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Driver behaviour should be top priority for US highway safety plan: ATA

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Admin...

ARLINGTON, Va. — The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to make driver behaviour its top safety priority in its 2010-2015 Strategic Plan.


In comments filed to NHTSA Jan. 5, ATA outlined the dangers of distracted driving, speeding and aggressive driving, noting in particular the problem that highway congestion presents for these behaviours. “Congestion is a major factor in highway safety because it is particularly difficult for on-board safety systems to function properly at low speeds and in close-following conditions,” the ATA said in a press release.


To combat driver-related safety risks, ATA called for more consistent and uniform requirements from state to state on driver licensing and graduated driver licensing for non-commercial teen drivers.


“In the future, NHTSA should ensure that all regulatory activities are harmonized with other government agencies so that they do not combine with other regulatory initiatives to create standards that are technologically infeasible or economically impractical,” said Dave Osiecki, ATA senior vice-president for policy and regulatory affairs.


The ATA also recommended reinstating a national maximum speed limit of 65 mph for all vehicles and electronically governing the speed of all Class 7 and 8 trucks manufactured after 1992 to 65 mph or less. ATA recommended that states should also consider the use of speed limiters on the passenger vehicles of drivers with certain driving convictions.


ATA supports education and enforcement programs, such as Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT) that targets the problem behaviours of both passenger and commercial motor vehicle drivers.

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