Tag Archives: bipartisan solutions

Truck Underride 101: Part V. Bipartisan Discussion of Legislative Strategy

WHY IS THIS SO IMPORTANT? Because it is not necessarily always the collision of a passenger vehicle with a large truck which causes horrific deaths and injuries but rather the collision of the truck with the passenger occupant space in the SECOND COLLISION which occurs with truck underride. This is what we aim to end.

Becoming educated about underride was not a direction I had planned on going with my life and time. But I have gained a great deal of knowledge related to the fact that AnnaLeah’s and Mary’s deaths (and Roya’s, too, along with countless other individual loved ones) might have been prevented had adequate underride protection been on the truck, into which our sturdy Crown Vic crashed — along with the fact that many more countless, unknown individuals will die unless this country takes decisive action.

This information, along with my unresolved grief due to the frustration of knowing that years have gone by without effective protection, fuels my efforts to work collaboratively to bring about widespread and significant change. It is now my aim to equip everyone with the same information — without the accompanying unwanted grief.

It has actually been encouraging for Lois Durso and I to see the extent of interest from the trucking industry, NTSB, DOT, and Congressional leaders — including both the Senate Commerce, Science & Transportation Committee members and the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee members. And our meetings and discussions have included both Republican and Democratic Offices.

We have appreciated the degree of engagement in discussion and the enlightenment taking place as we share detailed information about the underride problem and its promising solutions. We are excited to see the needle moving as we continue to push for bipartisan collaboration to get a stand-alone bill introduced and passed in order to end this decades-old public health problem.

V. Bipartisan Discussion of Legislative Strategy

  1. Legislative Process and Discussion Handouts: Bipartisan Discussion RAMCUP Handouts FOR RAMCUP Draft 15 with Cover (knowing that our draft will be fine-tuned to be the best legislative package to achieve our objective); See more information here: 2 Moms, Sick & Tired of Waiting, Draft Truck Underride Legislation 

  2. Non-negotiables for RAMCUP: 

    a. Keep it comprehensive; don’t divide it up into separate bills or amendments or rulemaking.

    b. Mandate the establishment of a committee to oversee underride protection (COUP) rulemaking (include at least two victim advocates).

    c. Specific deadlines for rulemaking timeline (due to The Glacial Pace of Truck Underride Improvements (along with countless other safety issues) )

    d. Research $ to determine the outer limits of underride protection.

    e. Strongly encourage the development of a voluntary truck safety certification program to include certification of underride protection (COUP).

  3. COUP/COUP: Upon reflection, it is my belief that the system for arriving at regulations has been working harder to protect the industry from liability than to protect road users from harm. Furthermore, this has led to a non-transparent process for arriving at appropriate and effective safety measures.
    In stark contrast, the crafting of this bill, the Roya, AnnaLeah & Mary Comprehensive Underride Protection Act of 2017, was based upon extensive research and the gathering of experts and interested parties over the last four years,
    · first of all, at the Underride Roundtable at IIHS on May 5, 2016;
    · secondly, through a follow-up meeting at IIHS on June 24, 2016, to hammer out details of the Rear Underride Guard specifications then submitted to NHTSA on August 8, 2016, and IIHS Underride Test Protocol submitted to NHTSA on December 23, 2016;
    · and third, through a continued discussion among engineering experts which led to the Comprehensive Underride Consensus Petition presented to Secretary Foxx on September 23, 2016 (see attached) — upon which this Bill is based.
    These discussions involved trucking industry representatives, including Ted Scott, VP of Engineering for the American Trucking Associations (ATA), and Gary Fenton, who is VP of Engineering for Stoughton Trailers and Chairman of the Engineering Committee for the Truck Trailer Manufacturers Association (TTMA). Participants also have included engineering experts from universities, international experts in truck underride, and two engineers who have designed side guards which have
    recently been successfully tested.
    In my humble opinion, the interests of this country would best be served if this group would be formally recognized and commissioned to work with NHTSA and to develop the specifications for the final comprehensive underride protection rule. Why re-invent the wheel? Why delay the process any longer than necessary? Wasted time translates into more unnecessary death and life-long grief.         AND
    The COUP truck safety certification program (modeled after the Transport for London FORS) could also be integrated into the comprehensive underride protection vision/scenario/strategy/bill:
    COUP (Certification Of Underride Protection). In order to get fully certified, a trucking company would have to get an award in each aspect of underride protection, including:
    1. Rear (Already introduced by the IIHS with their recent presentation of a ToughGuard award to five trailer manufacturers)
    2. Front
    3. Side
    4. Maintenance of underride devices (annual inspection and training in how to do pre-trip inspections of the devices)
    5. Training for drivers in what to do and not do in terms of parking and U-turns
    6. Other (whatever I am forgetting right now)
    This would be required for ALL trucks, including Single Unit Trucks (Straight, Box).
    I plan to add this aspect to the drafted bill, along with a mandate for establishment of a Committee of Experts to Oversee This.

