Mom pushes for truck safety after losing daughters in wreck
Posted March 24, 2014
Rocky Mount, N.C. — Nearly a year after Marianne Karth lost two of her daughters in a car crash, the Rocky Mount mother is leading an effort to ensure the same doesn't happen to any other family.
Karth was driving on Interstate 20 in Georgia in May when, while stopped for traffic, a truck hauling cars struck her vehicle from behind.
The back of her car ended up wedged underneath the tractor-trailer in front of them. Karth’s 17 and 13-year-old daughters were in the back seat. Both were killed.
“There’s not a day that I don’t long for them,” she said.
The driver of the truck that caused the wreck still faces charges.
Karth started an online petition to request changes that would reduce truck driver fatigue, increase minimum insurance liability limits and improve underride rear guards as well as front and side guards.
Federal regulations capping the average work week for truck drivers at 70 hours – a decrease from 82 hours – went into effect in July. Truck drivers are also required to take a 30 minute break during the first eight hours of their shift and after 70 driving hours in a week, can resume driving if they rest for 34 consecutive hours.
Karth’s ultimate goal is for trucks to be as safe as possible on the road.
“Everyday that it gets put off and something doesn't get done about it, then how many more lives are lost,” she said. “That's why we're doing this. Because we don't want other families to face what we had to go through.”
Karth plans to present the petition to U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx in May.
Foxx’s office said they are constantly working to improve safety measures and will address the petition once they receive it.