Recently, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration director Ann Ferro at a U.S. Senate subcommittee provided a statement related to trucking safety. Some of the high points include:
Core priorities of FMCSA are to:
1. Raise the safety bar to enter the industry;
2. Require operators to maintain high safety standards to remain
3. Remove high-risk operators from our roads and highways.
CSA 2010 is to be implemented by end of 2010.
This Comprehensive Safety Analysis program is intended to measure seven key behaviors that are linked to trucking crash risk:
2. Fatigued Driving
3. Driver Fitness which includes licensing and medical compliance standards
4. Crash History
5. Vehicle Maintenance
6. Improper Loading and Cargo
7. Controlled Substances - Drugs and Alcohol
New Entrant Safety Assurance Program focuses on 16 safety regulations for which a violation by a new entrant carrier would result in an automatic failure of the safety audit. Any new entrant that fails the safety audit must submit a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) in order to continue to operate in interstate commerce. FMCSA also closely monitors the new entrant during the initial 18-month period of operation and, if certain violations are discovered during a roadside inspection, the new entrant will be subject to an expedited action to correct the identified safety deficiencies.
National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners rules later this year will establish minimum training and testing requirements for all healthcare professionals that issue medical certificates for interstate truck and bus drivers. (I've seen drivers who were cleared to return to service in a 10 minute checkup by a chiropractor after open heart surgery.)
Hours of Service. FMCSA is taking another look at the controversial hours of service rule.
Electronic On-Board Recorders will be required of an additional 5,700 motor carriers as a remedial measure. (The days of "comic book" driver logs may be numbered, but making the EOBR systems tamper-proof will be the next challenge.)
Distracted Driving. FMCSA has banned text messaging by drivers while operating a commercial motor vehicle. (It's a step in the right direction.)
Drug & Alcohol Database. FMCSA is working on a database to keep up with drivers who fail drug and alcohol tests.
Dean Gresham is a truck and bus safety trial attorney representing seriously injured people and families of people killed in tractor trailer, big rig, semi, intermodal container freight, log truck, cement truck, dump truck, log truck and bus accidents nationwide. Contact GRESHAM pc today if you or a loved one is the victim of a truck or bus crash.