Commercial Motor Vehicles: Effectiveness of Actions Being Taken to Improve Motor Carrier Safety Is Unknown
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Commercial Motor Vehicles: Effectiveness of Actions Being Taken to Improve Motor Carrier Safety Is Unknown

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    The motor carrier administration has developed an overall strategy for improving the safety of commercial motor vehicles (trucks and buses). This strategy, called the Safety Action Plan, covers the years 2000 through 2003 and contains 47 initiatives that are intended to be an initial step in enabling the Department to reach its goal of reducing fatalities due to crashes involving large trucks by 50 percent by 2009. These initiatives fall within several broad categories, including increasing the enforcement of federal safety regulations; increasing safety awareness; improving safety information and technology; and improving performance standards for vehicles, drivers, and motor carriers. However, the Department has not articulated how the individual initiatives, or sets of initiatives, in the plan will contribute to reductions in truck-related fatalities. DOT does not expect to have information for several years that would allow it to estimate the degree to which its initiatives will reduce truck-related fatalities and still expects that making such estimates would be difficult. In addition, the Department has not determined whether it can reasonably expect to complete all 47 activities with expected budgetary and human resources. Department officials told us that publication of the motor carrier administration?s Safety Action Plan signals its intent to carry it out and that the Department expects to examine these resource needs this year.
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