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Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (“FAST”) and how it impacts truck, bus companies

Written by Steve Gursten Posted February 11th, 2016

FAST Act, image

President Obama recently signed into law the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or the “FAST Act.” The law is the first in over a decade that guarantees long-term funding for highway safety and infrastructure projects.  But there are also provisions in this new law that will impact commercial trucks and how attorneys litigate some commercial motor vehicle accident cases.

The focus on FAST after it became law centered on how states and local governments can now move forward with critical transportation projects, like repairing and building new highways and transit lines, for example.

Generally, the FAST Act largely maintains the status quo in terms of program structures and funding shares between highways and transit. However, funding is scheduled to increase by 11% over five years.  The law also streamlines the approval processes for new transportation projects, provides new safety tools, and establishes new programs to advance critical freight projects.

So, how does the new FAST Act impact commercial trucking?

The biggest impact is that the Act streamlines the Federal truck and bus safety grant programs, giving more flexibility to the states to improve safety in these areas. Remember, although trucking companies and truck drivers are largely regulated at the federal level through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), enforcement of the regulations is largely carried out at the state level. The FAST Act intends to give the states flexibility to quickly and efficiently implement safety initiatives to detect and remove dangers truck drivers and semi-trucks from the highway.

As an attorney and safety advocate who has litigated hundreds of serious truck accident cases, I’m excited about these new FAST Act provisions. I hope to see the states take full advantage of its new transportation safety provisions to help make our highways across America safer.

Related info:

What you need to know about federal trucking law

About Steve Gursten

Attorney Steven Gursten is president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association and past president of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group. He has been named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Leader in the Law" for his efforts to prevent truck accidents and promote national truck safety. Steve was also a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Lawyer of the Year" for a record settlement in a truck accident case. He has received the top reported truck accident jury verdict and top reported truck accident settlement in Michigan for multiple years, according to published year-end compilations of all jury verdicts and personal injury settlements by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He has been named a "Top 50 Super Lawyer," by SuperLawyers, is listed in Best Lawyers in America, and has been awarded an AV-rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating for legal ability and ethics. Steve speaks to lawyers throughout the country on truck accident litigation. He is a founding member of the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable, head of Michigan Auto Law, and has dedicated his legal career to making our roads safer.
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