As a longtime truck accident attorney, I agree with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s recent call on Congress NOT to cut commercial motor vehicle safety program funding. Money may be tight, but a rise in fatal truck wrecks would be too high a price to pay for a balanced budget.
“We are finally heading in the right direction, with a downward trend in heavy truck fatalities,” the CVSA’s President, Captain Steve Dowling, told members of Congress recently. “With the economy picking up and highway traffic increasing, I don’t believe we could continue that trend if the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program and state safety grant funds are cut.”
Addressing the Congressional Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, Dowling warned that trying to cut the deficit by trimming safety programs would end recent progress in reducing truck accidents and related fatalities.
Data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration data shows that roadside inspections and traffic enforcement produce measurable safety improvements. The CVSA points to this as evidence that such efforts are a good use of tax dollars.
“Through targeted investments, we can improve upon our successes and provide the necessary tools for enhancing enforcement’s ability to remove the unsafe operators from the road,” said Dowling. “We recommend making the safety grant programs more flexible and streamlining the administrative and delivery processes to reflect the reality of today.”
He outlined several areas for improvement in carrier safety programs, including: Flexibility and Streamlining of Motor Carrier Safety Grant Programs, Maintenance of Effort (MOE), Truck Size and Weight, Motor Carrier Safety Technologies, Carrier Exemptions from Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, Carrier Registration, Credentialing and Data Integrity, and Bus Safety.