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SHOULD WE MANDATE AUTOMATIC BRAKING SYSTEMS?


The American Trucking Associations (ATA) recently endorsed the standardization of automatic braking systems on new trucks. I think we should, too. Not that it matters much. Any safety regulations adopted in the US are normally extended here by default, since our trucks are built by US manufacturers to US standards.

But I think it’s important this technology be widely deployed as soon as possible. In recent weeks there have been two deadly crashes not far from where I live. In both accounts, according to media and police reports, a tractor-trailer slammed into the back of stopped traffic, the truck driver seemingly taking no notice until it was too late that the cars ahead had stopped or slowed due to construction.

There is technology available today that could have prevented both these fatal wrecks. I’m not suggesting it was available at the time the trucks involved were manufactured. However, I am saying we have the ability to reduce the number of such crashes in the future.

I don’t know all the specifics regarding the crashes that happened recently along the 401. Were the truck drivers involved fatigued? Distracted? Or suffering from a medical emergency, such as a heart attack? I’ll leave that to investigators to figure out and for lawyers to argue over.

All I know is that we haven’t eliminated rear-end collisions on our own, and we likely never will. When there’s technology out there that can practically eliminate, or at least greatly reduce, such crashes, aren’t we obligated as an industry that, as David Bradley loves to say, shares its workspace with the public, to adopt it?


James Menzies

James Menzies

James Menzies is editor of Truck News magazine. He has been covering the Canadian trucking industry for more than 15 years and holds a CDL. Reach him at james@newcom.ca or follow him on Twitter at @JamesMenzies.
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2 Comments » for SHOULD WE MANDATE AUTOMATIC BRAKING SYSTEMS?
  1. Shawn says:

    Absolutely not. There is already was too much “technology” and electronics on them that doesn’t work correctly long term.

    I keep reading about how much greater these new trucks are getting, and hear all the sales pitches, but any owners bank account will tell you different.

    They already spend more time in the shop than working.

  2. stan says:

    no we do not need more hi tech crap on these trucks we need to take the steering wheel holders off the road and implement proper stringent training for new drivers that are coming out many drivers from the past 10 years need proper instructions on how to be a PROFESSIONAL DRIVER not a steering wheel holder sorry i see way to many of these on the road today its the so called answer to the mega fleets to fill the seats and who cares if they make it home just move the freight technology is not going to fix the issues just watch the EOBR’s and yes there is a ELG’s they are 2 separate systems so get it correct eobr’s will cause many more wrecks and issues on the road watch close now as you will see more incidents as more install them and more drivers “got to go i’m losing time ” becomes the norm CRASH CRASH CRASH go ahead ask why thanks

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