OOIDA has launched a new campaign to address what the agency feels is one of the biggest safety issue within the trucking industry today– the lack of basic training standards for new drivers.
In a press release, OOIDA says the agenda that is outlined in “Truckers for Safety” will “help prepare the next generation of long-haul truckers and will proactively address other highway safety concerns.”
“Better trained drivers mean safer drivers,” said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer. “An experienced career trucker is the type that people want to share the road with, and our members tell us that training should be the biggest focus of highway safety efforts.”
According to the press release, current trucking regulations do not address training requirements for becoming a truck driver.
New drivers are required to pass a CDL exam, but the test only covers basic operations but does not address many of the issues drivers will face on the road, nor does the exam prepare drivers for the number of regulations they are responsible for following.
OOIDA says that as knowledgeable and experienced drivers exit the profession, they’re being replaced with new drivers– many of whom have little training.
“This churn results in more accidents, which in turn will lead to greater congestion, more fuel use, lost cargoes and greater inefficiency in our nation’s freight transportation network,” says Spencer. “OOIDA members are passionate about the impact that under trained and inexperienced drivers are having on highway safety.”
Many, not all, CDL schools focus on helping drivers get their CDLs quickly, instead of focusing on proper training, OOIDA says.
“We can and must do better to make trucking once again a career that people want to join and stay in as a way to provide for their families. If we do not, the consequences will mean lower economic prosperity, reduced highway safety, and negative impacts for all highway users.”
“Truckers for Safety” includes an agenda for basic training, provisions for improving the infrastructure, truck parking, passenger vehicle education and enforcement efforts that encourage safe driving.
For more details about the campaign, visit the website www.truckersforsafety.com.
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the largest national trade association representing the interests of small-business trucking professionals and professional truck drivers. The Association currently has nearly 150,000 members nationwide. OOIDA was established in 1973 and is headquartered in the greater Kansas City, Mo. area.