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10/20/2015 6:00:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

ATA Board Urges OEMs to Add Automatic Emergency Braking Systems

PHILADELPHIA — As American Trucking Associations wrapped up its annual Management Conference & Exhibition here on Oct. 20, the board of directors urged the nation’s truck and car manufacturers to equip all new vehicles with automatic emergency braking systems.

In June, the National Transportation Safety Board encouraged manufacturers to take the same step. The technology, which is akin to automatic cruise control, already is  available from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems and Meritor Wabco.

“In our role as a safety leader, we believe ATA needs to be at the forefront of advocating for proven safety technologies,” ATA President Bill Graves said. “The experience of our member fleets tells us that automatic emergency braking systems hold tremendous promise and as such, we believe manufacturers should make this equipment standard and the federal government should seriously look at issuing regulatory standards.”

ATA Chairman Pat Thomas, senior vice president of state government affairs for UPS, noted that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced last month that 10 auto manufacturers had agreed to make automatic emergency braking systems standard. 

Graves said that “knowing how committed we are to advancing safety,” NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind then reached out to ATA for its support of similar technology being added to trucks.

“It’s my understanding that NHTSA has been in conversation with some of the truck manufacturers,” Graves said. “We hope that our OEMs will embrace this. Having folks voluntarily agree to add this technology to their vehicles, we certainly applaud that approach. It’s a significant departure from what many in our industry have come to expect from government.”

However, Graves added that “there may be a regulatory path” in the next couple of years if voluntary compliance doesn’t happen, and “we need to be supportive of that … to make sure that this technology is actually fully employed out on the nation’s highways.”

By David Elfin
Staff Reporter

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