A much-needed highway funding bill has been introduced in the House that would give the DOT a budget for the next 6 years and implement changes in transportation, including removing carrier CSA scores from public view and allowing CMV drivers under the age of 21 to participate in a pilot program.
The bill, H.R. 3763 would give the DOT $325 billion over the next 6 years – an amount that matches current levels of funding (while adjusting for inflation). Since that still leaves transportation running a $15 billion annual deficit, Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx says it isn’t nearly enough. According to Foxx, a $400 billion investment over the next 6 years would be “the absolute minimum level of investment” that would be needed to keep the situation from getting any worse.
Introduced by a bipartisan coalition including House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee chair Bill Shuster, the bill also contains provisions that would make changes to the CSA system. If passed, the bill would require that the FMCSA remove all crash records, violation history, and CSA BASIC rankings from public view and require the DOT to create a “corrective action plan” that the FMCSA must follow in order to reinstate the program.
According to a House-sponsored review of the 558-page bill, it would also make numerous other changes, including the following:
- Requires the DOT to produce a study on allowing CDL holders ages 19.5 to 21 to operate CMVs across state lines
- Bans the use of funding for automated traffic enforcement Systems
- Makes data available on how states are following federal guidelines for automated red light and speed enforcement cameras
- Encourages states to adopt programs to increase driver awareness of commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) and how to operate safely around CMVs
- Requires changes to the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program to improve fairness and transparency