Trucking Transportation

Freight-carrier alliance calls for support of truck safety regulations

blue semi truck
Photo: vitpho/iStockphoto

Washington – Truck safety regulations requiring electronic logging devices, hair testing, speed limiters and other features could save lives and prevent injuries, the Trucking Alliance asserted in a recent letter sent to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao.

The alliance – which comprises “a select number of freight transportation carriers,” according to its website – is urging support for and industry-wide adoption of five safety regulations that have been implemented or proposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration:

  • Electronic logging devices: Beginning in December, FMCSA will require all interstate commercial trucks to use the devices in place of paper logbooks, which the agency claims can be manipulated.
  • Hair testing: FMCSA is working on rulemaking that would allow hair testing as an acceptable alternative to urine testing for commercial drug testing requirements.
  • Truck speed limiters: The Trucking Alliance seeks a maximum speed setting of 65 mph for CMVs; FMCSA has proposed a rule that CMVs must be equipped with technology that limits speed.
  • Pre-employment screening: The Trucking Alliance claims a $10 fee per pre-employment screening report is “cost-prohibitive to many motor carriers” and should be renegotiated by FMCSA.
  • Minimum insurance requirement: Congress set the minimum insurance requirement at $750,000 for motor carriers in 1980; the Trucking Alliance believes that minimum should be increased.

In the letter, the Trucking Alliance noted that 4,067 people were killed in crashes involving CMVs in 2015. Of those fatalities, 594 were CMV drivers. An additional 116,000 people were injured.

The Trucking Alliance supports the Road to Zero initiative, launched in October by the National Safety Council, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, FMCSA and Federal Highway Administration.

“Our industry cannot tolerate such tragic numbers every year,” the letter states. “The trucking industry must achieve safety performance levels that compare to the U.S. airline industry. There’s every reason to believe that these truck safety reforms and others to follow, along with new and emerging truck safety technologies, can meet the objectives of the Road to Zero campaign and fully eliminate large truck accidents. We urge your support for these worthy objectives.”

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