The fifth annual national observance of Drive Safer Sunday is set for November 29, 2009, and the American Trucking Associations joins the advocacy group Road Safe America in urging all drivers to focus on safety. The annual observance was launched on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2005 by Atlanta GA-based Road Safe America.
“The death of almost 40,000 people a year in more than 6 million highway crashes in America is an unchecked epidemic in this country,” said Stephen C Owings of Atlanta. Owings and his wife Susan Owings founded Road Safe America after their son, Cullum, was killed on the Sunday after Thanksgiving in 2002. Their son’s car, stopped in an Interstate traffic jam, was crushed from behind by a tractor-trailer on cruise control going 7 mph over the posted speed limit.
ATA and Road Safe America urge all drivers to stay alert, buckle up, drive slowly, drive defensively, refrain from texting and talking on cell phones, and give commercial vehicles plenty of room on the road.
Road Safe America and ATA both support a proposed federal regulation to require that all trucks have speed limiters that will prevent the truck from going over 65 mph. Trucks manufactured since 1992 already have speed limiters built into engine control equipment, and most ATA member companies’ trucks set speed limiters at 65 mph or below. The speed limiter requirement is one of 18 items on ATA’s progressive highway safety agenda.