Speed limiters, automatic emergency braking technology encouraged
Posted January 31, 2019
An organization advocating safer trucking is calling upon Congress to introduce initiatives aimed at reducing deaths and injuries resulting from tractor-trailer and passenger vehicle crashes.
Road Safe America, Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT), and the National Coalition for Safer Roads joined more than 50 organizations and individuals in penning a letter to Congress encouraging the revival of heavy vehicle speed limiters and automatic emergency braking.
“Recently released data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration shows that truck crashes, and the resulting injuries and deaths, continue to increase year after year despite the fact that total truck vehicle miles traveled has effectively remained stagnant since 2009,” the letter said.
“Yet, these dire trends are not reversible. Proven solutions, like speed limiters and automatic emergency braking, are available today but their use is still not required by law. … We urge you to reflect on the rising number of truck crash deaths and recognize that it is time to require the use of sensible, existing safety solutions.”
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration presented a proposed rule in 2016 that would have required trucks to be equipped with speed limiting devices set to a maximum speed of between 60 and 68 miles per hour, but it has gained little momentum.
As proposed at the time, the rule would have given manufacturers until September 2020 to comply.
The group quoted in its letter statistics from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System that indicate truck crash fatalities have increased 41 percent nationally from 2009 to 2017. Other statistics in the letter said:
- Children ages 14 and under killed in large truck crashes rose by 20 percent;
- Truck occupants killed rose by 69 percent, resulting in the highest number of large truck occupants killed since 1989;
- Crashes in which a large truck rear-ended a passenger vehicle increased by 82 percent from 2009 to 2016.
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