A Close Look at Little-Known Provisions in the Infrastructure Bill

Although Joe Biden’s Invest in America Act has been widely described as an “infrastructure bill,” its impact on American life goes far beyond roads, railways, and bridges. New rules in the bill affect transportation, manufacturing, water pipes, research, schools, and more.

The Invest in America Act has a startling 2,702 pages, but even so, it’s smaller than many bills passed in the past few decades.

Although Congress today passes fewer bills than in the past, modern bills tend to be larger. Some have criticized large bills because they allow congressmen to group multiple unrelated laws together or hide financial favors to special interest groups.

Here are several surprising plans found in the Biden infrastructure bill:

Strange Studies

Three of the strangest studies in the bill focus on equity in crash dummies, train length, and the use of bicycles to respond to disasters.

The dummy study will evaluate whether the seating positions of crash test dummies leads to worse vehicle safety for women, the elderly, the young, and people of unusual weight. After getting the results, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration will decide whether to use crash dummies that better represent the effects of car crashes on these groups. Today, the federal government only uses male dummies.

The bicycle study will determine whether disaster preparedness plans for areas with few cars should include bicycle use by first responders, emergency workers, and community representatives. At least eight small island towns across the United States don’t allow cars.

Another study will evaluate whether freight trains longer than 7,500 feet pose additional risk to people. In the past decade, trains have gotten longer, but most trains today are between 5,800 and 7,500 feet. – READ MORE