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Spring 2011 | Vol. 13 | No. 1
Two Safety-Related Bills Introduced in Congress
A bill recently introduced in Congress by Sheila Jackson-Lee (D-TX) would mandate that states implement an annual vehicle safety inspection program or lose federal funds. Specifically, H.R. 229 – the Michael Jon Newkirk Transportation Safety Enhancement Act of 2011 – calls on states to enact a law requiring motor vehicle owners have their vehicles inspected annually.
States would determine the inspection standards, but the bill specifies that, at a minimum, these include working seat belts and speedometers. States not passing such legislation by federal fiscal year 2014 would have 5 percent of their National Highway System, Surface Transportation and Interstate Maintenance funds withheld. For FY 2015 and following years, the amount withheld would rise to 10 percent.
A second bill, H.R. 904, introduced by Representative Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI) would prohibit the U.S. Department of Transportation from funding motorcycle-only roadside checkpoints. Representatives Tom Petri (R-WI) and Paul Ryan (R-WI) are co-sponsors.
Congressman Sensenbrenner stated, “The first step in motorcycle crash prevention should be rider education and increased awareness. Taxpayer money should not be spent on helmet checkpoints that do not prevent crashes.”