Tag Archives: how you can help

Tools For Getting Your Local Media On Board With Vision Zero & Underride Research

In the aftermath of our crash, we have found ourselves walking a path we had not anticipated–safety advocacy. We have discovered the importance of raising awareness and gaining support in order to bring about life-saving changes.

After all, we had no idea about what truck underride guards were before May 4, 2013. How could we expect anyone else to know about them and understand what we were talking about unless we found every way imaginable to inform and motivate them to care about this issue–thankfully, never as much as we do.

So what I would like to talk about here is what you can do about it once you (the reader) better understand the ideas and importance behind our quest for Vision Zero, underride guards, and crash avoidance technology.

Specifically, what you can do is:

  1. Become informed about what we are talking about so incessantly.
  2. Read our Vision Zero Petition.  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/417/742/234/save-lives-not-dollars-urge-dot-to-adopt-vision-zero-policy/
  3. Read even more about Vision Zero:

    For more information on Vision Zero: http://annaleahmary.com/tag/vision-zero//

    “Towards Zero – There’s no one someone won’t miss.” https://youtu.be/bsyvrkEjoXI

  4. Sign our Vision Zero Petition. (Never doubt the power of 1.)
  5. Share our Vision Zero Petition through talking to people about it, emailing, using whatever social media with which you are comfortable. (There are Sharing icons on The Petition Site.)
  6. Read our new website, AnnaLeah & Mary for Truck Safety, which is dedicated to informing about underride guards and raising money for underride research and an Underride Roundtable to bring about the best underride protection by bringing together engineers, industry representatives, government officials, safety advocates, insurance companies, victims & their families, and the media.  https://www.fortrucksafety.com/ and http://annaleahmary.com/underride-guards/
  7. Donate to the research. (Every $1 counts.)
  8. Share the website with others.
  9. Share both of these projects with your local media.
  • When possible, look up your local media and make direct contact with them through a phone call, email, or through an online Contact Form.
  • This site has a lot of tools for reaching local media, including a map of the U.S. which allows you to click on your state and then your city and find local media.  http://sparkaction.org/act/media
  • Click on COMPOSE MESSAGE on that site.
  • Once you locate who you can contact in your community, I have written a couple of press releases for you to share with them: Press Release from ALMFTS Vision Zero and Underride Research and Press Release for the Underride Research Fundraising Campaign . These can be copied and pasted into the form provided online on that site.
  • Be sure to let them know how important this is to you and your community as well.
  • Consider making a follow-up phone call.
  • For whatever you are able to do, thank you! And I’d love to hear about it.

We have made numerous contacts with the media as our story has been shared. But we cannot be in your community. Next week there will be an article in our local Rocky Mount newspaper. I will share the link for that with you and you can pass that along to your local media as well.  We are asking you to be an extension of our national plea for the best possible protection.

Note–The news story has now been published online:  https://www.rockymounttelegram.com/news/advocates-garnering-signatures-3009111

This is not just some freak problem that will never affect you or someone you love. In fact, a Vision Zero policy in DOT rulemaking could make a big impact in not just truck safety but auto safety as well. Decisions about safety should not be led by profit. Cost/benefit analysis can never adequately measure the value of human life and health.

And, once we establish that our Vision is to reduce crash deaths one life at a time, then we can better hold corporate and government officials accountable. No longer will they be able to sweep unpleasant information about the results of defects and flaws under the rug. No longer can they justify decisions and actions which lead to unnecessary tragedy and/or deny that human life was the cost that was paid.


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Gertie reaching for Mary ...Susanna's film

URGENT: Express Your Opposition to Longer Hours for Truck Drivers


THE FOLLOWING MESSAGE IS FROM THE Truck Safety Coalition (December 4, 2014). . .

Right now, Appropriations Committee Leaders are deliberating over whether to include a provision to increase truck driver weekly work hours from 70 to 82 hours, and reduce their rest time, each week. This provision was originally introduced by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) as an amendment. We sent out an action alert this morning asking you to reach out to Appropriations Committee Leaders to express your opposition to longer hours and less rest for truck drivers. Please call all if you can, but if you are limited on time, please reach out to as many as possible. I have attached their contact information at the end of this email. Each call should only take a few minutes and I have included talking points below:

Talking Points:

  1. According to the U.S. DOT, in 2012, each day, on average, 11 people died in truck crashes and 200 more were injured.
  2. Truck driver fatigue has been recognized as a major safety concern and a contributing factor to fatal truck crashes for over 70 years.
  3. FMCSA studies have shown that 65 percent of truck drivers report that they often or sometimes feel drowsy while driving and nearly half of truck drivers admit that they had actually fallen asleep while driving in the previous year.
  4. Truck driving is consistently listed as one of the top ten most dangerous jobs in the U.S. In 2011, fatalities among large truck occupants increased 20 percent, and by another 9 percent in 2012.

