In an effort to promote the implementation of technologically advanced safety measures on U.S. roads, H.R. 3820, the Commercial Motor Vehicle Advanced Safety Technology Act of 2007, was introduced in Congress on October 10th. Under the act, a tax credit will be provided equal to 50% of the cost of any qualified commercial vehicle safety system put into service during the tax year, including selected brake stroke monitoring systems, lane departure warning systems, collision warning systems, and vehicle stability systems.

Brake system manufacturer Bendix has taken a strong stand in favor of the new bill. “Bendix will continue to work in every way to promote this bill because it will allow for safer highways,” Scott Burkhart, vp & gm of controls and modules, told Fleet Owner. He noted that the need to make our highways safer makes the bill something Bendix wants to lend its support to. “We are trying to bring visibility to the issue. We’ve had ride and drives in Washington to help people understand what kind of technology is now available,” he said.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that crashes involving heavy-duty vehicles resulted in more than 25,000 fatalities between 2001 and 2005. Accidents also cause traffic delays and lost time due to out-of-service vehicles. Bendix believes that H.R. 3820 would help prevent incidents through the implementation of various forms of safety technology currently available, promoting improved highway safety and hopefully leading to safer roadways for all vehicles.

“The Commercial Motor Vehicle Advanced Safety Technology Act is a strong and necessary first step in helping make critical vehicle safety technologies even more accessible for today’s safety-conscious fleets,” said Joseph J. McAleese, president & CEO of Bendix. “The Bendix vision has long been one of improved highway safety, and our primary focus is to deliver cost-effective solutions that make the roadways safer. We applaud our leaders for their work to make these intelligent safety technologies even more affordable.”

The bill was introduced by Rep. Mike Thompson (D-CA), and was co-sponsored by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D – OR), Rep. Steven C. LaTourette (R – OH), Rep. Sander Levin (D – MI), Rep. Ron Lewis (R – KY), Rep. Mike Rogers (R – MI), Rep. Heath Shuler (D – NC), and Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D – CA).

Burkhart noted that while it was important the bill has support on both sides of the aisle, it doesn’t make it a done deal. “It does have bipartisan support…I think they understand the need to support it, but the challenge is to get tax incentives passed in today’s legislative environment,” he said.