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H.R. 4545 (103rd): Federal Railroad Safety Authorization Act of 1994


The text of the bill below is as of Oct 6, 1994 (Passed the Senate with an Amendment).


HR 4545 EAS

In the Senate of the United States,

October 6 (legislative day, September 12), 1994.

Resolved, That the bill from the House of Representatives (H.R. 4545) entitled ‘An Act to amend the rail safety provisions of title 49, United States Code, and for other purposes’, do pass with the following

AMENDMENTS:

Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert:

SECTION. 1. SHORT TITLES.

    (a) TITLE I- Title I of this Act may be cited as the ‘Federal Railroad Safety Authorization Act of 1994’.

    (b) TITLE II- Title II of this Act may be cited as the ‘High Risk Drivers Act of 1994’.

TITLE I--FEDERAL RAILROAD SAFETY

SEC. 101. AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS.

    Section 20117(a)(1) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by inserting after subparagraph (B) the following:

        ‘(C) $68,289,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1995.

        ‘(D) $75,112,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1996.

        ‘(E) $82,563,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1997.

        ‘(F) $90,739,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1998.’.

SEC. 102. HOURS OF SERVICE PILOT PROJECT.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Chapter 211 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

‘ 12108. Hours of service pilot project

    ‘(a) PILOT PROJECTS AUTHORIZED- A railroad or railroads, and all labor organizations representing any directly affected covered service employees of the railroad or railroads, may jointly petition the Secretary of Transportation for approval of one or more pilot projects to demonstrate the possible benefits and costs of implementing alternatives to the requirements of this Act, including, but not limited to, those concerning maximum on-duty and minimum off-duty periods. Based on such a joint petition, the Secretary, after notice and opportunity for comment, may waive, in whole or in part, compliance with this Act for a period of no more than 2 years, if the Secretary determines that such waiver of compliance is in the public interest and is consistent with railroad safety. Any such waiver may, based on a new petition, be extended for additional periods of up to 2 years, after notice and opportunity for comment. An explanation of any waiver granted under this section shall be published in the Federal Register.

    ‘(b) REPORT- The Secretary shall submit to Congress no later than June 1, 1996, an interim report that discusses the status of the pilot project program and a final report by January 1, 1998, that explains and analyzes the impact on safety, railroad operating conditions, railroad operations, and potential benefits of any pilot projects approved under this section.’.

    (b) CIVIL PENALTY- The first sentence of section 21303(a) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by inserting a comma and ‘or a provision of a waiver granted under section 12108 of this title,’ after ‘of this title’ the second place it appears.

    (c) CLERICAL AMENDMENT- The table of sections for chapter 211 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof the following:

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      ‘12108. Hours of service pilot project.’.

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SEC. 103. TECHNICAL AMENDMENT TO FEDERAL RAILROAD SAFETY ACT OF 1970.

    Section 20111(c) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by inserting ‘this chapter or any of the laws transferred to the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Transportation by subsection (e)(1), (2), or (6)(A) of section 6 of the Department of Transportation Act, as such Act is in effect on June 1, 1994, or’ after ‘individual’s violation of’.

SEC. 104. BIENNIAL REPORTING ON IMPLEMENTATION OF FEDERAL RAILROAD SAFETY ACT OF 1970.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Section 20116 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by striking ‘not later than July 1 of each year a report on carrying out this chapter for the prior calendar year’ in the first sentence and inserting ‘every 2 years, on or before July 1, a report on carrying out this chapter for the preceding 2 calendar years’.

    (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- The section heading for that section is amended by striking ‘Annual report’ and inserting in lieu thereof ‘Biennial report’.

SEC. 105. STATE HIGHWAY SAFETY MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS.

    (a) AMENDMENT OF REGULATIONS- The Secretary of Transportation shall conduct a rulemaking proceeding to amend the regulations under section 500.407 of title 23, Code of Federal Regulations, to require that each highway safety management system developed, established, and implemented by a State shall, among countermeasures and priorities established under subsection (b)(2) of that section--

      (1) include public railroad-highway grade-crossing closure plans that are aimed at eliminating high-risk or redundant crossings (as defined by the Secretary);

      (2) include railroad-highway grade-crossing policies that limit the creation of new at-grade crossings for vehicle or pedestrian traffic, recreational use, or any other purpose; and

      (3) include plans for State policies, programs, and resources to further reduce death and injury at high-risk railroad-highway grade crossings.

    (b) DEADLINE- The Secretary of Transportation shall complete the rulemaking proceeding described in subsection (a) and prescribe the required amended regulations, not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 106. EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION OF GRADE-CROSSING PROBLEMS.

    Section 20134 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:

    ‘(d) PILOT PROGRAMS-

      ‘(1) The Secretary of Transportation shall conduct a pilot program to demonstrate an emergency notification system utilizing a toll free telephone number that the public can use to convey to railroads, either directly or through public safety personnel, information about malfunctions or other safety problems at railroad-highway grade crossings. The pilot program, at a minimum--

        ‘(A) shall include railroad-highway grade crossings in at least 2 States,

        ‘(B) shall include provisions for public education and awareness of the program, and

        ‘(C) shall require information to be posted at the railroad-highway grade crossing describing the emergency notification system and instructions on how to use the system.

      The Secretary may, by grant, provide funding for the expense of information signs and public awareness campaigns necessary to demonstrate the notification system.

      ‘(2) The Secretary shall complete the pilot program not later than 24 months after the date of enactment of the Federal Railroad Safety Authorization Act of 1994, and shall submit to the Congress not later than 30 months after that date an evaluation of the pilot program, together with findings as to the effectiveness of such emergency notification systems. The report shall compare and contrast the structure, cost, and effectiveness of the pilot program with other emergency notification systems in effect within other States. Such evaluation shall include analyses of the safety benefits derived from the programs, cost effectiveness, and the burdens on participants, including the railroads and law enforcement personnel.

