Liam’s Walk 2013 – Jackman, Maine

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

Daphne Izer Speaks Out – Bangor Daily News

Keep on truckin’

On June 13, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development held a hearing about our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. I was confounded to hear Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, decry the dire condition of highways and bridges throughout our state since she was the lead proponent of allowing behemoth 100,000-pound trucks on our interstate.

In January 2011, I urged members of the Maine delegation to stop the 20-year congressional pilot program allowing these overweight trucks on our roads. Despite clear and compelling facts demonstrating the safety risks and damage to our infrastructure, the program was enacted.

Now, Collins says that Maine’s roads and bridges are among the worst in the nation’s rural transportation system. Well, the senator should know that large, heavy trucks are a major cause of bridge and pavement damage.

The Maine Department of Transportation estimates that to maintain state highways and bridges in good repair would cost $335 million annually — $110 million above current levels. The senator should have considered the cost to Maine’s citizens and taxpayers before supporting legislation to allow more big trucks on I-95.

Aside from the damage to our infrastructure, large truck crashes continue to claim about 4,000 lives annually. In 1993, my teenage son, Jeff, and three friends were killed by a large truck while stopped in their car in the breakdown lane of the Maine Turnpike. The chance of surviving a serious crash with a large truck is slim, and now with 100,000-pound trucks, it’s even slimmer.

Daphne Izer


Daphne Izer Updates Committee Leaders on CSA Crash Data

To read Daphne Izer’s letter to Senator Frank Lautenberg, click here.

To read Daphne Izer’s letter to Senator Roy Blunt, click here.

Truck Safety Advocates Respond to the ATA’s Push to Remove Crash Data From the CSA Crash BASIC

Click here to read the press release.

NTSB recommends 10-year employment database for truck drivers

NTSB recommends 10-year employment database for truck drivers

By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor


A fatal crash involving a truck and an Amtrak train in Nevada in 2011 could significantly affect the employment screening process for truck drivers if NTSB gets its way.

Citing the crash that killed six people including the truck driver on June 24, 2011, near Reno, the National Transportation Safety Board rolled out a list of recommendations to agencies including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Topping the list, NTSB Administrator Deborah Hersman is urging the FMCSA to create a national database for commercial drivers and require motor carriers to screen 10 years of driver employment history prior to hiring.

Hersman framed the three-part employment screening request, along with an additional recommendation on brake monitoring, in a letter to FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro, dated Jan. 28, 2013.

NTSB investigators noted that the driver of the truck that collided with the Amtrak train, Lawrence Valli, 43 of Winnemucca, NV, had an “erratic” employment history including citations and crashes.

In addition, Valli was reportedly using a cellphone just before the crash, and was within 300 feet of the intersection before applying his brakes.

The NTSB noted that 11 of the 16 brake drums on the Peterbilt that Valli was driving were “worn beyond specified limits.” That led to a citation of Valli’s employer, John Davis Trucking, for failing to provide a safe vehicle.

Hersman requested that Ferro take action on the four specific recommendations within 90 days.

OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said current and future truckers have reason to be concerned with the recommendations for what they do, and what they don’t do. He says technology and regulations – some that show negligible or no safety benefit – are no substitute for adequate training and experience behind the wheel.

“People want to latch onto this ‘gotcha’ mentality that technology and enforcement can improve safety, yet we’re not even requiring people entering this industry to have any training or any assurance that they can be safe and successful behind the wheel,” Spencer said.

“A database that would keep records on millions of drivers for 10 years would be a big undertaking,” he adds. “While I’m assuming it’s their belief that it might have an improvement on safety, I would assume that most of the drivers being entered into the database would not have anything like 10 years of experience. A driver without experience is not likely to have any blemishes on their records, but that is not an assurance that they would be safe drivers.”

Specifically, the four NTSB recommendations to FMCSA are as follows:

  • H-12-54: Create a mechanism to gather and record commercial driving-related employment history information about all drivers who have a commercial driver’s license, and make this information available to all prospective motor carrier employers.
  • H-12-55: Using the mechanism developed in Safety Recommendation H-12-54, require motor carriers to conduct and document investigations into the employment records of prospective drivers for the 10 years that precede the application date.
  • H-12-55: Require motor carriers to retrieve records from the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) and the National Driver Register (NDR) for all driver applicants so that they can obtain a complete driving and license history of prospective drivers.
  • H-12-56: Inform commercial vehicle inspectors of (1) the importance of taking pushrod stroke measurements within the specified pressure range, (2) the relationship between pushrod stroke and specific air pressure, and (3) the consequence of taking measurements outside of this range.

