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The FAST Act: Highway, Rail, and Hazardous Materials Transportation Safety

The FAST Act makes a number of changes to the Department’s safety programs, including creating new grant programs, and making changes to the Department’s authorities to protect the traveling public.

Specifically, the FAST Act:

  • Increases the maximum civil penalty that may be imposed against auto makers for safety-related motor vehicle defects;
  • Improves the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) ability to recall unsafe vehicles and prohibits rental companies from renting out motor vehicles subject to safety recalls until they are fixed;
  • Streamlines the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) truck and bus safety grant programs;
  • Establishes a new competitive grant program for passenger and freight rail safety projects;
  • Increases accountability of States to ensure rail transit safety performance by bolstering oversight in urban areas;
  • Allowing flexibility in transporting hazardous materials during major disasters and emergencies in an effort to improve the ability to carry out emergency response and relief efforts; and
  • Requires certain truck company safety performance data to be removed from the Department’s website pending the results of a review of that data.


Last updated: Tuesday, January 12, 2016