      ‘(3) Unless the Secretary determines that--

        ‘(A) the national notification system would not be a cost-effective means of providing timely and accurate notification of railroad-highway grade crossing safety emergencies; or

        ‘(B) State-level notification systems evaluated by the Secretary offer a clearly superior means of providing such notification, and the Secretary includes in the report to the Congress under paragraph (2) a strategy and schedule for extending such systems to other States;

      then the Secretary shall establish, and shall issue implementing regulations for, a national notification system, within 24 months after the date on which the report is issued. The regulations shall include provisions requiring railroads to erect and maintain appropriate signs and to provide necessary railroad-highway grade crossing information to the United States DOT/AAR Rail-Highway Grade Crossing Inventory.

      ‘(4) In addition to sums authorized under section 20117(a)(1) of this title, there are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section not to exceed $700,000 for fiscal year 1995, $250,000 for fiscal year 1996, $800,000 for fiscal year 1997, and $400,000 for fiscal year 1998.’.

SEC. 107. OPERATION LIFESAVER.

    (a) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- In addition to amounts otherwise authorized by law, there are authorized to be appropriated for railroad research and development $300,000 for fiscal year 1995, $500,000 for fiscal year 1996, and $750,000 for fiscal year 1997, to support Operation Lifesaver, Inc.

    (b) PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS- The Secretary of Transportation shall not provide financial assistance from any amount appropriated for railroad research and development to Operation Lifesaver, Inc., in excess of $150,000 for any fiscal year unless--

      (1) such excess funding is for the development and implementation of a national, multi-year, multimedia public information and law enforcement program for the reduction of fatalities and serious injuries involving railroad-highway grade crossings and trespassing on railroad rights-of-way and property; and

      (2) at least 30 percent of the costs of developing and implementing such program is provided from non-Federal sources, including States and railroads.

    (c) SECRETARY OR DELEGATES TO SERVE EX OFFICIO ON BOARDS OF RECIPIENT ORGANIZATIONS- In order to ensure maximum coordination and effectiveness in carrying out the Operation Lifesaver program, the Secretary of Transportation or, by delegation, the Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration and the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, is authorized to serve, ex officio, as a member of the board of directors (or similar governing body) of any organization receiving funds made available by the Secretary for carrying out a program of public information and education to reduce or prevent motor vehicle accidents, injuries, and fatalities, or to improve driver performance, at railroad-highway grade crossings, and to prevent trespassing on railroad rights-of-way and resulting injuries and fatalities.

SEC. 108. INTELLIGENT VEHICLE-HIGHWAY SYSTEMS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- In implementing the Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems Act of 1991 (23 U.S.C. 307 note), the Secretary of Transportation shall ensure that the National Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems Program addresses, in a comprehensive and coordinated manner, the use of intelligent vehicle-highway technologies to promote safety at railroad-highway grade crossings. The Secretary of Transportation shall ensure that two or more operational tests funded under such Act shall promote highway traffic safety and railroad safety.

SEC. 109. VIOLATION OF GRADE-CROSSING LAWS AND REGULATIONS.

    (a) FEDERAL REGULATIONS- Section 31311 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(h) Grade-crossing Violations-

      ‘(1) SANCTIONS- The Secretary shall issue regulations establishing sanctions and penalties relating to violations, by persons operating commercial motor vehicles, of laws and regulations pertaining to railroad-highway grade crossings.

      ‘(2) MINIMUM REQUIREMENTS- Regulations issued under paragraph (1) shall, at a minimum, require that--

        ‘(A) the penalty for a single violation shall not be less than a 60-day disqualification of the driver’s commercial driver’s license; and

        ‘(B) any employer that knowingly allows, permits, authorizes, or requires an employee to operate a commercial motor vehicle in violation of such a law or regulation shall be subject to a civil penalty of not more than $10,000.’.

    (b) DEADLINE- The initial regulations required under section 31310(h) of title 49, United States Code, shall be issued not later than one year after the date of enactment of this Act.

    (c) STATE REGULATIONS- Section 31311(a) of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new paragraph:

      ‘(18) GRADE-CROSSING REGULATIONS- The State shall adopt and enforce regulations prescribed by the Secretary under section 31310(h) of this title.’.

SEC. 110. SAFETY ENFORCEMENT.

    (a) COOPERATION BETWEEN FEDERAL AND STATE AGENCIES- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, and the Office of Motor Carriers within the Federal Highway Administration, shall on a continuing basis cooperate and work with the National Association of Governors’ Highway Safety Representatives, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, and Operation Lifesaver, Inc., to improve compliance with and enforcement of laws and regulations pertaining to railroad-highway grade crossings.

    (b) REPORT- The Secretary of Transportation shall submit a report to Congress by January 1, 1996, indicating (1) how the Department worked with the above mentioned entities to improve the awareness of the highway and commercial vehicle safety and law enforcement communities of regulations and safety challenges at railroad-highway grade crossings, and (2) how resources are being allocated to better address these challenges and enforce such regulations.

SEC. 111. INSTITUTE FOR RAILROAD AND GRADE-CROSSING SAFETY.

    The Secretary of Transportation, in conjunction with a university or college having expertise in highway, traffic, and railroad safety, shall establish, within one year of enactment of this Act, an Institute for Railroad and Grade-Crossing Safety. The Institute shall research, develop, fund, or test measures for reducing the number of fatalities and injuries in railroad operations, focusing on improvements in railroad-highway grade-crossing safety, railroad trespassing, prevention, and enforcement. There is hereby authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary $1,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 1996 through 2000 to fund activities under the preceding sentence carried out by the Institute, which shall report at least once each year on its use of such funds in carrying out such activities and the results thereof to the Secretary of Transportation and the Congress.

SEC. 112. RAILROAD GRADE-CROSSING TRESPASSING AND VANDALISM PREVENTION STRATEGY.

