ATA and NHTSA Work Together On Driver Safety
The American Trucking Association (ATA) is encouraging the federal government to focus on safe driver behavior as a top priority in its 2010-2015 Strategic Plan.
The ATA is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. It made these safety recommendations as part of its progressive safety agenda adopted in 2008. In comments filed January 5, 2010, ATA tells the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that distracted driving, speeding, and aggressive driving are dangerous behavior that become more so when congestion worsens and the number of trucks carrying freight on U.S. highways increases. ATA says to stress driver safety, states should focus on driver licensing and graduated driver licensing for teenage drivers. ATA also supports programs that educate and enforce such as Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT).
ATA encourages states to reinstate a national maximum speed limit of 65 mph for all vehicles and governing the speed of all Class 7 and 8 trucks manufactured after 1992 to 65 mph or less.
These safety recommendations echo some safety recommendations in the annual report from the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety. The group takes a close look at areas that need stronger enforcement – text messaging, graduated driver licensing (GDL) programs and ignition-interlock laws for drunk-driving offenders. Newly added to the set of 15 model laws includes seat belt use, booster seat and motorcycle helmet measures. The group also recommends setting a minimum age for a learner’s permit at age 16, and requiring an applicant for an unrestricted license to be age 18.
Given that car accidents in Florida and throughout the United States are the leading cause of death of teenage drivers, raising the driving age will cause much controversy but would also save lives.