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TRANSPORTATION

A modern and safe transportation system is an indispensable facet of a competitive 21st century economy. Increasing federal funding for transportation and infrastructure projects creates jobs, enhances safety, and promotes economic development, and I am a strong supporter of full funding for infrastructure repair, modernization, and investment.

Drunk Driving

Drunk driving is a public health crisis that claims the lives of thousands of Americans every year. On average, someone is killed by a drunk driver every 48 minutes.

Congress needs to use all the tools at its disposal to help prevent serial drunk drivers from jeopardizing the lives of others on the road. I introduced the Drunk Driving Repeat Offender Prevention Act to save lives, and to reduce the number of senseless tragedies that tear apart American families every year.

My Drunk Driving Repeat Offender Prevention Act would help to address these numbers by mandating that states require the installation of ignition interlock devices on convicted drunk drivers’ automobiles. States that fail to comply would lose vital funding from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

Studies have shown that ignition interlocks can decrease repeat offenses by up to 64 percent. In many fatal instances of drunk driving, the driver is a repeat offender who might not have had the chance to operate his vehicle had an ignition interlock device been installed. I applaud the 13 states that have already taken steps to resolve this issue, and I believe my bill will create incentives for the other 37 to follow suit.

Distracted Driving

Distracted driving has become an epidemic, and its consequences can often be fatal. These days, there are so many personal communication devices that command our attention, every second of every day. As we become more and more accustomed to the immediate feedback they provide, it becomes very easy to fall into the trap of texting at dangerous or otherwise inappropriate times. This is why efforts to prevent distracted driving and make drivers aware of its serious dangers are so vital. I have authored the Distracted Driving Prevention Act to encourage states to pass laws that criminalize distracted driving, including texting or handheld cellphone use while driving.

The Distracted Driving Prevention Act would also require the U.S. Department of Transportation to establish a research program to study distracted driving. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) would also be required to report to Congress on data and wireless communications technology, as well as authority that the FCC can use to assist in understanding and reducing distracted driving.