Full audio recording of the press call:
Contact: Bill Bronrott, 202-270-4415, firstname.lastname@example.org
May 18, 2016
Victims of Tired Trucker Crashes in ME, AL, GA and IL Join a Truck Driver and Safety Advocates to Call on Congress to Stop the Attacks on Truck Safety
Tired Trucker Provisions in Transportation Spending Bills on Senate Floor This Week, Marked-Up Wednesday Morning in House Appropriations Subcommittee. Both Bills Repeal Obama Administration Hours of Service Rule for Truck Drivers.
No Congressional Hearings, No Scientific Review, No Public Input – No Problem if it’s for the Trucking Industry
More Driving and Work Hours + Less Rest Hours = More Crashes, Deaths and Injuries
White House Issues Veto Threat Citing Tired Trucker Provision
This week, the Fiscal Year 2017 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Bill (H.R. 2577) is being debated on the U.S. Senate Floor. Wednesday morning the House began consideration of its spending bill in the House Appropriations Subcommittee on THUD. Both bills include special truck interest provisions that dramatically increase the working and driving hours of truck drivers. The Senate bill even expands on the provision pushed by Senator Collins in the last two spending bills to write into law a new 73-hour cap on the weekly driving hours of truck drivers. The Obama Administration set a 60-hour weekly driving limit. Both the House and Senate provisions stopping the Obama rule were slipped into the must-pass U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) funding bill with no discussion or debate, no independent expert review and no public input. Yesterday, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued a statement threatening a veto of the Senate bill and its “potential to undercut public safety.”
Truck driver fatigue is a well-known and well-documented safety problem identified by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), U.S. DOT and decades of research. Less than two weeks ago, there were two serious large truck crashes involving tired truckers in Nashville, TN and Charlotte, NC. Each year about 4,000 people are killed in truck crashes and nearly 100,000 more injured. The NTSB included reducing fatigue related crashes on its 2016 Most Wanted List. Crash victims, law enforcement, trucking industry representatives, and safety advocates oppose these back room deals cut to benefit trucking industry profits at the expense of public safety.
Craig and Kathy Clark, Powder Springs, GA, daughter Emily Clark was killed with four other Georgia Southern nursing students when a truck driver with a history of falling asleep at the wheel ploughed over their car. Please click here for the full statement.
Daphne Izer, Lisbon, ME, Co-Founder of Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT), has been advocating for truck safety since her 17-year-old son, Jeff, was killed on the Maine Turnpike by a tired Wal-Mart truck driver who fell asleep at the wheel and ran over the top of the car, killing four. Please click here for the full statement.
Dana Logan, Cedar Hill, TX, Truck Driver, survived a multiple vehicle truck crash, caused by a fatigued truck driver who had fallen asleep, resulting in the death of five people. Please click here for the full statement.
IL State Trooper Douglas J. Balder suffered life threatening burns and injuries when a tired trucker smashed into his patrol car, exploding the gas tank. Please click here for the full statement.
Keiuna Davis, Savannah, GA, wife Jamila Davis was killed on her way home from work in Madison County, AL in the afternoon of February 12, 2016, when a fatigued truck driver, who had fallen asleep, crossed an interstate median into Jamila’s lane of traveling and hit her vehicle. Please click here for the full statement.
Jackie Gillan, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
Cathy Chase, Vice President of Governmental Affairs, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety
Joan Claybrook, Chair, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH), and former Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Please click here for the full statement.
Special trucking interests are seeking to, once again, overturn the Obama Administration hours of service rule and rewrite a complicated and controversial rule in a must-pass spending bill to benefit corporate trucking interests at the expense of public safety. Over the past four years for which data is available (2009-2013), there was a 17% increase in deaths and a 28% increase in injuries from large truck crashes. In 2013 alone, the economic cost of truck crashes exceeded $100 billion. (U.S. DOT)