U.S. Department of Transportation
Office of Public Affairs
Thursday, July 17, 2003
Contact: Andy Beck, 202-366-8810
FMCSA Reports Trucking Industry Sets Best Safety
Record Since First Recorded Statistics in 1975
Large truck-related fatalities in 2002 were at their lowest level since the first recorded statistics in 1975, the U.S. Department of Transportation's (USDOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced today.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta was pleased to see the downward trend in truck-related fatalities, but he re-emphasized his commitment to reducing deaths and injuries further during an all-hands meeting with NHTSA, the Federal Highway Administration and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
It is time to acknowledge that history is calling us to another important task. It is the battle to stop the death and injury on our roads and highways, the Secretary said. Safety is the Bush Administration's highest transportation priority and this is reflected in our surface transportation reauthorization bill.
In 2002, truck-related fatalities decreased 4.2 percent from 2001 figures. The total number of people killed in truck crashes was 4,897, compared with 5,111 people in 2001. This is the fifth consecutive year for decreases in both the large truck fatality rate and fatalities in large truck-related crashes.
The FMCSA has aggressively focused its efforts, energy, and resources toward improving motor-carrier safety and reducing human suffering caused by commercial-motor-vehicle-related crashes, Acting FMCSA Administrator Annette Sandberg said. Working with law enforcement and our safety and industry partners, we are saving lives.
SAFETEA (Safe, Accountable, Flexible and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2003), the Bush Administration's surface transportation legislative proposal, would provide more than $15 billion over six years for highway safety programs. This is more than double the amount provided by its predecessor, TEA-21 (Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century). The majority of this funding would be through a new core highway safety infrastructure program instead of the existing Surface Transportation Program safety set-aside.
SAFETEA would provide increased funding for commercial vehicle safety and research programs enhancing the quality, stability, continuity and uniformity of state commercial vehicle safety and enforcement programs. In addition, SAFETEA would expand and improve auditing of "new entrant" motor carriers.
The FMCSA has a safety goal of reducing the large truck fatality rate by 41 percent from 1996 to 2008. This reduction translates into a rate of 1.65 fatalities in truck crashes per 100 million miles of truck travel.
The FMCSA gathers truck crash data from the 50 states and the District of Columbia. To view these crash statistics on the Internet, go to
. Under the key-word listing, click on analysis and information on-line.
click on analysis and information on-line.
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