Put safety in your stocking

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This holiday season is shrouded in a bleak fog of bad economic news, and I’m not going to play Scrooge and remind you of all the negative forces out there. Anyone who has been in trucking for any length of time knows that in this industry, the law of “survival of the fittest” is periodically put to the test. Fuel prices may be falling, but nobody’s cracking open champagne bottles while freight stays sluggish.

But the good news is that this is a good time to focus on areas where your support can make a difference, and the American Trucking Associations’ highway safety agenda is a good place to start. Barbara Windsor, president and chief executive officer of Hahn Transportation, presented the ATA’s Board of Directors highway safety agenda at the recent annual Management Conference and Exhibition in New Orleans. The purpose of the 18-step agenda is to reduce the number of highway-related fatalities and injuries for all drivers.

Ongoing safety initiatives are included among the 18 recommendations:

  • A policy on the use of nonintegrated technologies while the vehicle is in motion;
  • Support for uniform commercial driver’s license (CDL) testing standards;
  • Support for a CDL graduated licensing study;
  • Advocate for additional truck parking;
  • Advocate for a national 65 mph speed limit;
  • Pursue strategies to increase seatbelt usage;
  • Support for a national car-truck behavior improvement program;
  • Support for increased red-light camera and automated speed enforcement;
  • Support for graduated licensing in all states for noncommercial teen drivers;
  • Support for more stringent laws to reduce drinking and driving;
  • Support for electronic speed governing of certain noncommercial vehicles;
  • Require electronic speed governing of all large trucks made since 1992;
  • Advocate for new large-truck crashworthiness standards;
  • Advocate for a national employer notification system;
  • Create a federal clearinghouse for positive drug and alcohol test results of CDL holders;
  • Support for a federal registry of certified medical examiners;
  • Create a policy supporting the national Driver Information Resource; and
  • Support for required safety training.

Any effort to reduce highway fatalities is good for the industry, and when conditions improve, hopefully we’ll be stronger and safer for it.

Happy holidays from all of us at Commercial Carrier Journal.