Truckers to feds: Hands off our phones

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should stop worrying about distracted truck drivers and focus on vehicle standards, a drivers group says. "NHTSA continues to overstep its authority and continues to fail at its mission of saving lives and improving safety," Todd Spencer of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association charged. "NHTSA should concentrate a great deal of its efforts on the Federal Motor Vehicle Standards." Spencer, executive vice president of the truckers organization, made his comments in reference to the NHTSA's second phase of its "Driver … [Read more...]

Group sees ‘red’ over texting laws

Citing an "alarming two-year jump in motor vehicle crash deaths" and a falloff in traffic-safety lawmaking, the group Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety released its annual report card. The survey of highway safety laws gigs nine states for having ineffective distracted driving laws. Eight of those receive overall "red" ratings for anemic safety laws. Flagged for not having all-driver texting & driving laws are Arizona, Missouri, Montana and Texas. Criticized for anemic secondary-enforcement texting laws are Florida, Iowa, Nebraska, Ohio and South Dakota. Looking solely at … [Read more...]

In Arizona, another roadblock to law

Arizona's backers of distracted driving laws appear to be in for yet another disappointing legislative session. Hopes were raised for 2017 with the departure for Washington of distracted driving law foe Andy Biggs, longtime Senate president. But now Senate Transportation Committee chief Bob Worsley, left, appears to be filling Biggs' shoes. Worsley, a Republican, has blocked from his panel's consideration all distracted driving legislation except a plan to outlaw use of wireless communications devices by young drivers -- and only for the first six months of their licensing. Worsley, … [Read more...]

Hersman to advise DOT on vehicle tech

National Safety Council president Deborah Hersman has been named to the Department of Transportation's Advisory Committee on Automation in Transportation. Hersman, a longtime activist in the fight against electronic distracted driving, previously worked for the federal DOT as chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. "With new technologies and innovative approaches to mobility, we hold the keys to reach a future without transportation fatalities," Hersman said. Hersman was appointed by outgoing DOT Secretary Anthony Fox, whom she lauded for his leadership on technology … [Read more...]

Cargill adopts total cell phone ban

Agriculture giant Cargill has adopted a total ban on cell phone use by employees when they are driving. The move by the diversified Minnesota corporation became effective Jan. 1, 2017. Cargill's policy affects about 150,000 employees. The rules apply to all cell phone use, regardless of whether a hands-free device is employed. The ban on electronic distracted driving also extends to employees' private vehicles when they are doing company business. The National Safety Council -- which advocates a total cell phone ban for drivers -- said Cargill is the largest private corporation to … [Read more...]