RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, NC - MEMA and HDMA strongly support a bill introduced by Reps. Geoff Davis (R-Ky.) and Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) on May 4 which provides a tax credit for commercial vehicle owners to purchase and install specific advanced safety.

H.R. 1706, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Act of 2011, would:

  • provide a tax credit equal to 50 percent of the cost of a qualified system, up to $1,500;
  • allow a total credit of up to $3,500 per vehicle;
  • limit the qualifying taxpayer to a maximum credit of $350,000 per taxable year; and
  • extend credit eligibility for the purchase of school buses, intercity buses and vehicles used in commerce weighing over 26,000 pounds.

The safety technologies covered in H.R. 1706 are brake stroke monitoring systems, vehicle stability systems, lane departure warning systems and collision warning or mitigation systems.

"Increasing the deployment of the technologies in this bill will help reduce accidents and fatalities on our nation's highways and improve commercial vehicle safety," said Bob McKenna, MEMA president and CEO. "We applaud Reps. Davis and Thompson for their leadership and effort in addressing this important issue."

"Ensuring the safety of the motoring public is a high priority for our members," said Tim Kraus, HDMA president and chief operating officer. "This legislation allows the industry to address the prevalent causes of accidents as identified by the 2006 Large Truck Crash Causation Study in an expeditious manner."

According to the Department of Transportation, more than 4,500 individuals were killed and approximately 113,000 were injured on the nation's highways in accidents involving heavy duty vehicles in 2008. There are market-ready technologies that have been proven to help prevent commercial motor vehicle crashes or to mitigate the severity of the crash.

The list of eligible technologies was carefully crafted with the support and assistance of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and is designed to target the causes of approximately sixty percent of commercial motor vehicle accidents, as identified in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) Large Truck Crash Causation Study.