The American Trucking Associations is calling for tougher driver training standards in efforts to raise the safety bar for new drivers entering the industry. ATA’s board of directors recently adopted a new safety policy at its winter leadership meeting that calls upon the industry to embrace competency-based training standards; provides guidance on the qualifications for driver-instructors; and promotes tougher commercial driver’s license testing for new drivers.
“The federal government should require stronger training standards to ensure that drivers are truly prepared to meet the real-world driving conditions they will face every day,” says Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “The trucking industry desires the safest possible highways. By raising the training standards for both students and instructors along with the testing requirements to obtain a commercial driver’s license, we ensure that only highly trained drivers are traveling the nation’s roads.”
ATA’s action is part of its trucking industry highway safety initiative that it says has produced a record-low crash rate. Other ATA safety initiatives include petitioning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to require devices to limit speeds of large trucks to a maximum of 68 miles per hour, as well as seeking greater enforcement of traffic laws for violations caused by motorists driving around large trucks. ATA also has called for universal primary safety belt laws, which allow police officers to stop and ticket motorists not wearing safety belts.