The FMCSA already collects data from roadside inspections as well as crash reports and stores that information in the Motor Carrier Management Information System. The MCMIS database populates the Pre-Employment Screening Program and data is also used in the CSA enforcement program. The agency currently maintains records for five years on crashes and three years on violations on drivers.

“From what we’re hearing from our members, the data in that system is not even close to accurate,” Spencer points out.

Should the FMCSA respond with proposed rule change for a 10-year database, the public will get a chance to comment. OOIDA would file comments, Spencer said.

Copyright © OOIDA

Second Year Increase in Overall Out-of-Service Rate for Brakes of Trucks

Brake Safety Week Finds Substantial Compliance Despite Increase in Overall Out-of-Service Rate for Brakes of Trucks and Buses for Second Year in Row

During Brake Safety Week, September 9-15, 2102, federal, state, provincial and local safety inspectors across North America conducted inspections that focus on brake systems. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) reports that one out of seven of 21,255 vehicles inspected were placed out-of-service due to brake issues during the latest enforcement mobilization. Brakes have been cited in 29.4% of commercial motor vehicle crashes as an associated factor.

The latest Brake Safety Week took place September 9-15, 2012, all across North America.

Stopping distances of trucks and buses are longer than passenger cars and they increase significantly with many of the brake violations found during these inspections.

Washington, DC (PRWEB) October 25, 2012

Commercial vehicle inspectors participating in the recent Brake Safety Week, the annual enforcement and education campaign focused on regulatory compliance of truck and bus brake system maintenance, found at least one in seven vehicles chosen for inspection had brake-related out-of-service (OOS) violations, according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA). These rates are comparable to recent years, but slightly higher for the second year in a row. Of the vehicles inspected September 9-15, the OOS rate for all brake-related violations was 15.3%. This is higher than in 2011, 2010 and 2009 (at 14.2%, 13.5%, and 15.1%, respectively), but lower than in 2008 and 2007 (18.4% and 17.8% respectively).

The OOS rates for inspections in Canada were lower than in the United States, which is consistent with previous findings, and resulted in 10.8% of vehicles being placed OOS for brakes, compared to 15.5% in the U.S. This year, 9.6% of vehicles inspected in the U.S. during Brake Safety Week were placed OOS for poor brake adjustment, compared to 5.5% in Canada.

“Commercial vehicles with OOS violations are considered imminent hazards to highway safety. Stopping distances of trucks and buses are longer than passenger cars and they increase significantly with many of the brake violations found during these inspections,” said CVSA Executive Director Stephen A. Keppler. “The good news is that eight of ten trucks were compliant, however, the slight increase in out-of-service violations is troubling. Our goal is safe vehicles, drivers and roadways. We will not tolerate anything less than 100 percent compliance with the safety rules of our roads,” said Keppler.

CVSA members conduct approximately four million safety inspections each year. Brakes are always part of a comprehensive North American Standard Level I inspection that are conducted at any time throughout the year. During Brake Safety Week, federal, state, provincial and local safety inspectors across North America conduct Level I inspections and special Level IV inspections that focus on specific safety concerns, such as brake systems.

Brake Safety Week is part of the Operation Airbrake program sponsored by CVSA and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

“Bad brakes on a large truck or bus are a danger to all motorists,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “Brake Safety Week is a timely reminder for those who cut corners on brake safety that we are watching.“ FMCSA’s mission is to prevent crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and commercial buses.

Brake Safety Week is one of the major efforts of the ongoing Operation Air Brake campaign, which is an international effort dedicated to preventing truck and bus crashes and saving lives throughout North America. Its importance is underscored by the fact that brakes were cited as an associated factor in nearly three of ten CMV crashes, according to the most recent Large Crash Causation study.

Overall Brake Safety Week 2012 Results at-a-Glance…

21,255 vehicles were inspected. This is fewer than the record 30,872 vehicles in 2011.

1,993 or 9.4% of vehicles were placed OOS for brake adjustment (8.4% in 2011, 8.9% in 2010).

1,664 or 7.8% of vehicles were placed OOS for brake components (7.9% in 2011, 8.0% in 2010).

3,248 or 15.3% of vehicles were placed OOS for brakes overall (14.2% in 2011, 13.5% in 2010).

Over 2.6 million brakes have been inspected in the 15 years since the program’s inception.

