Your July 14 Pre-Trip: Utah hopes catchy messages will save drivers’ lives

Here are five things worth knowing today:

1. “100 Deadliest Days.” It’s what Utah transportation officials call the three months between Memorial Day and Labor Day. And, according to Governing.com, the state is beginning a tactic to make motorists focus on highway safety – using electronic signs to display catchy, often funny messages. According to the report, every Monday a new message is displayed. Messages included: “It’s not a race, leave some space;” “Steering wheel: not a hands-free device;” and “Turn signals: the original instant message.” Governing.com has more.

2. U.S. House Republicans unveiled an $8.1 billion plan to fund the nation’s highway and transit projects through December 2015, Bloomberg reports. The plan relies on “revenue gained by giving the IRS more information about mortgages, more time to investigate certain tax avoidance and new rules to prevent people from understating income on inherited property,” Bloomberg said. According to Reuters, the five-month extension bill was introduced by House Ways and Committee Chairman Paul Ryan and House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster. Both parties have maintained that they prefer a longer, six-year bill, but they haven’t been able to agree on funding. Lawmakers hope the extension will buy them time to negotiate a long-term bill, Reuters said.

3. A Change.org petition is urging federal officials to rename a stretch of road in Arlington, Va., that is named for Confederate leader Jefferson Davis, The Hill reports. In the wake of the Charleston, S.C., shooting, any images or people associated with the Confederacy have become controversial. According to the petition, “Jefferson Davis was hailed as the ‘champion of a slave society’ when he was selected in 1861 to become President of the Confederate States of America. Davis was an unrepentant white supremacist who fervently believed the Southern cause, slavery and segregation were right and just until his last dying breath in 1889.” The Hill has more.

4. Michigan lawmakers, who just returned from a three-week summer break, continue to debate how to fix the state’s crumbling roads, according to the Detroit Free Press. According to the report, the House passed a plan in early June, but the Senate passed a different plan that would increase the state’s gas tax by 15 cents over the next three years, according to the Press. That plan could raise about $800 million more a year for roads, the Press said.

5. FedEx is considering acquiring at least 25 more 767 cargo freighters from Boeing, according to Bidness Etc. “A final agreement, if signed, would be a benchmark one for both the companies, as Boeing would secure new orders for its wide-body jet, while FedEx would be able to better compete with its rivals through extension in its fleet,” according to the report. “FedEx currently operates a fleet of 378 cargo jets, most of which are bought from Being.”

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