    (a) EVALUATION OF EXISTING LAWS- In consultation with affected parties, the Secretary of Transportation shall evaluate and review current local, State, and Federal laws regarding trespassing on railroad property and vandalism affecting railroad safety, and develop model prevention strategies and enforcement laws to be used for the consideration of State and local legislatures and governmental entities. The first such evaluation and review shall be completed within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act. The Secretary shall revise such model prevention strategies and enforcement codes periodically.

    (b) OUTREACH PROGRAM- The Secretary shall develop and maintain a comprehensive outreach program to improve communications among Federal railroad safety inspectors, State inspectors certified by the Federal Railroad Administration, railroad police, and State and local law enforcement officers, for the purpose of addressing trespassing and vandalism problems on the railroads and railroad property, and strengthening relevant enforcement strategies. This program shall be designed to increase public and police awareness of the illegality of, dangers inherent in, and the extent of, trespassing on railroad rights-of-way, to develop strategies to improve the prevention of trespassing and vandalism, and to improve the enforcement of laws relating to railroad trespass, vandalism, and grade crossings safety.

    (c) MODEL LEGISLATION- Within 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary, after consultation with State and local governments, shall develop and make available to State and local governments model State legislation providing for--

      (1) civil or criminal penalties, or both, for vandalism of railroad equipment or property which could affect the safety of the public or of railroad employees; and

      (2) civil or criminal penalties, or both, for trespassing on a railroad owned or leased right-of-way.

SEC. 113. WARNING OF CIVIL LIABILITY.

    The Secretary of Transportation shall encourage railroads to warn the public about potential liability for violation of regulations related to vandalism of railroad-highway grade crossing signs, devices, and equipment and to trespass on railroad property.

SEC. 114. LOCOMOTIVE WHISTLE BAN PROHIBITION.

    (a) PROHIBITION- No State or political subdivision thereof shall enact or enforce a locomotive whistle ban with respect to any railroad-highway grade crossing or series of railroad-highway grade crossings after December 31, 1995, unless, consistent with regulations issued under subsection (c), one of the following actions has been taken with respect to a crossing or series of crossings (as determined by the Secretary)--

      (1) the affected crossing is closed during the hours covered by the ban;

      (2) crossing gates and median barriers have been installed and are operational;

      (3) 4-quadrant gates have been installed and are operating; or

      (4) other effective safety measures, described in regulations issued by the Secretary (including regulations involving the demonstration and evaluation of new safety measures), are in place at an affected crossing or series of crossings.

    (b) TESTING- The Secretary of Transportation is authorized to approve the testing of railroad-highway grade crossing safety measures, including demonstration and evaluation of such measures at railroad-highway grade crossings.

    (c) REGULATIONS- By January 1, 1996, the Secretary of Transportation shall issue regulations implementing this section. These regulations shall include--

      (1) standards for safety measures identified in paragraphs (1), (2), and (3) of subsection (a);

      (2) identification of any additional safety measures that provide an equivalent level of safety to that provided by the safety measures identified in paragraphs (2) and (3) of subsection (a); and

      (3) procedures for securing approval to demonstrate new railroad-highway grade crossing safety measures at railroad-highway grade crossings.

SEC. 115. RAILROAD CAR VISIBILITY.

    (a) REVIEW OF RULES- The Secretary of Transportation shall conduct a review of the Department of Transportation’s rules with respect to railroad car visibility. As part of this review, the Secretary shall collect relevant data from operational experience by railroads having enhanced visibility measures in service. The Secretary shall also conduct such research as may be required to establish whether enhanced visibility of railroad cars would improve driver behavior and thereby reduce railroad-highway grade crossing accidents.

    (b) REGULATIONS- If the review and research conducted under subsection (a) establishes that enhanced railroad car visibility would likely enhance safety in a cost-effective manner, the Secretary shall initiate a rulemaking proceeding to issue regulations requiring substantially enhanced visibility standards for newly manufactured and remanufactured railroad cars. In such proceeding the Secretary shall consider, at a minimum--

      (1) visibility from the perspective of an automobile driver;

      (2) whether certain railroad car paint colors should be prohibited or required;

      (3) the use of reflective materials;

      (4) the visibility of lettering on railroad cars;

      (5) the effect of any enhanced visibility measures on the health and safety of train crew members; and

      (6) the cost/benefit ratio of any new regulations.

    (c) EXCLUSIONS- In issuing regulations under subsection (b), the Secretary may exclude from any specific visibility requirement any category of trains or railroad operations if the Secretary determines that such an exclusion is in the public interest and is consistent with railroad safety including railroad-highway crossing safety.

SEC. 116. CROSSING ELIMINATION; STATEWIDE CROSSING FREEZE.

    (a) STATEMENT OF POLICY-

      (1) Railroad-highway grade crossings present inherent hazards to the safety of railroad operations and to the safety of persons using those crossings. It is in the public interest--

        (A) to eliminate redundant and high risk railroad-highway grade crossings; and

        (B) to limit the creation of new crossings to the minimum necessary to provide for the reasonable mobility of the American people and their property, including emergency access.

      (2) Elimination of redundant and high-risk railroad-highway grade crossings is necessary to permit optimum use of available funds to improve the safety of remaining crossings, including funds provided under Federal law.

      (3) Effective programs to reduce the number of unneeded railroad-highway grade crossings, and to close those crossings that cannot be made reasonably safe (due to reasons of topography, angles of intersection, etc.), require the partnership of Federal, State, and local officials and agencies, and affected railroads.

      (4) Promotion of a balanced national transportation system requires that highway planning specifically take into consideration the interface between highways and the national railroad system.

    (b) PARTNERSHIP AND OVERSIGHT- The Secretary shall foster a partnership among Federal, State, and local transportation officials and agencies to reduce the number of railroad-highway grade crossings and to improve safety at remaining crossings. The Secretary shall make provision for periodic review to ensure that each State (including State subdivisions and local governments) is making substantial, continued progress toward achievement of the purposes of this section.

