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TRUCK SAFETY COALITION STATEMENT ON CONFIRMATION OF U.S. DOT SECRETARY ELAINE CHAO

The Truck Safety Coalition, a partnership of Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) and Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT), congratulates Elaine Chao on becoming the 18th Secretary of Transportation of the United States. Our volunteers, families of victims and survivors of large truck crashes, look forward to collaborating with Secretary Chao to improve truck safety in the United States.

As the Secretary noted in her nomination hearing, safety must be a top priority for the Department of Transportation. Since 2009, truck crashes have increased by 45 percent; truck crash injuries have risen by 57 percent; and truck crash fatalities have gone up by 20 percent, resulting in the number of truck crash deaths exceeding 4,000 in the United States for the first time since 2008. Meanwhile, the European Union, which has mandated a number of significant safety solutions, including automatic emergency braking and entry-level driver training with a minimum number of hours of behind-the-wheel training, saw their truck crash fatalities drop by 23 percent. Clearly, the laws passed in the EU have enhanced truck safety. We welcome the opportunity to work with Secretary Chao to implement similar policies and technologies.

We wish Secretary Chao success as she leads the Department of Transportation and we are eager to work together to reduce truck crashes, injuries, and fatalities in America.

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