From the Truck Safety Coalition… Coal Truck Driver Fled Fatal Crash in Bell County, KY

In 2015, 4,067 people were killed in large truck crashes in the United States

From the Truck Safety Coalition… Coal Truck Driver Fled Fatal Crash in Bell County, KY

A coal truck driver crossed the center line and sideswiped a pickup truck, causing it to flip over. Then, the coal truck continued driving and struck a Nissan Maxima, killing the driver and the passenger of the car. The truck driver was eventually arrested after he was located at a nearby hospital. These crashes should have never happened given the that coal truck driver was operating with a suspended/revoked CDL. TSC promotes enhancing enforcement efforts to ensure drivers like this are prevented from operating trucks and jeopardizing public safety.

Link: http://www.wbir.com/news/crime/ksp-truck-driver-fled-fatal-bell-county-crash/102231987   

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

 

From the Truck Safety Coalition… FMCSA Shuts Down Wyoming Truck Company for Numerous Safety Violations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued an out-of-service order to Bar D Bar Trucking. The agency ordered the motor carrier to cease operations after an investigators found violations including:

  • Failing to conduct pre-employment background checks on drivers
  • Failing to ensure drivers were qualified before dispatching them
  • Failing to properly monitor drivers to ensure compliance with hours-of-service requirements
  • Failing to conduct random drug and alcohol tests on drivers
  • Using a driver who tested positive for a controlled substance
  • Failing to ensure its vehicles were regularly inspected, maintained and repaired and that they met minimum safety standards

Additionally, the FMCSA also found that the company’s owner-operator was driving without a valid commercial driver’s license and is subject to a lifetime CDL disqualification.

TSC supports the regulation of legal Schedule II prescription drugs, in particular, those which list drowsiness and fatigue as side-effects. We also support monitoring or eliminating the use of any substance that impairs cognitive or motor ability for operators of commercial motor vehicles.

Link: http://www.ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=41367

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

From the Truck Safety Coalition… FMCSA Issues Out-of-Service Order for Defective Volvo Trucks

Volvo issued a recall for nearly 16,000 trucks due to a defect caused by the steering shaft missing a pin. Because these defective vehicles are likely to cause a crash or break down, the FMCSA has ordered inspectors to perform Level IV inspections and place any unrepaired truck out-of-service. Truck drivers operating these trucks may subject to civil penalties or criminal prosecution, but being placed out-of-service will not affect a carrier’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) score. TSC encourages a swift response, like this one, to reduce the dangers that could be caused by a defective truck.

Link: https://s3.amazonaws.com/public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2016-06880.pdf

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

 

From the Truck Safety Coalition… Overweight Dump Truck Crashes into Tractor-Trailer in NY, Multiple Citations Issued

An overweight dump truck failed to yield at a roundabout, crossed over the center median, and struck a tractor-trailer. While it is fortunate that neither driver was injured, it is unfortunate that the dump truck driver was allowed to operate given his blatant disregard of the law. Aside from disobeying traffic laws, the dump truck driver also failed to follow the rules governing trucking. The State Police Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit found that the dump truck’s brakes were out of adjustment and that the truck was five tons too heavy. TSC supports stronger commercial motor vehicle enforcement to identify and remove truck drivers who disregard safety and imperil the public.

http://www.timesunion.com/local/article/Police-Overweight-truck-caused-Malta-roundabout-6871246.php

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

 

 

From the Truck Safety Coalition… New Study Highlights the Importance of Treating Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common sleep disease afflicting at least 25 million adults in the U.S., and, if left untreated, will continue to be a pervasive threat to truck safety. According to a recent study on truck drivers with OSA, treatment is key in reducing their crash risks. One particularly effective method for treating OSA is the use of positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy. Results of the study show that the rate of serious, preventable crashes was five times higher among truck drivers with OSA who failed to adhere to PAP therapy, compared with matched controls. This study reaffirms TSC’s position that requiring comprehensive sleep apnea screening for commercial vehicle drivers will reduce fatigue-related crashes.