    (c) CROSSING FREEZE- If, upon review, and after opportunity for a hearing, the Secretary determines that a State or political subdivision thereof has failed to make substantial, continued progress toward achievement of the purposes of this section, then the Secretary shall impose a limit on the maximum number of public railroad-highway grade crossings in that State. The limitation imposed by the Secretary under this subsection shall remain in effect until the State demonstrates compliance with the requirements of this section. In addition, the Secretary may, for a period of not more than 3 years after such a determination, require compliance with specific numeric targets for net reductions in the number of railroad-highway grade crossings (including specification of hazard categories with which such crossings are associated).

    (d) REGULATIONS- The Secretary shall issue such regulations as may be necessary to carry out this section.

SEC. 117. RESEARCH PRIORITIES.

    (a) 5-YEAR PLAN-

      (1) The Secretary of Transportation shall submit to Congress a 5-year strategic plan that will demonstrate improved programs to enhance railroad safety (including human factors and railroad-highway grade-crossing safety), the prevention of trespassing on railroad property, and the prevention of vandalism to railroad-highway grade crossing safety devices and signs. With respect to human factors, the strategic plan shall establish a comprehensive program to investigate workload, stress, and fatigue, operator training, ergonomics, operating rules, and other areas judged appropriate by the Secretary.

      (2) The plan shall be incorporated into the research, technology development, and testing priorities of the Federal Railroad Administration.

      (3) The plan shall be submitted to Congress no later than January 1, 1996.

      (4) There are authorized to be appropriated for conducting such programs $3,500,000 for each of the fiscal years 1996 through 1999.

    (b) PARTICIPATION OF OTHER AGENCIES- In carrying out the activities authorized by this Act, the Secretary shall cooperate with other Federal agencies and seek to maximize the use of Federal monies to apply defense-related technologies to railroad-highway grade crossing safety, trespassing prevention, and other railroad-safety initiatives.

SEC. 118. COORDINATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF LABOR.

    The Secretary of Transportation shall consult with the Secretary of Labor on a regular basis to assure that all applicable laws affecting safe working conditions for railroad employees are appropriately enforced to assure a safe and productive working environment for the railroad industry.

SEC. 119. POSITIVE TRAIN CONTROL SYSTEM PROGRESS REPORT.

    The Secretary of Transportation shall make annual progress reports to the Committees of the Senate and of the House of Representatives with jurisdiction over railroads on the development, deployment, and demonstration of Positive Train Control Systems.

SEC. 120. PASSENGER CAR SAFETY STANDARDS.

    Section 20133 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new subsection:

    ‘(d) MINIMUM STANDARDS-

      ‘(1) The Secretary shall issue regulations establishing minimum standards for the safety of cars used by railroads to transport passengers. The regulations shall address, at a minimum, crashworthiness of the cars, interior features (including luggage restraints, seat belts, and exposed surfaces) that may affect passenger safety; maintenance and inspection of the cars; emergency response procedures and equipment; and any operating rules and conditions that directly affect safety not otherwise governed by regulations or orders. The Secretary may make applicable some or all of these standards to cars existing at the time of the issuance of the regulations as well as to new cars, and the Secretary shall explain in the rulemaking document the basis for making such standards applicable to existing cars.

      ‘(2) The Secretary shall issue initial standards for railroad passenger safety, including standards addressing core safety concerns for which research has been completed, within 3 years after the date of enactment of the Federal Railroad Safety Authorization Act of 1994. The initial standards may except equipment used by historical, scenic, and excursion railroads to transport passengers. The Secretary shall complete the issuance of passenger safety standards required by this section within 5 years after such date.

      ‘(3) The Secretary is authorized to establish within the Department of Transportation 2 additional full time equivalent positions beyond the number currently authorized by existing law to assist with the drafting, issuance, and implementation of the regulations described in paragraph (1).’.

SEC. 121. GRANT AUTHORITY.

    Section 103 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by redesignating subsection (d) as (e), and by inserting after subsection (c) the following new subsection:

    ‘(d) Subject to the provisions of the Federal Property and Administrative Services Act of 1949 (40 U.S.C. 471 et seq.), the Secretary may make, enter into, and perform such contracts, grants, leases, cooperative agreements, and other similar transactions with Federal or other public agencies (including State and local governments) and private organizations and persons, and to make such payments, by way of advance or reimbursement, as the Secretary may determine to be necessary or appropriate to carry out functions of the Federal Railroad Administration. The authority of the Secretary granted by this subsection shall be carried out by the Administrator. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, no authority to enter into contracts or to make payments under this subsection shall be effective, except as provided for in appropriation Acts.’.

SEC. 122. TOURIST RAILROADS.

    Section 20103 of title 49, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end thereof the following new subsection:

    ‘(f) In prescribing regulations that pertain to safety that affect tourist, historic, or excursion railroad carriers, the Secretary shall take into consideration any financial, operational, or other factors that may be unique to such railroad carriers. The Secretary shall submit a report to Congress not later than September 30, 1995, on efforts made to revise and update regulations that pertain to safety that affect tourist, historical, or excursion railroad carriers. The report shall address the financial, operational, and other factors that may be unique to these railroads.’.

SEC. 123. AUTHORIZATION.

    There are authorized to be appropriated to the Secretary of Transportation for the benefit of Amtrak $40,000,000 for fiscal year 1995 and $50,000,000 for fiscal year 1996 to be used for engineering, design, and construction activities to enable the James A. Farley Post Office in New York, New York, to be used as a train station and commercial center and for necessary improvements and redevelopment of the existing Pennsylvania Station and associated service bundling in New York, New York.

TITLE II--HIGH RISK DRIVERS PROGRAM

I74SUBTITLE A--HIGH-RISK AND ALCOHOL-IMPAIRED DRIVERS

SEC. 211. FINDINGS.

