Truck safety distortions

Mark Rosenker distorted the facts about the safety of double 33s in a Dec. 8 BDN letter to the editor. The former National Transportation Safety Board chairman is now an adviser to the Coalition for Efficient and Reliable Trucking, a group that consists of large corporations that stand to make massive profits if these longer, less safe trucks are allowed on our roads.

Rosenker avoids noting that data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study showed that lengthening double tractor-trailers from 28-feet to 33-feet will result in a six-foot wider turning radius and 22-foot longer stopping distance.

He also ignores the fact that double 33s would replace many of the existing single 53-foot trailers. According to the Truckload Carriers Association, there would be significant diversion within trucking as, in the past, shippers will not support equipment that does not meet the maximum size allowed.

Moreover, pushing for these longer trucks would exacerbate what the trucking industry’s claims is a major problem — insufficient parking for trucks. Adding a minimum of 10 extra feet will actually reduce the amount of useable parking spaces.

In referencing “years of testing” in Alberta, Canada, on double 33s, Rosenker, again, fails to paint a full picture. John Woodrooffe, referenced by Rosenker, attributed much of the good safety performance of longer trucks to the fact that Alberta has among the strictest driver, carrier and vehicle regulations.

Overall, it is disheartening that Rosenker, once the head of a safety agency, has become a peddler of privately-funded pseudoscience.

Daphne Izer


Parents Against Tired Truckers


Link to Letter to the Editor: