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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Public Roads - May/June 1998

Celebrate International Highway Transportation Safety Week 1998

Planning to travel on America's highways this summer? The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) hopes you'll tune in to some important highway safety messages before you go.

Federal Highway Administrator Kenneth Wykle has asked all U.S. governors to proclaim the week of June 1 to 6 as International Highway Transportation Safety Week (IHTSW) 1998.

Safety Week celebrates the people, programs, and partnerships that work to improve highway safety every day. A key message is that highway safety is every driver's responsibility.


"Elvis" and the crash test dummies participated in a Safety Week event sponsored by the California and Nevada highway patrol departments last year.

Organized jointly by FHWA and the U.S./Canadian Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), IHTSW promotes truck and bus safety in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. This year, more than 65 entities - U.S. states and territories, Canada, and Mexico - participated along with many motor carrier and bus companies.

Secretary of Transportation Rodney E. Slater said, "We also want to take this opportunity to recognize the valuable service provided by the millions of men and women who drive commercial vehicles safely on North American highways."

IHTSW 1998 provided an opportunity to educate the public not only about safe driving practices around trucks and buses but also about the many programs and innovative projects that FHWA and its safety partners are pursuing to improve motor carrier and highway safety.

Events, ranging from truck and bus roadside safety inspections to safe-driving presentations at rest areas and malls, took place throughout the three nations of North America. This year, a number of special topics - including work-zone safety, red-light running, rail-grade-crossing safety, and driver wellness - were introduced.

During Safety Week, federal and state safety inspectors conducted roadside inspections of trucks and buses and presented awards to drivers whose trucks have no violations. These dedicated highway safety officers also organized barbecues and other driver-appreciation activities, and they provided the media with safety articles, interviews, and public service announcements.

Many Safety Week events were tied in with FHWA's "No-Zone" highway safety campaign, which gave passenger-vehicle drivers tips on how to share the road with large trucks and buses. This year, National Basketball Association All-Star Karl Malone, who owns an 18-wheeler and holds a commercial driver's license, participated in a television public service announcement to educate motorists on how to share the road safely with large trucks and buses. This public service announcement is the fifth in a series about the "No-Zone ."

Another standout in 1997 and 1998 was radio host Bill Mack's Safety Week theme for his "Midnight Cowboy" program on WBAP in Fort Worth, Texas. Mack made several more public service announcements about Safety Week activities and the No-Zone campaign. "Midnight Cowboy" is aimed at truck drivers and broadcasts almost nationwide.

"We have been working with our partners in highway safety to reduce truck-involved crashes," said George Reagle, associate administrator for motor carriers. "We want to tell the American people about our safety results. For example, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes declined 30 percent in the last 10 years, and large trucks represented only 8 percent of all vehicles involved in fatal crashes in 1996."

For more information about IHTSW 1998, contact one of the IHTSW national co-chairs:

Phil Hanley, Office of Motor Carriers,

(202) 366-6811

Janet Kumer, Office of Motor Carriers,

(202) 366-0079

Larry Stern, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance,

(301) 564-1623