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ATA pushes road safety agenda on Capitol Hill

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The American Trucking Associations (ATA) took its 18-point road safety agenda to Washingto...

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The American Trucking Associations (ATA) took its 18-point road safety agenda to Washington yesterday, laying it out to media during a press conference on Capitol Hill.


“While the trucking industry is now the safest it has been since the US Department of Transportation began keeping crash statistics in 1975, we must continue to further the trend,” said ATA president and CEO Bill Graves. “Our 18 progressive safety policies will advance highway safety for all highway users by improving driver performance, creating safer vehicles, and improving motor carrier performance.”


The 18 items on the ATA’s road safety agenda include:


Improving Driver Performance:

1.   Policy on the use of non-integrated technologies while the vehicle is in motion

2.   Policy supporting uniform commercial drivers license (CDL) testing standards

3.   Policy supporting a CDL graduated licensing study

4.   Policy supporting additional parking facilities for trucks

5.   Policy supporting a national maximum 65mph speed limit for all vehicles

6.   Policy supporting strategies to increase the use of seat belts

7.   Policy supporting a national car-truck driver behavior improvement program

8.   Policy supporting increased use of red light cameras and automated speed    


9.   Policy supporting graduated licensing standards in all states for non-commercial teen


10. Policy supporting more stringent laws to reduce drinking and driving


Safer Vehicles:

11. Policy supporting targeted electronic speed governing of certain non-commercial        


12. Policy supporting electronic speed governing of all large trucks manufactured since


13. Policy supporting new large truck crashworthiness standards


Safer Motor Carriers:

14. Policy supporting a national employer notification system

15. Policy supporting a national clearinghouse for positive drug and alcohol test results of   

      CDL holders

16. Policy supporting a national registry of certified medical examiners

17. Policy supporting access to the national Driver Information Resource

18. Policy supporting required safety training by new entrant motor carriers


“I appreciate all the work that’s been done and I believe (the new safety agenda) is a good platform as we move into the next highway authorization process,” said John Hill, former FMCSA administrator. The cause of “80% of all crashes involve a driver, whether they be a passenger vehicle or commercial driver.  The strategies today specifically address driver deficiency areas and give drivers tool they need to improve highway safety.”


“This agenda is proven and will improve safety results on our highways,” added Doug Duncan, president and CEO of FedEx Freight. “Many of us in ATA are a testament to that and this broader application will make highways safer for all who share them.”


For its part, the Owner  Operator Independent Drivers Association immediately took aim at the speed limiter section of the ATA’s road safety plan.


“Truck drivers need access to that power to keep up with the speed of traffic and to be able to maneuver around dangerous situations,” said Todd Spencer, OOIDA executive vice-president. “We already have speed limits in this country, so we should instead enforce those laws more effectively.”

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