Fleetowner 26573 No 4 Truckinspection Top 2017 Ix 0

How to improve safety from the outside in

Feb. 14, 2018
Safety is a shared goal, and sharing means communication, education and outreach – long before the trooper and trucker meet at the side of the road.

We’ve all seen it: the highway trooper and the trucker at the side of the road. Popular media depicts the encounter as one between adversaries. Passing passenger car drivers assume the truck driver was certainly at fault for something. The truck driver wants to meet his delivery deadline. The trooper may not recognize this carrier or know its drivers. Everyone is alone with their thoughts.

Alone, however, is not how safety is achieved. Safety requires a group effort. It means motor carriers and law enforcement working together. It means four-wheelers understanding how to drive around trucks. It means truck drivers knowing the rules. Safety is a shared goal, and sharing means communication, education and outreach – long before the trooper and trucker meet at the side of the road. After all, you are safe on the road only if I am, too.

Fortunately, all around the country state trucking associations and their member carriers invest heavily in sharing safety best practices and regulatory knowledge between trucks, enforcement and the public. Efforts like Share the Road and Click It or Ticket shine a light on the importance of safety to everyone using the roads. Every driver has a responsibility to be aware of others on the road and to operate their vehicle, whether a car or a truck, as safely as possible. To that end, many trucking associations employ safety program managers or safety directors, or have members who are dedicated to assisting others to operate safely. These individuals serve as liaisons between the state trucking association and state regulatory and enforcement agencies, while at the same time promoting safety education to truck drivers, fleet maintenance personnel and the general public.

These trucking association efforts are often reciprocated by law enforcement and many motorist groups. State troopers conduct training sessions for carriers and drivers. And you may see troopers judging at truck driving competitions… where they also meet the “best of the best” truck drivers. Local motorist groups and drivers education classes welcome “No Zone” trailers to teach about a truck’s blind spots to new drivers. When groups share a goal – like safety –their individual members benefit.

Which begs the question: are you part of the group effort? Are you a state trucking association member? You may think your operation is too small, or membership dues won’t fit in your current budget, but it only takes one crash or serious incident to realize that thorough understanding on the topic of safety is critical to even the smallest of carriers.

Plus, state trucking associations are actively involved in advocating for the industry on a myriad of subjects including taxation, insurance and regulatory oversight. These groups work hard to benefit trucking companies of all sizes, and member companies provide key voices to the conversations.

There’s a lot of value in being part of an association that establishes relationships with federal, state and local officials. It means you don’t need to drive solo on the road toward improving safety. Tap into the group resources available, and you’re likely to find a positive difference both out on the road and within your organization.

About the Author

Steve Vaughn | Senior Vice President of Field Operations

Steve Vaughn is senior vice president of field operations at PrePass Safety Alliance, the provider of PrePass weigh station bypass and electronic toll-payment and management services. Vaughn served nearly three decades with the California Highway Patrol and is a past president of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of FleetOwner, create an account today!

Sponsored Recommendations

Report: The 2024 State of Heavy-Duty Repair

From capitalizing on the latest revenue trends to implementing strategic financial planning—this report serves as a roadmap for navigating the challenges and opportunities of ...

Fleet Industry Benchmarks: How does your fleet stack up?

Discover how your fleet compares to industry benchmarks and gain insights from a 2024 Benchmarking Report on maintenance spend, turnaround time, and more. Join us to identify ...

Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees and Risks

Fleets looking to effectively manage their operational costs should consider their tolling costs. Download the PrePass whitepaper, “Build a Tolling Program to Manage Toll Fees...

Reducing CSA Violations & Increasing Safety With Advanced Trailer Telematics

Keep the roads safer with advanced trailer telematics. In this whitepaper, see how you can gain insights that lead to increased safety and reduced roadside incidents—keeping drivers...