Your July 23 Pre-Trip: Senate highway debate continues

Here are five things worth knowing today: 1. According to Reuters, the Senate is debating a plan to fund federal highway and transportation projects for three years. According to the report, the 62-36 vote came a day after an initial attempt to pass a measure failed and followed hours of closed-door discussions. “The legislation is expected to dominate Senate debate into next week but would represent the first multi-year U.S. surface transportation bill in a decade, if it succeeds,” Reuters said. The bill faces hurdles from several Democrats and Republicans who say they’d rather opt for a short-term extension and work on a longer-term package later in the year. Congress is working against a July 31 deadline to keep the Highway Fund from running out of money. Reuters has more. 2. The highway bill that the Senate unveiled on Tuesday would make it easier for states to implement tolls to federal highways, The Hill reports. According to the report, present law requires states construct new lanes on highways that they want to add tolls to, with the exception of three states that were cleared to conduct pilots in 1998. “A section of the new proposed highway bill would make it easier for new states to enter the pilot program if the original testers decide not to move forward with adding tolls to their existing highways,” according to The Hill. The Hill has more. 3. Some are opposed to proposed legislation that would allow 18-year-olds to drive tractor-trailers between states. According to the Insurance Journal, Jackie Gillan, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, noted that many states allow 18-year-olds to drive the big trucks, but federal law prohibits them from crossing state borders. “’In those states, younger truck drivers are four- to six-times as likely as 21-year-olds to be involved in fatal crashes,’ Gillan said,” according to the report. The trucking industry sees the measure as a way to help alleviate the truck driver shortage. 4. General Motors has reported its net income has risen to $1.117 billion from $278 million a year ago, BBC News reports. According to the report, in the U.S., GM sold 576,000 Chevrolet cars, trucks and crossovers in the second quarter. BBC has more.5. Fort Worth, TX, police reported that an apartment complex security guard shot twice at a towing company vehicle that allegedly nearly ran him over, according to NBC Dallas Fort Worth. According to police, the tow company driver was looking for missing or stolen vehicles. NBC 5 has more.
About the Author

Cristina Commendatore

Cristina Commendatore was previously the Editor-in-chief of FleetOwner magazine. She reported on the transportation industry since 2015, covering topics such as business operational challenges, driver and technician shortages, truck safety, and new vehicle technologies. She holds a master’s degree in journalism from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut.

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