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6/11/2003
SPECIAL REPORT: Talent introduces Safety Month Resolution in U.S. Senate

Sen. Jim Talent, R-MO, has introduced in the U.S. Senate a resolution declaring June as Truck Safety Month.

According to Rich Chrismer, communications director in Sen. Talent’s Washington, DC, office, the senator introduced the resolution, Senate Concurrent Resolution 50, on June 9. It is identical in wording to a House measure, HCR164, introduced by Rep. Sam Graves, R-MO.

Both resolutions ask President George W. Bush to issue a proclamation commending all truckers for their extra effort this June to comply with truck safety regulations.

"I believe we should establish a National Truck Safety Month to raise public awareness about the importance of highway safety and the contributions America's truck drivers are making to help keep our roads safe," Sen. Talent said.

The resolution has no cosponsors at this point; however, “it was introduced only yesterday,” Chrismer said. “That is an effort Sen. Talent’s legislative staff is working on, to get cosponsors on the resolution.”

Talent, who was elected to the Senate in 2002, served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2001, and served in the Missouri House from 1985 to 1992. He is chairman of the Armed Services Seapower Subcommittee and of the Agriculture Committee's Subcommittee on Marketing, Inspection, and Product Promotion. He also serves on the Senate Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry Committee; the Senate Armed Services Committee; the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee; and the Senate Aging Committee.

Trucker recognition

The resolution cited several reasons behind the need for a National Truck Safety Month. They include:

  • More than 2 million long-haul trucks and 138 million cars share the nation’s highways each day.
  • The loss of more than 5,000 lives each year in accidents involving large trucks raises important safety issues.
  • Truckdrivers, who experience more workplace fatalities than any other single occupation, are acutely aware of their responsibility to contribute to highway safety.
  • The U.S. economy depends upon the nation’s long-haul truckers, who deliver 71 percent of the dollar value of freight hauled in the United States.
  • Truck safety has become the highest priority of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, and the federal government invests nearly $200 million in truck safety enforcement activities each year.
  • Truckdrivers have committed themselves to make June a model month for compliance with all truck safety rules.

Congressional Backers

The House version of the resolution, introduced by Rep. Graves, has already picked up a number of cosponsors, including: Rep. Roy Blunt, R-MO, Rep. Danny Davis, D-IL, Rep. Dan Burton, R-IN, Rep. James Moran, D-VA, Rep. Lee Terry, R-NE, Rep. Mac Collins, R-GA, Rep. Kevin Brady, R-TX, Rep. Jim Oberstar, D-MN, Rep. Jerry Costello, D-IL, and Rep. Tom Osborne, R-NE.

--by Mark H. Reddig, associate editor

Mark Reddig can be reached at mark_reddig@landlinemag.com.

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