The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ruled that a nationwide clearinghouse...READ MORE
North Carolina Couple Pushes for Trucking Safety Changes After Tragedy
When unspeakable tragedy strikes, some people are so traumatized they shrink from life completely. Others carry on the best they can, knowing they will never be the same again. Still others devote their lives to honoring the memory of their lost loved ones by trying to make the world a better, safer place for everyone.
You can put Jerry Karth and his wife Marianne of Rocky Mount, N.C. squarely in the third category.
An Incredible Loss
On May 5, 2013, Marianne Karth and three of her nine children were riding in a vehicle when it was hit by a tractor-trailer. The vehicle then spun around and was pushed under the rear of a second semi-truck. Marianne lost two of her daughters as a result.
Soon afterward, the Karths decided to channel their immense grief toward making a difference. They began an effort to push for tighter trucking industry safety regulations, starting a petition they would eventually take to the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) in Washington, D.C. one year after the tragedy.
They termed their effort “Vision Zero” in hopes that one day no one would ever be seriously injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident. One of the goals of the effort is to push the trucking industry to upgrade under-ride guards, which are supposed to prevent the type of accident that cost the Karths their children. In addition, they created a foundation in their daughters’ names to help generate research funds for better guards.
The petition also calls on the DOT to require that all new large trucks come with mitigation braking as well as forward collision avoidance systems.
While we can only imagine the level of grief the Karths have had to endure, we cannot overstate how much we admire their ability to turn that grief into something that could one day benefit us all.