The Collins Amendment would weaken the HOS rule and:

  • Dramatically increase the allowable working hours of truck drivers from the current average of about 70 hours a week to more than 80 hours a week. This is equivalent to adding an additional work day to the work week of a truck driver.
  • Allow shippers and supervisors to once again push drivers to work an average work week of up to 82 hours every week. This is double the normal work week of the average American worker and without any overtime pay or compensation.

The current HOS rule will:

  • Prevent approximately 1,400 crashes each year – saving 19 lives and avoiding 560 injuries;
  • Provide $280 million in annual savings from fewer crashes and $470 million in annual savings from improved driver health (i.e., reduced mortality).

The current HOS rule DOES NOT:

  • Restrict a driver from driving at night. In fact, the current rule places no restrictions on when a truck driver must drive. Unless a driver is absolutely maxing out their driving time and trying to drive more than the 60 or 70 hours currently permitted, there is also no restriction on when they have to take a break.
  • Moreover, the rule does not specify when that driver must go back on the road after the break. Add More Trucks to the road. Changes to the requirements for rest periods do not have any effect on the amount of freight shipped.
  • A recent survey conducted by Lake Research Partners shows an overwhelming majority of the American public is aware of the dangers of truck driver fatigue and rationally opposes legislative efforts to increase truck driver working hours. This opposition is broad, spanning all demographic, geographic and political groups.


  • has strong bipartisan support;
  • is strong in all regions of the country; and,
  • is strong across gender, and racial and ethnic backgrounds.

Thank you for all your work. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Senate Leaders: Appropriations Chairwoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) brigid_houton@appropriations.senate.gov    202-224-4654

Appropriations Ranking Member Richard Shelby (R-AL) jay_dunn@shelby.senate.gov    202-224-5744

Appropriations THUD Subcommittee Chairwoman Patty Murray (D-WA) carrie_gage@murray.senate.gov      202-224-2621

House Leaders:

Appropriations Chairman Hal Rodgers (R-KY) shannon.rickett@mail.house.gov                  202-225-4601

Appropriations Ranking Member Nita Lowey (D-NY) drew.jacoby@mail.house.gov         202-225-6506

Appropriations THUD Subcommittee Chairman Tom Latham (R-IA) doug.bobbitt@mail.house.gov    202-225-5476

Appropriations THUD Subcommittee Ranking Member Ed Pastor (D-AZ) doug.gascon@mail.house.gov    202-225-4065

Petition Update

Petition Photo Bags at DOT, best

The AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up for Truck Safety Petition is recorded in the Public Comments for the Electronic Logging Devices Rule in the Federal Register: http://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=FMCSA-2010-0167-1177 (You can easily view the names & comments by opening the Multiple Commenters XLS Spreadsheet–Sheet 1–at the bottom of that page.)

We are thankful for Care2 for providing a means for us to publicize our petition for truck safety to a large audience. We are thankful for the many people who responded to our request.

A Note From the Truck Safety Coalition: “To continue to receive updates on the Karth family’s advocacy, including opportunities to advance underride guard protection, minimum insurance requirements and ELDs, as the Karth family did in their petition, please go to http://trucksafety.org/karth-family-washington-dc/ and fill out the contact information at the bottom of the page. The Truck Safety Coalition appreciates your interest and hopes that you will continue to support actions to improve truck safety issues and help protect our families.”

Thank you for signing our petition for truck safety in memory of AnnaLeah and Mary Karth. Eight members of our family traveled to Washington, DC, to deliver over 11,000 petitions one year after the crash that killed AnnaLeah and Mary Karth.

We were able to deliver all of the petitions to the top two administrative officials, Anne Ferro (FMCSA) and David Friedman (NHTSA), in the Department of Transportation in Washington, DC, on May 5, 2014—one year after our crash. We then had an hour-long meeting with DOT.

Basically, we were really well received. The 11,000 petitions will be put on the Public Comment record for each of the 3 issues. And it appears that the DOT is making positive movements toward truck safety, but many of these changes will still take years to accomplish.

From the DOT meeting notes:  “After speaking with reporters, we proceeded with the bags of petitions into DOT for our meeting. Ferro had the Karths officially present the petition, she accepted it on behalf of DOT, and then the meeting began. The meeting addressed the three petition issues:  minimum insurance, underride guards and Electronic Logging Devices.

Attending from DOT:   Anne Ferro, Administrator, FMCSA; David Friedman, Acting Administrator, NHTSA; Bill Bronrott, Deputy Administrator, FMCSA; Jack Van Steenburg, Chief Safety Officer & Assistant Administrator, FMCSA; Kevin Vincent, Chief Counsel, NHTSA; Lori Summers, Director, Office of Crashworthiness Standards, NHTSA”

Here are links to media and photos:

Here is a link to make public comment on Electronic Logging Devices:


Please be sure to periodically check our website, http://annaleahmary.com/, for future updates and ways that you can help us keep pushing for safer roads for us all.

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