| August 04, 2009

CTP says the results of its commissioned national poll reveal broad support for truck weight reform as outlined in The Safe and Efficient Transportation Act of 2009 (H.R. 1799).

“With truck traffic already increasing 11 times faster than road capacity and freight expected to double by 2025, H.R. 1799 would make sure America’s shipping needs are met in a way that improves highway safety and reduces our carbon footprint,” says CTP Co-Chair John Runyan.

Among the survey’s key findings, according to CTP:
By a margin of 51 percent to 39 percent, a majority of Americans would favor increasing the weight limit if it contributes to safer roads, greater fuel economy and more productive highway transportation.

Americans are more likely to support increasing weight limits when they learn that an additional axle would make the tractor-trailers safer and better for road surfaces. Two-thirds would be more likely to support legislative action to allow trucks to carry more weight on interstates if those trucks add an extra axle.
- Staff reports

Citations drop in latest Roadcheck
Roadcheck 2009′s record total of overall inspections showed significant declines in vehicle and driver out-of-service rates, according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

Data show the highest overall vehicle compliance rate, 80.4 percent, since 1996, and the highest ever overall driver compliance rate, 95.7 percent. For North American Standard Level I inspections, the compliance rates of 77.8 percent (vehicles) and 96.1 percent (drivers) were both records for Roadcheck. In addition, safety belt violations were reduced by 22.2 percent over last year.
- Staff reports

Trucking fatalities decline 12% in 2008
The number of overall traffic fatalities reported in 2008 dropped to the lowest level since 1961, says the U.S. Department of Transportation. Further decrease was evident in preliminary data from the first three months of 2009.

The overall highway fatality rate, which provides a more accurate picture of safety by accounting for the number of vehicle miles traveled, also reached the lowest level ever recorded.

Fatalities in crashes involving large trucks declined 12 percent in 2008 from the year before, from 4,822 deaths to 4,229. The number of truck occupants who died in these crashes decreased 16 percent, to 677 from 805.

The overall highway death count for 2008 was 37,261, a drop of 9.7 percent from 2007. The fatality rate for 2008 was 1.27 persons per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, about 7 percent below the rate of 1.36 recorded for 2007.

The comparable truck-related fatality rate will be announced when that data is available.
Substantial fatality declines occurred in virtually every major category, led by declines in passenger car occupant fatalities, which dropped for the sixth year in a row. Light truck occupant fatalities fell for the third straight year. Alcohol-impaired fatalities also declined by more than 9 percent over 2007.

Continuing this trend, the January-March 2009 estimate of 7,689 deaths represents a 9 percent decline from a year ago. It was the 12th consecutive quarterly decline.
For more information, visit www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov.
- Staff reports

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