    The Congress makes the following findings:

      (1) The Nation’s traffic fatality rate has declined from 5.5 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled in 1966 to an historic low of an estimated 1.8 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles traveled during 1992. In order to further this desired trend, the safety programs and policies implemented by the Department of Transportation must be continued, and at the same time, the focus of these efforts as they pertain to high risk drivers of all ages must be strengthened.

      (2) Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers, and teenage drivers tend to be at fault for their fatal crashes more often than older drivers. Drivers who are 16 to 20 years old comprised 7.4 percent of the United States population in 1991 but were involved in 15.4 percent of fatal motor vehicle crashes. Also, on the basis of crashes per 100,000 licensed drivers, young drivers are the highest risk group of drivers.

      (3) During 1991, 6,630 teenagers from age 15 through 20 died in motor vehicle crashes. This tragic loss demands that the Federal Government intensify its efforts to promote highway safety among members of this high risk group.

      (4) The consumption of alcohol, speeding over allowable limits or too fast for road conditions, inadequate use of occupant restraints, and other high risk behaviors are several of the key causes for this tragic loss of young drivers and passengers. The Department of Transportation, working cooperatively with the States, student groups, and other organizations, must reinvigorate its current programs and policies to address more effectively these pressing problems of teenage drivers.

      (5) In 1991 individuals aged 70 years and older, who are particularly susceptible to injury, were involved in 12 percent of all motor vehicle traffic crash fatalities. These deaths accounted for 4,828 fatalities out of 41,462 total traffic fatalities.

      (6) The number of older Americans who drive is expected to increase dramatically during the next 30 years. Unfortunately, during the last 15 years, the Department of Transportation has supported an extremely limited program concerning older drivers. Research on older driver behavior and licensing has suffered from intermittent funding at amounts that were insufficient to address the scope and nature of the challenges ahead.

      (7) A major objective of United States transportation policy must be to promote the mobility of older Americans while at the same time ensuring public safety on our Nation’s highways. In order to accomplish these two objectives simultaneously, the Department of Transportation must support a vigorous and sustained program of research, technical assistance, evaluation, and other appropriate activities that are designed to reduce the fatality and crash rate of older drivers who have identifiable risk characteristics.

SEC. 212. DEFINITIONS.

    For purposes of this subtitle--

      (1) The term ‘high risk driver’ means a motor vehicle driver who belongs to a class of drivers that, based on vehicle crash rates, fatality rates, traffic safety violation rates, and other factors specified by the Secretary, presents a risk of injury to the driver and other individuals that is higher than the risk presented by the average driver.

      (2) The term ‘Secretary’ means the Secretary of Transportation.

SEC. 213. POLICY AND PROGRAM DIRECTION.

    (a) GENERAL RESPONSIBILITY OF SECRETARY- The Secretary shall develop and implement effective and comprehensive policies and programs to promote safe driving behavior by young drivers, older drivers, and repeat violators of traffic safety regulations and laws.

    (b) SAFETY PROMOTION ACTIVITIES- The Secretary shall promote or engage in activities that seek to ensure that--

      (1) cost effective and scientifically-based guidelines and technologies for the nondiscriminatory evaluation and licensing of high risk drivers are advanced;

      (2) model driver training, screening, licensing, control, and evaluation programs are improved;

      (3) uniform or compatible State driver point systems and other licensing and driver record information systems are advanced as a means of identifying and initially evaluating high risk drivers; and

      (4) driver training programs and the delivery of such programs are advanced.

    (c) DRIVER TRAINING RESEARCH- The Secretary shall explore the feasibility and advisability of using cost efficient simulation and other technologies as a means of enhancing driver training; shall advance knowledge regarding the perceptual, cognitive, and decision making skills needed for safe driving and to improve driver training; and shall investigate the most effective means of integrating licensing, training, and other techniques for preparing novice drivers for the safe use of highway systems.

SUBTITLE B--YOUNG DRIVER PROGRAMS

SEC. 221. STATE GRANTS FOR YOUNG DRIVER PROGRAMS.

    (a) ESTABLISHMENT OF GRANT PROGRAM- Chapter 4 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following new section:

‘Sec. 411. Programs for young drivers

    ‘(a) GENERAL AUTHORITY- Subject to the provisions of this section, the Secretary shall make basic and supplemental grants to those States which adopt and implement programs for young drivers which include measures, described in this section, to reduce traffic safety problems resulting from the driving performance of young drivers. Such grants may only be used by recipient States to implement and enforce such measures.

    ‘(b) MAINTENANCE OF EFFORT- No grant may be made to a State under this section in any fiscal year unless such State enters into such agreements with the Secretary as the Secretary may require to ensure that such State will maintain its aggregate estimated expenditures from all other sources for programs for young drivers at or above the average level of such expenditures in its 2 fiscal years preceding the fiscal year in which the High Risk Drivers Act of 1994 is enacted.

    ‘(c) FEDERAL SHARE- No State may receive grants under this section in more than 5 fiscal years. The Federal share payable for any grant under this section shall not exceed--

      ‘(1) in the first fiscal year a State receives a grant under this section, 75 percent of the cost of implementing and enforcing in such fiscal year the young driver program adopted by the State pursuant to subsection (a);

      ‘(2) in the second fiscal year the State receives a grant under this section, 50 percent of the cost of implementing and enforcing in such fiscal year such program; and

      ‘(3) in the third, fourth, and fifth fiscal years the State receives a grant under this section, 25 percent of the cost of implementing and enforcing in such fiscal year such program.

    ‘(d) MAXIMUM AMOUNT OF BASIC GRANTS- Subject to subsection (c), the amount of a basic grant made under this section for any fiscal year to any State which is eligible for such a grant under subsection (e) shall equal 30 percent of the amount apportioned to such State for fiscal year 1989 under section 402 of this title. A grant to a State under this section shall be in addition to the State’s apportionment under section 402, and basic grants during any fiscal year may be proportionately reduced to accommodate an applicable statutory obligation limitation for that fiscal year.

