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ATA progress report on trucking safety: Mixed bag, but good overall

Ohio is a major hub of interstate commercial truck traffic, with a heavy volume of trucks busily on the move at all times, and state and federal policy makers and transportation regulators are always closely tuned in to safety-related policies, debates and initiatives.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA), a key voice within the commercial transportation industry, is always at the fore of such discussions and has in fact been figuratively driving the agenda in recent years. A recent progress report issued by that entity on actions it announced four years ago to promote truck safety is now under scrutiny in Ohio and the rest of the country.

The ATA areas of cited interest announced four years ago are all focused squarely on the same thing, namely, reducing commercial truck accidents across the country through implementation of safety-enhancing rules and policies.

The organization says that, of 20 areas it has stressed a fundamental focus on, there has been mixed progress.

"Regulators and lawmakers at the state and federal level have answered ATA's calls in several areas," says ATA President and CEO Bill Graves, "but there is still much more work to be done."

The ATA applauds, for example, the progress that has been made in creating a national registry for medical examiners, as well as new policies that have been put into place to better pre-screen prospective commercial drivers.

The organization notes, though, that it would like to see faster and more meaningful development on other fronts, such as the implementation of programs that help target aggressive driving behaviors that increase the risk of truck crashes. The ATA would also like to see closer monitoring of drivers' drug and alcohol test results, as well as a nationally imposed speed limit of 65 mph for commercial drivers.

"We remain committed to addressing all of the issues, and ... to further reducing highway crashes," says an ATA principal.

Source: TruckingInfo, "ATA celebrates safety accomplishments, commits to further action," Jan. 9, 2013

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