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Issue #592

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2014 Media Kit

Truckers say government ignores need for training standards for new truck drivers

By: | at 08:39 AM | Intermodal  

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has been pushing federal agencies for years to implement minimum, behind-the-wheel training standards for new truck drivers, yet no such regulations exist today.

“Instead of relying on technology and making misguided, hours-of-service regulations changes, the focus should instead be on training standards for entry-level drivers,” said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer. “Despite orders from Congress in 1991, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has still not made training new drivers a priority,” said Spencer.

The FMCSA revised hours-of-service regulations about a year ago, and many in the industry have criticized the rationale behind the changes and question how much they will reduce truck crashes.

The Association receives many complaints from drivers that the changes have instead meant unintended consequences such as more time on the road and less time at home. Fatigue is often cited as the reason for making such regulatory changes. But OOIDA disagrees with how the data is represented. “Statistically, fatigue almost never is the cause of truck-related crashes and yet the data is grossly exaggerated to 30 or more percent,” said Spencer. According to statistics from FMCSA, fatigue is a factor in 1.4 percent of truck crashes and the percentage of fatal crashes involving trucks is about 10 percent.

According to FMCSA, the fault of truck-related crashes falls mostly on passenger vehicle drivers. The 30 percent statistic on fatigue that is often cited in news articles is debunked here in comments by the original report’s author. “Truckers are not causing the majority of highway crashes, but are unfairly blamed,” said Spencer. “Most are doing their best to drive safely as hard-working individuals and should be recognized for the sacrifices they make and the contribution they make to the economy.”

The Association has a website dedicated to highway safety, www.TruckersForSafety.com, and also participates in the Trucking Moves America Forward campaign. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is the only national trade association representing the interests of all professional truck drivers and small-business trucking companies. OOIDA was established in 1973 in the greater Kansas City, Mo. area and has grown to nearly 150,000 active members nationwide.

SOURCE Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

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