Arlington, VA: Officials from the American Trucking Associations again called on the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, to abandon their proposed changes to the hours-of-service rules following the release of new data showing significant declines in truck-related crashes.
"Since FMCSA began its effort to revise these rules, we have said the current rules are working. The Obama Administration's own data now supports that belief," ATA president and CEO Bill Graves said. "Since the agency first changed the hours rules in 2004, the truck-involved fatality rate has dropped by 36 percent - nearly twice as fast as the overall fatality rate on our highways – and that's not a coincidence: the current rules are working."
"In fact, the 2004 hours-of-service rule change is the one and only significant truck safety regulatory improvement made by FMCSA between 2004 and 2009," he adds.
"FMCSA's own CSA program data shows a strong correlation between compliance with the existing hours-of-service rules and trucking company safety performance," Graves says. "FMCSA should move forward with its proposed requirement for electronic logs and focus on ensuring all carriers follow the rules."
In 2009, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation, the truck-involved fatality rate fell to 1.17 per 100 million miles traveled. The decline shows that trucking has achieved parity with the overall highway fatality rate, due in part to these rules.
"Trucking's critics point to the slumping economy as the main reason for the industry's safety gains, but DOT's own figures showed that trucks are driving more miles than when these rules were established, and trucking is involved in far fewer crashes," says Dave Osiecki, senior vice president of policy and regulatory affairs. "Advocates for change noisily asserted these rules would lead to increases in crashes and fatalities, but those dire, baseless predictions have not come true. We are left to conclude that these rules are doing their job in helping to improve highway safety."