  4. FORS Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme: It is my recommendation that this comprehensive underride protection mandate work hand in hand with a truck safety certification program and I am taking steps to help the ball get rolling on this.

Truck Underride 101: Discussion Topics

I. When Will We Tackle Truck Underride?

Truck Underride 101: I. When Will We Tackle Truck Underride?

II. Why Comprehensive Underride Protection? 

Truck Underride 101: II. Why Comprehensive Underride Protection?

III. Cost Benefit Analysis, Underride Rulemaking, and Vision Zero

 Truck Underride 101: Part III. Cost Benefit Analysis, Underride Rulemaking, and Vision Zero

IV. Win/Win

Truck Underride 101: Part IV Win/Win

V. Bipartisan Discussion of Legislative Strategy

Truck Underride 101: Part V. Bipartisan Discussion of Legislative Strategy

Lifelong Republican questions party support of industry profit vs bipartisan solutions to save lives

As a lifelong Republican and mom of two who were the innocent victims of Vehicle Safety Wars, I have observed the “Republican” support of Industry Profit rather than Preservation of Human Life.

Republicans generally oppose government involvement and regulation. The problem I have with that is the reality which I have painfully discovered that “safety is not an accident” — it doesn’t just happen by itself. Without rules and regulations and enforcement and justice and requirements, chaos and injury and death are more likely to occur.

I have previously written posts on this topic. . .

Face-to-face with our congressman, George Holding, to discuss truck safety concerns :

I shared with Congressman Holding that I had grown up as a Republican and was quite surprised after our crash to find out that, in general, the Republican party line related to truck safety legislation consistently appeared to be pro-trucking industry and anti-safety. I am puzzled why there cannot be bipartisan solutions to these issues.

http://annaleahmary.com/2014/07/truck-safety-needs-bipartisan-support-protecting-its-citizens-is-one-of-the-basic-purposes-of-government/ [I would have to say that I prefer smaller government. But I do think that protecting its citizens is one of the basic purposes of government. “Truck safety” is, for the most part, about protecting travelers on the road. It is a public health problem and should get bipartisan support. http://www.laissez-fairerepublic.com/benson.htm]

His response — a typical one — was that Republicans generally oppose government involvement and regulation. The problem I have with that is the reality which I have painfully discovered that “safety is not an accident” — it doesn’t just happen by itself. Without rules and regulations and enforcement and justice and requirements, chaos and injury and death are more likely to occur.

At least I have not seen a better alternative. Have you? . . 

Delivery of a Vision Zero Petition to Washington; What I have learned in our battle for safer roads:

Due to the complexity of the issue, no one is currently held accountable, responsible, or liable for preventing these deaths which occur upon collision of a passenger vehicle with a larger commercial motor vehicle. Remember, we are not talking here about who was to blame for the collision occurring in the first place.

Can we possibly find our way to work together in our great nation through the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of our government–in a cooperative, concerted effort with private industry, research engineers, safety advocates, and the insurance industry– to bring about the best possible protection for We the People?

Can we agree to share the costs of what the solution will require so that the burden of the problem is shifted from the victims, who experience life needlessly cut short or devastatingly changed by horrific injuries, and their families who are faced with unexpected, traumatic, too-often-bitter, and unending grief?

Right this minute, I must admit, I am discouraged right along with the many others who have tried to bring about change for decades. Nonetheless, I choose to remain hopeful that this is not insurmountable and that we are well on our way to victory as we continue to shed light on traffic safety problems and call for truth, justice, and mercy to prevail. . .

1a85etUnsafe Trucks