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2016-03/aaos-crs030216.php

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

 

 

From the Truck Safety Coalition… Crash Avoidance Technologies May Have Saved Lives in ME Truck Crash

Two people were killed in Knox County, Maine last week after a tractor-trailer crossed the center line, corrected, fishtailed, rolled, and then took out four cars. It is still unclear as to what caused the driver cross lanes and overcorrect, but this is consistent with issues such as fatigue and distracted driving. Technologies like electronic stability control, lane departure warnings, and forward collision avoidance and mitigation braking systems would reduce the chances of these truck crashes as well as the severity of a crash. TSC will continue our education efforts with Members of Congress on the need to mandate these proven technologies.

Link to Article: http://www.pressherald.com/2016/03/18/two-killed-in-crash-in-knox-county/

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

 

From the Truck Safety Coalition… Speed Limiter, CDL Clearinghouse Rules Delayed Again

The Department of Transportation recently announced that two long overdue truck safety rules have been further delayed. The rule to require speed limiters on heavy-duty trucks is projected to be published on April 22. The Final Rule for a CDL Clearinghouse, which will develop a database of truck drivers who have failed a drug or alcohol test, is projected to be published on July 28. TSC is disappointed with the delays and will continue monitoring the progress of these regulations.

Link to Article: http://www.overdriveonline.com/dot-announces-further-delays-in-publication-of-speed-limiter-cdl-clearinghouse-rules/

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

 

 

From the Truck Safety Coalition… FMCSA Restores Raw CSA Data to Its Website

Following the passage of the FAST Act, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) was prohibited from posting a carrier’s performance scores compiled under its Safety Management System (SMS) as well as the comparative scores among carriers. Upon making the required changes to become compliant with the new law, the agency restored the raw data the agency uses to compile safety scores for its Compliance, Safety, and Accountability (CSA) initiative to its website. Publishing the raw data, once again, is beneficial to public safety and the right thing to do. The scores are collected by taxpayer-funded law enforcement officers on tax-payer-funded roads

Link to CSA Webpage: https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

From the Truck Safety Coalition… National Academy of Sciences Releases Report with Recommendations for Studying Truck Driver Fatigue

The National Academy of Sciences released a report recommending how the FMCSA could improve its research and data collection efforts pertaining to the relationship between commercial motor vehicle (CMV) driver fatigue and crashes. The study identifies obstacles to researching the link between fatigue and crashes, such as the inability to objectively measure fatigue and the difficulty of determining if drivers are actually resting during their mandated time-off. The study also acknowledged that commercial driver fatigue contributes to between 10 and 20 percent of the nearly 4,000 annual CMV crash fatalities. The NAS report, if utilized properly, will help the FMCSA improve their analysis of truck and bus driver fatigue moving forward. The report can be downloaded by clicking on the link below and following the instructions on the following page.

Link to Report: http://www.nap.edu/catalog/21921/commercial-motor-vehicle-driver-fatigue-long-term-health-and-highway-safety

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

Dawn King Op-Ed: Trucking weight bill could impact safety, infrastructure

I became involved in the Truck Safety Coalition after my father, Bill Badger, was killed in 2004 near the Georgia state line by a tired trucker who had fallen asleep at the wheel after driving all night and crashed into his car.

The Michigan House of Representatives just passed an anti-truck safety bill, House Bill 4418, that would grant an exemption to seasonal weight restrictions, also known as the “frost law,” for trucks carrying maple sap.

As the president of the Truck Safety Coalition (TSC), I have educated myself and others about different policies affecting truck safety for more than ten years. At the same time, I have advocated for laws that would enhance truck safety and defended existing truck safety laws and regulations from being rolled back. I hope that others will join me and TSC in this opportunity to stand up for safety and protect a law that protects the people by opposing HB 4418.

