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Road safety group praises trucking association's support of speed governors on existing big rigs (10/24)

October 24, 2008
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Road Safe America, a non-profit seeking to have a national regulation adopted requiring the use of speed governors to slow down tractor-trailer rigs to save lives, issued a press statement applauding the board of the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) support of required activation of electronic speed governors on big trucks built since 1992 at 65 mph or slower.

The ATA board took the action as part of an 18-point initiative to reduce the number of highway fatalities by improving driver performance and vehicle safety. The ATA formerly had endorsed activation of speed governors on big trucks built in the future, so the retroactive nature of its new directive is welcomed as a pro-safety measure. This addresses the millions of existing trucks as well as those manufactured in the future.

“This is an historic breakthrough in our efforts to have speed governors activated at 65 mph on tractor trailer trucks over 13 tons because statistics from other nations show that when heavy trucks are operated at slower speeds, they are involved in fewer and less violent wrecks,” commented Stephen C. Owings, co-founder of Road Safe America (www.roadsafeamerica.org).

“The ATA is to be commended for its wisdom and foresight, and we hope the new policy will go into effect as soon as possible,” said Owings. “Each day that passes, more truckers and passenger car occupants and drivers are injured or killed in wrecks involving big rigs.”

Road Safe America was founded by the Owings after their son, Cullum, was killed in 2002 when his car -- stopped in an interstate traffic jam -- was crushed from behind by a tractor trailer truck going 7 mph over the posted speed limit on cruise control. Since then, the Owings family and thousands of supporters in the trucking industry, government, business, and the insurance industry have been working to have speed governors, standard equipment on all heavy trucks in the U.S. since 1992, required to be activated on all Class 7 and 8 trucks (over 13 tons).

“That one change will save the lives of some of the 1,000 truckers killed and the 4,000 motorists killed yearly in large-truck-related highway crashes,” said Owings, who has served on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee.

The European Union, Australia, Japan and the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec have regulations requiring speed limiting devices set at or below 65 mph on all large trucks.

SOURCE: Road Safe America

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