Rising Truck Fatalities Prompt New Focus on Safety

Fatal truck crashes are on the rise, prompting lawmakers to include long-awaited safety measures in proposed legislation, according to an article on NJ.com. The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee is working on a federal transportation policy that includes automated braking and lane warning systems among other truck safety measures.

The number of people killed in truck crashes rose 50 percent in New Jersey, from 2010-19, reported the article. During that same time frame, deaths from accidents involving large trucks rose 36 percent. Rep. Peter DeFazio, chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, notes that the proposed legislation will address the rising number of fatal truck accidents nationwide.

The House committee has heard from a coalition of safety groups, including the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), which listed automatic braking and limiting truck speeds among its 10 most wanted safety features. While some safety improvements were included in the $1.5 trillion federal transportation bill passed during last Congress, none have yet been put into law. In the past, recommendations from the NTSB have been largely ignored due to industry opposition, noted the article.

The transportation policy is part of the infrastructure bill requested by President Biden. GOP lawmakers who seek less spending may stand in the way of approval and/or pay for the proposal in corporate tax cut rollbacks. Rep. DeFazio hopes to bring the proposed legislation to the House floor before July 4.

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