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  • OTVI.USA
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  • TLT.USA
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NewsTrucking

Technology is a powerful tool the industry isn’t using enough, Trucking Alliance’s Lane Kidd says (with video)

Why technology is being used to improve efficiency but not more readily deployed to improve safety is among the questions that the Trucking Alliance is pushing to answer.

“We are not using technology as much to improve safety as we are using technology to improve efficiency,” Lane Kidd, managing director of the Trucking Alliance, told Craig Fuller, CEO of FreightWaves, during a special edition of “Fuller Speed Ahead” at FreightWaves LIVE in Chicago on Nov. 12. The entire episode will air on FreightWaves TV in the near future.

The Trucking Alliance, also known by its more formal name, The Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, is a collection of carriers and industry partners committed to improving safety in the trucking industry. Its board members include executives from Maverick USA, Knight Transportation (NYSE: KNX), Dupre Logistics, May Trucking Company, U.S. Xpress Enterprises (NYSE: USX), J.B. Hunt Transport (NASDAQ: JBHT), Cargo Transporters and KLLM Transport Services.

Kidd explained that the mission is to promote the use of technology in commercial vehicles to improve safety. “It’s a coalition of truckload carriers created in 2011 because they believed carriers should be held accountable to the public,” he said.

As an example, Kidd noted the number of drivers believed to be using drugs. The Trucking Alliance supports hair testing for detecting drug use.

“[Urine tests] missed nine out of 10 drug users,” he said, citing a Trucking Alliance study on hair testing. “Only the hair test caught them.”

Kidd went on to compare the trucking industry to the airline industry, noting that if nine out of 10 positive drug tests for pilots were missed, there would be congressional hearings.

“The trucking industry and the truck drivers are regulated the same ways as the airline industry, but we probably have 300,000 truck drivers on the road that would fail a drug test,” Kidd said.

The alliance also supports speed limiters, higher minimum insurance requirements, mandatory collision avoidance systems and user-based fees and taxes for infrastructure repairs. In addition, it advocated for the implementation of electronic logging devices and the creation of a national drug and alcohol database, which is scheduled to go into effect in January if it is not delayed.

“If you look at the regulatory framework, it was only in the last few years that [ELDs] were required. For years we used paper logs that could be changed,” Kidd said.

Kidd said he believes that if insurance minimums were higher — he noted that if minimums kept up with inflation and the economy as a whole, they would be $3.9 million today — large damage awards would be more limited.

Technology is the key, he said. “Technology is not only going to make the industry more efficient, but technology is going to make the industry safer,” Kidd summed up.

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Brian Straight

Brian Straight covers general transportation news and leads the editorial team as Managing Editor. A journalism graduate of the University of Rhode Island, he has covered everything from a presidential election, to professional sports and Little League baseball, and for more than 10 years has covered trucking and logistics. Before joining FreightWaves, he was previously responsible for the editorial quality and production of Fleet Owner magazine and fleetowner.com. Brian lives in Connecticut with his wife and two kids and spends his time coaching his son’s baseball team, golfing with his daughter, and pursuing his never-ending quest to become a professional bowler.

One Comment

  1. The operators of these trucks are getting fed up with all these people putting rule after rule , more government,cameras,etc. on us when it just makes our jobs harder. Most of them never even drove one. In reality, ELD’s will not save lives. It puts more pressure on the driver, so it’s a constant hurry,hurry,hurry job. THATS when accidents & mistakes are made. Also, I guantee you there are 300,00 truck drivers on drugs driving around. That is nothing but a lie. Doe something for us. Build some places to park. The states already own property to clear & rock up. How bout the property between the overpass & the entrance ramp coming on to these Interstates. You already own it but won’t help us so we park along the ramp & Interstate. THATS DANGEROUS. Do something for us , to help get our loads unloaded or one day these Interstates will just lock up. Can’t you see that.I could type this on & on. Our Government better doe something & helping the truckers would be a start.

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