Granting yet another exemption to Michigan’s “frost law” contradicts the original intent of the law. Seasonal weight limits, which reduce weight limits on maximum axle loads, maximum wheel loads and gross vehicle weights for commercial motor vehicles driven on state roads from March until May were established to protect our state’s infrastructure. Because of the freezing and thawing that occurs during the aforementioned months, the roads become far more susceptible to damage caused by heavy vehicles. Therefore, allowing heavier trucks carrying maple sap during these months will result in more road damage, in turn costing the taxpayers even more.

HB 4418 also ignores Michigan’s subpar infrastructure. The American Society of Civil Engineers found 22 percent of Michigan roads are in poor condition and 28 percent of Michigan bridges are structurally deficient or functionally obsolete. Lawmakers should not be enacting this exception that will further exacerbate Michigan’s crumbling roads and bridges.

Additionally, one of the arguments for HB 4418 is based on the erroneous claim that heavier trucks will result in fewer trucks. Increasing the truck weight limit will not decrease the number of trips, result in fewer miles traveled, or improve safety by reducing the number of trucks on the highways. Despite several increases in weights of large trucks over the past few decades, the number of trucks and miles traveled on U.S. highways has consistently gone up.

The number of fatalities as a result of truck crashes in Michigan has also grown. From 2011 to 2014, total fatalities from all crashes in Michigan increased by just 1.3 percent, while fatalities from truck crashes in our state increased by 61 percent during that same time. Clearly, truck safety in our state, like infrastructure, is worsening. Michigan lawmakers must address this problem, but allowing heavier trucks is not the solution.

Bills, like this one, that increase truck weight limits industry-by-industry are nothing more than a back door strategy by special interests to come back to our state legislature in several years and lobby for heavier truck weights statewide. We should not allow this special interest hand out to pass at the expense of our infrastructure and our safety.

Dawn King is the president of the Truck Safety Coalition (TSC), a nonprofit that is a partnership between the Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) and Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT).

Link to Article: http://www.lansingstatejournal.com/story/opinion/contributors/viewpoints/2016/03/11/king-trucking-weight-bill-impact-safety-infrastructure/81605236/

From The Truck Safety Coalition… Agencies Release ANPRM for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

On Wednesday, March 9th, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrations (FMCSA) and Federal Rail Administration’s (FRA) issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) regarding sleep apnea. The agencies will collect data and information concerning the potential consequences for safety presented by truck drivers with moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea. The agencies will be accepting public comments 89 days; the comment period ends on 06/08/2016. TSC will be commenting in support of this rulemaking.

Link to Federal Register: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/03/10/2016-05396/evaluation-of-safety-sensitive-personnel-for-moderate-to-severe-obstructive-sleep-apnea

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

From The Truck Safety Coalition… Truck Driver Pay Has Failed to Keep Up with Inflation

Truck driver’s wages have effectively been cut by almost a third since deregulation in the 1980s. The low pay coupled with lax hours of service regulations are contributing reasons for the trucking industry’s high turn-over rates. TSC promotes changing truck driver pay structure as it will improve safety by reducing the pressure on truck drivers to engage in unsafe work practices to meet unrealistic schedules. 

Link to Article: http://www.overdriveonline.com/trucker-pay-has-plummeted-in-the-last-30-years-analyst-stays/?utm_medium=overdrive&utm_campaign=site_click&utm_source=popular

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

 

From The Truck Safety Coalition… Truck Strikes Bridge in New Jersey, Driver Arrested

A tractor trailer became wedged underneath a bridge after the driver attempted to pass through it. The crash caused debris to be scattered on the road, which led to more than three hours of traffic. While there were no injuries or fatalities as a result of this reckless driver’s actions, property damage only crashes should not be ignored. These crashes create traffic, which results in productivity loss, and cause damage to our country’s crumbling roads and bridges, which are repaired using taxpayer dollars.

Link to Article: http://patch.com/new-jersey/holmdel-hazlet/truck-gets-wedged-under-laurel-avenue-bridge-0

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

 

Truck Safety Coalition Responds to Release of Notice of Proposed Rulemaking Requiring Entry Level Driver Training

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) published today in the Federal Register requiring training for entry-level commercial motor vehicle drivers is a welcome development in the effort to enhance truck safety. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) release of the NPRM, which is based upon the negotiated rulemaking conducted by the Entry Level Driver Training Advisory Committee (ELDTAC), comes 25 years after Congress passed a law requiring a rule on entry level driver training. While we are disappointed that this commonsense regulation has been stalled for so long, the Truck Safety Coalition looks forward to the safety benefits it will produce.

