The US DOT recently announced its National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS) to outline the Department’s comprehensive approach to significantly reducing serious injuries and deaths on our Nation’s highways, roads, and streets. In its publication, the DOT indicated this is the first step in working toward an ambitious long-term goal of reaching zero roadway fatalities. With respect to FMCSA’s area of responsibility, the strategy identified six activities that FMCSA will either lead, or share the lead on, implementing:

  1. Address risky driving behaviors;
  2. Implement a rule requiring licensing action for drivers with drug or alcohol violations;
  3. Implement rules to improve accuracy of CDL records and enable electronic records exchange;
  4. Improve equity in traffic enforcement through training;
  5. Increase CMV traffic enforcement in high crash locations; and
  6. Consider rulemaking to upgrade rear impact guards on new trailers and semi-trailers.

While DOT mentions there will be collaboration among the modes in many other strategies, STC was hoping to see more specific and targeted initiatives to address the persistent problem of large truck and bus-related crashes and fatalities. While we understand the large undertaking the development of the NRSS has been and will continue to be, there are many opportunities for improving safety – and we look forward to engaging with FMCSA and DOT in this conversation. Indeed, the DOT has noted in it NRSS announcement it is starting a “Call to Action” campaign in order to engage with stakeholders to commit to specific and tangible actions to significantly advance safety.

STC looks forward to working with the federal government in this regard and supporting its efforts and those of the states to get to zero fatalities. STC plans to use this forum to begin offering helpful suggestions on ways targeted initiatives we feel will move the needle on safety.