions.

In 2010, nearly 33,000 people were killed and more than 2 million were injured on our nation's highways, making motor vehicle crashes a major public health epidemic. Motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death from injury for Americans ages five to 24, and are the second leading cause of death by injury for Americans ages one to four, and 25 to 65.

"With millions of families taking to the roads for summer vacations, we are rapidly approaching one of the deadliest times of year.  The Senate's transportation bill brings proven technologies and programs to protect children, to allow teens safe driving conditions, to enforce truck driver hours of service laws and to make intercity bus travel safer," said Jackie Gillan, President of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates).

Joan Claybrook, Consumer Co-Chair of Advocates and a former NHTSA Administrator said, "Every surface transportation authorization bill enacted by Congress over the last 21 years has had a strong safety agenda to reduce highway deaths and injuries. It is now time for Congress to pass a bill that moves the bar on basic motor vehicle safety requirements including brake override, electronic data recorders, and the operation of keyless ignition systems in an emergency." 

The Senate legislation includes incentive programs for states to pass novice teen driving laws and text-messaging bans, provisions to enhance enforcement and penalties for violating federal motor carrier safety rules and a comprehensive study of the safety and infrastructure impacts of allowing bigger, heavier trucks on bridges and highways.

Participating in today's press conference were Stephen Forman and Brad Brown (Beaumont, TX), Captain Thomas Didone (Montgomery County, MD), Jim Portell (Davenport, FL), Dr.  Jeffrey Salomone, (Atlanta, GA), Ed Slattery (Cockeysville, MD), Dr. Sanjeev Sriram, American Academy of Pediatrics and Bill Vainisi, Allstate Insurance Company.

Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (www.saferoads.org) is a coalition of consumer, public health, medical, safety and insurance organizations working together to improve highway and auto safety policies in Congress, states and Executive branch agencies.

SOURCE Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety