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“Sorrow to Strength” conference urges enhanced big-truck safety

Every time a dire outcome ensues on an Ohio or other state roadway from a commercial truck accident resulting in the injury or death of a driver or passengers of a smaller vehicle, a number of national safety advocacy groups are noting the fact and keeping a close tally.

Such groups, which include the Truck Safety Coalition (TSC), Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) and Parents Against Tired Truckers, want change, and they want it now.

Each year those groups, under the sponsorship of TSC, hold a multi-day conference in the nation’s capital to conduct workshops, disseminate safety-related information and, importantly, solicit the attention of lawmakers who might be influenced to push for tighter commercial trucking regulations.

The core concern of attendees, stated repeatedly and loudly, is this: Trucks that transport goods across the country have simply gotten too large, and the accidents they are involved with on the nation’s roadways are outsized and bring especially deadly consequences.

This year, TSC came to Capitol Hill armed with a new poll that considered the views of persons from all states. Researchers say that the results are clear and resolute in their demand for change. According to the poll, 68 percent of respondents oppose the idea of heavier trucks, with nearly half of all persons answering questions saying they are in strong opposition to adding size and mass to commercial vehicles. 

Poll managers say that Americans are also tuned in to the higher costs associated with accidents involving big rigs. Those expenses are incurred across a large front — insurance, medical, clean-up — and nearly 90 percnet of respondents say that they don’t want to pay them through higher taxes.

Source: Fleet Owner, “Truck crash victims support legislation to freeze truck size and weight limits,” Deborah Whistler, May 9, 2013