[Congressional Bills 108th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 968 Introduced in House (IH)]

  1st Session
                                H. R. 968

To amend title 23, United States Code, to provide incentives to States 
   for the development of traffic safety programs to reduce crashes 
            related to driver fatigue and sleep deprivation.



                           February 27, 2003

 Mr. Andrews introduced the following bill; which was referred to the 
             Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure


                                 A BILL

To amend title 23, United States Code, to provide incentives to States 
   for the development of traffic safety programs to reduce crashes 
            related to driver fatigue and sleep deprivation.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Maggie's Law: National Drowsy 
Driving Act of 2003''.


    Congress finds the following:
            (1) A 1995 Federal study conservatively estimated that each 
                    (A) 100,000 police-reported motor vehicle crashes 
                are caused by the drowsiness or fatigue of the 
                    (B) 1,550 deaths and 71,000 injuries are the direct 
                result of a driver falling asleep at the wheel of a 
                motor vehicle; and
                    (C) these crashes represent at least 
                $12,500,000,000 in diminished productivity and property 
            (2) Scientific research further demonstrates that--
                    (A) 1,000,000 crashes are caused by driver 
                inattention each year; and
                    (B) sleep deprivation and fatigue make such 
                attention lapses more likely to occur.
            (3) An insufficient amount of statistical data and 
        documentation concerning fatigue-related motor vehicle crashes 
        is available. Federal statistics significantly under-report the 
        problem of driver fatigue because the statistics are derived 
        primarily from police accident reports, and studies indicate 
        that less than one-half of all crashes are reported to the 
            (4) Further complicating the collection of accurate data 
        are the following facts:
                    (A) Most police officers are not trained to detect 
                sleep-related crashes.
                    (B) There is no test to determine sleepiness as 
                there is for drunk drivers.
                    (C) There are still States that do not have proper 
                codes for sleepiness on their crash report forms.
                    (D) Based on clinical studies, many people are 
                unable to accurately recognize when they have nodded-
                off for a short period of time (microsleep), thus 
                raising questions about the reliability of self-
            (5) In 1999, a scientifically conducted national survey of 
        Americans found that 23 percent of respondents reported that 
        they personally know someone who crashed in the past year due 
        to falling asleep at the wheel.
            (6) In 2001, a scientifically conducted national survey of 
        Americans found that in the past year--
                    (A) 53 percent of all adults reported driving while 
                    (B) 19 percent reported that they had actually 
                dozed off while driving; and
                    (C) one percent reported that they had crashed 
                because they dozed off.
            (7) Studies confirm that while anyone can be at risk for 
        drowsy driving, there are several population groups that are 
        significantly at higher risk--
                    (A) young people under the age of 26, who tend to 
                stay up late, sleep too little, and drive at night, 
                represent about 55 percent of all fall asleep crashes;
                    (B) there are over 20,000,000 shift workers in 
                America and studies suggest that 20 percent to 30 
                percent of individuals with nontraditional work 
                schedules have had a fatigue-related driving mishap in 
                the last year;
                    (C) commercial drivers are susceptible to fatigue-
                related crashes due to their driving schedules and the 
                amount of miles they drive during the year;
                    (D) commercial drivers have a high prevalence of a 
                sleep and breathing disorder called sleep apnea; and
                    (E) 40,000,000 Americans suffer from sleep 
                disorders; left untreated, disorders such as sleep 
                apnea can increase crash risk 3 to 7 times.
            (8) In 1995, a study found that some roads, such as high-
        speed, long, boring, rural highways, are more dangerous than 
        others for sleep-deprived motorists. The New York State Police 
        estimated that 40 percent of all fatal crashes along the New 
        York Thruway were the result of a driver falling asleep at the 
            (9) Studies, such as the following, indicate that 
        continuous shoulder rumble strips are effective countermeasures 
        to drift-off-the-road crashes, which are characteristic of 
        drowsy driving, and fall-asleep crashes--
                    (A) New York State reports that accidents caused by 
                drivers falling asleep at 13 sites on the New York 
                Thruway were reduced by 84 percent following the 
                installation of continuous shoulder rumble strips.
                    (B) Pennsylvania reports a reduction of guard rail 
                or embankment accidents at 5 sites on the Pennsylvania 
                Turnpike following rumble strip installation.
                    (C) In 1995, an expert panel consisting of 
                university and federal researchers convened to assess 
                the current research regarding the effectiveness of 
                continuous shoulder rumble strips and to make 
                recommendations about their use. The panel concluded 
                that rumble strips reduce drift-off-the-road crashes 
                anywhere from 15 to 70 percent depending on road type 
                and rumble strip design being used.


