Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century
President Obama is taking the safety of his citizens seriously by signing the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, or MAP-21, into law. With MAP-21, several new stipulations will be in effect, which will assist the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) as it works to decrease collisions, injuries and death from accidents involving large motor vehicles such as buses and trucks.
Three Parts of MAP-21
The new law includes three provisions, which include increasing the requirements for new companies who are in their start-up phase and intend to drive large vehicles on main roadways. The second provision is that the administration will require freight haulers and drivers to maintain the highest safety levels possible while the third standard involves eliminating risky drivers, vehicles and freight haulers from the nation’s roadways and stop their operations.
The new law begins on October 1, 2012. In addition, MAP-21 will fund the provisions without increasing the nation’s deficit while purging earmarks. With the law in place, the administration will revolutionize and improve the country’s current transportation system in order to fast-track economic recovery, create new jobs for the unemployed and construct and improve the nation’s foundation for future success.
National Highway System Improvement
MAP-21 will continue to support the states by funding the State’s current transportation programs. In addition, the law will focus on improving the national highway system. In particular, it will modernize the most trafficked 222,000 miles of roads. Also, states will receive more fund-using flexibility as long as they maintain their bridges and roads.
Decreasing Air Pollution
The law includes a consolidation of several old programs in order to fund new construction projects on federally assisted highways along with tunnels and bridges. Highly populated areas may also receive additional funding through the law. MAP-21 includes a stipulation for improving the methods involved with transporting freight on roadways while states will receive funding to decrease road congestion and increase air quality.
In particular, programs that focus on decreasing carbon monoxide, ozone and airborne pollution will receive funding. States will also receive resources to improve their public roads, which will lower traffic deaths and accident related injuries. In addition, states will have funds to complete testing in order to identify and repair their most deadly roadways.
The administration identified 87 separate programs that they could consolidate in order to fund the new law. With MAP-21, the nation now has 30 programs to provide funding without increasing the US deficit. The law aims to make highways and bridges safer while employing fiscal responsibility.