The Honorable John Thune
United States Senate
Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
512 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510
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Dear Chairman Thune,
The 115th Congress has a unique opportunity to lay the foundation for a modern American infrastructure system. The opportunity is also there to make sure that the vehicles on our nation’s roads and highways are safer by focusing on policies that will enhance truck technologies, roadway improvements and workforce development. We urge the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation to support these types of investments and common-sense policies that will enhance safety as well as spur economic growth and job creation.
Underinvestment and a lack of attention to the nation’s infrastructure has left American families in harm’s way, spurred economic inefficiencies, and put undue stress on our environment. We need to do more than maintain our existing roads, bridges, and waterways. To fully deliver results for the long-term, reforms should also leverage technologies and efficiencies developed by the private sector. Let’s not invest in the infrastructure system of the past but lay the foundation for one of the future.
The Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation is well aware of these facts and is actively working to better understand and provide solutions. The Americans for Modern Transportation coalition has identified three policy opportunities to guide the creation of a safer and more modern infrastructure system:
- Sustainability Improvements: The reduction of emissions and improved fuel efficiency will improve overall environmental quality while strengthening our economic and national security. Advanced trucking equipment like Twin 33 trailers are low-hanging fruit for rapidly increasing fuel efficiency, cutting emissions, and making our highways safer. Fully utilized on the national highway network, Twin 33s in particular can reduce carbon emissions by 6 billion pounds, save 255 million gallons of fuel, and eliminate 4,500 crashes over the course of a year – all without compromising the condition or safety of our nation’s highways.
- Technology Upgrades: The exploration of smart and adaptive vehicle technologies should be supported and incorporated in new advanced trucking equipment. Once implemented on a national level, advanced transportation systems, or Smart Road Systems, promise incredible improvements to road safety, fuel efficiency, and travel times as a result of reduced congestion.
- Highway and Vehicle Safety Improvements: Improved road and bridge infrastructure means a safer environment for all drivers and their passengers to navigate. All new roadways should be constructed with modern features, including rumble strips, widened shoulders, and well-engineered asphalt, that promote longevity and a safe, high-quality driving experience for all vehicles. Vehicles should be equipped with modern tools such as lane departure notification, anti-rollover technology, outside facing cameras and other crash avoidance features that can reduce accidents and improve safety.
The private sector continues to make investments in our workforce, new technologies, and existing equipment to ensure our fleets are as efficient, sustainable, and safe as possible. We need the same forward-looking effort from our partners in federal and state governments so all Americans have access to the full promise enabled by a modern transportation system.
We look forward to working with the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and seizing this opportunity to usher the country into a new era of safety and infrastructure investment.
The Americans for Modern Transportation Coalition