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Drivers Give Thumbs Up to Improving Roads

A majority of motorists across the country want the federal government to invest more money to improve roadways.  A recent AAA poll finds 62 percent would approve of the increased funding, while 81 percent believe the federal government should do more to improve the condition of roads and bridges.

Ilya Hemlin, Townsquare Media

“Most Americans recognize the need for increased transportation funding because they drive over potholes and bumpy roads every day,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “Unfortunately, the main concerns voiced by motorists about transportation and driving differ markedly from the points generally expressed by policymakers to promote funding legislation.”

Among the concerns regarding transportation and driving the cars, the following issues were identified by drivers:

  • Reliability and safety of their car- 34 percent
  • Direct financial cost of driving- 19 percent
  • Behavior of other drivers- 15 percent
  • Safety/road accidents- 15 percent
  • Gas mileage/fuel efficiency- 15 percent

According to AAA’s recently released ‘Your Driving Costs’ report, the average cost to own and operate a car this year rose 1.96 percent to 60.8 cents per mile, or $9,122 per year, based on 15,000 miles of annual driving.

“Policymakers and transportation advocates are failing to connect with the public on the practical concerns that matter most to motorists,” said Noble.  “Motorists want to hear about how their elected officials can improve their daily commute by repairing the pothole down the street or the bumpy road around the corner.”

Nearly seven out of 10 motorists believe the federal government should make reducing congestion on the roads a top transportation priority. Motorists who want the federal government to increase taxes or fees to improve roadways are in favor of a number of options for increasing transportation funding.  They include:

  • Replacing the per-gallon gas tax with a national gasoline sales tax- 55 percent
  • Creating a new national sales tax dedicated to transportation- 47 percent
  • Expanding the use of tolls to Interstate highways where tolls are not currently collected- 47 percent
  • Creating a carbon tax on fossil fuel- 45 percent
  • Replacing the federal gas tax with a per-miles-driven fee- 37 percent
  • Creating an energy tax on all sources of energy- 35 percent
  • Increasing the federal per-gallon gas tax- 27 percent

“The public seems very willing to examine innovative transportation methods to improve road quality,” said Noble.

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