CVSA Applauds Proposed Senate Truck Safety Bill

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) supports recently proposed Senate legislation that aims to reduce commercial vehicle crashes and save lives.

Senate Bill 3428, introduced by Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and George Voinovich, R-Ohio, would provide a tax credit to those who purchase trucks and buses installed with certain safety technologies.

"This bill is the right thing to do. It is about encouraging investment in safety through the purchase and installation of technologies on trucks and buses that have been tested and proven to work," said Stephen F. Campbell, CVSA's executive director. "It will certainly help reduce heavy truck fatalities which have been hovering around 5000 per year for the last 10 years."

Specifically, the bill provides tax credits for four safety technologies identified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in its recent Large Truck Crash Causation Study. These technologies, which could help reduce truck crashes and fatalities, include collision avoidance, lane departure warning, stability control, and brake stroke monitoring systems.

The tax credit would be equal to 50 percent of the cost of a qualified system, up to $1,500; allow a total credit of up to $3500 per vehicle; limit the qualifying taxpayer to a maximum credit to $350,000 per taxable year; and extend credit eligibility for the purchase of school busses, intercity buses and vehicles used in commerce.

The bill’s approach has received support from the FMSCA and National Transportation Safety Board. In testimony last year before the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, NTSB Chairman Mark V. Rosenker said the fastest way to promote widespread use of motor vehicle safety technologies was through the tax incentive approach.

On Capitol Hill, Sen. Elizabeth Dole, R-N.C., also signed on to the measure as an original co-sponsor. There are now 16 co-sponsors of the bill.

"Efforts to gain as much support as possible for this legislation are being made in order to ensure it becomes a high priority for consideration in next year's reauthorization bill," said Campbell.

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