ATA president & CEO William Canary said that in nearly 30% of all fatal crashes in 2000, drivers were either exceeding posted speed limits or driving too fast for conditions. According to federal highway safety reports, speed-related crashes claimed over 12,000 lives last year.
"Speeding is, by everyone's account, one of the most prevalent contributing factors in traffic crashes on our nation's highways," Canary said at the International Truck and Bus Safety Symposium in Knoxville, TN yesterday. "The human cost should be unacceptable to all of us."
Canary called for increased funding and better targeting of federal safety programs, including the Highway Safety Grant program of NHTSA. While Canary agreed the current NHTSA Section 402 program does an important job of encouraging occupant protection devices and reducing impaired driving, he said the trucking industry is concerned that strong, visible speed enforcement for cars and trucks may not be getting the focus and attention it deserves.
He added that FMCSA's Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program, though a generally successful truck and bus safety inspection program, is not putting enough emphasis on traffic safety efforts, particularly strong speed enforcement.