Road Safe America has added an excellent point to the spate of recent news on commercial trucking safety, when it points out speed-limiters are critical to reducing the number of serious and fatal North Carolina trucking accidents.
Nationwide, more than 380,000 commercial trucks are involved in crashes each year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration More than 200 fatal crashes occurred in the Carolinas in 2008, the last year for which comprehensive data has been made available.
Our Charlotte trucking accident lawyers reported recently on our North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyers Blog that the government is updating hours-of-service restrictions aimed at keeping fatigued truckers off the road and has proposed adding data recorders to track compliance. Currently compliance is tracked using the honor system and hand-written log books, which has made a mockery of safety as truckers who are paid by the mile continue to push themselves to the limit and beyond.
Road Safe America points out speed-limiters continue to save lives throughout Europe and in other parts of the world, and must be part of the equation in this country. Without them, truckers forced to comply with hours-of-service rules tracked by data recorders will simply make up for lost time by speeding.
"(Speed-limiters is a) key rule that safety advocates believe will save hundreds - maybe thousands - of American lives annually," said Steve Owings, Co-Founder and President of RSA.
Early this year, the NHTSA finally filed a petition to have the limiters set at 68 mph on commercial trucks. The issue has lingered for years. A petition was also filed in 2006.
"The European Union Countries, Japan, Australia and the heavily-populated provinces of Canada all have laws requiring that speed governors be set at top speeds ranging from 55 mph to 65 mph -- Their rate of truck crash related fatalities is lower than ours and we need to catch up," Owings said.
Owings and his wife, Susan, founded Road Safe America after their son, Cullum was killed by a speeding trucker while stopped in a traffic jam.