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Read Our Letter to Members of Congress Urging them to Vote NO on the Omnibus Appropriations Bill

December 10, 2014

Dear Member of Congress,

On behalf of the Truck Safety Coalition (TSC), Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT), Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH), the thousands of families who have lost loved ones, and the tens of thousands more who have been injured each year in truck crashes, we are writing to ask you to reject the Collins Rider to increase truck driver hours of service, and anti-safety riders to permit increases in truck weight limits in the states of Kentucky, Mississippi and Wisconsin, by voting NO on the Omnibus Appropriations Bill. These anti-safety riders will degrade highway safety and require expensive infrastructure modifications; and, will eliminate the two nights off-duty for truck drivers to rest, while significantly increasing working and driving hours for truck drivers up to 82 hours a week when fatigue is already a well-known and well-documented highway killer that results in deaths and injuries to innocent highway users and hard-working truck drivers.

None of these special interest riders has been subject to any committee hearings, adequate safety review or cost/benefit analysis.  However, all of them will have a profound impact on highway safety, deaths and injuries. By overwhelming margins in numerous public opinion polls, the American public consistently and convincingly rejects sharing the road with bigger, heavier and longer trucks and increasing truck drivers’ already arduous 70-hour work weeks, no matter the political affiliation, age, sex or geographic location of the respondent.

Truck crashes are a serious, deadly and costly problem to families, our infrastructure, our health care system, and to the economy.  Large truck crashes are on the rise.  In 2012, 3,921 people were killed and 104,000 more were injured. This is equivalent to a major airplane crash every week of the year. In the past ten years, a total of 44,204 people have been killed and nearly one million people have been injured in crashes involving large trucks. The annual cost to society from crashes involving commercial motor vehicles is estimated to be over $99 billion.

Our organizations and volunteers strongly oppose these anti-safety riders, and affirm that our families’ lives should not be needlessly jeopardized in order to pass a spending bill. Please vote NO on the Omnibus Bill.

Sincerely,

Joan Claybrook

Chair, CRASH

 

Daphne Izer

Lisbon, ME

Founder, PATT

Mother of Jeff Izer

Killed in a truck crash 10/10/93

 

Linda Wilburn

Weatherford, OK

Board Member, PATT

Mother of Orbie Wilburn

Killed in a truck crash 9/2/02

 

Larry Liberatore

Severn, MD

Board Member, PATT

Father of Nick Liberatore

Killed in a truck crash 6/9/97

 

Ed Slattery

Lutherville, MD

Board Member, PATT

Husband of Susan Slattery (killed)

Father of Matthew & Peter (critically injured)

Truck crash 8/16/10

 

Jennifer Tierney

Kernersville, NC

Board Member, CRASH

Daughter of James Mooney

Killed in a truck crash 9/20/83

 

Tami Friedrich Trakh

Corona, CA

Board Member, CRASH

Sister of Kris Mercurio,

Sister-in-Law of Alan Mercurio,

Aunt of Brandie Rooker & Anthony Mercurio

Killed in a truck crash 12/27/89

 

Jane Mathis

St. Augustine, FL

Board Member, PATT

Mother of David Mathis

Mother-in-Law of Mary Kathryn Mathis

Killed in a truck crash 3/25/04

 

Dawn King

Davisburg, MI

Board Member, CRASH

Daughter of Bill Badger

Killed in a truck crash 12/23/04

 

John Lannen

Executive Director, TSC