Peters Provision Allows States to Use Existing Funds to Invest in Safety Technology
WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 26, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Senator Gary Peters (MI) today applauded the inclusion of his bipartisan Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Safety Technology Investment Flexibility Act of 2015 in the surface transportation reauthorization bill, which was unanimously passed by the Senate Environment and Public Works committee yesterday. Peters introduced the bill along with Republican Senator Roy Blunt (MO) and Democratic Senator Debbie Stabenow (MI) earlier this month.
“Vehicle-to-infrastructure technology has the potential to reduce collisions and save thousands of lives, and we should help states integrate these critical safety technologies into their infrastructure,” said Senator Peters. “Connected vehicles are the future of the American auto industry, and this legislation will help ensure that our infrastructure is keeping pace with these cutting-edge advancements. I’m pleased that this legislation was included in the Committee’s highway bill and I look forward to working with my colleagues in both parties to advance this bill in the Senate.”
The Developing a Reliable and Innovative Vision for the Economy Act (DRIVE Act) passed by the Committee yesterday authorizes increased federal funding for highway programs for six years, including the National Highway Performance Program (NHPP), the Surface Transportation Program (STP) and the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). The legislation provides long-term funding that gives states certainty for planning infrastructure and transportation improvement projects, which will also support job creation and economic growth.
Peters’ Vehicle-to-Infrastructure Safety Technology Investment Flexibility Act of 2015, which was included as a provision in the larger DRIVE Act legislation, authorizes states to use existing surface and highway transportation funding from NHPP, STP and HSIP to invest in vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication technology.
V2I technologies include wireless exchanges of critical safety and operational information between connected vehicles and infrastructure to help prevent collisions, relieve traffic congestion and reduce unnecessary energy consumption. Examples of V2I applications include monitors on bridges that communicate ice accumulation to approaching vehicles, traffic signals that warn vehicles of stopped traffic, or sensors warning of nearby emergency vehicles or work zones. A 2013 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA) study found that V2I technologies could save lives by eliminating up to 80 percent of vehicle accidents involving non-impaired drivers.
Peters’ bill has broad support from transportation industry leaders including Ford, General Motors, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, the Association of Global Automakers, Cisco and ITS America—the High Tech Transportation Association.
Peters also recently introduced the bipartisan Vehicle Innovation Act (VIA) with Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) to promote investments in research and development of new vehicle technologies, including vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) technology, to improve safety and efficiency.