AIA Says Federal Transportation Bill a Plus for Having Safer Roads

August 2, 2005

Congress has taken important action to move the nation toward safer roads by including incentives for states to adopt primary seat belt laws as part of the “Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (TEA-LU),” according to the American Insurance Association (AIA).

“Increasing safety on our roads has always been an AIA priority,” said Melissa Shelk, AIA vice president of federal affairs. “The bill includes several provisions to make roads safer for motorists, which also addresses loss cost factors for insurers.”

Primary seat belt laws allow law enforcement officials to stop motorists for the sole reason of not wearing a seat belt, even if no other traffic violation has occurred.

“States that have not yet enacted a primary seat belt program should be encouraged to do so with the incentives included as part of this legislation,” added David Snyder, AIA vice president and assistant general counsel. “We’re very pleased that Congress has provided a high level of funding for public transportation projects, and included a focus on dangerous intersections, two measures that will help prevent crashes in congested urban and suburban areas.”

After the House and Senate passed different versions of the legislation, the two chambers came together to arrive at one bill during a conference. The bill now awaits President Bush’s signature.

“Congressional leadership has been vital in past efforts to improve highway safety,” said Shelk. “We commend the leadership effort this time around. It should move us toward significant improvements.”

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