Electronic Stability Control (ESC) seeks to reduce crashes by applying selective braking to prevent rollovers and mitigate loss of control. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that ESC on large trucks would prevent 40 – 56 percent of rollovers and 14 percent of loss of control crashes. The agency also estimates that the ESC final rule has the potential to prevent 49- 60 fatalities, 649- 858 injuries, and 1,807- 2,329 crashes annually. The final rule takes effect in December 2017, and all trucks manufactured after December 2019 will be required to have ESC. TSC supports the full implementation of the life-saving technology.
The Truck Safety Coalition, a partnership of Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) and Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT), looks forwards to working with Secretary-Designate of Transportation, Elaine Chao, and President-Elect Donald Trump on behalf of our volunteers who have lost loved ones in truck crashes to improve overall truck safety in the United States. Our volunteers know first-hand the devastating consequences of preventable truck crashes and have transcended their own losses and injuries to advocate for truck safety improvements to benefit all who drive on our roads.
A focus on safety is crucial given the troubling trends in truck safety. Truck crashes have skyrocketed by 45 percent between 2009 and 2015 and the injuries they cause rose at an even faster rate in that same period, climbing by a staggering 57 percent. Unfortunately, there are also more and more families like the ones who volunteer with our organization, who have an empty seat at their tables, as the number of people killed in truck crashes continues to grow. In fact, this past year marked the first time since 2008 that the number of truck crash deaths exceeded 4,000.
We wish Ms. Chao success on becoming our nation’s next top transportation official and offer our insight, experience, and assistance to her as she navigates the challenging issues in trucking that pertain to drivers, the vehicles, the industry as a whole, and the people with whom truck drivers share the road.
The Truck Safety Coalition congratulates Joan Claybrook (Chair of the Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) Board, President Emeritus of Public Citizen and former Administrator of NHTSA) and Jeff Burns (Board Member for CRASH and Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT)) on being selected for membership on the National Freight Advisory Committee (NFAC). Please see DOT’s announcement below:
DOT Thursday, May 30, 2013
Contact: DOT Press Office Tel.: (202) 366-4570
U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces National Freight Advisory Committee Members
NFAC Will Provide Recommendations to Improve National Freight Transportation System
WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced the members of the National Freight Advisory Committee, a diverse group of professionals that will provide advice and recommendations aimed at improving the national freight transportation system. A strong freight transportation system is critical to the nation’s economy and essential for helping meet President Obama’s goal of doubling U.S. exports by 2015.
“The strength of our economy and the strength of our national freight system go hand in hand,” said Secretary LaHood. “The members of this committee understand firsthand the critical importance of freight movement, and their valuable insight will help ensure that our system is more secure and better connected.”
The Advisory Committee is comprised of 47 voting members from outside the Department of Transportation. The Deputy Secretary and Under Secretary of Transportation for Policy, as well as representatives from other Federal agencies with freight-related obligations will serve as ex-officio members. Members come with various perspectives on freight transportation and represent various modes of transportation, geographic regions, and policy areas. Freight customers and providers, labor representatives, safety experts and government entities are all represented as well.
Members will serve two-year terms and meet at least three times per year. The first NFAC meeting is scheduled for June 25, 2013, at the Department of Transportation and will include an overview of MAP-21 Freight provisions and preliminary identification of NFAC activities. The meeting is open to the public. Information regarding the meeting will be available on the Federal Register.
The U.S. Department of Transportation solicited nominations in February. Secretary LaHood selected members with input from the MAP-21 Freight Implementation Team as well as the Freight Policy Council, an internal body of DOT leadership created to facilitate cross-modal implementation of freight provisions in the recently signed surface transportation bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21.
MAP-21 established a national freight policy and called for the creation of a National Freight Strategic Plan. By engaging stakeholders representing diverse interests, the Advisory Committee will provide recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation on how DOT can improve its freight transportation policies and programs.
The collaboration of stakeholders will serve to promote involvement and compliance with proposed plans and performance measures and will support the implementation of larger freight policy initiatives.
Over the last four years, the Obama Administration has made considerable investments in our national freight network. Through four rounds of the TIGER Grant program, DOT has directed $1 billion toward projects that primarily address freight. This includes more than $650 million to projects that strengthen freight rail infrastructure, reduce freight bottlenecks, and alleviate congestion issues, and more than $350 million to our port system.
The National Freight Advisory Committee members are:
Stephen Alterman, Cargo Airline Association
Gregory A. Ballard, City of Indianapolis
Kevin L. Brubaker, Environmental Law Policy Center
Jeffrey Burns, Parents Against Tired Truckers and Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways
Terry Button, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association
Anne Canby, OneRail
Joan Claybrook, Public Citizen
Kristin Decas, Port of Hueneme
Mortimer L. Downey III, CAGTC
John H. Eaves, Fulton County
John E. Fenton, Patriot Rail Corp
Karen Flynn, Arkema Inc.
