Trucking safety advocates push for advance of ‘critical’ safety reforms
Washington — The Truck Safety Coalition is calling on the Department of Transportation and Congress to advance “critical truck safety reforms” after the recent release of its Deadliest Truck Crash States report.
The coalition is a partnership between the CRASH Foundation (also known as Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways) and Parents Against Tired Truckers.
The report is based on 2021 data – the most recent available – from the National Center for Statistics and Analysis. It shows that fatalities from large truck crashes surged, surpassing 5,700 – “one of the worst years for truck crash deaths in modern history,” a coalition press release states.
The report also shows the states that had the most truck-related crash fatalities per 100,000 residents. Topping the list is New Mexico (4.2 fatal truck crashes per 100,000 residents), followed by Arkansas (3.8) and Mississippi (3.6). Deaths from truck crashes have spiked 71% since 2009.
The coalition is advocating:
- DOT/National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to finalize its proposed rule on automatic emergency braking systems for all classes of commercial motor vehicles.
- DOT/Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to complete its proposal on speed limiters for CMVs.
- Congress to require DOT/NHTSA to conduct side underride guard impact testing, complying with congressional intent in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.
- Congress to fully fund DOT to conduct its lifesaving work without unsafe riders that prohibit FMCSA from implementing specific safety provisions for young truckers in the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Program.
- DOT/FMCSA to expeditiously require new motor carriers to pass a knowledge exam proving that they know and can implement Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations required to safely operate a motor carrier business, including those hauling hazardous materials.
“Currently, DOT allows anyone to operate in interstate commerce who files appropriate paperwork without requiring any evidence they know the rules to keep truck drivers and all roadway users safe,” the coalition says.
Sen. Ben Lujan (D-NM) and Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) express their support in the release.
“Truck crash deaths have continued to rise over the last 10 years, demonstrating the need for safety reforms," said Holmes Norton, ranking member of the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee. “Safety was my first priority when working on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, including mandating automatic emergency braking, stronger standards for rear underride guards and increased funding for safety programs, among other provisions. We can and must do more to reverse the rise in truck-related injuries and fatalities.”