ARLINGTON, Va., Sept. 14, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The report by the National Transportation Safety Board on a tragic 2010 crash near Munfordville, Ky., underscores the importance of state and federal policymakers moving forward on a number of items in American Trucking Associations' progressive safety agenda.
"This crash, like all truck-involved crashes, is a tragedy and we're hopeful that NTSB's recommendations will lead to safer highways for all motorists, including professional truck drivers for whom the road is their workplace," ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. "We're also encouraged that a number of the Board's recommendations fit with ATA's progressive safety agenda, which we put forward as a way of reducing crashes on our highways."
Like NTSB, Graves said ATA supports the enactment of prohibitions on the use of handheld cell phones to talk or text by all motorists, not just commercial drivers.
"The 2009 Virginia Tech study on driver distraction, widely recognized as the 'gold standard,' in the field, highlights texting and talking on a handheld phone, as well as dialing and reaching for a phone, as incredibly risky behavior," Graves said. "Enacting bans on these behaviors will go a long way toward reducing crash risk for all of us."
Graves said ATA's policy does not call for a prohibition on hands-free cell phone use because the most compelling and reliable research in the area shows that hands-free use does not elevate crash risk and perhaps even reduces it.
Beyond the phone recommendations, Graves said NTSB's other points support long-held positions of ATA.
"We've been strong supporters of strategies to increase seat belt use on our roads, bolstering federal oversight of new trucking companies and of CSA, the safety monitoring system that if fully in place may have identified the company involved in this particular crash as a safety risk in a more timely fashion," Graves said. "The NTSB identified all of these factors as being involved in this crash and ATA has identified them all as important safety items for policy makers to consider."
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