July 20, 2020 11:30 AM, EDT

FMCSA Virtual Summit to Focus on Truck Safety

Trucks 3dan3/Getty Images

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will hold a virtual trucking safety summit Aug. 5 to solicit ideas and information on improving the safe operation of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles on the nation’s roadways.

FMCSA said stakeholders — including motor carriers, drivers, safety technology developers and users, federal and state partners, and safety advocacy groups — can share ideas on improving trucking safety. The event will be hosted virtually from U.S. Department of Transportation headquarters in Washington.

A brief public comment period in the mid- to late afternoon will be included.


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Data and analysis released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration show that over the past several years an increase in fatalities has resulted from crashes involving large trucks.

“To respond to this trend, FMCSA continues to work with state entities, industry and others to identify new approaches to safety,” the July 20 announcement said. “These approaches can involve technology, company management practices, enforcement, outreach and education, and other techniques — encompassing a holistic approach to truck safety.”

The meeting will present and solicit information during six panel discussions. FMCSA also will provide a live streaming video of the summit for interested parties to share in the information being presented.

Originally, the event was scheduled for March 19, but it was postponed because of the COVID-19 emergency.

The summit would have followed the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting in January, during which acting FMCSA Administrator Jim Mullen said he has tasked his agency with finding ways to turn around the increase in large-truck fatalities over the past four years.

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“When I assumed this role as acting administrator three months ago, the members of this panel asked me what are my top priorities,” Mullen said. “That to me was a no-brainer. The top priority for me at this agency is to reverse that four-year trend increasing fatalities involved with large trucks and buses.”

James Mullen


In a briefing about the commercial motor vehicle safety landscape during TRB, Jack Van Steenburg, FMCSA’s chief safety officer, underscored Mullen’s concerns over the recent national trend of large-truck-involved fatalities.

From 2017 to 2018, the number of trucks with a weight rating between 10,001 and 14,000 pounds in a fatal crash increased 4.6%, while the number of trucks more than 26,000 pounds involved in fatal crashes increased 1.6% over the same period, Van Steenburg said.

Likewise, he said the number of large-truck occupant fatalities increased to 885 in 2018 from 815 in 2016. Also, more than 40% of large-truck drivers who were ejected in fatal crashes had failed to wear seat belts.

The summit will be held from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Aug.5. For information on registering and providing oral comments, visit

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