The American Trucking Associations outlined three strategies to improve truck-related traffic accidents in testimony to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Highway and Transit Subcommittee.
The testimony took place during a Congressional hearing on technology, safety initiatives and the role of federal regulation.
Also giving testimony at the hearing were representatives from the Owner Operator Independebt Drivers Association, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the Teamsters union and the United Motorcoach Association.
Tom Kretsinger, president and CEO of American Central Transport spoke on ATA’s behalf, testifying that to decrease fatal truck-involved accidents, the industry must address key issues.
“The truck-involved fatality rate has decreased 74% since 1975 and in the last decade alone, it has dropped 38%,” said Kretsinger. “But continued improvement will require an acknowledgement of the principal causes of truck crashes and appropriate countermeasures.”
He mentioned ATA’s support of the electronic logging device, electronic stability control and mandatory speed limiter rules among several proposals to address safety issues.
Kretsinger also urged the Federal Motor Carrier Administration to step up traffic enforcement coupled with a limited inspection. He cited FMCSA data indicating that highway enforcement was “at least four times more effective” at preventing accidents than roadside inspections alone.
He suggested that FMCSA partner with the trucking industry to develop an enforcement strategy that would add a reward-based approach for fleets that meet a gold standard of compliance and safety.
“The trucking industry is justifiably proud of its long-term safety record,” Kretsinger said. “However, to continue this trend we will require more creative approaches and acknowledgment of the most common causes of truck crashes.”