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By Brian Joseph, FairWarning bigtrucks

A $305 billion highway bill approved by Congress and signed by President Obama last week includes several provisions aggressively sought by the trucking industry that, critics say, will undermine traffic safety.

The long-awaited legislation – known as the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation, or FAST, Act – removes truck safety ratings from a public Department of Transportation website. It also creates a pilot program to put drivers as young as 18 behind the wheel of a big rig if they have received military training to operate a similar vehicle. The law also will slow efforts to raise the insurance requirements for big rigs, which have been required to carry a minimum of $750,000 in liability coverage since 1985.