Sen. Frank Lautenberg Dead at 89

June 3, 2013

By Oliver Patton

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Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., a longtime advocate of tough truck safety legislation, has died at age 89.

Lautenberg died early this morning due to complications from viral pneumonia at a New York hospital, his office reported.

As chairman of the Senate Surface Transportation Subcommittee, Lautenberg has for years championed legislation to promote truck safety.

Most recently, he reintroduced a bill that would restrict truck size and weight limits, continuing his long opposition to any easing of those standards.

As chairman of the panel that drafts the safety title of the Senate’s highway bills, he also pushed for mandatory electronic logs to track driver hours of service.

He was the author of tough drunk driving laws, including the nationwide .08 blood alcohol standard and the age 21 drinking law.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will name a temporary replacement for Lautenberg pending a special election later this year and an election for a full term next year, the Post reported.

It is too soon to say who would replace him as chair of the Surface Transportation Subcommittee.

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