Sens. Kelly and Burr Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Fund Safer Roadways in Tribal, Rural Areas

Today, U.S. Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Richard Burr (R-NC) introduced the High-Risk Rural Road Safety Act, a bill that would provide $750 million to support safety improvements for roads in rural and tribal communities. Arizona and North Carolina have the fifth and ninth highest fatality rates on non-interstate rural roads, which are more likely to be winding, narrow, and have fewer safety features. Similar legislation was introduced in the House by Arizona Rep. Tom O’Halleran (AZ-01).

Of the $750 million, $150 million will be reserved for roads in tribal communities, and will be allocated through a competitive process. The other $600 million will be divided up amongst states, which will subsequently obligate funds to rural regions for highway safety projects. The bill would provide approximately $30 million to Arizona each year to fix rural roads.

“I’ve driven to meet Arizonans in every corner of the state, and understand that many of our rural roads are in need of improvements to ensure safety and reduce accidents and fatalities. The High-Risk Rural Road Safety Act will fund road safety improvements in rural and tribal areas to help ensure Arizonans in all parts of the state have access to updated, safe roadways to get to work, school, or wherever they need to go,” said Senator Kelly. “To support Arizona’s economy and continued growth, it is critical that we invest in fixing and modernizing our infrastructure. Arizona roads, bridges and transit projects, particularly in rural and tribal areas, cannot be neglected.”

“Despite carrying less than half of our nation’s traffic, accidents are more likely to occur on rural roads, and in tribal communities the risks are even greater,” said Senator Burr. “By updating our rural infrastructure with critical safety projects we can save lives and ensure more Americans are able to get home safe and sound.”

To read the full text of the bill, click here.