7 safety measures ATA suggests to the Senate

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.

ticket at aMore on-highway enforcement one of the recommendations of the ATA

“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.

“The trucking industry is justifiably proud of its commitment to safety,” Mullen said. “These investments in safety have yielded impressive dividends for the industry. Over the past decade, the number of large truck-related fatalities has dropped 21 percent and the large truck fatality rate has dropped 37 percent.”

Mullen cited investments in safety technology and driver training as helping lower Werner’s preventable crashes by 22 percent between 2007 and 2014.

Read Mullen’s full testimony.

See ATA’s safety agenda.