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North Carolina Mom Pushes for Better Truck Safety After Fatal Wreck

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A year after Marianne Karth lost her two daughters in a car-tractor trailer crash, the Rocky Mount, NC mother is pushing for new safety rules for trucks across the US.

Karth was driving on I-20 in Georgia last May, when she had to stop for traffic in front of her. A tractor trailer hauling cars slammed into her from the rear.


The back of her car was wedged under the truck in front of them. Her 17 and 13-year old daughters were in the rear of the car and were killed.

The truck driver is still facing charges for the fatal wreck.

Karth has started a petition online that is demanding changes to cut down on truck driver fatigue. She also wants to see increases in minimum insurance liability limits, and to improve underride rear guards on trucks, as well as front and side guards.

Federal rules cap the average work week for truck drivers at 70 hours. This is a decrease from 82 hours; the new rules went into effect last July. Truck drivers also must take a 30 minute break during their first eight hours of driving. After driving 70 hours in a week, they only can resume driving after 34 hours of rest.

Her goal is to ensure that trucks are as safe as possible on the highways. She noted in a media interview this week that she does not want other families to face what she is facing – the loss of her children.

Karth said that she is going to present the petition to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in May.

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  1. ben kelley says:
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    Technology to alert drivers to unsafe tailgating, and to trigger braking when necessary are already widely available on cars. DOT/NHTSA/FMCSA should be moving to require such systems on commercial trucks, which, given their size, weight and stopping distance characteristics, urgently need them so as to protect motorists in their paths.