    ‘(e) ELIGIBILITY FOR BASIC GRANTS-

      ‘(1) GENERAL- For purposes of this section, a State is eligible for a basic grant if such State--

        ‘(A) establishes and maintains a graduated licensing program for drivers under 18 years of age that meets the requirements of paragraph (2); and

        ‘(B)(i) in the first year of receiving grants under this section, meets three of the seven criteria specified in paragraph (3);

        ‘(ii) in the second year of receiving such grants, meets four of such criteria;

        ‘(iii) in the third year of receiving such grants, meets five of such criteria;

        ‘(iv) in the fourth year of receiving such grants, meets six of such criteria; and

        ‘(v) in fifth year of receiving such grants, meets six of such criteria.

I22For purposes of subparagraph (B), a State shall be treated as having met one of the requirements of paragraph (3) for any year if the State demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that, for the 3 preceding years, the alcohol fatal crash involvement rate for individuals under the age of 21 has declined in that State and the alcohol fatal crash involvement rate for such individuals has been lower in that State than the average such rate for all States.

      ‘(2) Graduated licensing program-

        ‘(A) A State receiving a grant under this section shall establish and maintain a graduated licensing program consisting of the following licensing stages for any driver under 18 years of age:

          ‘(i) An instructional license, valid for a minimum period determined by the Secretary, under which the licensee shall not operate a motor vehicle unless accompanied in the front passenger seat by the holder of a full driver’s license.

          ‘(ii) A provisional driver’s license which shall not be issued unless the driver has passed a written examination on traffic safety and has passed a roadtest administered by the driver licensing agency of the State.

          ‘(iii) A full driver’s license which shall not be issued until the driver has held a provisional license for at least 1 year with a clean driving record.

        ‘(B) For purposes of subparagraph (A)(iii), subsection (f)(1), and subsection (f)(6)(B), a provisional licensee has a clean driving record if the licensee--

          ‘(i) has not been found, by civil or criminal process, to have committed a moving traffic violation during the applicable period;

          ‘(ii) has not been assessed points against the license because of safety violations during such period; and

          ‘(iii) has satisfied such other requirements as the Secretary may prescribe by regulation.

        ‘(C) The Secretary shall determine the conditions under which a State shall suspend provisional driver’s licenses in order to be eligible for a basic grant. At a minimum, the holder of a provisional license shall be subject to driver control actions that are stricter than those applicable to the holder of a full driver’s license, including warning letters and suspension at a lower point threshold.

        ‘(D) For a State’s first 2 years of receiving a grant under this section, the Secretary may waive the clean driving record requirement of subparagraph (A)(iii) if the State submits satisfactory evidence of its efforts to establish such a requirement.

      ‘(3) CRITERIA FOR BASIC GRANT- The seven criteria referred to in paragraph (1)(B) are as follows:

        ‘(A) The State requires that any driver under 21 years of age with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent or greater when driving a motor vehicle shall be deemed to be driving while intoxicated for the purpose of (i) administrative or judicial sanctions or (ii) a law or regulation that prohibits any individual under 21 years of age with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02 percent or greater from driving a motor vehicle.

        ‘(B) The State has a law or regulation that provides a mandatory minimum penalty of at least $500 for anyone who in violation of State law or regulation knowingly, or without checking for proper identification, provides or sells alcohol to any individual under 21 years of age.

        ‘(C) The State requires that the license of a driver under 21 years of age be suspended for a period specified by the State if such driver is convicted of the unlawful purchase or public possession of alcohol. The period of suspension shall be at least 6 months for a first conviction and at least 12 months for a subsequent conviction; except that specific license restrictions may be imposed as an alternative to such minimum periods of suspension where necessary to avoid undue hardship on any individual.

        ‘(D) The State conducts youth-oriented traffic safety enforcement activities, and education and training programs--

          ‘(i) with the participation of judges and prosecutors, that are designed to ensure enforcement of traffic safety laws and regulations, including those that prohibit drivers under 21 years of age from driving while intoxicated, restrict the unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and establish other moving violations; and

          ‘(ii) with the participation of student and youth groups, that are designed to ensure compliance with such traffic safety laws and regulations.

        ‘(E) The State prohibits the possession of any open alcoholic beverage container, or the consumption of any alcoholic beverage, in the passenger area of any motor vehicle located on a public highway or the right-of-way of a public highway; except as allowed in the passenger area, by persons (other than the driver), of a motor vehicle designed to transport more than 10 passengers (including the driver) while being used to provide charter transportation of passengers.

        ‘(F) The State provides, to a parent or legal guardian of any provisional licensee, general information prepared with the assistance of the insurance industry on the effect of traffic safety convictions and at-fault accidents on insurance rates for young drivers.

        ‘(G) The State requires that a provisional driver’s license may be issued only to a driver who has satisfactorily completed a State-accepted driver education and training program that meets Department of Transportation guidelines and includes information on the interaction of alcohol and controlled substances and the effect of such interaction on driver performance, and information on the importance of motorcycle helmet use and safety belt use.

    ‘(f) SUPPLEMENTAL GRANT PROGRAM-

      ‘(1) EXTENDED APPLICATION OF PROVISIONAL LICENSE REQUIREMENT- For purposes of this section, a State is eligible for a supplemental grant for a fiscal year in an amount, subject to subsection (c), not to exceed 10 percent of the amount apportioned to such State for fiscal year 1989 under section 402 of this title if such State is eligible for a basic grant and in addition such State requires that a driver under 21 years of age shall not be issued a full driver’s license until the driver has held a provisional license for at least 1 year with a clean driving record as described in subsection (e)(2)(B).

