The American Trucking Associations (ATA) has canceled the 2021 National Truck Driving Championships and National Step Van Driving Championships for the second consecutive year, citing COVID-related issues. The event had been planned for Minneapolis in August.
“Our industry’s creed and the very spirit of these competitions is ‘safety first,’ and this outcome reflects that,” explained Chris Spear, president and CEO of the ATA in a letter to members explaining the cancellation.
“Know that we do not take this decision lightly. The Super Bowl of Safety had not been cancelled since World War II until last year, which is a testament to just how unprecedented this present challenge is,” said Spear.
This event, dating back to 1937, was originally called the National Truck Rodeo and gave drivers a chance to demonstrate their inspection skills, knowledge and professionalism in a number of events. The program’s goal is to create an incentive for professional truck drivers to operate safely as they must be accident-free for one year in order to compete.
The ATA is the largest trade organization in the industry, with a mission to “provide [members] with the answers, advice and tools they need to grow and support their trucking business.” Even with the cancellation of its driving competition, the ATA will continue to support the industry with its Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC) events, which will still promote safety throughout 2021.
This article originally appeared on Freight Waves