Repeal of 103-year-old rule opens door to modern road-safety gadgets

ARTBA says the antiquated federal procurement rule hindered state and native governments from shopping for merchandise, comparable to cell boundaries designed to guard freeway staff.

A 103-year-old federal procurement rule that road-industry advocates say stifled using road-safety merchandise by state and native governments has been repealed by the Federal Freeway Administration.

The American Street & Transportation Builders Affiliation (ARTBA), which fought for repeal of the “proprietary merchandise rule” for years, lauded the choice September 26, saying it is going to “spur growth of latest applied sciences to assist save lives, reduce congestion and enhance the efficiency of the nation’s highways.”

ARTBA filed a petition March 2018 with the U.S. Division of Transportation to throw out the procurement rule, which was adopted in 1916 by the U.S. Division of Agriculture.

The rule primarily prohibited using patented or proprietary merchandise on state and native freeway and bridge tasks that obtain federal funding, partly as a result of the rule required aggressive bidding, even when the product is one in every of a sort, in response to ARTBA’s petition.

“This archaic regulation was a roadblock to innovation,” ARTBA President & CEO Dave Bauer mentioned.

ARTBA says the repeal will enable states to make use of federal freeway funds on patented or proprietary highway and bridge applied sciences, comparable to “reflective highway lane dividers that deter drained motorists from drifting into oncoming site visitors, site visitors indicators that reduce damage by collapsing on the slightest influence, and highway boundaries on wheels that present bodily however movable partitions between site visitors and development staff.”

The repeal is efficient October 28.