The federal government got a suggested “to do” list from the trucking industry’s largest organization and a fleet executive recently.
Testifying before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation’s subcommittee on surface transportation, Jim Mullen, executive vice president and general counsel of Werner Enterprises, touted the investment trucking businesses have made in safety. Testifying on behalf of the American Trucking Associations (ATA), he also listed things the federal government could do to make the highways even safer.
“The trucking industry has a strong commitment to safety and an impressive record to show for it,” Mullen said. “Continued improvement will require a focus on the primary causes of crashes, especially driver behavior, and incentives for the voluntary adoption of progressive safety programs.”
Among the steps Mullen told Congress the government should take were:
- Advancing the rule requiring the use of speed limiters on large trucks;
- Shifting from a focus on roadside vehicle inspection enforcement to on-road traffic enforcement and driver behavior;
- Incentives to install crash avoidance technology like lane departure warning systems and collision warning systems;
- Timely publication of a mandate requiring electronic logging devices;
- Developing driver training rules focused on performance and comprehension, not hours of education;
- Changing the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) system to focus on high-risk carriers and re-examining the role of crash data in CSA scores
- And Congress should monitor the studies of the suspended changes to the hours-of-service restart rules.
Mullen cited investments in safety technology and driver training as helping lower Werner’s preventable crashes by 22 percent between 2007 and 2014.