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Road Safe America cites hike in big rig crash deaths, again calls for speed limiters

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Road Safe America said statistics show that from 2009 to 2016, miles driven by heavy commercial trucks slightly decreased while the crashes involving them continually increased.  (FOTOSEARCH)

ATLANTA — Road Safe America Tuesday federal crash data it had analyzed showed that all but six U.S. states had increases in big-rig truck crash deaths from 2009 to 2017, the most recent year of available data.

From 2009 through 2017, a total of 35,882 people died in large truck crashes, the organization said in a news release.

“The sad fact is that many of these deaths could have been avoided if use of existing speed limiting and automatic emergency braking technologies had been the law,” said Steve Owings, co-founder of the highway-safety non-profit Road Safe America.

Statistics show that from 2009 to 2016, miles driven by heavy commercial trucks slightly decreased while the crashes involving them continually increased.

The data shows the top five states with the greatest number of truck crash fatalities in 2017 were in order: Texas, California, Florida, Georgia and Pennsylvania.

The five states with the largest percentage increases in truck crash deaths from 2009 to 2017 were, in order of greatest increase – Washington, Idaho, Colorado, Texas and Nevada.

“Most of the states in this top five list have truck speed limits of 70 mph or more,” Owings said. “There is no good reason for big rigs that can weigh up to 80,000 pounds, or more in some states, to be operating at speeds this high since they cannot stop in the same distance in an emergency as vehicles with which they share the roads.

“Yet, unlike many other leading nations, our country does not require the use of automatic emergency braking or even speed limiters, which would help to save lives of people in passenger vehicles and professional truck drivers, too. In fact, required use of speed limiters is so prevalent around the world that they have been built into America’s big-rig trucks since the 1990s.  So, all that is needed is a requirement to turn them on and set them at a reasonable top speed such as 65 mph. A recent national survey found 80 percent of voters across all demographics join us in calling for these requirements.”

In 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Newsal Highway Traffic Safety Administration jointly issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that proposed equipping heavy-duty vehicles with devices that limit their speeds on U.S. roadways, and requiring those devices be set to a maximum speed, a safety measure that could save lives and more than $1 billion in fuel costs each year.

However, the NPRM never gained any traction.

Most industry stakeholders said the initiative fell victim to President Donald Trump’s order to reduce federal regulatory efforts.

Owings said speed governors improve truck safety by limiting the top speed a truck can travel, thus allowing a truck driver to have more time to avoid a crash or reduce the severity of crashes that do still occur.

Most big-rigs already use them for this same reason and because doing so saves fuel, improving profitability, he said.

Automatic emergency braking also enhances safety on our roads by alerting truck drivers of slow-moving and non-moving objects and then applying the brakes if the drivers fail to for whatever reason, Owings said.

“Road Safe America encourages all trucking companies who have not already done so, to cap the maximum speed of their fleets by setting their speed limiters at 65mph and to install AEB on every truck,” Owings said. “We also encourage the public to learn more about these life-saving technologies by visiting our website: .

 

 

 

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Lisa Schmitt

    January 29, 2019 at 3:34 pm

    UM Let me explain something to you. A car doing 80, coming up over a hill, to a semi doing 65 Will cause MORE accidents. Do any of you even DRIVE a truck???

  2. Shaq

    January 30, 2019 at 10:01 pm

    The automatic braking system does more harm then good. I nearly jackknifed because of that system.

  3. JEFFREY B DUGGER

    February 1, 2019 at 4:49 am

    The accidents are caused by these commercial truck co. not by the drivers or speed of truck’s. These companies hide behind the ELD, FORCED dispatch, abusive treatment of drivers. These companies have a very high rate of driver turn over. The dispatched pick up and del. times are always off/short, such as having about one hour left to drive and dispatched for a pick up 90 miles away in heavy traffic, and the driver is fired if he or she doesn’t make it. The truck companies looking for drivers on The Trucker are part of the commercial companies that are the bad guys here. Remember we honor our drivers and get our drivers home, NOT, when they allow you home time after being hired.

  4. Pjen

    February 1, 2019 at 5:07 am

    Just keep on assuming every accident is the truck drivers fault…everyone else does

  5. Talbot

    February 1, 2019 at 6:36 am

    ok then limit all autos cars trucks everything problem solved cars run a lot faster than trucks and cause most of the accidents from doing dumb things sorry but i have been out there and seen it all.

    • Judy Ochs

      February 1, 2019 at 10:00 am

      Make the cars who always pull over to the side of the highway to take their dog to go pee or do that themselves with their flashers on, go to an on ramp instead… Common sense.. We have to move to the other lane when these idiots pull over on the side of the highway for stupid reasons.. Cars are almost ALWAYS the cause of semi crashes… No one wants to take someone’s life so we do what we have to to avoid that so we don’t have to live our life out knowing we killed someone… The authorities do NOTHING to keep cars from cutting us off or tailgate us or brake check us.. The dash cam is the most valuable thing we can use… But yet, we are always at fault…

  6. Tony Jenkins

    February 2, 2019 at 11:03 am

    i’ve noticed that people who want these limiters are people who’ve never drove a truck. How many people at ata have drove a truck and yet they know what’s best for drivers. They say people want speed limiters on big trucks, that’s because their only getting one side of the whole story.

