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April 2016 Archives

NHTSA Using Twitter to Combat Distracted Driving

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. As part of their efforts to combat distracted driving, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has employed the use of the hashtag #justdrive in personally responding to Twitter users. The NHTSA campaign finds tweets mentioning or admitting to texting and driving and responds to them with an individualized message discouraging the practice. The social media campaign has drawn attention as an unusual choice for a government agency. The campaign is scheduled to run through the end of the month.

New Truck Safety Rules Delayed Again

In 2006, the American Trucking Association and Roadsafe America petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to establish a rule regarding the use of speed-limiters on heavy trucks. In May of last year, the FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agreed on a joint rule and submitted it to the White House Office of Management and Budget. The OMB delayed the issue by extending the review period for the rule. Last week, the rule was delayed again. The OMB also delayed the release of a regulation that would have created a database to track all truck drivers who failed or refused to take drug or alcohol tests.

Truck Driver Cited for Multiple DUIs Is Shut Down

On March 21 of this year, a commercial truck driver was stopped by Illinois State Police. The driver was eventually cited for driving under the influence of alcohol, possession of an intoxicating beverage while on duty or driving, and for failing to retain driver logbooks for the previous seven days. He was also cited for improper lane usage and for illegally transporting alcohol. The driver's blood alcohol content was measured at .308. The legal limit for a person with a Commercial Drivers' License is .04. Due to the driver's previous record, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued an effective shutdown order for the driver.

Unreported Auto Defects Are a Threat to Driver Safety

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requires automakers to pass along claims of car defects from consumers. By gathering this information, the NHTSA can spot trends and determine when a mandatory recall should be initiated. While the laws requiring defect reporting are more than a decade old, the system still falls short of expectations.

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