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Puerto Rico gets $2.3M to promote commercial vehicle road safety

The funds have been assigned to the Puerto Rico Public Service Commission.

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently announced the allocation of nearly $2.3 million to the Puerto Rico Transport and Other Public Services Bureau to support commercial motor vehicle safety initiatives.

The allocation is part of a global $480 million in Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program grant awards aimed at preventing crashes, fatalities and injuries involving commercial motor vehicles.

Bureau President Jaime Lafuente confirmed the agency’s goal is to “reach zero roadway fatalities in Puerto Rico.”

According to the proposal submitted by the agency, this goal will be achieved primarily by “performing roadside inspection activities throughout Puerto Rico, with a special focus on high-risk crash corridors.”

“We will continue to promote interagency cooperation and coordination by performing traffic enforcement activities as means to prevent and deter unsafe Motor Carrier Practices, as well as perform outreach to deter dangerous driver conduct,” Lafuente said.

The bureau will collaborate with several agencies, including the Puerto Rico Police Bureau, the Department of Transportation and Public Works (DTOP, in Spanish), the Puerto Rico Ports Authority, the Highway & Transportation Authority, the Puerto Rico Traffic Safety Commission, and the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources.

FMCSA’s largest grant program, the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program, awards funding to all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

“Across the entire country, we are making our roadways safer and strengthening our national supply chains with resources made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The funding we’re announcing … will help our local safety partners invest in initiatives that will continue this important work and make our roadways safer.”

Funding through the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program supports safety inspections of large trucks and buses, investigations of motor carriers in response to safety concerns, and audits of new truck carriers and bus companies to ensure responsible operation and the safe movement of goods and passengers.

The funding also promotes outreach and education efforts that address human trafficking, distracted driving and other roadway safety concerns. The program’s funding amounts are determined by a formula and awarded annually to the lead agency of each state or territory upon completion of an FMCSA-approved Commercial Vehicle Safety Plan.

“Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program grant funding is an important tool for reducing crashes and fatalities involving commercial motor vehicles,” said FMCSA Acting Deputy Administrator Sue Lawless.

“The number of fatalities on our nation’s roadways involving commercial motor vehicles decreased by an estimated 8% from 2022 to 2023. We know the needle is moving in the right direction, but until we reach zero roadway deaths, there will always be more work to do. These grants help fund that work,” she said.

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 30 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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