Arkansas Trucking Association

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After a House Motor Vehicle and Highways Permanent Subcommittee of Transportation meeting, Ark. Rep. James Sorvillo (R-Little Rock), chairman of the committee, said he wanted to better educate the public to report road debris.

After encountering road debris first-hand and the $1200 bill in damages it caused his wife’s vehicle, Sorvillo wants to see a solution to what he says is a growing problem.

"Any debris on the highway can be a hazard and a safety concern," says Shannon Newton, President of the Arkansas Trucking Association.

Rep. Sorvillo’s encounter led him to question who cleans up the debris from big truck tires, often called ‘road gators’ that sometimes litter the roadway.

Though the number of crashes in which road debris was a factor is small, research by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that an estimated 25,000 crashes resulting in 80 to 90 fatalities happen every year because of vehicle parts, cargo or other material, including tire debris, unintentionally discharged from vehicles onto the road.

The subcommittee's staff arranged for representatives from the Rubber Manufacturers Association and the Tire Retread and Repair Information Bureau to be present by conference call and top officials from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department and the Arkansas State Police to appear in person at the meeting.

Maj. Mike Foster, the commander of the Arkansas State Police's highway division, said state law requires motorists to pull over and recover anything that falls from their vehicles, whether it is a mattress or a "road gator." Given how dangerous a highway can be, however, he said he would prefer the motorist call for help.

Indeed, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety concluded that many of the crashes related to road debris can be prevented by, among other things, motorists reporting debris they encounter on the road.

After the meeting, Sorvillo says he wants to encourage the development of public service announcements to highlight what can be done.

"The public is going to be the best resource," he said. "If we can make it easy to report that, the sooner we can get it off the road.

Motorists can report problems like road debris on the app IDriveArkansas.

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You are here: Home News In Brief Arkansas rep. wants to educate public on road debris