From The Truck Safety Coalition… High-Speed Truck Crashes and the Need for Heavy Vehicle Speed Limiters

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

From The Truck Safety Coalition… High-Speed Truck Crashes and the Need for Heavy Vehicle Speed Limiters

A truck driver, who was driving more than 20mph over the speed limit (76 mph), crashed and died in Maryland last week. According to the police, the driver veered into the shoulder of the road and lost control of the vehicle; consequently, the vehicle overturned into the guardrail before skidding approximately 300 feet. This crash should serve as a reminder to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) of the dire need for the heavy vehicle speed limiter rule. TSC has been working for more than ten years for this rule to be released, and we will continue to urge NHTSA to issue this rulemaking that will slow down reckless truck drivers.

Link to Article: http://www.capitalgazette.com/news/for_the_record/ph-ac-cn-accidents-follow-up-0223-20160222-story.html

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

From the Truck Safety Coalition… Senator Boxer Opposes Section 611 of FAA Bill

Senator Boxer forcefully opposed Section 611 of the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act, a provision that would preempt the laws of more than 20 states and restrict states from enacting laws governing truck drivers’ meal and rest breaks that go beyond the federal standard. Senator Boxer noted that this “poison pill” provision will prevent the AIRR Act from moving forward in the Senate. She also stated that she will “use all the tools at [her] disposal to ensure that [Section 611] is not included in the FAA or any other legislation,” and that “this terrible anti-safety, anti-worker provision… has no place in any bill, which is why [the Senate] killed it in the highway bill.”

TSC supports the sentiments expressed by Senator Boxer, and we are thankful that we can count on her to stand up for truck safety in Congress.

Link to Article: http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/270740-dem-senator-slams-trucking-poison-pill-in-faa-bill#.Vs9DypG5EoU.twitter

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

From the Truck Safety Coalition… CVSA calls on FMCSA to Limit and Remove Exemptions for Motor Carriers

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) sent a letter telling the FMCSA to remove and limit the number of exemptions the agency grants. The CVSA argues that FMCSA is granting excessive exemptions, which hinder enforcement efforts by creating inconsistency and confusion. TSC has been and continues to be firmly opposed to state or industry exemptions for this very reason. We support the CVSA’s stance on this issue, and also urge the FMCSA to reconsider and reduce the many exemptions it grants to carriers, particularly those pertaining to training and hours of service.

Link to Article: http://www.overdriveonline.com/cvsa-to-fmcsa-scale-back-on-hours-and-other-exemptions/

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

From the Truck Safety Coalition… The Dangers of Chameleon Carriers

This article shines a light on the issue of chameleon carriers, which are companies that have gone out of business and the owners have started up a new business under another name. These carriers are able to exist because the minimum insurance requirement is so low that insurance companies do not do any underwriting at that level. These companies also typically have minimal owned assets, and lease their terminals/equipment or otherwise leverage their operations. Even if an injured person obtains a legal judgment in excess of the low insurance limits, these carriers just reincarnate once again. TSC will continue to advocate for an increased enforcement in pursuing these rogue companies and for an increase in the minimum insurance for motor carriers, which will help prevent these reckless companies from being allowed back on our roads.

Link: http://www.wral.com/-chameleon-carriers-create-danger-on-roads/15376321/

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

 

From the Truck Safety Coalition… Wabash Introducing Rear Impact Guard That Far Exceeds U.S. Safety Standard

Wabash National Corporation, a leading manufacturer of commercial trucking equipment, announced that it will be introducing a new rear impact guard for trailers. As TSC noted in our comments on NHTSA’s notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) to address underride protection in light vehicle crashes into the rear of trailers and semitrailers, this is just one example of available technology that highlights how woefully inadequate the agency’s safety standards are for trucking. Currently, NHTSA is proposing to enhance the U.S. standard by adopting the Canadian standard for rear underride guards and protections. While we welcome improvements to safety, we also noted that NHTSA’s NPRM would be a meaningless move and a missed opportunity to actually advance truck safety. Not only did the agency determine that 93 percent of new trailers meet or exceed the proposed Canadian standard, but as Wabash notes in this article, it has been producing rear impact guards that exceed the Canadian standard since 2007. TSC appreciates the Wabash improved guards and we will continue to educate the public about the dangers of underride crashes, like passenger compartment intrusion (PCI), as well as how improved underride guards and protections can prevent PCI at higher speed and/or overlap crashes between light vehicles and trailers.

Link: http://trailer-bodybuilders.com/trailers/wabash-national-introducing-new-rear-impact-guard

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

From the Truck Safety Coalition… Safe Roads Illinois is Making Progress

The citizens of Elwood, Illinois, fed up with their community being overrun by heavy truck traffic and fearful of being needlessly injured or killed, formed Safe Roads Illinois to address the problems contributing to their untenable situation. As a result of their advocacy efforts, they recently scored a big win in their endeavors to enhance truck safety in their village and the surrounding county. The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) announced plans to install a traffic light at an intersection because so many trucks have driven into a cemetery and damaged veterans’ graves.

TSC welcomes the traffic light as it enhances safety and prevents the desecration of veterans’ graves. The effort to improve truck safety is ongoing and occurs at many levels. For example, the FMCSA should also require entry-level driver training to ensure that truck drivers know how to properly operate their vehicle and are sufficiently knowledgeable about negotiating all routes.

Article: http://www.fox32chicago.com/news/local/92870582-story

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

From the Truck Safety Coalition… Idaho State Legislature Contemplates Truck Weight Increase

As you may remember, one of the anti-truck-safety provisions that was included in the Omnibus Appropriations bill authorized Idaho to increase the truck weight limit on their roads from 105,500-lbs to 129,000-lbs. In order for this truck weight increase to take effect, the Idaho state legislature must pass a bill, which must then be signed by their governor. Several days ago, their State Senate passed such a bill, and it is now heading to the Idaho House of Representatives. Even though there are state groups that are opposing this measure, like the Idaho Walk Bike Alliance and Friends of Clearwater, the measure will likely pass.

TSC firmly opposes legislation to increase truck weight limits state-by-state as it is merely a back door attempt by trucking interests to come back to Congress in a few years and push for heavier truck weights nationwide.

Link: http://magicvalley.com/news/local/govt-and-politics/idaho-senate-raises-interstate-truck-weight-limit/article_5eca8c86-98de-59c6-86d3-c6b90ffb41b9.html

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

From the Truck Safety Coalition… NTSB Report on Naperville Truck Crash Sheds Light on Truck Safety Issues

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently concluded their investigation into a 2014 fatal truck crash in Naperville, IL and found the truck driver, the carrier, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to all be at fault.

At the time of the crash the truck driver had only slept 4½ hours in the preceding 37 hours. Investigators also found that the trucker routinely falsified his paper logbook in order to circumvent the hours of service requirements. As a result of driving tired, the trucker failed to stop in time, despite ample warnings, and needlessly killed and injured several people. TSC anticipates that the Final Rule for Electronic Logging Devices will prevent drivers like this from falsifying their logbooks, in turn reducing truck driver fatigue.

The motor carrier, DND International Inc., was classified as a “high risk” carrier, but was still allowed to operate. The “high risk” motor carrier failed to comply with federal regulations, particularly hours of service requirements, and should have either fixed the problem or been put out of service.

While the motor carrier should have done more, this crash also highlights deficiency in the FMCSA’s enforcement efforts. It was not until two months after the fatal crash that the FMCSA designated DND International Inc. as an “imminent danger”. Even worse, after the FMCSA’s declaration that they were an “imminent danger,” the company successfully appealed that and once again resumed operations. It was not until the motor carrier’s insurance company cancelled its coverage that this dangerous company was forced off the road.

This tragic crash underscores many of the reasons we work to make trucking safer. TSC will continue educating the public and our lawmakers about fatigued driving, weak Federal oversight, and how increasing minimum insurance requirements can lead to more insurers, like in this case, refusing to cover such an unsafe business.

Link: http://www.ntsb.gov/news/events/Pages/2016_Naperville_BMG.aspx

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

From the Truck Safety Coalition… Napolitano Amendment to Remove Sec. 611 of AIRR Act FAILS 27-31

Yesterday, the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure voted to approve the Aviation Innovation, Reform, and Reauthorization (AIRR) Act. As you know, this federal aviation bill includes a provision that adversely impacts truck safety. Section 611 would preempt the laws of more than 20 states and would restrict states from enacting laws governing truck drivers’ meal and rest breaks that go beyond the federal standard. Unfortunately, an amendment offered by Rep. Grace Napolitano, which would have removed Section 611, failed by a vote of 27-31. We are thankful for her efforts as well as for the support of Reps Nadler (D-NY) and Norton (D-DC).  We will keep you updated about the status of this provision and let you what you can do to help remove it.

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

From the Truck Safety Coalition… Video on Truck Blind Spots Highlights Need for Side Underride Guards

Side underride guards are a simple improvement that can make large trucks safer for pedestrians and cyclists by physically covering the cavity between the front and rear wheels of the truck. Given that nearly half of bicyclists and more than one quarter of pedestrians killed by a large truck first impact the side of a truck, TSC will continue to advocate for these safety enhancements on all interstate single unit trucks and trailers. Please watch this video from the British Safety Council (below) that illustrates the dangers of trucks’ blind spots and underscores why these side protections would reduce the instances of side impact truck crashes with pedestrians and bicyclists that result in needless fatalities and injuries.