NTSB Chairman Deborah Hersman Honors America’s Professional Women Truck Drivers

by TJ on May 1, 2011

Used Semi Trailers brings you news, views and information on the trucking industry – we’re also the #1 resource for used semi trailers. Today, we cover the Mid-America Trucking Show and the NTSB Chairwoman’s ridealong:

March 30, 2011 marked the day that National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Deborah Hersman embarked on a journey that will end at Louisville, KY’s Mid-America Trucking Show.  Hersman, Chairman of the NTSB since July of 2009, holds her own CDL, and traveled with five different female truck drivers from Washington, D.C. to Louisville for the event that started March 31 and ended April 2, 2011.

Stephanie Klang, a driver for Conway Truckload, was the first driver to have Hersman as a passenger.  Other professional trucking companies that employ female drivers acted as escorts for the NTSB Chairman, including UPS, U.S. Express, Schneider, and Wal-Mart.  Hersman’s journey to the event included several stops.  One was a Maryland weigh station, where she observed a Level 1 roadside inspection.  Another stop was a travel center in West Virginia.  Another stop included listening sessions:  one with safety officials and one with professional industry drivers.  She also met with West Virgina and Kentucky safety advocates and transportation officials.

The final destination of this journey, the Mid-America Trucking Show, celebrated its fortieth anniversary this year.  The first of these events was in 1972 and had 83 exhibitors and 4000 attendees.  Now, the event is the largest heavy-duty trucking tradeshow and expo in the world.

On April 2, Hersman honored female truck drivers at the 2nd Annual Women in Trucking Salute to Women Behind the Wheel event, which was expected to set a Guinness Record for the most female professional truck drivers gathered in one place – a record set by a Netherlands event that occurred in 2004.

Hersman herself has been a member of the NTSB since 2004, and she served on the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation prior to that.  Prior to her trek from Washington, D.C. to Louisville, K.Y., she expressed her great honor at speaking at the Salute to Women Behind the wheel, stating that it was “a thrill” to participate in such an event.

2010’s Salute to Women Behind the Wheel drew over three hundred professional women truck drivers, a third of whom had hit a million miles or more of safe driving.  This year’s event was expected to draw six hundred participants, more than enough to beat the Netherland’s record of 415 female truckers.

In addition to the many events and exhibitions that occurred at the Mid-America Trucking Show, there were plenty of refreshments and entertainment to keep the crowd happy.

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