Highway bill section OK’d by transportation committee

Highway bill OK’d by transportation committee

The Senate transportation committee has today marked up a section of the highway bill that encompasses motor carrier safety, highway and vehicular safety, hazmat transportation safety, and household goods activities.

The bill reauthorizes the truck safety programs administered by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and “more than doubles” the amount of safety funding available to states through the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program to about $200 million.

The bill also provides improvements to the Commercial Driver’s License systems and programs and establishes a medical review board to recommend standards for the physical examinations of commercial drivers and a registry of qualified medical examiners, the committee stated in a press release.

The bill will also require Mexican and Canadian commercial vehicle operators transporting hazardous matrerials in the U.S. to undergo a background check similar to that given to a U.S. operator.

The language of the bill has not been released yet, a committee spokesperson told Fleet Owner.

After the Senate ratifies its own version of the highway bill, both Senate and House committees will negotiate the final legislation. Congress is looking to reauthorize the highway bill before the current one expires on May 31.

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