      ‘(2) REMEDIAL DRIVER EDUCATION- For purposes of this section, a State is eligible for a supplemental grant for a fiscal year in an amount, subject to subsection (c), not to exceed 5 percent of the amount apportioned to such State for fiscal year 1989 under section 402 of this title if such State is eligible for a basic grant and in addition such State requires, at a lower point threshold than for other drivers, remedial driver improvement instruction for drivers under 21 years of age and requires such remedial instruction for any driver under 21 years of age who is convicted of reckless driving, excessive speeding, driving under the influence of alcohol, or driving while intoxicated.

      ‘(3) RECORD OF SERIOUS CONVICTIONS; HABITUAL OR REPEAT OFFENDER SANCTIONS- For purposes of this section, a State is eligible for a supplemental grant for a fiscal year in an amount, subject to subsection (c), not to exceed 5 percent of the amount apportioned to such State for fiscal year 1989 under section 402 of this title if such State is eligible for a basic grant and in addition such State--

        ‘(A) requires that a notation of any serious traffic safety conviction of a driver be maintained on the driver’s permanent traffic record for at least 10 years after the date of the conviction; and

        ‘(B) provides additional sanctions for any driver who, following conviction of a serious traffic safety violation, is convicted during the next 10 years of one or more subsequent serious traffic safety violations.

      ‘(4) INTERSTATE DRIVER LICENSE COMPACT- The State is a member of and substantially complies with the interstate agreement known as the Driver License Compact, promptly and reliably transmits and receives through electronic means interstate driver record information (including information on commercial drivers) in cooperation with the Secretary and other States, and develops and achieves demonstrable annual progress in implementing a plan to ensure that (i) each court of the State report expeditiously to the State driver licensing agency all traffic safety convictions, license suspensions, license revocations, or other license restrictions, and driver improvement efforts sanctioned or ordered by the court, and that (ii) such records be available electronically to appropriate government officials (including enforcement, officers, judges, and prosecutors) upon request at all times.

      ‘(5) The State has a law or regulation that provides a minimum penalty of at least $100 for anyone who in violation of State law or regulation drives any vehicle through, around, or under any crossing, gate, or barrier at a railroad crossing while such gate or barrier is closed or being opened or closed.

      ‘(6) VEHICLE SEIZURE PROGRAM- The State has a law or regulation that--

        ‘(A) mandates seizure by the State or any political subdivision thereof of any vehicle driven by an individual in violation of an alcohol-related traffic safety law, if such violator has been convicted on more than one occasion of an alcohol-related traffic offense within any 5-year period beginning after the date of enactment of this section, or has been convicted of driving while his or her driver’s license is suspended or revoked by reason of a conviction for such an offense;

        ‘(B) mandates that the vehicle be forfeited to the State or a political subdivision thereof if the vehicle was solely owned by such violator at the time of the violation;

        ‘(C) requires that the vehicle be returned to the owner if the vehicle was a stolen vehicle at the time of the violation; and

        ‘(D) authorizes the vehicle to be released to a member of such violator’s family, the co-owner, or the owner, if the vehicle was not a stolen vehicle and was not solely owned by such violator at the time of the violation, and if the family member, co-owner, or owner, prior to such release, executes a binding agreement that the family member, co-owner, or owner will not permit such violator to drive the vehicle and that the vehicle shall be forfeited to the State or a political subdivision thereof in the event such violator drives the vehicle with the permission of the family member, co-owner or owner.

    ‘(g) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section, $9,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1996, $12,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1997, and $14,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1998, $16,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 1999, and $18,000,000 for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2000.’.

    (b) CONFORMING AMENDMENT- The analysis of chapter 4 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by inserting immediately after the item relating to section 410 the following new item:

      ‘411. Programs for young drivers.’.

    (c) DEADLINES FOR ISSUANCE OF REGULATIONS- The Secretary shall issue and publish in the Federal Register proposed regulations to implement section 411 of title 23, United States Code (as added by this section), not later than 6 months after the date of enactment of this Act. The final regulations for such implementation shall be issued, published in the Federal Register, and transmitted to Congress not later than 12 months after such date of enactment.

SEC. 222. PROGRAM EVALUATION.

    (a) EVALUATION BY SECRETARY- The Secretary shall, under section 403 of title 23, United States Code, conduct an evaluation of the effectiveness of State provisional driver’s licensing programs and the grant program authorized by section 411 of title 23, United States Code (as added by section 101 of this Act).

    (b) REPORT TO CONGRESS- By January 1, 1997, the Secretary shall transmit a report on the results of the evaluation conducted under subsection (a) and any related research to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Public Works and Transportation of the House of Representatives. The report shall include any related recommendations by the Secretary for legislative changes.

I74SUBTITLE C--OLDER DRIVER PROGRAMS

SEC. 231. OLDER DRIVER SAFETY RESEARCH.

    (a) RESEARCH ON PREDICTABILITY OF HIGH RISK DRIVING-

      (1) The Secretary shall conduct a program that funds, within budgetary limitations, the research challenges presented in the Transportation Research Board’s report entitled ‘Research and Development Needs for Maintaining the Safety and Mobility of Older Drivers’ and the research challenges pertaining to older drivers presented in a report to Congress by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration entitled ‘Addressing the Safety Issues Related to Younger and Older Drivers’.

      (2) To the extent technically feasible, the Secretary shall consider the feasibility and further the development of cost efficient, reliable tests capable of predicting increased risk of accident involvement or hazardous driving by older high risk drivers.

    (b) SPECIALIZED TRAINING FOR LICENSE EXAMINERS- The Secretary shall encourage and conduct research and demonstration activities to support the specialized training of license examiners or other certified examiners to increase their knowledge and sensitivity to the transportation needs and physical limitations of older drivers, including knowledge of functional disabilities related to driving, and to be cognizant of possible countermeasures to deal with the challenges to safe driving that may be associated with increasing age.

