ATSSA urges Congress to include infrastructure policies in CAV legislation
Earlier this month, ATSSA President & CEO Roger Wentz submitted a letter to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee and the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, urging legislators to include infrastructure policies as they draft bills related to Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs).
As new Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) technologies continue to enter U.S. roadways, it is critical that Congress factor roadside infrastructure into future bills to support the decline of traffic fatalities and injuries.
“While we appreciate the work to date to craft CAV legislation, we feel strongly that the connection between the vehicle and the infrastructure must be more robustly addressed,” Wentz stated in the November 5, 2019 letter. “Vehicles must be able to interact seamlessly not only with other vehicles, but also with other road users (pedestrians and bicyclists), the road itself, and roadway safety infrastructure devices, such as pavement markings, traffic signs and signals, guardrail, and work zone safety devices and workers.”
Currently, Congress is moving forward with America’s highway funding reauthorization legislation, which was originally proposed by the U.S. Senate. The American’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) of 2019 is meant to continue the work done with the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, authorizing $287 billion for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) over five years to ensure investments are made to maintain and repair our nation’s roadways.
In the House of Representatives, the Road Safety Caucus, co-chaired by Reps. Chris Pappas (D-N.H.) and Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.), brings key safety issues to the attention of legislators and helps them understand how legislation will impact those issues.
ATSSA Vice President of Government Relations Nate Smith said association staff and members are happy to see efforts being made on the Hill to advance CAV technology and integration on U.S. roadways, however, there is still “a lot of groundwork to cover.”
“Transportation agencies and companies across the nation are heavily invested in the advancement of automated technology as well as the advancement of roadway safety,” Smith said. “It is the goal of our association and many others to ensure progression does not come at a cost. This is why we continue to ask Congress to consider new waves of technology when enacting legislation. By considering all impacts of potential laws, we can help save lives and reduce traffic-related injuries and fatalities.”