ARLINGTON, Va., Jan. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation's subcommittee on surface transportation, American Trucking Associations said the industry is proud of the difference the estimated $7 billion in safety-related investment has made in reducing crashes and fatalities on the nation's highways.
"The trucking industry is justifiably proud of its commitment to safety," Jim Mullen, executive vice president and general counsel of Werner Enterprises, Omaha, Neb., said on behalf of ATA. "These investments in safety have yielded impressive dividends for the industry. Over the past decade, the number of large truck-related fatalities has dropped 21% and the large truck fatality rate has dropped 37%."
Mullen specifically cited investments in progressive safety technology and driver training as helping to lower Werner's preventable crashes by 22% between 2007 and 2014.
However, he called on the federal government to do more to focus on the primary causes of crashes in order to build on trucking's already strong safety record.
"The trucking industry has a strong commitment to safety and an impressive record to show for it," Mullen said. "Continued improvement will require a focus on the primary causes of crashes, especially driver behavior, and incentives for the voluntary adoption of progressive safety programs."
Among the solutions Mullen told Congress the government should consider were:
- Advancing a long awaited rule requiring the use of speed limiters on large trucks;
- Shifting from a vehicle-centric roadside inspection enforcement model to a more effective model centered on on-road traffic enforcement and driver behavior;
- Incentives for the use of crash avoidance technology like lane departure warning systems and forward collision warning systems;
- Timely publication of a strong and appropriate mandate for electronic logging devices;
- Developing robust driver training rules focusing on performance and comprehension, not hours of education;
- Reworking the Compliance, Safety, Accountability system to better focus on truly high-risk carriers, specifically by re-examining the role of crash data in CSA scores (for more click here: http://www.trucking.org/article.aspx?uid=6bb9ad15-bed5-44ee-a3d9-ddf553d2c8d7);
- And finally, Congress must carefully monitor the ongoing studies of the suspended changes to the hours-of-service restart rules.
To read Mullen's full testimony, click here: www.trucking.org/ATA%20Docs/What%20We%20Do/Trucking%20Issues/Documents/1%2029%2015%20Werner%20Testimony%20Final.pdf and to read ATA's full safety agenda, please 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. Trucking Moves America Forward
SOURCE American Trucking Associations