18-wheeler

Trucking's Highway Safety Agenda Awaits Next Congress

The American Trucking Associations has published what it calls a "bold" highway safety agenda containing 18 critical steps to further reduce highway crashes among all motorists. The organization's board of directors adopted them recently; the agenda complements an environmental and sustainability initiative ATA launched in May 2008.

"Safe driving and safe highways are a team effort," said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. "The entire community, from motor carriers to law enforcement to the motoring public and lawmakers, must work in concert to make our highways safe. ATA has long pursued a safety agenda. Large-truck fatality and injury rates are already at their lowest point since the federal government began reporting the figures three decades ago, but we must continue to raise the bar for safety."

These 18 recommendations supplement ATA's existing safety agenda, which includes promoting greater seat belt use by commercial drivers; restoring a national speed limit; speed governing for all new trucks; and a national clearinghouse for drug and alcohol test results. Ten of the new recommendations involve measures to improve driver performance, including uniform commercial driver's license (CDL) testing standards, a CDL graduated licensing study, a national 65 mph speed limit, and increased use of red light cameras and automated speed enforcement. Three new recommendations focus on making vehicles safer, including targeted electronic speed governing of certain non-commercial vehicles, required electronic speed governing of all large trucks made since 1992, and new large-truck crashworthiness standards.

The other five new recommendations involve better federal oversight, including a national employer notification system, the drug and alcohol test result clearinghouse, and a federal registry of certified medical examiners.

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