New Rules Rely On Yet Unproven Technology: ATA

WASHINGTON, D.C.-- Industry reaction to the proposal announced Friday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to improve fuel efficiency and cut carbon pollution for medium-duty and heavy-duty trucks has been swift and more positive than negative in tone. The plan for the 2021-2027 models years, which also calls for trailers to be subject to fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas standards for the first time, drew support from the American Trucking Associations, but the fleet group said it remains concerned the rule may result in the use of certain technologies on vehicles before they can be fully tested.

Safety Officials Push for Collision Avoidance Systems

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Safety officials in the U.S. are recommending what it calls the "life saving benefits" of a technology to become standard on all new commercial and passenger vehicles. A new National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Special Investigation Report, The Use of Forward Collision Avoidance Systems to Prevent and Mitigate Rear-End Crashes stresses that collision avoidance systems can prevent or lessen the severity of rear-end crashes, to help save lives and reduce injuries. According to statistics from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), rear-end crashes kill about 1,700 people every year and injure half a million more. More than 80% of these deaths and injuries might have been mitigated had the vehicles been equipped with a collision avoidance system.

U.S. Issues Electronic Stability Control Mandate for Trucks

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The U.S. Transportation Department's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said on Wednesday it has finalized rules requiring electronic stability control (ESC) systems on new commercial trucks and large buses. The regulations require the systems on Class 6-8 trucks plus large buses exceeding 26,000 pounds in gross weight. Compliance will be evaluated using a "j-turn" test that replicates a curved highway off-ramp. The rules will take effect for most heavy trucks two years from publication of the regulations while some of the largest buses will have longer to comply. Canada is expected to adopt similar regulations.

Trucking Investigation Leads to Convictions, Including Murder

ALBANY, GA -- The long arm of the law has caught up to two people in the U.S. in case that started with charges of violating federal trucking regulations, but expanded to include one person receiving a life sentence in prison for trying to kill a co-conspirator. According to news releases from the Office of Inspector General at the U.S. Transportation Department, on May 15, a federal court in Georgia granted a motion filed by federal prosecutors to dismiss charges against Devasko Lewis for conspiracy to criminally violate an imminent hazard out-of-service order issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). The dismissal of the federal case was based upon the sentencing of Lewis on April 17 to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of a relative of a federal witness.

Speed Limiter Battle Heating Up in U.S.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- A battle that has pitted fleets, truck drivers, associations and governments against one another over the issue of speed limiters on trucks in Canada is heating up south of the border in anticipation of new regulations. The National Motorists Association (NMA) and Owner-Operator Independent Driver Association (OOIDA) on Tuesday issued a joint statement questioning claims made by the fleet-backed group the American Trucking Associations (ATA) and it urging U.S. regulators that all trucks need speed limiters programmed to 65 mph.