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FMCSA issues regional exemptions to HOS because of flooding

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The map shows the states that are part of the emergency declaration that allows certain exemptions from the Hours of Service regulations as a result of recent flooding.

WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration this week has issued regional exemptions to the Hours of Service as a result of the recent flooding.

The declarations are for Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The FMCSA said the declaration is designed to help with recovery efforts following a severe weather and flooding event that claimed multiple lives, caused power outages, and did major damage to homes, businesses, and infrastructure.

The emergency declaration applies to truck drivers who are providing “direct support of relief efforts” to the flood damaged areas. The FMCSA guidelines say that “direct assistance terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services not directly supporting the emergency relief effort or when the motor carrier dispatches a driver or commercial motor vehicle to another location to begin operations in commerce.”

The exemption runs until April 18 or until the emergency is declared ended.

In addition, the FMCSA said that it will not be enforcing the Temporary Operating Authority Registration fee for truckers who are providing direct assistance to disaster victims.

 

 

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WIT names finalists for 2019 ‘Distinguished Woman in Logistics’ Award

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Women In Trucking Association is a nonprofit association established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry.   (©2019 FOTOSEARCH)

PLOVER, Wis. — The Women In Trucking Association Thursday named the finalists for the 5th annual Distinguished Woman in Logistics award.

The award promotes the achievements of women employed in the North American transportation industry.

Finalists include Lindsey Graves, Sunset Transportation; Michelle Halkerston, Hassett Express; Judy McReynolds, ArcBest; Sarah Ruffcorn, Trinity Logistics; and Erin Van Zeeland, Schneider. The winner will be revealed Friday, April 12, during the TIA 2019 “Capital Ideas” Conference & Exhibition in Orlando, Florida.

WIT President and CEO Ellen Voie said the award highlights the crucial roles of leading women in the dynamic and influential field of commercial transportation and logistics, which encompasses both logistics service providers as well as motor carriers.

Finalists for the 2019 DWLA award have demonstrated superior leadership within their company as well as with other professional, educational or philanthropic organizations, she said.

LINDSAY GRAVES

Lindsey Graves is a second-generation owner and chief operating officer at Sunset Transportation, a St. Louis third party logistics company.  In her 12 years with Sunset, she has grown through hands-on experience in every department; she now oversees operational and personnel growth, strategy, marketing and implementation at Sunset’s corporate headquarters in south St. Louis and five national branch offices. Graves was a Class of 2018, 40 Under 40 Recipient for the St. Louis For Business Journal.

MICHELLE HALKERSTON

Michelle Halkerston is president, CEO and owner of Hassett Express, a full-service transportation and logistics provider specializing in time-definite services. She joined Hassett Air Express in 2001 as vice president of strategic planning, was named president in September 2003, and purchased the company in October 2013. She is involved in all facets of the business and has steered the Hassett team through significant changes in customer needs and dynamics to achieve the most successful year in company history.  As a privately-held Certified Women For Business Enterprise (WBE), Hassett’s success is based on commitment to its employees, customers and community and on building partnerships that provide value to both organizations.

JUDY McREYNOLDS

Judy R. McReynolds is chairman, president and chief executive officer of ArcBest in Fort Smith, Arkansas. From its roots in less-than-truckload delivery, under her leadership ArcBest has transformed into a full-scale provider of end-to-end supply chain services, surpassing $3 billion in revenue last year.  In 2016, McReynolds was elected as chairman of the board of ArcBest. She has 28 years of logistics and transportation industry experience, including 21 years at ArcBest. She also serves on numerous outside boards. She is the current chair of the American Transportation Research Institute board, and a member of the American Trucking Associations board of directors and executive committee.

SARAH RUFFCORN

Sarah Ruffcorn is the chief operations officer of Trinity Logistics, a 2018 “Top 50 Companies for Women to Work for in Transportation” company. In this role, she leads Trinity’s Regional Service Center brokerage offices throughout the country, the less-than-truckload division, the advanced services division which includes warehousing, expedite, drayage, international, and intermodal services, as well as the managed services division, which includes shipper TMS and fully managed solutions services. She also serves on the Trinity Logistics board of directors, is co-chair of TIA’s Women in Logistics Committee, and is a member of the TIA Technology Committee. She was awarded the 2015 Delaware For Business Times “Best 40 Under 40” award for being one of the region’s “best & brightest young professionals.”