    (c) COUNSELING PROCEDURES AND CONSULTATION METHODS- The Secretary shall encourage and conduct research and disseminate information to support and encourage the development of appropriate counseling procedures and consultation methods with relatives, physicians, the traffic safety enforcement and the motor vehicle licensing communities, and other concerned parties. Such procedures and methods shall include the promotion of voluntary action by older high risk drivers to restrict or limit their driving when medical or other conditions indicate such action is advisable. The Secretary shall consult extensively with the American Association of Retired Persons, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, the American Occupational Therapy Association, the American Automobile Association, the Department of Health and Human Services, the American Public Health Association, and other interested parties in developing educational materials on the interrelationship of the aging process, driver safety, and the driver licensing process.

    (d) ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION MEANS- The Secretary shall ensure that the agencies of the Department of Transportation overseeing the various modes of surface transportation coordinate their policies and programs to ensure that funds authorized under the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (Public Law 102-240; 105 Stat. 1914) and implementing Department of Transportation and Related Agencies Appropriation Acts take into account the transportation needs of older Americans by promoting alternative transportation means whenever practical and feasible.

    (e) STATE LICENSING PRACTICES- The Secretary shall encourage State licensing agencies to use restricted licenses instead of canceling a license whenever such action is appropriate and if the interests of public safety would be served, and to closely monitor the driving performance of older drivers with such licenses. The Secretary shall encourage States to provide educational materials of benefit to older drivers and concerned family members and physicians. The Secretary shall promote licensing and relicensing programs in which the applicant appears in person and shall promote the development and use of cost effective screening processes and testing of physiological, cognitive, and perception factors as appropriate and necessary. Not less than one model State program shall be evaluated in light of this subsection during each of the fiscal years 1996 through 1998. Of the sums authorized under subsection (i), $250,000 is authorized for each such fiscal year for such evaluation.

    (f) IMPROVEMENT OF MEDICAL SCREENING- The Secretary shall conduct research and other activities designed to support and encourage the States to establish and maintain medical review or advisory groups to work with State licensing agencies to improve and provide current information on the screening and licensing of older drivers. The Secretary shall encourage the participation of the public in these groups to ensure fairness and concern for the safety and mobility needs of older drivers.

    (g) INTELLIGENT VEHICLE-HIGHWAY SYSTEMS- In implementing the Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems Act of 1991 (23 U.S.C. 307 note), the Secretary shall ensure that the National Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems Program devotes sufficient attention to the use of intelligent vehicle-highway systems to aid older drivers in safely performing driver functions. Federally-sponsored research, development, and operational testing shall ensure the advancement of night vision improvement systems, technology to reduce the involvement of older drivers in accidents occurring at intersections, and other technologies of particular benefit to older drivers.

    (h) TECHNICAL EVALUATIONS UNDER INTERMODAL SURFACE TRANSPORTATION EFFICIENCY ACT- In conducting the technical evaluations required under section 6055 of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (Public Law 102-240; 105 Stat. 2192), the Secretary shall ensure that the safety impacts on older drivers are considered, with special attention being devoted to ensuring adequate and effective exchange of information between the Department of Transportation and older drivers or their representatives.

    (i) AUTHORIZATION OF APPROPRIATIONS- Of the funds authorized under section 403 of title 23, United States Code, $1,250,000 is authorized for each of the fiscal years 1995 through 1997, to support older driver programs described in subsections (a), (b), (c), (e), and (f).

I74SUBTITLE D--HIGH RISK DRIVERS

SEC. 241. STUDY ON WAYS TO IMPROVE TRAFFIC RECORDS OF ALL HIGH RISK DRIVERS.

    (a) IN GENERAL- Within 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall complete a study to determine whether additional or strengthened Federal activities, authority, or regulatory actions are desirable or necessary to improve or strengthen the driver record and control systems of the States to identify high risk drivers more rapidly and ensure prompt intervention in the licensing of high risk drivers. The study, which shall be based in part on analysis obtained from a request for information published in the Federal Register, shall consider steps necessary to ensure that State traffic record systems are unambiguous, accurate, current, accessible, complete, and (to the extent useful) uniform among the States.

    (b) SPECIFIC MATTERS FOR CONSIDERATION- Such study shall at a minimum consider--

      (1) whether specific legislative action is necessary to improve State traffic record systems;

      (2) the feasibility and practicality of further encouraging and establishing a uniform traffic ticket citation and control system;

      (3) the need for a uniform driver violation point system to be adopted by the States;

      (4) the need for all the States to participate in the Driver License Reciprocity Program conducted by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators;

      (5) ways to encourage the States to cross-reference driver license files and motor vehicle files to facilitate the identification of individuals who may not be in compliance with driver licensing laws; and

      (6) the feasibility of establishing a national program that would limit each driver to one driver’s license from only one State at any time.

    (c) EVALUATION OF NATIONAL INFORMATION SYSTEMS- As part of the study required by this section, the Secretary shall consider and evaluate the future of the national information systems that support driver licensing. In particular, the Secretary shall examine whether the Commercial Driver’s License Information System, the National Driver Register, and the Driver License Reciprocity program should be more closely linked or continue to exist as separate information systems and which entities are best suited to operate such systems effectively at the least cost. The Secretary shall cooperate with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators in carrying out this evaluation.

SEC. 242. STATE PROGRAMS FOR HIGH RISK DRIVERS.

    The Secretary shall encourage and promote State driver evaluation, assistance, or control programs for high risk drivers. These programs may include in-person license reexaminations, driver education or training courses, license restrictions or suspensions, and other actions designed to improve the operating performance of high risk drivers.

I74SUBTITLE E--FUNDING

SEC. 251. FUNDING FOR 23 USC 410 PROGRAM.

    In addition to any amount otherwise appropriated or available for such use, there are authorized to be appropriated $15,000,000 for fiscal years 1995, 1996, and 1997 for the purpose of carrying out section 410 of title 23, United States Code.

Amend the title so as to read: ‘An Act to authorize appropriations to carry out certain Federal railroad safety laws, and for other purposes.’.

Attest:

Secretary.

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