ATA supports commercial driver texting ban proposal

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) applauds Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood for his ongoing dedication to combating distracted driving. ATA strongly supports the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) proposal of a permanent rule to prohibit text messaging on handheld devices by interstate commercial truck and bus drivers.

“Improving highway safety is one of the trucking industry’s top priorities, and ATA greatly appreciates DOT’s commitment to instituting rules that encourage safe driving behaviors,” said Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer. “Prohibiting the use of handheld wireless devices by commercial drivers to send or receive text messages while driving is an important next step to further the actions our industry has already taken.”

Many ATA member fleets have already adopted company policies designed to reduce distractions while driving, and manufacturers of in-cab communication devices include mechanisms that “lock out” the device or system while the vehicle is in motion.

ATA supports states’ efforts to ban texting by automobile drivers and will continue to work with affiliated state trucking associations and stakeholder groups to make that happen. As proof of the trucking industry’s highway safety progress, over the past five years the truck-involved fatality rate has declined 22%, the truck-involved injury rate has declined 25%, and both are at record lows.

Visit www.truckline.com/safety to view ATA’s entire safety agenda.

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