Agency hears distracted driving ideas

Jill Dunn | September 16, 2010

With the second national federal Distracted Driving Summit set for Sept. 21, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee approved recommendations on the subject three weeks earlier.

The committee approved recommendations on decreasing distracted driving Aug. 30, which included assessing strengthened enforcement and education. The committee is comprised of stakeholders such as trucking, safety and enforcement leaders and provides advice to the agency on tasks it assigns members.

The agency had asked the MCSAC to provide ideas it might consider in addressing the safety risk posed by in-cab distractions other than texting and cell phone use.

Members concluded that all distractions, not just in-cab ones, should be dealt with and that the FMCSA should pursue safety ideas across all transportation modes.

The committee recommended the agency assess enforcement, including sanctions for technologies that cause distracted driving and classifying distracted driving violations and moving violations.

It advocated the FMCSA undertake trucker education initiatives, such as mandating periodic training in addition to entry-level driver training.

The committee also recommended that FMCSA assess research to develop standards for installing or modifying in-cab technologies that may cause distracted driving and focus on improving data issues, such as quantifying crashes resulting from distracted driving.

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