Legislation looks to create crash victim, survivor advocate within DOT

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, May 15, 2024:

DOT liaison position for crash victims' issues eyed by new legislation 

A bill introduced this month in both the U.S. House and Senate would create a new position within the U.S. Department of Transportation to work directly with highway safety groups and crash victims, survivors and their families.

The DOT Victim and Survivor Advocate Act would create a new “National Roadway Safety Advocate” role at the DOT. The bills were introduced by Rep. Steve Cohen (D-Tennessee) in the House and Sen. Ben Ray Luján in the Senate.

“Traffic accident victims and their families deserve an advocate in the Department of Transportation listening to their ideas for improving roadway safety, especially after suffering from a traffic crash,” Cohen said. “The DOT Victim and Survivor Advocate Act will help ensure that victim-advocates have a point of contact to work with at DOT and give them a more permanent voice in DOT decision-making. I’m pleased to partner with Senator Lujan on this important legislation.”

The purposes of the new DOT position are outlined this way in the legislation:

  • To document and communicate recommendations from stakeholders to the DOT Secretary on needs, objectives, plans, approaches, content, and accomplishments of the programs and activities carried out by the DOT relating to roadway safety
  • To serve as a resource and point of contact for crash victims, survivors and their families on relevant roadway safety issues

The National Roadway Safety Advocate would essentially serve as a liaison between the DOT and crash victims and survivors, helping facilitate communications between the groups. The advocate would be required to submit annual reports to the DOT Secretary highlighting systemic roadway safety issues based on information provided by the victims and survivors, and making recommendations on how to remedy the highlighted issues.

National supporters of the legislation include Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, National Safety Council, Truck Safety Coalition, League of American Bicyclists, Institute for Safer Trucking, Families for Safe Streets, AnnaLeah & Mary For Truck Safety, Stop Underrides – In Loving Memory of Roya, StopDistractions.org, The Kiefer Foundation and Safe Kids Worldwide.

[Related: Safety groups calls for speed limiters, rolling back 2020 HOS changes, more]

Peterbilt adds optional chassis warranty for pre-owned trucks

Peterbilt enhanced its Red Oval Certified Program this week, announcing it will now offer an optional one-year factory chassis warranty for all certified pre-owned trucks.

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Peterbilt said the coverage can be purchased standalone or combined with Peterbilt's exclusive one-year, 125,000-mile or two-year, 250,000-mile factory engine and aftertreatment warranty for Paccar MX-powered units. 

“The new chassis coverage option provides customers with comprehensive pre-owned truck protection,” said Jake Montero, Peterbilt assistant general manager, sales and marketing. “Known for enduring craftsmanship, Peterbilt trucks are reliable and highly sought after in the secondary market. This enhanced coverage instills even greater confidence amongst customers seeking to purchase a Red Oval certified truck.”

Red Oval certified trucks are six model years old or newer with less than 650,000 miles. Peterbilt said the trucks undergo a comprehensive 150-point inspection to ensure their quality and reliability. Certified trucks powered by the MX-13 engine are eligible for the Paccar Engines Pre-Owned Warranty, providing coverage for critical components.

Furthermore, purchasers of Paccar Engines Pre-Owned Warranty benefit from the 90-day Buyer's Assurance vehicle coverage, which is included with the engine and aftertreatment warranty, the company added.

[Related: Given sky-high repair costs, used-truck warranties more valuable than ever]

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