Commerce Committee Checks Up on FAST Act Safety Provisions

Members of the Commerce Committee in the Senate will look at how the 2015 highway law is affecting safety on highways and rails, and boosting freight connectivity.

The Commerce, Science and Transportation Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety and Security on July 12 will hear from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and Amtrak for their take on the implementation of programs authorized by the 2015 FAST Act.

Under the FAST Act, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability data were pulled from public view pending an in-depth review. The CSA program aimed to provide a safety performance scoring system for the industry. Maj. Jay Thompson of the Arkansas Highway Police and president of CVSA told Transport Topics he will tell the subcommittee to push in a new authorization for one set of data for roadside inspections.

“That data that is used by FMCSA, it needs to be uniformed and consistent as it possibly can,” he said.

The senators also will press witnesses on strategies for improving infrastructure to improve the flow of freight. The FAST Act authorized $4.5 billion through 2020 for an infrastructure grant program. The U.S. Department of Transportation proposed to allocate nearly $800 million in fiscal 2016 for 18 projects as part of the new grant program.