May 26, 1999
Statement by Joan Claybrook, President of Public Citizen,
on DOT Truck Safety Plan
In response to the unrestrained growth in truck crash fatalities, this is the fourth plan to come out of Department of Transportation in the last 6 months. Yesterday, we learned from Secretary Slater that there is even another truck safety plan to be proposed in 90 days. The Mineta plan is clearly the most detailed and comprehensive of the Administration’s efforts to date to address the truck safety crisis. However, the plan lacks specific deadlines for action, or any measurable goals, and leaves Office of Motor Carriers where it has always been, in the Federal Highway Administration.
The safety community does not have confidence that OMC can do the job outlined in the Mineta report, or more importantly, can do the job right. In terms of its regulatory responsibilities, OMC lacks a quality research operation, a reliable data base with which to make decisions, and a capacity to plan or meet deadlines for issuance of safety standards.