National Tank Truck Carriers and the American Trucking Associations were among industry groups welcoming the June 3 announcement by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that it would soon require new commercial trucks to be equipped with electronic stability control systems (ECS).
NHTSA announced that it was, in 2017, going to be requiring electronic stability control systems on all large trucks, and estimated that such a mandate could prevent more than 1,700 crashes annually.
“The collective membership of NTTC applauds this announcement from NHTSA requiring electronic stability control technology for new tractors starting in 2017,” says Dan Furth, NTTC president. “Our executive committee adopted a supportive ESC policy back in 2008, and it has been a major tenet of our advocacy efforts ever since. While it certainly takes some time for the deliberative process to work here in Washington DC, this is an excellent outcome that will beget legitimate safety improvements to our industry and the motoring public at large.”
American Trucking Associations President and Chief Executive Officer Bill Graves said: “Ensuring the safety of America’s highways has always been ATA’s highest calling, and we’ve long known the positive role technology can play in making our vehicles and our roads safer. This announcement by NHTSA will reduce crashes on our highways and make our industry safer.”
ATA Executive Vice-President Dave Osiecki said: “Last month, NHTSA reported to Congress that truck rollover and passenger ejection were the greatest threats to truck driver safety. We can save lives by preventing rollovers with electronic stability control technology, and that’s a positive for our industry. Many fleets have already begun voluntarily utilizing this technology and this new requirement will only speed that process.”
The final rule announced June 3 requires ESC systems on heavy trucks and large buses exceeding 26,000 pounds in gross weight. Compliance will be tested using a “J-turn” test that replicates a curved highway off-ramp. It will take effect for most heavy trucks two years from publication. The requirement will take effect in three years for buses larger than 33,000 pounds and four years for those weighing between 26,000 and 33,000 pounds.