U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, PA-11, is the lead Republican sponsor of the bipartisan "Safe Roads for America Act" (H.R. 3536), which improves the brightness and size (retro-reflectivity) of traffic signs so drivers can see them more clearly at night.
Rep. Hank Johnson, Democrat, GA-4, introduced the bill.
The bill ensures that bipartisan legislation approved in 1992 establishing timelines to upgrade road signs' retro-reflectivity is implemented.
"Having almost two decades of experience in the road construction industry, I know how important reflectivity and increased visibility are to motorists, especially older drivers," said Rep. Barletta. "This common-sense bill will make our nation's roads safer for everyone, and it ensures that states and municipalities can afford these important safety upgrades."
Rep. Barletta said brighter signs will give drivers more critical decision-making time and help cut emergency response times. The bill maintains reasonable deadlines for the safety upgrades and makes funds more accessible to the states to fulfill the bill's requirements.
The Federal Highway Administration estimates these upgrades will cost $37 million over 10 years.
"As our population ages, we need to make our road signs more readable at night," said Rep. Johnson. "Someone 60 years old needs 10 times the amount of light to see at night as someone who is 19, according to the American Automobile Association. Safe Roads helps make our roads safer by ensuring seniors and everyone can see roads signs more clearly at night."
American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) Chairman Joe Jeffrey said, "Reps. Barletta and Johnson's leadership on this vital legislation will help to continue the reduction of roadway fatalities and serious injuries nationwide."
Among the organizations supporting the bill are AAA, AARP, Allstate, American Highway Users Alliance, American Society of Civil Engineers, American Traffic Safety Services Association, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, Easter Seals, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, Nationwide, National Trooper Coalition, National Organizations for Youth Safety, Transportation for America, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.