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ATA celebrates safety accomplishments, commits to further action

The report comes four years after ATA released its list of safety priorities and called on policymakers to do more to make trucks and their workplace, America’s roadways, safer, stated an ATA news release.

The Trucker News Services

1/8/2013

ARLINGTON, Va. There has been substantive progress on more than half of 20 critical steps necessary to further reduce highway crashes, according to a new progress report released by American Trucking Associations today on its progressive safety agenda.

The report (click here to read the full study) comes four years after ATA released its list of safety priorities and called on policymakers to do more to make trucks and their workplace, America’s roadways, safer, stated an ATA news release.  The Safety Agenda was developed by ATA’s Safety Task Force and adopted by ATA’s Board of Directors to improve the performance of both commercial and non-commercial drivers, and to make vehicles and motor carriers safer, the release stated.  

“ATA has been a vocal advocate for making common sense, data-supported,  regulatory and legislative changes to improve the safety of our nation’s highways,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said. “Regulators and lawmakers at the state and federal level have answered ATA’s calls in several areas, but there is still much more work to be done. For instance, though Congress has taken positive steps on electronic logging devices and on hair testing for drugs, ATA will continue to press for progress on these issues until meaningful changes are finally implemented.”

Through the end of 2012, several areas identified by ATA such as the safe use of technology, establishment of a national registry for certified medical examiners, and a system to pre-screen potential truck drivers, have been the subject of positive, substantial change, the lobbying group stated in the release.

Nine other areas —  including improving truck parking, enactment of primary seat belt laws, establishment of programs to target aggressive driving behaviors, development of crashworthiness standards for large trucks, and the creation of a clearinghouse for driver drug and alcohol test results — have seen some favorable progress, but still substantive changes have not yet been fully implemented, according to ATA.

There are still several areas, however, where no meaningful headway has been made, the group said. These include:  implementation of a national speed limit of 65 mph and speed limiters for all commercial vehicles and for passenger vehicles for drivers with certain traffic convictions. Plus, they added, the federal truck safety program, along with many states, “is moving in the wrong direction on truck-involved traffic enforcement interventions.”

“We’re pleased that our state and federal safety partners have addressed or begun to address more than half of these actions to make commercial motor vehicles and their workplace safer, and remain committed to addressing all of these issues, and reversing negative trends, to further reduce highway crashes,” said ATA Chairman Mike Card, president of Combined Transport, Central Point, Ore. “We hope our federal and state partners will continue to work with us to this end.”

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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