ERIN VANZEELAND

Erin Van Zeeland is group senior vice president and general manager of logistics services at Schneider, a provider of transportation, logistics and intermodal services.  Schneider is a $5B (2018 annual revenue) company founded in 1935 and its foundation of operational excellence is built on service, trust and reliability. In her position, she is responsible for all aspects of the company’s logistics service offering including transportation management (brokerage), supply chain management, warehousing and port dray. Within her functional responsibilities, she ensures that over 27,000 third-party carriers and service providers are effectively utilized to meet supply chain needs, service and profitability objectives across any mode of transportation and logistics services.

Finalists were selected from an immense group of high-performing women representing third-party logistics, supply chain management, and related functional disciplines.

Members of the judging panel included Dr. Stephanie S. Ivey, director of Intermodal Freight Transportation Institute, Southeast Transportation Workforce Center, and associate professor, Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Memphis; Nancy O’Liddy, chief of staff, TIA; Brent Hutto, chief relationship officer, Truckstop.com; and Ellen Voie, president and CEO, WIT.

Women In Trucking Association is a nonprofit association established to encourage the employment of women in the trucking industry, promote their accomplishments and minimize obstacles faced by women working in the trucking industry.

 

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Federal judge dismisses ATA suit over Rhode Island’s truck tolls

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The International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) said his organization supports the state’s RhodeWorks plan to use truck tolls as one of many revenue streams to rebuild major bridges in the state. (Courtesy: STATE OF RHODE ISLAND)

PROVIDENCE, R.I.  — A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit over Rhode Island’s new truck tolls Tuesday, finding that the court lacks jurisdiction and the case should be brought in the state court system.

Rhode Island began tolling trucks in June as part of an infrastructure plan to repair bridges and roads. The American Trucking Associations sued in U.S. District Court.

“ATA is disappointed by the decision, in which the U.S. District Court ruled that it was without power to hear ATA’s constitutional challenge to the discriminatory RhodeWorks truck-only tolls, and that the challenge must instead be brought in state court,” said ATA Deputy General Counsel Rich Pianka. “ATA is reviewing the decision and considering next steps, but looks forward to vindicating its underlying claims on the merits, whatever the venue.”

The ATA argued in its lawsuit that the tolls violate the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause and pose a discriminatory and disproportionate burden on out-of-state operators and truckers. Cumberland Farms, New England Motor Freight and M&M Transport Services are also plaintiffs.

The state argued that the federal court cannot restrain the collection of state taxes, such as tolls, and state matters should be adjudicated in state court.

Christopher Maxwell, president of the Rhode Island Trucking Association, said the judge’s decision doesn’t speak to the merits of the claims, only the venue in which to bring them. He said it’ll be up to American Trucking Associations to decide how to proceed. The Rhode Island Trucking Association is a member of the national group.

Connecticut officials have been watching the Rhode Island case closely. Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont, who ran for office supporting tolls only on big rigs, included two tolling options for lawmakers to consider in his new budget: tolling just trucks or tolling everyone. Lamont’s administration has estimated Connecticut could reap $200 million in annual revenue from truck tolls and about $800 million from tolls on cars and trucks.

In recent weeks, the governor has made it clear he is now leaning toward supporting the more wide-ranging tolls to help generate the revenue needed to address Connecticut’s transportation infrastructure needs.

Maribel La Luz, a spokeswoman for Lamont, said Tuesday’s dismissal of the truckers’ lawsuit “confirms what we already believed to be true,” that “the road to resolution of this case will be long and winding, and ultimately, we don’t believe it will provide the clarity, or revenue, that Connecticut needs to truly enhance and upgrade its infrastructure system.”

La Luz said Lamont’s wider ranging tolling proposal “is the path forward if we are serious about supporting our state’s economic growth and development, particularly when 40 percent of the costs for such an investment would be paid for by people who don’t even live in our state.”

Patrick Jones executive director and CEO on the International Bridge, Tunnel and Turnpike Association (IBTTA) said his organization supports the state’s plan to use truck tolls as one of many revenue streams to rebuild major bridges in the state.

“Large majorities of Americans support greater investment in infrastructure,” he said. “While the judge who dismissed the lawsuit did not address the merits of the case, we remain hopeful that no court will deny Rhode Island, or any state, the ability to assess user fees including tolls to rebuild its vital bridges and highways.”

The Connecticut General Assembly’s Transportation Committee was scheduled to vote Wednesday on several bills that could lead to tolls on state highways. While none would institute truck-only tolls, the Rhode Island court decision is likely to come up during the debate.

In Rhode Island, only two out of 14 proposed toll gantries are in place. The governor’s budget proposal estimates tolls will generate about $7 million in the current budget year and $25 million for the budget year starting July 1. The projections are much lower than previous revenue estimates due to delays in permitting and environmental assessments for the additional gantries.

Rhode Island lawmakers authorized the toll system in 2016 as part of a $5 billion, decade-long plan to rebuild crumbling roads and bridges, projecting then that the entire system would bring in $450 million over 10 years.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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