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News  April 24, 2013 9:48AM

Law enforcement must focus more on unsafe driver behaviour: ATA

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- The American Trucking Associations is calling on law enforcement to focus more on the unsafe behaviour of drivers, both commercial and non-commercial, in order to achieve the safety gains.



LOUISVILLE, Ky. — The American Trucking Associations is calling on law enforcement to focus more on the unsafe behaviour of drivers, both commercial and non-commercial, in order to achieve the safety gains.

“About 90% of crashes are the result of driver error or unsafe driver behaviours, and only about 10% are attributed to vehicle factors,” said ATA vice-chairman Phil Byrd in a speech to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance yesterday. “With this in mind, we must commit ourselves to focusing on appropriate and effective countermeasures that will impact driver behaviour.”

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 favour 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 behaviour,” 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 behaviour of those operating around trucks both through enforcement and education. Changing the unsafe behaviours 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.”


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1 Comment » for Law enforcement must focus more on unsafe driver behaviour: ATA
  1. Bobby says:

    Very good point. We need to do the same up here in Canada. More highway patrol officers on the road rather than in meetings and elsewhere would certainly help. Too often one drives for hundreds of miles noting many driving violations by all types of drivers and no enforcement anywhere to be seen. A study done in the Fraser Canyon in British Columbia proved several years ago that crashes and safety were directly related to the presence of the highway patrol. The more marked patrol vehicles on the road, the safer everybody seems to drive. Put enforcement where it belongs; on the road, not in an office.

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