NSC Statement on Finalization of Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

Many provisions included in the legislation are a reflection of the landmark Road to Zero report, issued in 2018.

August 10, 2021

Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council believes the Senate-passed Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill (BIB) takes a big step in the right direction to improving roadway safety. NSC data show motor vehicle deaths are climbing, with 42,060 people estimated to have died on the roads in 2020. This further fuels the need for federal leadership to commit to reducing these fatalities to zero, as introduced in the zero resolution in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives on July 27.

Many provisions included in the legislation are a reflection of the landmark Road to Zero report issued in 2018 that called on policymakers and others to follow the three pillars of double down on what works, advance technology and prioritize safety with a safe system approach. Some of these provisions include: 

  • Implementation of the Safe System approach in roadway design, acknowledging that people make mistakes and the cost of those mistakes should not be death
  • Requiring passive, advanced impaired driving prevention technology to prevent impaired driving within three years
  • Prioritizing safe mobility for all roadway users, including vulnerable road users like pedestrians and cyclists
  • A Safe Streets and Roads for All grant program that will provide funding to states and localities to develop or implement Vision Zero and Toward Zero Deaths plans
  • Increased funding for states to improve traffic safety laws
  • Supporting automated enforcement in roadway work zones
  • Improving crash data collection overall, including support for near real-time crash reporting and incorporating the National EMS Information System more fully into crash reporting
  • Adding policy-substance impaired driving and the presences of advanced driver assistance systems to crash reporting documentation
  • Requiring within two years rear seat alerting technology in vehicles to remind drivers to check the back seat after a vehicle is turned off, with the goal of reducing the number of vehicular heatstroke tragedies that occur each year
  • Supporting flexibility in safety funding
  • Improving data collection on impaired driving crashes for alcohol, drugs and multi-substance impaired crashes and improving toxicology testing from those crashes
  • Establishing minimum performance standards for life-saving ADAS technology
  • Updating the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) to include more safety features
  • Studying rural roads and strategies to improve safety for all users
  • Funding training of child passenger safety technicians in underserved communities
  • Replacing the word “accidents” with “crashes” in the U.S. Code 

While the legislation does not go as far as needed to ensure no one loses their life on our roadways, NSC and the Road to Zero coalition will continue to work together with Congress to enact several important provisions from the House of Representatives-passed INVEST in America Act. We cannot rest when we lose over 100 people on average each day in preventable crashes and implore the Senate to do the same.  

About the National Safety Council
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for over 100 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace, roadway and impairment. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.

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