García, Johnson, and Cartwright Introduce Two Truck Safety Measures to Make Roads Safer

July 16, 2019
Press Release
Legislation will Require Automatic Emergency Brakes on Trucks and will Increase the Minimum Insurance Required for Motor Carriers

Washington D.C. - Representatives Jesús “Chuy” García (IL-04), Rep. Hank Johnson (GA-04) and Representative Matt Cartwright (PA-08) joined the Truck Safety Coalition and truck crash victims at a press conference today to introduce critical road safety legislation.

Reps. García and Cartwright introduced the INSURANCE Act, which would ensure minimum insurance requirements for motor carriers are periodically adjusted to the inflation rate of medical costs, as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Minimum insurance requirements for motor carriers were established in 1980 and have never been adjusted for inflation.

“Thousands of families are suffering in silence, saddled with crippling medical care costs resulting from catastrophic crashes,” said Rep. García, “The inadequacy of the current minimum insurance requirement, left unchanged for 40 years, only further prolongs the suffering and financial strain on families that have already lost so much. The INSURANCE Act ensures that families are adequately compensated to cope with their losses and prevents taxpayers from footing the bill for negligent trucking businesses and drivers.”

“With trucks getting bigger and highways becoming more crowded, our country has experienced too many horrific truck accidents that change Americans’ lives forever,” said Congressman Matt Cartwright.  “And since the minimum liability insurance for trucks hasn’t changed in nearly four decades, we’ve seen how victims, their families, hospitals, and our strained social safety net are forced to foot the bill for irresponsible driving. This bill will raise that minimum, providing necessary relief to surviving victims and to the families whose lives are shattered by a truck accident.”

Reps. García and Hank Johnson also introduced the Safe Roads Act, which would require Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) technology become standard features on motor carriers including large trucks.

“Automatic braking systems are a simple, common-sense solution to deploy proven crash-avoidance technologies. Rep. Johnson and I agree that we should always operate on a safety-first basis,” said Rep. García. “Any further delays to implement this important, life-saving technology will only result in more preventable, tragic deaths and catastrophic injuries. We shouldn’t be in the business of putting a price tag on life – passing the Safe Roads Act is simply the right thing to do.”

“Tragically, the simple installation of automatic braking systems on all commercial motor vehicles – a $500 safety feature – might have prevented these deaths and countless others across the country,” said Rep. Johnson. “America’s roads and highways should be safe for all drivers.  Taking full advantage of technologies that are available and proven to anticipate and prevent crashes will save lives.”

Both the Safe Roads Act and the INSURANCE Act are endorsed by the Truck Safety Coalition and the INSURANCE Act has the additional endorsement from the American Association for Justice.