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ikeldin's MyC-SPAN

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    Give Yourself the Green Light

    This 1954 General Motors film encourages citizens to support programs to improve roads and highways. The film begins by depicting traffic jams, unsafe roads, and city congestion, then documents the results of a nationwide General Motors contest seeking road system ideas. Infrastructure advocacy, such as this film, helped result in the passage of the $25 billion Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956.

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    Truck Safety

    Administration officials and industry representatives testified about S. 1501, the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999. Topics included removing unsafe drivers or vehicles from U.S. highways, more intense driver education, improving truck and bus safety, and preventing more railroad grade crossing accidents. Inspector General of the Transportation Department Kenneth Mead testified that Mexican trucks crossing the border had a much higher rate of disrepair and that more inspectors are needed at border crossings. Federal Highway Administrator Kenneth Wykle said the Federal Highway Administration conducted a study into the causes of all motor carrier accidents and prepared a new proposal about the 60-year-old rules on hours of driver service. Witnesses supported a separate Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Motor carrier representatives testified in support of the new legislation and made further suggestions about the jurisdictions of various agencies.

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    Hours of Service Rules for Motor Carriers

    House Transportation Subcommittee members heard testimony on the Department of Transportation’s proposed ‘hours of service’ rules for motor carriers, aimed at reducing driver fatigue. The proposed rules would reduce the number of hours a truck driver can work in a 24 hour period to twelve. Both safety experts and industry representatives testified on such questions as the effect upon the economy, the number of accidents that could be prevented by the legislation, and the ability of the trucking industry to adapt.

    This program contains the first 38 minutes of the program and is missing the last 4 hours and 47 minutes.

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    Motor Carrier Safety A.M. Session

    The Department of Transportation heard comments on and criticism of their proposed
    regulations of truck and bus drivers. The changes would reduce the allowable number of
    hours a driver could work per week and increase the required number of breaks. These
    changes were designed to reduce fatigue induced accidents, but many parties affected by
    these restrictions claimed they are impractical and unnecessary.

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    Interstate Highways Commemoration

    Vice President Al Gore spoke at a commemoration of the 40th anniversary of the Interstate Highway System. He praised the legislators, including his father, who conceived of an Interstate System. Former Senator Al Gore Sr. (D-TN), former Representative Lindy Boggs (D-LA) and other honorees sat on the stage while the vice president talked about the history and development of interstate highways.

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    President Eisenhower and Infrastructure

    The U.S. Capitol Historical Society hosted a discussion about President Eisenhower’s work to build up the nation’s infrastructure in the post-World War II years with an interstate highway system, construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway, and the creation of what became the Federal Aviation Administration.

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    Eisenhower and Domestic Policy

    Panelists talked about President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s domestic policies and priorities, including civil rights and the National Highway Act. Eisenhower’s grandson David, who was on the panel, described the president as a conservative in a liberal era.

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    Transportation Bill Signing

    President Clinton signed the Transportation Equity Bill, which is the successor to the ISTEA legislation. The bill provides for $203 billion for infrastructure and highway improvements around the nation.

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    Trucking Safety

    Witnesses testified before a House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee about transportation safety and the trucking industry. Among the topics they addressed were driver fatigue, truck size, Southern border crossing, and hazardous material transportation.