Tuesday marked the end of the Truck Safety Coalition’s (TSC) Sorrow
to Strength conference. The four-day event features remembrance of those
who’ve been injured or lost their lives due to truck accidents as
well as, workshops and meetings with members of Congress and Department
of Transportation officials to discuss truck safety issues.
Proposed legislation seeks to freeze truck height and weight limits and
to develop enforcement programs.
The event included the gathering of dozens of survivors of truck accident
fatalities and injuries and their families, truck safety advocates and,
members of Congress in support of the Safe Highways and Infrastructure
Preservation Act (SHIPA) which proposes to freeze truck size and weight
limits, close loopholes that permit the operation of overweight trucks,
and establish an enforcement program to ensure compliance of size and
weight limits by truck operators.
According to a statement released by Joan Claybrook, Chair of Citizens
for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH), more than 4,000 individuals are
killed on U.S. highways every year. Despite this, trucking and shipping
interests continually urge Congress to allow heavier trucks on U.S. roadways.
Participants hope that the passage of SHIPA will put an end to this.
Survey shows that Americans are overwhelmingly opposed to heavier trucks.
A national poll recently conducted on behalf of TSC by Lake Research Partners
reveals that Americans overwhelmingly support truck weight limits and
don’t want to be held accountable as taxpayers for funding infrastructure
damages that are caused when heavy trucks cause accidents on U.S. roadways.
According to the poll, 68 percent of those surveyed said they opposed
heavier trucks, with 47 percent stating that they strongly opposed increased
weight limits. In addition, 88 percent of respondents said they did not
want to pay higher taxes in order to pay for damage caused by heavier
trucks, which 75 percent stating that they were strongly opposed to increased taxes.
Georgia cited amongst worst states for truck safety.
In addition to the poll, TSC recently released a report that ranks states
on truck accident fatalities for 2011. The report found that the fifteen
states with the worst truck accident fatality rates are: North Dakota,
Wyoming, Montana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Mississippi, New Mexico, Kansas,
Indiana, Alabama, Kentucky, Iowa, South Carolina, West Virginia, and Georgia.
Yesterday’s attendees included Kate Brown of Illinois. Her son was
hit by a drunk and drugged truck driver in 2005. After 22 surgeries, he
remains permanently partially disabled. His healthcare costs have amounted
to over 1.3 million dollars and exceeded the truck company’s insurance
policy. Brown pointed out that while trucks have gotten bigger and heavier,
insurance policy minimums have remained the same for the past 30 years.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a
truck accident, you should contact an attorney immediately. An attorney can help protect
your legal rights and ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve.