Date: 20.01.2015 / to news list
In a call to action issued last week to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the safety agency said any safety effort begins with determining a trucking company’s safety compliance.
In it’s letter, the NTSB said, “Commercial trucking is integral to our economy, but crashes, injuries, and deaths involving commercial trucks have been increasing over the past several years. In 2012 alone, nearly 4,000 people were killed and more than 100,000 people were injured in truck crashes.”
Saying such incidents are “anything but rare,” the agency said improving the safety of truck operations will not only save lives, but improve the public’s confidence in this vital, and visible, industry.
“Commercial truck safety is a multifaceted issue involving the vehicles, the companies that operate them, the drivers, and the oversight agencies. Any successful effort to strengthen commercial trucking safety must be a collaborative effort,” the agency wrote.
“The NTSB has a long history of calling on the regulators, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), to improve their oversight of operators, drivers, and vehicles. It starts with improving the system for determining a trucking company’s safety compliance, including both driver and vehicle factors. Stronger oversight is needed to ensure that new carriers address any safety deficiencies in a timely fashion, and are swiftly placed out of service if they fail to improve,” the NTSB letter reads. “Furthermore regulators need a comprehensive system for ensuring that bad operators do not return to the industry under another name.
“Regulators have taken initial steps by maintaining science-based hours of service rules and are in the process of rulemaking mandating electronic logging devices that can help assure that drivers are adequately rested. Other important rulemaking initiatives include requirements to screen drivers for obstructive sleep apnea, other potentially impairing medical conditions, and potentially impairing drugs.”
The letter urges regulators to promote proper fleet maintenance and proven life-saving technology. “Vehicle inspections should be required during compliance reviews, and vehicle safety equipment and technology, such as collision warning technology, tire pressure monitoring systems, rollover stability control systems, and lane departure warning systems, should be mandated across the entire industry.
“Regulators should also develop performance standards for front and side underride protection systems to improve highway vehicle crash compatibility with passenger vehicles,” the agency wrote.