May 8, 2022
The recently signed infrastructure law continues the United States’
over-reliance on the most dangerous way to travel: driving a
vehicle. Did Congress make sufficient safety improvements to
decrease the dangers posed by driving in the United States? This
episode will examine all vehicle-related safety provisions to help
you weigh your own transportation options.
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“Number of worldwide air traffic fatalities from 2006 to 2021.”
Apr 12, 2022. Statista.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Mar 2022.
“Overview of Motor Vehicle Crashes in 2020.” U.S.
Department of Transportation.
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“Tesla Says Autopilot Makes Its Cars Safer. Crash Victims Say It
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The New York Times.
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Alcohol Detection Systems
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“Alcohol Detection Systems Will Now Be Mandatory In All New Cars To
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Keyless Entry Carbon Monoxide Deaths
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Kids Left in Cars
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Eric Stafford. May 6, 2019. [“Children Can Die When Left in the
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[Full Report] March 2021. Governors Highway Safety
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DIVISION A: SURFACE TRANSPORTATION
TITLE I - FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAYS
Subtitle A - Authorizations and Programs
Sec. 11101: Authorization of Appropriations
- Authorizes appropriations for Federal-Aid for highways at
between $52 billion and $56 billion per year through fiscal year
2026 (over $273 billion total).
- Authorizes $300 million for "charging and
fueling infrastructure grants" for 2022, which increases by
$100 million per year (maxing out at $700 million in 2026)
- Authorizes between $25 million and $30 million per year for
"community resilience and evacuation route grants" on top of equal
amounts for "at risk coastal infrastructure grants"
- Authorizes a total of $6.53 billion (from two funds) for the
bridge investment program
Sec. 11102: Obligation Ceiling
- Caps the annual total funding from all laws (with many
exceptions) that can be spent on Federal highway programs.
- Total through 2026: $300.3 billion
Sec. 11111: Highway Safety Improvement Program
- Adds protected bike lanes to the list of projects allowed to be
funded by the highway safety improvement project
- Adds "vulnerable road users" (non-motorists) to the list of
people who must be protected by highway safety improvement projects
- If 15% or more of a state's annual crash fatalities are made up
of non-motorists, that state will be required to spend at least 15%
of its highway safety improvement project money on projects
designed to improve safety for non-motorists.
- Each state, by the end of 2023, will have to complete a
vulnerable road user safety assessment that includes specific
information about each non-motorist fatality and serious injury in
the last five years, identifies high-risk locations, and identifies
possible projects and strategies for improving safety for
non-motorists in those locations.
Sec. 11119: Safe Routes to School
- Creates a new program to improve the ability of children to
walk and ride their bikes to school by funding projects including
sidewalk improvements, speed reduction improvements, crosswalk
improvements, bike parking, and traffic diversions away from
- Up to 30% of the money can be used for public awareness
campaigns, media relations, education, and staffing.
- No additional funding is provided. It will be funded with
existing funds for "administrative expenses". Each state will get a
minimum of $1 million.
- Non-profit organizations are eligible, along with local
governments, to receive and spend the funding. Non-profits are the
only entities eligible to receive money for educational programs
about safe routes to school.
Sec. 11130: Public Transportation
- Allows the Transportation Secretary to allocate funds for
dedicated bus lanes
Sec. 11133: Bicycle Transportation and Pedestrian Walkways
- Adds "shared micromobility" projects (like bike shares) to the
list of projects that can be funded as a highway project
- Electric bike-share bikes must stop assisting the rider at a
maximum of 28 mph to be classified as an "electric bicycle"
Subtitle B - Planning and Performance
Sec. 11206: Increasing Safe and Accessible Transportation
- Requires each state, in return for funding, to carry out 1 or
more project to increase accessible for multiple travel modes. The
projects can be...
- The enactment of "complete streets standards" (which ensure the
safe and adequate accommodation of all users of the transportation
- Connections of bikeways, pedestrian walkways, and public
transportation to community centers and neighborhoods
- Increasing public transportation ridership
- Improving safety of bike riders and pedestrians
- Intercity passenger rail
- There's a way for State's to get this requirement waived if
they already have Complete Streets standards in place
Subtitle D - Climate Change
Sec. 11404: Congestion Relief Program
- Creates a grant program, funded at a minimum of $10 million per
grant, for projects aimed at reducing highway congestion. Eligible
projects include congestion management systems, fees for entering
cities, deployment of toll lanes, parking fees, and congestion
pricing, operating commuter buses and vans, and carpool
- Buses, transit, and paratransit vehicles "shall" be allowed to
use toll lanes "at a discount rate or without charge"
Subtitle E - Miscellaneous
Sec. 11502: Stopping Threats on Pedestrians
- By the end of 2022, the Secretary of Transportation needs to
create a competitive grant pilot program to fund "bollard
installation projects", which are projects that raise concrete or
metal posts on a sidewalk next to a road that are designed to slow
or stop a motor vehicle.
