The Federal Motor Carrier Administration announced the availability of $30 million in state grants aimed at assisting states in improving transportation safety. The money is available to states through two annual programs.

The Department of Transportation wants states to use the money to strengthen commercial vehicle safety by modernizing their technology infrastructure. The improved infrastructure will help states efficiently collect and distribute real-time safety data to inspectors and law enforcement.

The grant funding is available through two separate programs - the Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks and the Performance Registration Information Systems Management programs.

Through the CVISN program, up to $25 million will be awarded to improve technological capability and promote the deployment of intelligent transportation systems applications for commercial vehicle operations. The program focuses enforcement on high-risk operators and improves efficiency through electronic screening of commercial vehicles. It also enables online application and issuance of Registration and Fuel Tax credentials.

Through the PRISM program, up to $5 million is available to nationally integrate state commercial motor vehicle registration and licensing systems. These systems allow states to determine the eligibility of a carrier or registrant at the time of licensing or registration of the company’s vehicles.  The PRISM system will automatically suspend or withhold ineligible commercial vehicle registration from one state to another.

In November 2014, the FMCSA announced an additional funding opportunity to help states improve commercial vehicle safety through the agency’s Commercial Driver’s License Program Implementation grant. The grant ensured that only qualified people would receive and train a CDL by helping states update their computer hardware and software. It also allowed them to strengthen quality control, training and other related areas.

The FMCSA is providing more information on these events by hosting two webinars for state officials. The schedule for these webinars can be found here.

The due date for both grants is Feb. 2, 2015. The application period for the CDLPI grants closed on Jan. 6. The FMCSA expects states to begin receiving money from these grants this spring.

“Safety is our highest priority and we expect that truck and bus companies and their drivers are also focused on safety at all times,” said Anthony Foxx, U.S. Transportation Secretary. “Providing our state partners with the most effective tools for identifying unsafe trucks, buses and commercial drivers in real-time is an investment that pays dividends.”

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