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Commercial truck safety draws close attention of U.S. senator

Reasonable drivers across Maricopa County and throughout the rest of Arizona literally steer clear of commercial truckers to the fullest extent possible as they ply the state’s freeways and interstates.

And, of course, there is good reason for drivers of passenger vehicles to be prudent — in fact, hyper vigilant — around large trucks such as tractor trailers and 18-wheel rigs.

Because they’re veritable monsters on the roadway.

Commercial truck drivers take a comparatively long time to stop their vehicles. Their blind spots are larger. And when large rigs strike another vehicle, their outsized dimensions often render the results truly catastrophic.

Commercial truck accidents and attendant safety matters were clearly on the mind of one national legislator who recently introduced a mutli-pronged bill calling for sweeping changes in the trucking industry.

Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) has a reason to be concerned with truck safety, given his status as the ranking member of the Senate’s Commerce Committee Surface Transportation subpanel. The particulars of Booker’s bill and would-be law address myriad safety-related matters, including the following:

  • A proposal to increase the minimum insurance coverage carried for commercial trucks by double the current amount
  • A guarantee that truckers will be paid for all the hours they work
  • A requirement to install speed-governing devices
  • A mandate for installing crash-avoidance systems

The American Trucking Associations (the nation’s largest commercial trucking advocacy group) agrees that speed-limiting technology should be in place on commercial trucks, but disagrees with other aspects of Booker’s bill.

The legislation requires further discussion and endorsement in Congress en route to its enactment as law. The next procedural step requires scrutiny of the bill in Booker’s committee.

Source: Transport Topics Online, “Sen. Cory Booker introduces trucking safety legislation,” Eugene Mulero, July 10, 2015

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