BotThoughts: Does Biden Care About Improving Inland Freight?

Posted by Fernando Correa ● Aug 20, 2021 11:05:52 AM


Finding ways to improve the nation's infrastructure remains a top priority for the White House. Making improvements to the infrastructure across the country will also make a big impact on the inland freight industry.

However, negotiations remain at a standstill due to political differences on how much money needs to be earmarked for making repairs to the infrastructure.

Dissecting the Infrastructure Bill

Performing vital repairs for roads and bridges throughout the nation will allow freight to move more efficiently. In addition, the most recent infrastructure bill from the House also includes numerous truck safety measures.

For example, AEB (automatic emergency braking) technology will be implemented for all new trucks. This technology has already made a significant impact on reducing accidents on the road.

Other Possible Safety Measures

Another safety measure in the bill includes a mandate for side underride guards to improve safety. However, many feel that the equipment needs to be further studied due to a lack of available data.

There's also a possibility of raising the minimum insurance requirements for any commercial motor carriers to $2 million, as it's currently at $750,000.

Looking at Funding Challenges

Finding the necessary amount of money for funding such a large bill remains a challenge. The Highway Trust Fund is supported by federal fuel taxes and other excise taxes. However, The Highway Trust Fund hasn't been changed since 1993, and it's failed to stay up with inflation.

The most likely route is to raise the fuel tax instead of implementing an entirely new system.

What About the DRIVE-Safe Act?

The Biden administration also re-introduced the DRIVE-Safe Act, which would enable commercial truck drivers under the age of 21 to drive across states. Allowing younger drivers to operate across state lines can help overcome a truck driver shortage, as the freight market will only continue to grow.

The DRIVE-Safe Act also creates an apprenticeship program to improve safety and ensure younger drivers are better equipped for the industry. Other items include speed limiters and the implementation of collision mitigation systems.

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Topics: Shippers, Carriers/Truckers