Carlos A. Gimenez, Miami-Dade County
Genevieve Giuliano, University of Southern California Sol Price School of Public Policy
John Thomas Gray II, Association of American Railroads
Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, Lambert International Airport
Brad Hildebrand, Cargill, Inc.
Stacey D. Hodge, New York City Department of Transportation
James P. Hoffa, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
José Holguín-Veras, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Jack Holmes, UPS Freight
Richard Inclima, Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employees Division of the Teamster Rail Conference
Frances Lee Inman, Majestic Realty Co.
Randell Iwasaki, Contra Costa Transportation Authority
Michael Jewell, Marine Engineers’ Beneficial Association, AFL-CIO
Paul R. Kelly, A & S; S Service Group
Paul C. LaMarre III, Port of Monroe
Michelle Livingstone, The Home Depot >p>Bonnie Lowenthal, State of California
Andrew S. Lynn, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
C. Randal Mullett, Con-way Inc.
Rosa Navejar, The Rios Group Michael Nutter, City of Philadelphia
Gary A. Palmer, True Value Company
Craig Philip, Ingram Barge Company
John Previsich, SMART – Transportation Division
William Roberson, Nucor Steel – Berkeley
Christopher T. Rodgers, Douglas County, National Association of Counties
Mark Andrew Savage, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance/Colorado State Patrol
Karen Schmidt, Freight Mobility Strategic Investment Board
Ann Schneider, Illinois DOT
Ricky D. Smith, Department of Port Control, Cleveland Airport
Mike Tooley, Montana DOT Peter G. Vigue, Cianbro Companies
Michael C. Walton, University of Texas Austin
A.C. Warton, City of Memphis
Leonard Waterworth, Port of Houston Authority
AAA Mid-Atlantic says Congress should resist lobbying efforts, protect state’s drivers and roads by saying no to huge new vehicles
In meetings with members of Congress and their staffs this month, I was very clear about my reason for being there: AAA Mid-Atlantic is strongly opposed, on behalf of its members and all motorists, to any increase in the size and weight of tractor-trailer trucks. The trucks we see every day on I-95 and the Baltimore Beltway are plenty big already.
I am supported in this position by a December 2010 Maryland public opinion poll, commissioned by AAA Mid-Atlantic. The poll showed 85 percent of Maryland drivers opposing any increase to the size or weight of tractor-trailer trucks, with 70 percent of respondents stating they are “strongly opposed” to any such move. Yet, Congress is being heavily lobbied to do just that. A measure to increase the maximum weight of these giant trucks — currently 80,000 pounds — by an additional 17,000 pounds (that’s 81/2 tons) is being considered for inclusion in the upcoming national surface transportation funding bill. Lobbyists are also urging Congress to lift a freeze on triple-trailer trucks — vehicles that move across traffic lanes in a snakelike motion and can stretch longer than 110 feet.
Despite significant improvement in truck crash rates, large trucks on the road today have a fatal crash involvement rate 40 percent higher than that of passenger vehicles, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Increasing the weight or size of trucks will only make trucks more dangerous. In its 2000 Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) pointed out that heavier trucks tend to have a higher center of gravity because the additional weight is typically added vertically. This higher center of gravity increases the risk of rollovers and creates concern about the ability of truck operators to maintain their brakes with heavier loads. This could drastically affect the stopping distance of these trucks. The Department of Transportation also found that the risks of long-doubles and triple-trailer trucks increased the likelihood of trailer sway, as well as the possibility of a higher overall fatal crash rate than single-trailer trucks.
In addition to motorist safety, there are also concerns about the impact heavier trucks would have on our roads and bridges, which are already severely stressed. As it is, there is not enough money to repair or rebuild our transportation infrastructure. Maryland, for example, has more than 1,322 highway bridges classified as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, according to the Department of Transportation’s 2010 National Bridge Inventory. That’s an important part of the equation, because Congress is considering pushing our roads and bridges past their breaking point with these big-truck measures. We cannot, in good conscience, allow that to happen without a fight. At minimum, Congress should comprehensively study the impact of such a move before even considering passing such laws. Decisions on increasing truck weights by 81/2 tons or allowing huge triple trailer trucks will impact the safety of everyone.
I urge all Maryland motorists to make their voices heard on this issue. It is time to put a roadblock in front of the bigger-truck lobby — and public participation in the process is the best way to do that.
. Find out more about this issue at http://midatlantic.aaa.com/PGA/issuesactioncenter.