ATA officials call for crackdown on speeding
Apr 3, 2002 12:00 PM
Officials of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) have challenged top federal and state motor vehicle safety officials to support their call for a nationwide crackdown on speeding cars and trucks.
"Speeding is, by everyone's account, one of the most prevalent contributing factors in traffic crashes on our nation's highways," said William Canary, ATA president and chief executive officer. "Knowing this, why wouldn't we want to slow everyone down on our highways? It's simple: safe speeds save lives."
He made the comments at the International Truck and Bus Safety Symposium at the University of Tennessee April 3 in Knoxville TN.
"More must be done to address the toll exacted by speeding drivers," added ATA's Chairman David G. McCorkle of McCorkle Truck Line, Oklahoma City OK. McCorkle also called for more attention to drivers following too closely, the most often cited unsafe driving act, according to federal statistics.
Canary said that in nearly 30 percent of all fatal crashes in 2000, drivers were either exceeding posted speed limits or driving too fast for conditions. The speed-related crashes, according to federal highway safety reports, claimed over 12,000 lives. "This human cost should be unacceptable to all of us," he said.
Canary called for increased funding and better targeting of federal safety programs, including the Highway Safety Grant program of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). While the current NHTSA "Section 402" program does an important job of encouraging occupant protection devices and reducing impaired driving, the trucking industry is concerned that strong, visible speed enforcement for cars and trucks may not be getting the focus and attention it deserves by NHTSA, he said.
He added that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's (FMCSA) Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP), though a generally successful truck and bus safety inspection program, is not putting enough emphasis on traffic safety efforts, particularly strong speed enforcement.
"Right here and right now," said Canary, "the American Trucking Associations, our member motor carriers, and their professional truck drivers are going on record, calling for the strong, strict, and visible enforcement of existing speeding laws as a measure to help reduce the human and financial costs associated with speed-related accidents."