WASHINGTON, Ont. — A national study released by U.S. Dept. of Transportation found that only 48 per cent of all commercial vehicle drivers wear safety belts.
Thus, the agency announced a new national public-private partnership to combat low safety belt use among the nation’s 11 million truck drivers. In 2002, 588 commercial drivers died in crashes. Of those, more than half were not wearing safety belts. Of the 171 drivers ejected from their trucks, nearly 80 per cent were not wearing safety belts.
“You cannot be fully in control of your truck unless you are wearing a safety belt,” says Ralph Hamilton, a commercial truck driver for Old Dominion Freight Line and a captain in “America’s Road Team,” a national public outreach program led by professional truck drivers who have superior driving skills, remarkable safety records and a strong desire to spread the word about safety on the highway.
The partnership will involve DOT, drivers, trucking companies and law enforcement in the largest-ever effort to combat low safety belt usage in the trucking community. The partnership will educate drivers about the importance of safety belt usage. Partners will distribute safety belt messages to 1,200 truck stops throughout the nation, produce and distribute printed educational material at association events and roadside inspection facilities, and sponsor additional research as needed. For more information, visit www.fmcsa.dot .gov/safetybelt.
In 2002, 588 commercial drivers died in crashes. Of those, more than half were not wearing safety belts.
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