James John Howard
|Chair of the House Committee on Public Works and Transportation|
January 3, 1981 - March 25, 1988
|Glenn M. Anderson|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives|
from New Jersey's 3rd district
January 3, 1965 - March 25, 1988
|James C. Auchincloss|
|Born||July 24, 1927|
Irvington, New Jersey, U.S.
|Died||March 25, 1988 (aged 60)|
Washington, D.C., U.S.
James John Howard (July 24, 1927 – March 25, 1988) was an American educator and Democratic Party politician who represented New Jersey's 3rd congressional district in the United States House of Representatives from 1965 until his death from a heart attack in Washington, D.C. in 1988.
He was born on July 24, 1927 in Irvington, New Jersey. Howard graduated from St. Rose School, Belmar, in 1941, Asbury Park High School in 1947, St. Bonaventure University, in 1952; and earned a Master of Education degree from Rutgers University-New Brunswick in 1958.
Prior to being elected to the House, Howard served in the United States Navy in the South Pacific from December 30, 1944, to July 19, 1946; teacher and acting principal in Wall Township school system from 1952 to 1964.
On May 23, 1967, Howard created a public controversy over the M16, the basic combat rifle in Vietnam, beginning after he read a letter to the House of Representatives in which a Marine in Vietnam claims that almost all Americans killed in the Battle of Hill 881 died as a result of their new M16 rifles jamming. By the end of 1967, the problem had been resolved.
In 1974, he introduced the idea of a 55-mile-per-hour speed limit. And Congress soon imposed a nationwide 55 MPH (90 km/h) speed limit by threatening to withhold highway funds from states that did not adopt this limit. It was estimated a speed of 55 mph (89 km/h) used 17% less fuel per mile than a speed of 75 MPH (120 km/h). It was also believed, based on a noticeable drop the first year the limit was imposed, that it cut down on highway deaths, but later studies were more mixed on this point. In addition, Howard authored an innovative coordinated surface transportation policy and program.
Howard's other notable, enduring contributions to the fight for enhanced highway safety include sponsorship of a myriad of bills such as: the Howard-Barnes anti-drunk driving legislation (1982); the Child Restraint Law (1984), which increased funding for state child passenger safety programs; legislation establishing a uniform minimum drinking age of 21 (1984); the National Driver's Register (1982); the National Infrastructure Act (1983); and the Motor Carrier Act (1980), which was the first regulatory reform of the trucking industry in half a century that, among other things, increased federal aid for truck safety programs.
At the time of his death, Howard was fighting an effort by transportation-related businesses move to persuade Congress to "complete" truck deregulation, a move they said would save billions in distribution costs. Upon his death the committee chairmanship passed to Rep. Glenn M. Anderson (D-CA).
Frank Pallone filled the seat vacated by Howard's death in 1988.
|U.S. House of Representatives|
James C. Auchincloss
| Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New Jersey's 3rd congressional district
| Chairman of House Transportation Committee
Glenn M. Anderson