ATA Vice Chairman Urges Enforcement Community to Focus on Driver Behavior

Apr 23, 2013, 09:58 ET from American Trucking Associations

LOUISVILLE, Ky., April 23, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, in a speech to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, American Trucking Associations Vice Chairman Phil Byrd thanked law enforcement agencies for what they do, and also said they  must do more to focus on the unsafe behavior of drivers, both commercial and non-commercial, in order to achieve the safety gains everyone desires.


"About 90% of crashes are the result of driver error or unsafe driver behaviors, and only about 10% are attributed to vehicle factors," said Byrd, president and CEO of Bulldog Hiway Express, Charleston, S.C. "With this in mind, we must commit ourselves to focusing on appropriate and effective countermeasures that will impact driver behavior."

Specifically, Byrd questioned why the enforcement community was reducing the amount of traffic enforcement activities it conducts under the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program, in favor of increased inspections of trucks and driver credentials at roadside.

"I think most would agree that examining credentials is not the most effective way to discourage unsafe driving behavior," Byrd said, citing Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data. "In terms of crashes avoided, and lives and injuries saved the benefits of traffic enforcement, coupled with some inspection activity, was about three times more effective than roadside vehicle inspections."

Byrd also called on the enforcement group to do more to address the role of passenger vehicles in causing fatal crashes.

"Passenger vehicle drivers are principally responsible for about 70% of fatal car-truck crashes," he said. "We must increase our emphasis on the unsafe behavior of those operating around trucks both through enforcement and education. Changing the unsafe behaviors that cause the majority of truck-involved fatal crashes must play a greater role in [enforcement programs] if we are to achieve the safety outcomes we all want."

To read the full text of Byrd's speech, click here.

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation's freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook. Good stuff. Trucks Bring It! 

SOURCE American Trucking Associations