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Highway Users in Action, Issue 1, 2011

Upcoming Events

Highway Users Board of Directors Meeting – The upcoming Highway Users Board of Directors meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 16th from 8:30 am to 12:00 noon. The meeting will be held at General Motors located at 25 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 400, Washington, DC 20001. Thanks to those who have already sent an RSVP. For Board members who have not responded, please let us know if you will be attending at info@highways.org. We look forward to seeing you!

Congressional Welcome Reception for 112th Congress – The deadline to RSVP is Friday, February 11th. Pre-registration is required to attend this event. Space is very limited. Thank you to those members who have already RSVPed.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011 – 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm

2167 Rayburn House Office Building | House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Room, Washington, DC 20515

Thank you to our generous sponsors:

Gold Sponsors
Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
Motor and Equipment Manufacturers Association
National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Parsons Brinckerhoff
Salt Institute

Silver Sponsors
American Bus Association
American Trucking Associations
Recreational Vehicle Industry Association

Get recognized at the Reception! Sponsorships open until Friday, February 11th at 10:00 am.

Legislation, Regulation & Policy

House T&I Committee to Kick off Field Hearings – February 14th is the date of the first in a series of several House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee hearings scheduled to take place. The Highway Users will be sending grassroots representatives to as many hearings as possible to ensure that road user interests are properly represented before lawmakers. Interested in playing a grassroots role? The Highway Users is seeking all West Virginia members and surrounding states, including Kentucky, Eastern Tennessee, Southern Ohio, and Western North Carolina to attend the first Committee field hearing in Beckley, WVa. Contact us if your organization would like to participate at info@highways.org. There will be a total of 13 hearings over nine days. The Highway Users will keep its members apprised of upcoming hearing locations and details.

Highway Users Facebook Fan Count Continues to Soar – Our online social network of grassroots fans continues to expand! Currently, The Highway Users has more than 12,000+ fans and counting. If you have not already done so, please click the “Like” button on our page – www.facebook.com/highwayusers. We frequently post our latest legislative projects on the site, including a recent post concerning a potential ban on kids’ dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicles. Log on today and join our grassroots army!

Elevating Travel, Tourism & Recreation Industry Presence on Highway Issues – We are helping to form an informal Travel & Tourism highway users’ coalition. If your company or association is interested in participating, please let us know! Others involved include AAA, the Recreational Vehicle Industry Association, American Bus Association, American Motorcyclist Association, AASHTO, USTravel, American Recreation Coalition and others. We are working to raise awareness of the highway and transportation needs of these users and industries. One priority is to ensure a voice for travel, tourism and recreation at the House T&I Committee field hearings. 90% of all tourist travel is over our ailing National Highway System (including the Interstate Highway System).

Green Cars Make a Splash at DC Auto Show – The Highway Users staff attended the Washington DC auto show in late January. We got a sneak preview at the exciting line-up of new cars and light trucks and got to ride along in next generation vehicles with automatic emergency braking. Prior to the show, we attended a seminar on the Hill touting the auto industry’s new selection of green cars. Special thanks to our members at the Washington Area New Automobile Dealers Association (WANADA), National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), and the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers for inviting our staff to the show.

T&I Ushers in New Leadership – In mid-January, the House Transportation & Infrastructure (T&I) Committee held its first Organizational Meeting to announce new members. John Mica (R-Fla.) has been named chairman of the committee and Nick Rahall (D-WVa.) is the ranking member. John Duncan (R-Tenn.) was named chairman of the Subcommittee on Highways & Transit and Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.) will be the Ranking Democrat on the Subcommittee. We are delighted by the line-up of familiar faces and anticipate excellent relations with all of the “Big 4” Members of the Committee. For the full leadership list, please visit www.transportation.house.gov.

Raising Media and Grassroots Activism for Safe Winter Roads – The Highway Users has re-released our study estimating the economic impact of snowstorms in sixteen U.S. states and two Canadian provinces. The study has reached millions from coast to coast. Our Facebook page is also chock-full o’ news about keeping our winter roads safe and open to traffic.

Educating the New Congress on Highway Issues – The Highway Users is delivering the last of our popular candidate binders to the new Members of Congress. Each Member received “The Road To Congress” binder last fall at their campaign headquarters but the re-delivery will ensure that their Washington transportation legislative aides will also have their own copy. The binder is a comprehensive primer on the highway program and includes extensive state-by-state data that lawmakers can use in crafting sound transportation policies. The binder distribution effort has also proven to be a good way for our staff to get to know many new Members and staffers in the House & Senate. Binder deliveries will continue for the next month. Groups that sponsored the binders are also welcome to use them for their introductory Hill meetings.

Highway Users to Exhibit at CONEXPO Show – The Highway Users are a sponsoring organization of the upcoming CONEXPO Show in Las Vegas on March 22-26. The trade show is one of the nation’s largest construction expositions. Please visit our booth at B-926 in the Blue Lot near Central Hall.

Mentoring Students in Safety Priorities – At the Annual Transportation Research Board (TRB) Meeting in Washington, DC, we mentored National Organization for Youth Safety (NOYS) students in late January on road safety priorities. NOYS is active in the Roadway Safety Foundation, the educational, charitable arm of The Highway Users. NOYS is also a key go-to-group for Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s anti-distracted driving campaign. For more information about NOYS, visit www.noys.org.

Improving Nighttime Driving Conditions – NCUTCD Highway Users Board Member Jim Keaton of Barrier Systems, Inc. represented us at the annual meeting of the National Committee of Uniform Traffic Control Devices. The meeting was an opportunity to affirm The Highway User’s support for the new manual on uniform traffic control devices, which will improve nighttime driver safety and set reasonable schedules for the replacement of older, less safe road signs.

Promoting Nighttime Retroreflectivity and Road Safety – We joined AARP and ATSSA to meet with Deputy Assistant Transportation Secretary Beth Osborne to discuss road safety and the Administration’s review of its retroreflectivity rule. The highway users drafted and submitted joint AAA/AARP/AHUA testimony in support of the rule.

Highway Bill Progress in the Senate! – In January, we met with the chief of staff of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee to discuss progress on the next federal highway bill. The Highway Users is impressed by the committee’s strategic, bipartisan approach to getting the bill done this spring. Their goal is to get a bill through committee by Memorial Day. We will continue to work closely with Senators and committee staff to ensure that highway users priorities are included in the bill.

Once Again, House T&I Includes The Highway Users in its “Kitchen Cabinet” – The Highway Users has been selected as part of a new “kitchen cabinet” of the House T&I Committee. President Greg Cohen is one of a small group of advisors that meets with committee staff to work on the highway bill. Meeting details are confidential but rest assured that we are making sure our members’ priorities are getting their fair consideration.

We Support Affordable and Reliable Energy – In early January, we attended the State of American Energy Forum at the Newseum. The event provided an opportunity to learn about myths and realities surrounding energy. The Highway Users believes an affordable supply of domestic oil is important to prevent pain at the pump for motorists, grow the economy and to promote energy independence.

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