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WASHINGTON, May 13, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, a unique partnership between insurance companies and agents, public health, safety and consumer groups, announces that The Clarence M. Ditlow III Safety Champion Award has been presented to Steve and Susan Owings, co- founders of Road Safe America.
“Steve and Susan suffered an unimaginable loss on December 1, 2002, when their son Cullum was killed in a crash involving a speeding truck. Shortly thereafter, they began Road Safe America and have been working tirelessly ever since to prevent families from experiencing tragedies like the one they have endured,” said Jason Levine, Executive Director of the Center for Auto Safety.
Since its founding, Road Safe America has been focused on having federal rules changed that have already been put in place in many leading countries and led to safer roads as the result, while truck crash deaths have continued to increase here.
“It is a sad fact that in the U.S. we have on average more than 1,000 big-rig crashes each day, resulting in more than 90 deaths per week and over 10,000 injuries each month, many of which could have easily been avoided,” declared Steve Owings.
Road Safe America calls attention to the results of a national survey showing, not surprisingly, that voters across the United States overwhelmingly support the required use of two safety technologies in large trucks: speed limiters and automatic emergency braking.
“Required use of speed limiters and automatic emergency braking technology on heavy big-rigs definitely will make our highways safer for everyone, including truck drivers,” Owings says. “What’s at stake? Your future and the future of everyone you love.”
If the common-sense arguments in favor of mandating use of existing speed limiting technology for heavy trucks aren’t enough, there is also a compelling economic argument. While the cost in lives and injuries is a shameful national tragedy, bleeding our economy of $134 billion in commercial vehicle crash-related costs year after year is inexcusable and fiscally irresponsible.
“Unlike many other leading nations, our country does not require the use of automatic emergency braking or speed limiters on big trucks. In fact, required use of speed limiters on tractor-trailers is so prevalent around the world that they have been built into America’s big-rig trucks since the 1990s. So, all that is needed is a requirement to turn them on and set them at a reasonable top speed, such as 65 mph.
Speed governors improve truck safety by limiting the top speed a truck can travel, thereby giving a truck driver the ability to stop, or nearly stop, in an emergency thus avoiding a crash or reducing the severity of crashes that do still occur. Most big-rigs already use them for this same reason and because doing so saves fuel and wear and tear on the vehicle, improving profitability.
ABOUT ROAD SAFE AMERICA
Road Safe America is dedicated to reducing the injuries and deaths resulting from collisions between tractor-trailer trucks and passenger vehicles.
We are supported by private donations and have no financial ties to any part of the transportation industry. We are not anti-truck or anti-trucker. We are pro-safety.
Andrew Bowen, APR