The Truck Safety Coalition Announces New President, Dawn King, and New Vice President, Jane Mathis

In 2015, 4,067 people were killed in large truck crashes in the United States

The Truck Safety Coalition Announces New President, Dawn King, and New Vice President, Jane Mathis

Arlington, VA (September 17, 2015) – The Truck Safety Coalition (TSC), a partnership between Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) and Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT), announced the election of Dawn King as its President and Jane Mathis as its Vice President, effective immediately.

Ms. King, a board member of CRASH, connected with TSC after her father, Bill Badger, was killed in a large truck crash in December of 2004. The tired trucker fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into her dad’s car just before Christmas. She and her family spent Christmas coping with the loss of their father and wondering what could be done to ensure others did not have to experience the hardship they were feeling. Dawn’s thoughts quickly became actions and she became an ardent advocate for truck safety. Her efforts include helping new families dealing with a tragic loss to working with new volunteers to transition into the difficult life of advocating for stronger safety standards, and communicating via the web and social media on transportation issues.

Ms. Mathis, a board member of PATT, also experienced loss as a result of a large truck crash in 2004. In March of that year, her son and his wife of five days were killed by a truck driver that fell asleep and rear ended their car, which was stopped in traffic. Following the crash, she learned about large truck crashes and became increasingly more involved in educating others through advocacy. As a result of Ms. Mathis’ truck safety advocacy efforts, she was appointed to be a member of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee. Ms. Mathis has been a guest speaker at a number of agency and law enforcement events, and a strong voice on issues such as fatigue.

“I am so pleased that my good friends and fellow truck safety advocates are taking on these new positions for our organization,” said Daphne Izer, founder and board member of PATT. “In their new roles as President and Vice President, Dawn and Jane will ensure that the Truck Safety Coalition continue the missions of CRASH and PATT, to reduce the number of death and injuries caused by truck-related crashes, provide compassionate support to truck crash survivors and families of truck crash victims, and educate the public, policy-makers, and media about truck safety issues.“

Linda Wilburn LTE: Transportation bill makes trucking less safe

While speaking with chambers of commerce, Sen. James Lankford, R-Oklahoma City, told Oklahomans “… we shouldn’t have to be afraid of anything.” Yet I am afraid of driving next to longer trucks, and I am afraid of driving next to inexperienced and under-trained teenage interstate truck drivers. Thirteen years ago, my son was killed when a tired truck driver slammed his semi into the rear of his car at 75 miles per hour. Since the crash, I have worked to ensure that trucking is safer so another family doesn’t have to experience the grief that we do. Unfortunately, the safety rollbacks and missed opportunities in the Senate’s multiyear transportation bill, which Lankford supported, constitute the worst changes to truck safety since losing my son.

If Lankford actually cared about not “(putting) our sons and daughters in harm’s way,” then he shouldn’t have voted to make trucking less safe. Fatalities from all crashes between 2009 and 2013 in Oklahoma decreased by 8 percent, while fatalities from crashes involving large trucks during that same period increased by 19 percent. More than 500 Oklahomans were killed in large truck crashes during that time. Instead of mandating safety reforms, like speed governors and forward-collision avoidance and mitigation braking systems, which would save lives, Lankford voted for handouts for trucking companies. He voted to weaken safety for Oklahoma families.

Linda Wilburn, Weatherford, OK

Link: http://newsok.com/article/5446216

Press Release: REP. RIBBLE IGNORES TRUCK SIZE AND WEIGHT STUDY FINDINGS, PLANS TO INTRODUCE DANGEROUS LEGISLATION TO INCREASE TRUCK WEIGHT TO 91,000 LBS

Contact: Beth Weaver | 301.814.4088, beth_weaver@verizon.net

REP. RIBBLE IGNORES TRUCK SIZE AND WEIGHT STUDY FINDINGS, PLANS TO INTRODUCE DANGEROUS LEGISLATION TO INCREASE TRUCK WEIGHT TO 91,000 LBS

Truck Safety Advocates Oppose Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC (September 11, 2015) – U.S. Representative Reid Ribble (R-WI) plans to introduce a bill to increase the federal weight limit for large trucks from 80,000-lbs to 91,000-lbs. that is in direct opposition to the results of the Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Limits Study recently conducted for the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The DOT study released earlier this year concluded that there should be no increase to truck size and weight due to a lack of data.

The Safe, Flexible, and Efficient Trucking Act, sponsored by Congressman Ribble, will increase the truck weight limit on Interstate Highways from 80,000 to 91,000 pounds, which will violate the 1975 Bridge Formula while ignoring infrastructure needs and a climbing highway death toll. Furthermore, the bill relies upon industry-funded junk science to justify the weight increase.

Dawn King, President of the Truck Safety Coalition, has been advocating for truck safety since her father, Bill Badger, was killed by a tired trucker who slammed his truck into her dad’s car. “Now is not the time to increase the weight limit of trucks, especially in Representative Ribble’s home state of Wisconsin. He should be focusing on the truth, like the fact that between 2009 and 2013, total fatalities in all crashes in Wisconsin have decreased by 3.2 percent, while large truck crash fatalities have increased by 50.9 percent; or that during this time 330 Wisconsinites were killed in large truck crashes. Instead, he is more concerned with much different figures – the profits of trucking companies. It is unfortunate that his bill prioritizes profits above the safety of the people he represents.”

The Safe, Flexible, and Efficient Trucking Act will result in further damage to America’s infrastructure and will jeopardize the safety of the American public. Adding an extra axle to a 91,000-pound truck will not mitigate the increased wear and tear these heavier trucks will cause to America’s crumbling bridges. For example, increasing the weight of a heavy truck by only 10 percent increases bridge damage by 33 percent. The claims that this weight increase will result in fewer trucks that are just as safe as current 80,000-pound trucks are false. Increases in truck size and weight over more than 35 years have never resulted in fewer trucks on American roads. Additionally, The DOT has found that six-axle configurations have higher crash rates than five-axle trucks. The DOT’s study determined that 91,000 pound trucks had a 47 percent higher crash rate than the standard 80,000 pound trucks in Washington State, which was the only state with available data on the proposed, heavier truck configuration.

“As a law enforcement professional, I have seen too many times when a truck and car collide. I have yet to see the car win,” said Stoughton Police Chief Greg Leck, who is also the Co-Chair of the Legislative Committee for the Wisconsin Chiefs of Police. “If we make trucks heavier, I do not see this situation improving. At a time when cars are becoming smaller, we do not need bigger trucks. Our job is to protect those who travel our roads and our goal is to have motorists arrive at their destinations safely. I do not believe heavier or longer trucks ultimately help us reach our goal.”

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