ATA expands its highway safety agenda with 18 recommendations

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NEW ORLEANS, La. — The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has voted to expand the organization’s aggressive safety agenda, with the goal of further reducing the number of highway-related fatalities and injuries.

During ATA’s annual Management Conference and Exhibition (MC&E) held this week, the board of directors voted to adopt 18 recommendations made by the organization’s Safety Task Force, which was established earlier this year. The new recommendations are expected to further reduce highway crash statistics, although large truck crash fatality rates and injury rates are already at their lowest point since the federal government began reporting those figures three decades ago.

“I am proud that the ATA’s Safety Task Force and our board of directors have taken this step to improve safety for all vehicles and travellers on our nation’s highways,” said ATA president and CEO Bill Graves. “Today the trucking industry raised its campaign for safety to a new level.”

The new safety policies adopted by the ATA’s board are designed to result in improved performance of both commercial and non-commercial drivers, safer vehicles, and safer motor carriers. ATA’s aggressive safety agenda follows and compliments the organization’s recent initiative designed to result in a sustainable and environmentally responsible trucking industry.

A synopsis of the 18 recommendations is, as follows:

Improving Driver Performance

? Policy on the use of non-integrated technologies while the vehicle is in motion
? Policy supporting uniform commercial drivers license (CDL) testing standards
? Support for a CDL graduated licensing study
? Support for additional parking facilities for trucks
? Support for a national maximum 65mph speed limit
? Strategies to increase the use of seat belts
? Support for a national car-truck driver behavior improvement program
? Support for increased use of red light cameras and automated speed enforcement
? Support for graduated licensing in all states for non-commercial teen drivers
? Support for more stringent laws to reduce drinking and driving

Safer Vehicles

? Support for targeted electronic speed governing of certain non-commercial vehicles
? Electronic speed governing of all large trucks made since 1992
? Support for new large truck crash worthiness standards

Safer Motor Carriers

? Support for a national employer notification system
? Creation of a national clearinghouse for positive drug and alcohol test results of CDL holders
? Support for a national registry of certified medical examiners
? Policy supporting access to the national Driver Information Resource
? Support for required safety training by new entrant motor carriers

The ATA has long pursued a safety agenda including: promoting greater safety belt use by commercial drivers, re-instituting a national maximum speed limit, speed governing of all new trucks, and a decade-long initiative to create a national clearinghouse for drug and alcohol test results. The ATA’s annual three-day MC&E conference drew about 3,000 trucking industry members and featured a sold-out exhibit space.

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