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Truck crash victims descend on Washington to ask for more regulations on truckers

They want speed limiters, sleep apnea screening for everyone, ELDs, and more.

Washington

Today the “Truck Safety Coalition” flew in several people who were involved in crashes with commercial vehicles in order to try to convince lawmakers to revive Obama-backed regulations on the trucking industry that have been delayed or scrapped entirely since President Trump took office.

“Truck Safety” Group Pleads With FMCSA For Speed Limiters, Sleep Apnea Screening, More

The Truck Safety Coalition’s appearance on Capitol Hill coincides with the Senate Commerce Committee’s confirmation hearing for Raymond Martinez for the position of Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The group, which says it wants to bring attention to “worsening truck safety trends“, is pushing the FMCSA for the following regulations on trucking:

  • A requirement that all truck drivers must be screened for sleep apnea. Earlier this year, the FMCSA abandoned an Obama-era push to require sleep apnea screening for all commercial vehicle drivers because it “did not receive sufficient data to support future rule-making at this time.”
  • A final rule requiring speed limiters on trucks, which has “which has languished since 2011”, according to the Truck Safety Coalition.
  • Full enforcement of the Electronic Logging Device Mandate set to go into effect in December 2017.
  • An increase for the minimum amount of insurance that a truck driver must carry.
  • A truck driver training rule that would require a minimum number of hours behind the wheel.

To support their argument for increased regulations on truckers, the Truck Safety Coalition cites data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration which said that truck fatalities increased in 2016 to 4,317 fatalities. However, it is important to note that the NHTSA data does not indicate whether the truck driver was actually at fault in those crashes.

In a statement released today, Truck Safety Coalition President Dawn King said, “After my father was killed by a truck driver who fell asleep behind the wheel, I began advocating for commonsense legislation and regulations that would prevent truck driver fatigue. Considering that one study estimates that up to half of commercial motor vehicles have sleep apnea, and that undiagnosed sleep apnea can result in truck drivers falling asleep while operating big rigs, it is unreasonable for the agency to have withdrawn this rulemaking. If confirmed, I want to know what the Administrator plans to do to address truck driver fatigue.”

The Truck Safety Coalition is a partnership between the organizations Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways and Parents Against Tired Truckers.

If you’d like to join OOIDA in the fight against the regulations supported by the Truck Safety Coalition, you can click here to learn more.