The University of Massachusetts Traffic Safety Research Program (UMassSafe) held a Commercial Vehicle Safety Research Summit in November of 2016 to promote best practices for advancing safety through partnerships among law enforcement and state driver’s license agencies with universities. With more than 100 attendees from across the Northeast, the 2-day Summit, funded by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), addressed key issues related to crash prevention including driver distraction and autonomous vehicles, as well as homeland security, drugged driving, social media and workforce development.
“Innovation is rapidly changing the transportation sector. The Federal and state governments must keep up while never losing sight of protecting the traveling public,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Daphne Jefferson, one of the keynote speakers. “This summit enables us to learn from each other and build partnerships with universities to realize the safety benefits of innovation and automation.”
The goals of the summit were based upon the premise that an integrated approach and effective partnerships can reduce the number of truck and bus crashes and fatalities. Massachusetts has enjoyed positive safety results because of the successful partnership that now exists between UMassSafe, the Massachusetts State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Section and MassDOT’s Registry of Motor Vehicles Division. Using this experience as an example, summit organizers encouraged other state participants to develop or expand the connection between universities and state agencies involved in crash prevention efforts.
The FMCSA funded project continues with the implementation of a UMassSafe Technical Assistance Center (TAC) in order to provide assistance for law enforcement and licensing agencies as well as universities, acting as a resource and information center building on the momentum of the Summit. Additional information can be accessed at www.umasstransportationcenter.org/cvsummit.