- The grants will pay for 100% of the project costs
- Appropriates only $5 million per year through 2026
Sec. 11504: Study of Impacts on Roads from Self-driving
- By early 2023, the Transportation Department has to conduct a
study on the existing and future effects of self-driving cars on
infrastructure, mobility, the environment, and safety.
Sec. 11529: Active Transportation Infrastructure Investment
- Creates a grant program authorized for $1 billion total that
will fund walking and biking infrastructure projects that each cost
$15 million or more and connect communities to each other,
including communities in different states, and to connect to public
- The Federal government will pay for 80% of the project costs,
except in communities with a poverty rate over 40% (the Federal
government will pay 100% of the project costs in impoverished
TITLE III - MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY
Sec. 23010: Automatic Emergency Braking: Automatic Emergency
- A Federal regulation will be created by November 2023 which
will require new commercial vehicles to be equipped with automatic
braking systems and there will be performance standards for those
Sec. 23022: Apprenticeship Pilot Program
- Creates a three year pilot program, capped at 3,000
participants at a time, for people under 21 to be trained by people
over the age of 26 to become commercial truck drivers.
- Drivers under the age of 21 are not allowed to transport any
passengers or hazardous cargo
Sec. 23023: Limousine Compliance With Federal Safety
- A Federal regulation will be created by November 2023 requiring
that limousines have a seat belts at every seating position,
including side facing seats.
TITLE IV - HIGHWAY AND MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY
Subtitle A - Highway Traffic Safety
Sec. 24102: Highway Safety Programs
- Prohibit the Federal Government from withholding highway safety
money to the states that refuse to require helmets for motorcycle
drivers or passengers who are over the age of 18.
Sec. 24103: Highway Safety Research and Development
- Creates a grant program (by November 2023) that will fund
states that want to create a process for notifying vehicle owners
about any open recalls on their cars when they register their cars
with the DMV.
- The state receiving the money is only required to provide the
notifications for two years and participation in general is
- Creates financial incentives for states to create laws that
prohibit drivers from holding "a personal wireless communications
device" while driving, has fines for breaking that law, and has no
exemptions for texting when stopped in traffic.
- There are exceptions for using a cell phone for navigation in a
- Creates financial incentives for states to create laws that
require curriculum in driver's education courses to include
information about law enforcement procedures during traffic stops
and the rights and responsibilities of the drivers when being
stopped. The states would also have to have training programs for
the officers for implementing the procedures that would be
explained to drivers.
Sec. 24113: Implementation of GAO Recommendations
- Requires the Secretary of Transportation to implement all of
the national-level recommendations outlined in a 2018 GAO report by
the end of November 2022.
Subtitle B - Vehicle Safety
Sec. 24201: Authorization of Appropriations
- Authorizes a little over $1 billion total for vehicle safety
programs from 2022 through 2026
Sec. 24205: Automatic Shutoff
- By November 2023, the Transportation Department will have to
issue a regulation requiring fossil fuel powered vehicles with
keyless ignitions to have an automatic shutoff system to prevent
carbon monoxide poisoning.
- The amount of time that must trigger the shut off will be
determined by the regulators.
- If the regulation is issued on time, this would go into effect
most likely on September 1, 2024.
Sec. 24208: Crash Avoidance Technology
- The Secretary of Transportation must issue a regulation
establishing minimum standards for crash avoidance technology that
must be included in all vehicles sold in the United States starting
on a date that will be chosen by the Secretary of Transportation.
- The technology must alert the driver of an imminent crash and
apply the breaks automatically if the driver doesn't do so.
- The technology must include a land departure system that warns
the driver that they are not in their lane and correct the course
of travel if the driver doesn't do so.
Sec. 24215: Emergency Medical Services and 9-1-1
the part of the law that required the Transportation Department
to publish criteria that established timelines and performance
requirements for anyone who got a grant to implement the Next
Generation 9-1-1 project.
Sec. 24220: Advanced Impaired Driving Technology
- By November 2024, the Secretary of Transportation will have to
finish a regulation that requires passenger motor vehicles to be
standard equipped with "advanced and impaired driving prevention
- The technology must be able to monitor the performance of a
driver and/or their blood alcohol level and be able to prevent or
limit the car's operation if impairment is detected or if the blood
alcohol is above the legal limit.
- This will apply to new cars sold after November 2030 at the
Sec. 24222: Child Safety
- By November 2023, the Secretary of Transportation must finish a
regulation requiring all new passenger vehicles to have a system
alerting the driver visually and audibly to check the back seat
when the car is turned off.
- Says it will be activated "when the vehicle motor is
deactivated by the operator"
House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure,
Subcommittee on Highways and Transit
February 2, 2022
Overview: The purpose of this hearing is for Members of the
Subcommittee to explore the impact of automated vehicle deployment,
including automated trucks and buses, on mobility, infrastructure,
safety, workforce, and other economic and societal implications or
Design by Only Child Imaginations
Music Presented in This Episode
Intro & Exit:
Tired of Being Lied To by David Ippolito (found on
Music Alley by mevio)