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Transportation advocates mourn Lautenberg

Transportation advocates mourned the death of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), who died Monday at the age of 89.

Lautenberg was a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and he frequently pushed for more funding for railways and higher standards for car and airplane safety.

American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)  Executive Director Bud Wright said Monday that Lautenberg was a "champion of the American people" and a "true leader in transportation."

“Sen. Lautenberg helped to pass landmark transportation legislation throughout his career to improve the health and safety of the traveling public and his tireless work on the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation; and Environment and Public Works committees will be missed,” Wright said in a statement.

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Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MAAD) President Jan Withers agreed, calling Lautenberg a "true legend in highway safety.”

“He was instrumental in passage of the 21 minimum drinking age law, federal zero tolerance laws for youth, and in passage of the national .08 BAC standard," Withers said in a statement. "His leadership helped lead a nation to dramatic reductions in drunk driving deaths and injuries.  Our thoughts are with Sen. Lautenberg’s family during this time.”

Lautenberg's fellow lawmakers also agreed he played a critical role in debates about transportation in the Senate.

"Our transportation system in the Northeast and the nation would not be as up-to-date and efficient were it not for Frank," Sen. Charles SchumerChuck SchumerTrump casts doubt on hopes for quick stimulus deal after aides expressed optimism Schumer says he had 'serious talk' with Feinstein, declines to comment on Judiciary role Democrats seem unlikely to move against Feinstein MORE (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.

A New Jersey Transit station in Secaucus is named after Lautenberg.