Safety Belt Partnership Meeting
Thursday, July 8, 2004
Lives are being saved because roadside inspections conducted by CVSA-certified inspectors take place every day throughout North America. As evidence to this fact, in the United States, the rate of fatalities from large truck-involved crashes per 100 million vehicle miles in 1985 was 4.6. In 2002, it had dropped to 2.3 - a 50 percent decline. We support the FMCSA Goal of reducing, by 41%, the fatality rate of those involved in commercial vehicle crashes - to a level of 1.65 per 100 million miles by 2008. It is an ambitious goal, but one that is attainable and worth working for. We are on track to meet this goal.
It is people who are making this happen. Over the next several days, you will see 10,000 law enforcement officers all across North America inspecting commercial drivers and vehicles. They will inspect about 60,000 drivers and vehicles over a 72 hour period. These individuals have diverse backgrounds and are from all walks of life, and yet, when it comes to their work, they unite as one. Everyone is inspecting to the same standard - every time. Industry expects that from us, and we deliver. The training and certification standards that inspectors are required to adhere to are critical for ensuring uniformity and reciprocity, these standards are the hallmarks of CVSA.
Roadcheck is not just a 72-hour activity - it is happening every day, in every community, in every part of North America. In 2003, more than 3 million North American Standard Inspections were conducted throughout the continent. This was accomplished at the more than 1,400 fixed facilities and by numerous officers working in mobile patrols.
Inspectors are not only out on the roads enforcing the law. They also are appearing at public events, talking in your children's schools and classrooms, at driver education training programs and to politicians and transportation interests in your communities. This is all in the name of educating people about the importance of safety and saving lives. This year's Roadcheck will include the distribution of more than 200,000 pieces of educational literature to drivers during inspections.
A key emphasis area for this year's Roadcheck is safety belts. As the other speakers have noted, the statistics indicate we have a problem on our hands with commercial drivers. CVSA is taking a proactive approach to dealing with this problem, by providing drivers with educational information and encouraging our members to aggressively enforce the federal law that has been on the books for quite some time. Through the Safety Belt Partnership established late last year by Secretary Mineta, we believe much good will come. In fact, there are positive outputs already from this group - the poster you see to my left is just one such example.
I would be remiss if I did not recognize the important and vital role that the industry plays in safety and security. The motor carriers who have integrated safety and security into their corporate culture are also successful and profitable. Evidence of this fact is the record of CVSA Member motor carriers; their driver Out-of-Service rate is 40% of the national average, their vehicle Out-of-Service rate is 50% of the national average, and their crash rate is 75% of the national average. This record speaks for itself.
Delivered by Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance President Lt. Paul Claunch, Arkansas Highway Police
7/8/2004 9:00 AM