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Big Rigs Needing Bigger Regulations?

Monday, 18 Dec 2006 | 2:32 PM ET
American Trucking Associations
American Trucking Associations

According to American Insurance Association Senior Vice President Julie Rochman, trucking accidents cause 5,000 deaths a year in the U.S. She was on “Power Lunch” talking to Sue Herera about the need to enforce the rules in place – let alone enact new ones.

Rochman noted that Europe has been using electronic data recorders in shipping trucks for 30 years, but the U.S. has yet to fully implement them. The recorders can track distance, speed and engine usage. An excess of any one can lead to safety hazards.

American truckers here are still using handwritten logbooks – which Rochman says are referred to by truckers themselves as “comic books.” They’re barely kept up and often altered after an accident, she says.

But American Trucking Association’s Tim Lynch--who was also on "Power Lunch"--disagrees. He says data recorders are gradually being installed in trucks in the U.S. Lynch thinks there are better ways to improve safety in the trucking industry – though he didn’t name anything specifically.

Trucks carry more than three-quarters of all freight shipped in the U.S. So the trucking industry, U.S. lawmakers and consumers are going to have to find a balance between safety and efficiency.

Trucking Regulation
A look at the dangers inherent to trucking and whether the industry needs more regulation, with Julie Rochman, American Insurance Assoc. Senior VP; Tim Lynch, American Trucking Assoc. Senior VP; and CNBC's Sue Herera.

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  • Sue Herera is a founding member of CNBC, helping to launch the network in 1989. She is co-anchor of "Power Lunch."

  • Tyler Mathisen co-anchors CNBC's "Power Lunch." Mathisen also co-anchors "Nightly Business Report produced by CNBC."

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Kenny Polcari