    Chapter 4 of title 23, United States Code, is amended by adding at 
the end the following:


    ``(a) Awards.--The Secretary may enter into contracts or 
cooperative agreements with, and may make grants to, State highway 
offices and other experienced drowsy driving safety organizations to 
obtain and distribute national, State, and local drowsy driving 
education programs and supporting educational materials.
    ``(b) Use of Funds.--Funds provided under a contract, cooperative 
agreement, or grant under subsection (a) shall be used--
            ``(1) to implement drowsy driving programs which are 
        designed to prevent deaths and injuries due to drivers who are 
        impaired by fatigue and sleep deprivation and which--
                    ``(A) educate the public in all aspects of the 
                dangers of driving while impaired by fatigue or 
                drowsiness as a result of sleep deprivation, untreated 
                sleep disorders, sedating medications, and alcohol use;
                    ``(B) educate the public to recognize the signs of 
                fatigue while driving and how to take appropriate 
                countermeasures to avoid fall-asleep crashes;
                    ``(C) train and retrain traffic safety 
                professionals, police officers, fire and emergency 
                medical personnel, and other educators in all aspects 
                of drowsy driving prevention; and
                    ``(B) train police officers and accident 
                reconstructionists to identify fatigue impairment among 
                drivers and as a factor in motor vehicle crashes;
            ``(2) to develop a standardized, scientifically accurate 
        curriculum on the risks and prevention of drowsy driving and 
        fall-asleep motor vehicle crashes and take steps to--
                    ``(A) develop and integrate a drowsy driving 
                curriculum component into all driver's education 
                courses under the purview of a State's transportation 
                    ``(B) ensure that State departments of 
                transportation, health and education work together to 
                include a drowsy driving component in all driver's 
                education and health education curricula; and
                    ``(C) the State departments of transportation shall 
                develop a curriculum on drowsy driving for training the 
                instructors who teach any course covering driver 
                education or traffic safety.
            ``(3) to consult and collaborate with existing national 
        drowsy driving campaigns to foster the distribution of 
        scientifically-based information and educational messages 
        regarding drowsy driving and fall-asleep crashes and to review 
        existing State model programs for experience and guidance;
            ``(4) to adopt formal policy statements and work plans for 
        the installation and expansion of continuous shoulder rumble 
        strips during highway resurfacing and new construction programs 
        for interstate highways and submit a report to the Secretary 
        each fiscal year describing the number of highway miles and 
        locations where continuous shoulder rumble strips have been 
        installed on their state highway system;
            ``(5) to adopt formal codes on motor vehicle accident 
        report forms to report fatigue-related or fall-asleep crashes;
            ``(6) to provide enforcement personnel training in the 
        detection and reporting of drowsy driving as a factor in motor 
        vehicle crashes; and
            ``(7) provide education programs to the police and the 
        courts regarding the sanctions available for drowsy driving 
    ``(d) Applications.--An entity desiring a contract, cooperative 
agreement, or grant under subsection (a) shall submit an application to 
the Secretary at such time, in such manner, and accompanied by such 
information as the Secretary may reasonably require.
    ``(e) Reports to Secretary.--An entity which receives a contract, 
cooperative agreement, or grant under subsection (a) shall prepare and 
submit to the Secretary an annual report during the period in which it 
receives funds under such contract, cooperative agreement, or grant. 
Such a report shall contain such information as the Secretary may 
require and shall, at a minimum, describe the program activities 
undertaken with such funds, including--
            ``(1) any drowsy driving education program that has been 
        developed directly or indirectly by such entity and the target 
        population of such program;
            ``(2) support materials of such a program that have been 
        obtained by such entity and the method by which the entity 
        distributed such materials; and
            ``(3) any initiatives undertaken by such entity to develop 
        public-private partnerships to secure non-Federal support for 
        the development and distribution of drowsy driving education 
        programs and materials.
    ``(f) Report to Congress.--The Secretary shall prepare and submit 
to the appropriate committees of Congress an annual report on the 
implementation of this section, which includes a description of the 
programs undertaken and materials developed and distributed by entities 
receiving funds under subsection (a).
    ``(g) In this section, the following definitions apply:
            ``(1) Drowsy driver education programs.--The term `drowsy 
        driving education programs' includes publications, audiovisual, 
        presentations, and demonstrations.
            ``(2) State.--The term `State' means any State of the 
        United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of 
        Puerto Rico, the United States Virgin Islands, Guam, American 
        Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, and any other territory or 
        possession of the United States.
            ``(3) State model programs.--The term `State model 
        programs' means the State of New York's Break for Safety 
        program and New York Task Force on Drowsy Driving efforts.
            ``(4) National programs.--The term `national programs' 
        means the DRIVE ALERT...ARRIVE ALIVE, the National Sleep 
        Foundation's Campaign on Drowsy Driving and other programs 
        operated by non-profit organizations.
            ``(5) Continuous shoulder rumble strip.--The term 
        `continuous shoulder rumble strip' means raised or grooved 
        patterns inserted on the shoulder of a highway to alert drivers 
        drifting off the road that they are doing so.
    ``(h) Authorization of Appropriations.--For the purpose of carrying 
out this section, there are authorized to be appropriated to the 
Secretary $5,000,000 for the National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration for each of fiscal years 2004 through 2009, of which not 
more than $350,000 may be spent in any fiscal year for administrative 


    (a) Study.--The Secretary of Transportation shall conduct a study 
on the scope of the problem of fatigue-related automobile crashes 
amongst the general driving public.
    (b) Report.--Not later than 2 years after the date of the enactment 
of this Act, the Secretary shall transmit to Congress a report 
containing the results of the study.