Highway safety remains a major concern for commercial carriers, government agencies, and private citizens. Coalitions of interested parties, working with the Congress, have sought to improve highway safety over the years. Currently, there are several advanced on board vehicle safety systems available that can help to prevent or mitigate the severity of truck and bus crashes. In an effort to encourage and accelerate the production, sale, and deployment of advanced safety technologies in commercial vehicles, buses and motor coaches, HR 2024 would provide a tax credit for the purchase and installation of such technologies.
The dual purposes of the legislation are to enhance safety while at the same time providing an economic incentive to advance the deployment of proven and available (commercial off the shelf) safety technologies that have a direct impact on the most prevalent crash types related to commercial vehicles.
"The Commercial Motor Vehicle Advanced Safety Technology Tax Act of 2009," HR 2024, addresses the need for incentives to encourage the use of advanced safety systems. The proposed legislation would provide a credit against income tax for the purchase of any qualified commercial vehicle advanced safety system.
The allowable credit is equal to 50 percent of the cost of the qualified safety system, but may not exceed $1,500 for each safety system. In the case where the taxpayer purchases multiple eligible safety systems for the same vehicle, the total amount of the credit for all the safety systems may not exceed $3,500 for the vehicle. The total allowable credit for the taxpayer may not exceed $350,000 per taxable year.
According to the proposed legislation, four safety systems that would be eligible for the credit: brake stroke monitoring, vehicle stability systems, lane departure warning systems, and collision warning systems with adaptive cruise control.
HR 2024 states that, "Over the last few years, both the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) have been conducting research and testing activities related to these systems All four of these systems have a direct correlation with the most prevalent crash types, as well as their contributing factors, that were found during the Large Truck Crash Causation Study (LTCCS)."
Support for this legislation is a centerpiece of HDMA's Legislative agenda, along with CVSA (Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance), and we encourage everyone in the transportation industry to learn about it. To contact your representative, go to the MEMA action center (www.mema.org).