March 25, 2015 5:00 PM, EDT

Trucking Industry Safety Coalition Achieves 2014 Fundraising Goal

John Sommers II for Transport Topics

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — After reaching its $1 million fundraising mark for 2014, an American Trucking Associations-led coalition that promotes the industry’s safety record plans to surpass that this year, a senior industry executive said at the Mid-America Trucking Show’s media day March 25.

ATA Second Vice Chairman Kevin Burch, president of Jet Express, Inc., said the Trucking Moves America Forward, or TMAF, coalition is determined to continue to reach its fundraising goals and to raise awareness about the industry’s contributions to the nation’s economy through social media campaigns and traditional advertising modes.

“This is the right time. This is the right thing to do. This is the right program, the right movement. Trucking Moves American Forward is going to be good for the economy. It’s going to be good for jobs. One out of 16 Americans is involved in trucking,” Burch said.

Dick Pingel, a board member of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, echoed Burch’s enthusiasm at the event here.

“We must continue to grow, so that as a strong, united force, we can maintain a healthy, thriving industry,” Pingel said.

“Image is at the very heart of the TMAF movement. TMAF is telling the stories from behind the wheel, the stories of trucking professionals that the general public doesn't always know or learn,” added Keith Tuttle, Truckload Carriers Association chairman and president of Motor Carrier Service.

The coalition consists of ATA OOIDA, TCA, trucking equipment manufacturers and other groups, companies and individuals. It has an active presence on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

This year, the coalition plans to launch a national campaign to press federal lawmakers to pass long-term highway legislation, according to ATA. The public education effort also will look to educate policymakers about the industry’s regulatory concerns, and encourage employees and other groups to tell people how they promote safety on the roadways.