The Truck Safety Coalition (TSC), and our volunteers, who are the family and friends of truck crash victims and survivors seeking truck safety advances, are pleased that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) followed its mission and denied a slew of exemption requests from the electronic logging device (ELD) rule. All ten of the rejected requests would have resulted in greater likelihood of driver fatigue, which remains a preventable factor in large truck crashes.
The ELD rule underwent extensive legislative consideration before being mandated as part of Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21, P.L. 112-141). The final rule relied on ample data and research, including several FMCSA studies, to maximize safety for truck drivers and those with whom they share the road.
As our organization has maintained in opposing legislative attempts to weaken the ELD mandate as well as baseless petitions to grant exemptions from this rule: these unstudied proposals will complicate law enforcement efforts, devalue truck drivers’ time, and erode safety on our roads for everyone.
Many of us know first-hand the devastating consequences of truck crashes caused by speed, distraction, or fatigue. We do not want other families to endure the same grief that we continue to experience every day. Unfortunately, we continue to see the number of people killed in large truck crashes continue to rise, with truck crash deaths up 41 percent since 2009 and truck occupant fatalities at their highest levels since 1989.
We will continue to focus on promoting policies that will actually reverse the worsening trends. Automatic emergency braking, heavy vehicle speed limiters, and comprehensive underride protections have the potential to drastically reduce the number of people injured and killed in large truck crashes. We are hopeful that both members of the industry as well as lawmakers and regulators will work with us in the coming year to ensure that each of these life-saving technologies is mandated on all large trucks.