CONTACT: Beth Weaver, 301-814-4088
Arlington, VA (October 25, 2018): The Truck Safety Coalition, which is a partnership between Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) and Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT), welcomes the results of a national survey conducted by McLaughlin Group revealing overwhelming public support – 79 percent and 82 percent, respectively – for Congress mandating the use of speed limiters and automatic emergency braking on all large trucks. Despite long-term, successful use by leading trucking companies and ample data demonstrating the safety benefits of these technologies, rulemakings that would require them have languished and legislators have failed to take actions that would ensure their finalization.
Survey results available: www.roadsafe.org.
Linda Wilburn, a PATT board member said, “Following our son Orbie’s fatal crash, caused by a speeding truck driver who fell asleep at the wheel, my husband, Gary, and I resolved to address the preventable issues that contributed to his death. Speed limiters and automatic emergency braking are solutions that could have prevented his crash or, at the very least, mitigated the severity it. Unfortunately, neither were required back then – 16 years ago – and both remain voluntary to this day. I am hopeful that this resounding public support for speed limiters and AEB will motivate Congress to act swiftly to pass a legislative mandate requiring both technologies on large trucks.”
Rick Watts, a TSC volunteer from Tennessee who lost his wife, Tiffany, his stepdaughters, Kelsie and Savannah Garrigues, and his mother in law, Sharon Anderson, in a crash involving a speeding truck driver that failed to stop in time, was encouraged by the results of the survey: “Limiting the ability of truck drivers to operate at excessive speeds will reduce the likelihood that big rig drivers will be unable to stop in time or unable to control their vehicle. This is not just commonsense; the data confirms it. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, who is partially responsible for finalizing the heavy vehicle speed limiter rule, found that trucks equipped with speed limiters were nearly 50 percent less likely to be involved in a crash than trucks without speed limiters. An even more recent study conducted by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation found that speed-related, at-fault truck crashes fell by 73 percent after mandatory speed limiter use took effect there. These compelling figures coupled with the public consensus in support of a speed limiter mandate should make finalizing this rule a top priority in Congress.”
John Lannen, Executive Director of the Truck Safety Coalition added, “Lawmakers need to take stronger action to reverse the rising number of truck crashes, and resulting injuries and deaths. With a truck rear-ending a passenger vehicle every fifteen minutes in the U.S. and 30 percent of all fatal work zone crashes involving at least one large truck, there is a clear need to address crashes wherein the truck driver fails to stop in time. In work zone areas and when traffic is significantly slowed or at a complete stop, cars are particularly vulnerable to being rear ended by large trucks. As you can imagine, construction workers, police officers, and children who occupy the second and third rows of cars are all too often the victims in these types of crashes. This is why it is imperative that Congress passes a law requiring AEB technology in all large trucks.”