FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 23, 2022
CONTACT: Pete Daniels / firstname.lastname@example.org / 301-442-2249 (C)
Statement of Cathy Chase, President, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates), on FY 2023 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations
U.S. House Committee on Appropriations urged to preserve legislation advanced by THUD Subcommittee, which is free of anti-safety riders
Today the U.S. House Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies advanced legislation funding the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and other agencies for fiscal year (FY) 2023. Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety (Advocates) commends Chairman David Price (D-NC) and the Subcommittee for moving a “clean” bill free of provisions that would degrade safety on our nation’s already dangerous and deadly roadways. We also laud the Subcommittee for fully meeting the authorized levels in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA, Pub. Law 117-58) for critical safety programs. We urge the House Appropriations Committee to maintain the integrity of the bill.
The State of Large Truck Safety:
- 5,601 people were killed in large truck crashes in 2021, an alarming 13 percent increase from the previous year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
- Since 2009, the number of fatalities in large truck crashes has increased by 66 percent.
- Nearly 147,000 people were injured in crashes involving a large truck in 2020.
- The cost to society from commercial motor vehicle (CMV) crashes was estimated to be $163 billion in 2019, the latest year for which data is available. This amounts to over $180 billion when adjusted solely for inflation.
- According to the U.S. Department of Labor, truck driving is one of the most dangerous occupations in the United States.
As the appropriations process moves forward, it is imperative that current safety protections be preserved. Special interest carve-outs for segments of the trucking industry have no place “riding” on an important funding bill. Exemptions to hours-of-service (HOS) or electronic logging device (ELD) rules would exacerbate the well-known and well-documented problem of truck driver fatigue. We urge the Committee to reject attempts to allow these rules to be evaded, circumvented, or diluted. Similarly, any increases to truck size and weight limits, including for certain states, routes and industries, must be declined.
Any weakening of truck safety rules would imperil all road users at a time when deaths on our roads are reaching historic highs.
Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety is an alliance of consumer, medical, public health, law enforcement and safety groups and insurance companies and agents working together to make America’s roads safer. Advocates’ mission is the adoption of federal and state laws, policies and programs that prevent motor vehicle crashes, save lives, reduce injuries, and contain costs.