Trucking accidents and fatalities are on the rise. Why then is the American Trucking Association asking Congress to make changes to regulations that could only make matters worse?
Currently, an 18 year old can obtain a commercial driver’s license, however they cannot haul freight across state lines until they are 21. Trucking executives are asking congress to allow teens to fill their shortage in long-haul trucking, while safety groups say that lower age limits would make roads more dangerous because younger drivers without experience are more likely to get into accidents. (www.wsj.com)
The trucking industry is pushing congress to weaken regulations. The American Trucking Association reported that trucking fatalities have been on the rise climbing 17% from 2009-2013. The Association further reports that truck-involved crashes totaled 3,964 in 2013. Car-related deaths decreased more than 3% during the same period. Howard Abramson, a former executive at the American Trucking Association, accredited this decline to “technological improvements like airbags, electronic stability control and anti-lock brakes,” Abramson wrote in a New York Times op-ed. “The trucking industry has resisted most of those safety devices.” Based on these numbers, why is the industry pushing Congress to loosen rules on trucking. These changes would allow truckers to stay on the highway for 82 hours over an eight day period. This is an increase from the 70 hour limit. This would also eliminate the requirement that a trucker have a two-day rest break each week. The industry is also pushing changes that would allow longer and heavier trucks on the road.
The trucking industry is putting its pursuit of profits over its employee’s and other driver’s safety. (www.allgov.com )