Biden’s infrastructure law increases funding for safety grants to states

With fatalities from commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes increasing sharply, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is awarding over $463 million in safety grants.

The grants will be used to fund efforts to reduce CMV-involved crashes, fatalities, and injuries through uniform, equitable, and effective safety programs. 

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg

The Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) grant program includes funding to state and local law enforcement and other government agencies for safety inspections of trucks and buses, investigations of motor carriers in response to safety concerns, and audits of new trucking and bus companies. The goal is to reinforce the importance of responsible operation and ensure the safe movement of goods and passengers. 

These grants come after a significant rise in fatalities involving large trucks. Preliminary 2021 data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported a 13% increase in fatalities from 2020. Earlier this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced the National Roadway Safety Strategy to address traffic fatalities and serious injuries by adopting the “safe system” approach, which focuses on safer roads, safer people, safer vehicles, safer speeds, and better post-crash care. 

These grants will help DOT implement the Safety Strategy.

Grant spending up 52%

“We are using resources available through the president’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to award more funding than ever before – a 52% increase from last year — to help prevent truck and bus crashes in every state and territory,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a statement about the increase in MCSAP formula grants. “These grants will help improve the safety of our trucks and buses and save lives on our nation’s roadways.”  

All 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the. territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands will receive federal funds. Last year, the FMCSA awarded more than $76 million in grants to states and educational institutions to enhance CMV safety. 

“FMCSA’s core mission is safety, and our work supports the U.S. Department of Transportation’s comprehensive National Roadway Safety Strategy working towards zero fatalities on our roadways,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Robin Hutcheson. “MCSAP grant funding is an important tool to help reduce large truck crashes by supporting critical CMV safety programs in every state.”

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