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February 23, 2015 10:00 AM, EST

Safety Groups Petition NHTSA for Collision Avoidance Systems

Several nonprofit safety groups have asked the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to mandate collision avoidance and mitigation braking systems for new heavy trucks and buses.

The groups said in a Feb. 19 petition that a rule requiring the so called F-CAM technology would reduce crashes involving commercial vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds.

The petitioners included the Truck Safety Coalition, the Center for Auto Safety, Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety and Road Safe America.

“The petitioners have been involved in safety issues involving large trucks for many years and are convinced that F-CAM technology has the potential to result in significant safety, economic and societal benefits,” the Feb. 19 petition said.

Forward Collision Warning generates a visual, audible or vibration alert for the driver in the event the driver’s vehicle comes within a predefined distance and closing rate with a vehicle traveling in front of it.

In situations where the driver does not respond to the signals, collision mitigation braking automatically applies through the electronic stability control system to reduce the impact speed or entirely prevent a collision.

NHTSA  recently completed an evaluation of F-CAM systems in medium and heavy commercial vehicles that “provides substantial support for this petition,” the safety groups said.

American Trucking Associations said it plans to review the data cited in support of the petition.

“American Trucking Associations supports proven safety technologies that prevent crashes and, therefore, save lives,” spokesman Sean McNally said.