North Carolina Mom Petitions for Trucking Reform

Marianne Karth of North Carolina is petitioning numerous governmental entities and officials to enact stricter regulations of truck drivers. In May of 2013, Karth lost two of her children when her car was hit by a semi-truck in Georgia. Her loss came after cases which received much media attention like the grave injury of comedian Tracy Morgan and the death of four members of a Texas community college as a result with car collisions with transporting trucks. Karth has begun her campaign in order to prevent some of the 4,000 accidents related to semi-truck that occur annually.  Karth began her campaign with a Facebook page which has garnered 11,000 petitions. Others who have suffered as a result of trucking related accidents have joined together and formed groups like the Truck Safety Coalition to affect changes in regulation.

“If there’s anything I can do to help prevent some other family from having to go through the same thing, then it’s worth it,” said Karth

Trucking companies are implementing safety regulations on their own but critics say they are not enough. Trucking companies have begun using electronic logbooks to limit the hours worked by employees and monitor their movements. Truck drivers have petition to increase the availability of parking and lodging accommodations for truck operators. The American Trucking Associations has taken another stance pointing out that the government has ruled truck drivers where to blame in only 44% of trucking related accidents.

Despite the protests of some trucking groups, government entities like the Federal Motor Carrier Administration and National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have met with Karth. She also met with Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx who promised “tangible progress” in the effort to legislate change, but the difficulty of the struggle is not lost on anyone involved.

“They’re going up against an industry that’s well-funded, that’s very focused and is, a lot of the time, very resistant to making changes,” said John Lannen the executive director of the Truck Safety Coalition. “It’s a tough, uphill climb.”

 

Read More – Mom Takes on Tuckers After Highway Wreck Kills Daughters (Bloomberg,David Voreacos and Jeff Plungis)

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Originally from Gaithersburg, Maryland, Millan is a senior at the George Washington University studying Biological Anthropology.

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