Lee P. Shaffer

In his first speech as chairman of the American Trucking Associations, Lee P. Shaffer urged support for the installation of electronic data recorders, or "black boxes" on trucks.

Shaffer, president of Kenan Transport, a fuel and chemical carrier based in Chapel Hill, NC, was elected Nov. 2.

Black boxes are coming whether we want it or not," he said in a speech to colleagues at the ATA management conference in Orlando. "Let's accept them under the proper circumstances with privacy and liability issues resolved. We need to protect privacy and make sure black boxes don't become weapons for trial lawyers to use against us."

Shaffer also voiced his support for ATA's efforts to reform hour of service regulations and new speed limit policy. Trucks should go no faster than 65 mph, according to a resolution passed by the board of directors of American Trucking Associations.

The association changed its four-year policy of a maximum 55 mph speed limit to reflect the increased speed limits set by many states.