In a continuing bid to reduce operating expenses, the American Trucking Assns. is looking to the private sector to fund various "image" campaigns on behalf of the trucking industry. One of those campaigns, a highway safety program called "Share the Road," will now be funded by Mack Trucks.

"Share the Road" is a travelling road show made up of professional truck drivers who demonstrate how to share the road safely with tractor-trailers. It replaces ATA's previous highway safety effort, "How to Drive," which the trucking lobbyist group sponsored in cooperation with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's "No Zone" effort.

The "Share the Road" campaign plans to visit 25 cities.

One goal of this highway-safety effort is to raise awareness of truck blind spots, as well as turning space and stopping distance requirements of commercial vehicles. According to ATA, this kind of information is critical since the majority of collisions between trucks and cars result from actions by the driver of the car. For example, 35% of all truck-related auto fatalities occur in tractor-trailer blind spots.

Though the cost of sponsoring the program wasn't discussed, Mack believes the message behind the "Share the Road" campaign far any outweighs financial concerns.

"It's important that the industry's professional drivers have the opportunity to share their safety skills and expertise with other motorists," said Michel Gigou, Mack's president and CEO.