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been saying for years – speed kills, and one of the most effective ways to prevent hundreds, if not thousands, of crashes on our highways is to slow all vehicles down, including large trucks,” ATA’s Graves says. The ATA petitioned FMCSA and the

National Highway Traffic Safety Adminis- tration six years ago to mandate the use of speed limiters on all commercial motor vehicles manufactured since 1992 to save lives and make our industry safer. The ATA is urging both agencies to swiftly move forward with rulemakings to ensure these devices are required on as many trucks as possible. The American Transportation Research

Institute and the Virginia Tech Transporta- tion Institute, found “multiple analyses indicated a profound safety benefit for trucks equipped with an active [speed limiter].” Further, the study concluded that complaints from critics of this technology were not substantiated by the data. “Slowing down traffic is the most

important step toward improving highway safety,” Graves said. For this reason, ATA’s policy calls for a national 65 mph speed limit for all vehicles, and ATA’s broad safety agenda calls for a speed limiter mandate.

WhetherWashington has the political

will to enact such speed governors is an- other story. But Graves called excess speed the No. 1 contributor to highway crashes and is urging the government to “prioritize its regulatory initiatives accordingly.” Joining in the progressive push for

more safety requirements is the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, aka the Trucking Alliance. Created in 2010 to advocate EOBR requirements, three of the six participating trucking companies are based in Arkan- sas. The Alliance also contracted with the Arkansas Trucking Association to develop strategies and provide administrative sup- port for their safety-focused causes. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alli-

ance (CVSA) is among the groups promoting the ‘alternative compliance’ model as an additional measurement component to the CSA program. For example, if a trucking company voluntarily invests in products to lower accidents, could these investments equate to some type of safety rating or credit? David Palmer, the elected president of

the CVSA, testified that FMCSA should ap- ply the ‘carrot and stick’ approach to fully achieve CSA’s objectives.

The current CSA model, Palmer said

recently, does not do all it can to encourage carriers to develop and sustain a robust safety culture. He noted that almost one- third of all roadside safety inspections on tractor trailers are ‘clean’ meaning that no serious violations were discovered. Another approach Palmer explained

is an alternative compliance approach, in which motor carriers that incorporate certain ‘best practices’ by investing in new safety technologies could be credited or awarded points to raise their CSA scores. This concept could provide a more

accurate snapshot of a carrier’s attitude towards safety and will demonstrate safety improvements, allowing inspectors to bet- ter target their enforcement efforts on those who need it, Palmer said. Whether carriers could get credit for

employing best practices and demonstrat- ing a commitment to safety on an ongo- ing basis is unclear. But what is known is trucking will continue to pursue tweaks in the CSA program to remove some of the more onerous and unfair provisions to con- centrate on promoting more proven truck safety measures. TTN

Most trucking companies make (or lose) more money on equipment than they do hauling freight.




SPRING Q1 2013

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