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VA Tech Truck Safety Outreach Program Travels Across The Country

The ability to safely navigate around semi-trucks recently took stage in Las Vegas.

The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute’s (VTTI) outreach initiative Sharing the Road with Trucks traveled across the country to the city to present at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Convention and Exposition 2024.

“I invited Sharing the Road to our convention because there are a significant number of crashes every year involving commercial vehicles and other vehicles around the no-zones and I was impressed with the message they bring,” said Jerry Sjogren, senior director of safety at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI). “Safety is a core value for ISRI, and with our core value commitment, we share VTTI’s mission to try and make our roads safer for all.”

Throughout the conference, the VTTI team provided hourly presentations to the conference’s nearly 6,000 attendees. The team conducted multiple demonstrations, utilizing a 50-by-140-foot space inside the Mandalay Bay Resort to share its custom restored Hokie-themed Peterbilt, demonstrate cars in the truck’s blind spots, and host multiple safety strategy stations.

Scott Tidwell presenting to the conference attendees. Photo courtesy of Jacob Levin.

As of the end of March, the Sharing the Road with Trucks team has conducted 276 school visits reaching over 35,000 teen drivers along with 25 community events reaching thousands more drivers since it began in 2017. The demonstrations provide a hands-on opportunity for participants to experience the vast size of a semi-truck and learn about the five key strategies for safely sharing the road with tractor-trailers and other large trucks:

  • Don’t hang out in the no-zone.
  • Don’t cut trucks off.
  • Maintain a safe following distance.
  • Properly pass a truck.
  • Don’t get squeezed.

“With over 6,000 attendees at this convention, we will reach drivers of all ages and backgrounds while making a positive impact and saving lives on our roads,” said Scott Tidwell, the program’s team leader. “Thank you to the ISRI team for inviting us to Las Vegas and supporting our safety mission.”

Additionally, the Sharing the Road with Trucks team scheduled several school visits for the greater Las Vegas area prior to the conference. For more information or to schedule a visit, email [email protected] or visit the website.

By Jacob Levin

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