Ron Wood, a member of the ELDTAC and Truck Safety Coalition volunteer said, “This regulation will greatly enhance safety for truckers and the motorists, pedestrians, and bicyclist they drive alongside. Requiring commercial driver’s license applicants to train using a specific curriculum and behind-the-wheel training before they can attain a CDL will help make sure that new truck drivers are prepared to operate their vehicles. The theoretical component mandates training on fatigue awareness, hours of service, trip planning, operating a vehicle under various conditions, and several other safety issues that a professional truck driver needs to address. The requisite 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training will further ensure that CDL applicants can translate their theoretical knowledge into practice for what they may encounter on our nation’s roads and bridges.”

“Although I am eager that this rulemaking will lead to more well-trained drivers, this achievement is bittersweet as it comes too late for some of us.” Wood said. “In 2004, my mother, my sister, and her three children were killed by an inadequately trained driver who fell asleep at the wheel; he killed a total of ten people and injured two others in this crash that occurred 13 years after Congress required action on entry level driver training.”

John Lannen, Executive Director of the Truck Safety Coalition and also a member of the ELDTAC noted, “This negotiated rulemaking is a step in the right direction, but I would be remiss if I did not recognize the delay since the Congressional mandate was issued in the early nineties. Nevertheless, the Truck Safety Coalition is pleased to see that the FMCSA proceeded with the rulemaking that the advisory committee reached through consensus. Aside from the theoretical curricula and behind-the-wheel hourly requirements, there are other much needed safety improvements included in this rulemaking. Establishing standards for FMCSA-approved driver-training providers and a registry of those providers will help the agency ensure that this rulemaking is properly enforced. The Truck Safety Coalition will continue to monitor this NPRM moving forward, and will also continue applying pressure to make sure that this rulemaking becomes a Final Rule as quickly as possible.”

The Truck Safety Coalition (www.trucksafety.org) is a partnership between Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways (CRASH) and Parents Against Tired Truckers (PATT).  The Truck Safety Coalition is dedicated to reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by truck-related crashes, providing compassionate support to truck crash survivors and families of truck crash victims, and educating public policy-makers and media about truck safety issues.

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From The Truck Safety Coalition… Investigation Reveals One Trucking Company Violated State Weight Limit More Than 2,000 Times

A nine-month long investigation by the Nebraska State Patrol Carrier Enforcement Division uncovered one motor carrier’s blatant disregard for state weight limits. Mr. Bult’s Inc (MBI), the carrier, had more than 2,000 occurrences of their vehicles exceeding Nebraska’s weight limits. If not for concerned citizens and committed trooper, this bad actor might still be breaking the law and endangering the public. TSC will continue to promote commercial vehicle enforcement efforts and oppose increases to weight limits.

Link to Article: http://columbustelegram.com/banner-press/news/mbi-pays-fine-for-overweight-truck-violations/article_1994cfc6-b463-55e6-bb2c-287c1bafb3eb.html

The Truck Safety Coalition Team

 

From Truck Safety Coalition… At Safety Check in Vermont, Truck Driver Found with Meth, Other Drugs

After failing to stop for a mandatory commercial vehicle safety check in Vermont, the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) pulled over a truck driver and found multiple safety violations. The driver had not properly kept a record of duty, and the company he works for, J&M Transport LLC did not have the requisite operating authority. The police also found marijuana, methamphetamines, and paraphernalia that was presumably used by the driver to consume these substances. The Truck Safety Coalition will continue working to remove bad actors, like this truck driver, from operating on roads and endangering the public.

Link to Article: http://www.mychamplainvalley.com/news/vt-dmv-truck-driver-had-meth-drugs-during-safety-check

The Truck Safety Coalition Team