FMCSA postpones safety summit to address rising trucker deaths over virus fears

The FMCSA 2020 Trucking Safety Summit is off until further notice.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is postponing a trucking safety summit that was scheduled for next week over worries about the spread of COVID-19/Coronavirus.

On Friday, March 13, FMCSA announced the delay of the Truck Safety Summit that was scheduled for March 19, 2020. The conference was to have taken place at U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters in Washington, D.C.

“We will be following changes in the impact of COVID-19 and work to schedule a new date for the Summit in the near future. We are disappointed, but the safety of the attendees is of the utmost importance.  We look forward to setting a new date for the Summit,” FMCSA said.

FMCSA scheduled the Truck Safety Summit in response to data released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in October 2019 that showed that in 2018, truck fatalities hit their highest rate since 1988. Notably, 2018 was the first full year that the controversial ELD Mandate was in effect for most truck drivers.

The Truck Safety Summit was meant to bring together motor carriers, drivers, technology developers, state and federal officials, and safety advocacy groups to generate ideas on how to improve highway safety and reduce the number of truck fatalities on the nation’s highways. FMCSA said that the summit was designed to facilitate conversation among trucking industry members who might not normally meet face to face.

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The Truck Safety Summit is the last in a growing number of trucking events that have been cancelled due to the pandemic Coronavirus, which has spread to at least 1600 people in the U.S. as of Friday morning. On Thursday, organizers with MATS and the National Private Truck Council (NPTC) 2020 Annual Conference and Exhibition cancelled due to COVID-19 fears.

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