About Operation Airbrake

The Operation Airbrake campaign was first developed in 1998 in Canada and has grown to include two annual enforcement events and educational efforts throughout the year all across North America. The campaign seeks reductions in the rates of brake-related violations and encourages improved understanding and practices of proper brake maintenance. It follows other Selective Traffic Enforcement Program models, which have as been used successfully in other areas of traffic safety. Learn more about Operation Airbrake and Brake Safety Week at

About CVSA

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. Our mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers. The Alliance actively monitors, evaluates, and identifies solutions to potentially unsafe transportation processes and procedures related to driver and vehicle safety requirements most often associated with commercial motor vehicle crashes. In addition, CVSA has several hundred associate members who are committed to helping the Alliance achieve its goals; uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial vehicle inspections, and enforcement activities throughout North America by individuals dedicated to highway safety and security. For more information, visit

FMCSA’s CSA Program, Separating Fiction from the Facts

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) Program:

Separating CSA Fiction from the Facts – to read more, click here.

Testimony from Truck Safety Organizations to the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit 9/13/12

Steve Owings’ Testimony to the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit’s September 13, 2012, Hearing, Evaluating the Effectiveness of DOT’s Truck and Bus Safety ProgramTo read, click here.

My Word: Bill could help stop deadly crashes

Truck Safety Coalition Florida Volunteer Coordinator, Jane Mathis and Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety Volunteer, Jim Portell team together to promote vital roadway safety through support of MAP-21’s safety provisions.  To read their article, click here.

Speed limiter report: Trucks with devices had 50% lower ‘speed-limiter relevant’ crash rate

WASHINGTON — A report detailing research on the safety impact of speed limiters device installations on commercial motor vehicles shows that trucks equipped with speed limiters had a 50 percent lower speed limiter-relevant crash rate compared to trucks without speed limiters.
The report, requested by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Office of Analysis, Research and Technology and conducted by MaineWay Services of Fryeburg, Maine, was recently released by FMCSA.
The report says that assessing whether a crash was speed limiter-relevant was based on four types of information found in the dataset:
• Location of the crash (e.g., highway with speed limit less than 60 mph)
• Crash type (e.g., rear-end truck striking)
• Contributing factor(s) in the crash (used to exclude crashes; e.g., weather-related), and
• Crash narrative.
The speed limiter-relevant crash rate for trucks without speed limiters was five crashes per 100 trucks/year compared to 1.4 per 100 trucks/year for trucks with speed limiters.
In addition, the report showed that the overall crash rate for trucks without a speed limiter was higher compared with trucks equipped with a speed limiter — 16.4 crashes per 100 trucks/year for trucks without a speed limiter versus 11 crashes per 100 trucks/year for trucks with a speed limiter.
“Results from multiple analyses indicated a profound safety benefit for trucks equipped with an active speed limiter,” the report concluded.
The American Trucking Associations, the Truckload Carriers Association and safety advocates support the creation of a federal regulation requiring speed limiters on commercial trucks.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration late last year officially issued a “grant notice” on petitions filed in 2006 by ATA and another group, both of which seek a rulemaking that would require speed limiters on commercial trucks.
The notice appeared in the Federal Register late last year and says that NHTSA will initiate the rulemaking process on the issue with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in 2012.
On the federal rulemaking management system, NHTSA says this about the proposed rule:
“This rulemaking would respond to petitions from ATA and Roadsafe America to require the installation of speed limiting devices on heavy trucks. In response, NHTSA requested public comment on the subject and received thousands of comments supporting the petitioners’ request. Based on the available safety data and the ancillary benefit of reduced fuel consumption, this rulemaking would consider a new Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard that would require the installation of speed limiting devices on heavy trucks. We believe this rule would have minimal cost, as all heavy trucks already have these devices installed, although some vehicles do not have the limit set. This rule would decrease the estimated 8,991 fatalities caused by crashes involving heavy trucks and buses. It would also increase the fleet fuel efficiency of these vehicles.”
Although listed timetables are rarely realized, NHTSA says it plans to have a proposed rule to the Office of the Secretary of Transportation this month.
Estimates on how many fleets use speed limiters ranges from 60 to 80 percent, the report says.

PRESS RELEASE: Truck Safety Coalition Lauds Senate for Passage of Pro-Safety Transportation Bill

Truck Safety Coalition Lauds Senate for Passage of Pro-Safety Transportation Bill
Progress on Electronic On-Board Recorders, Truck Driver Training, and
Registration Requirements for Motor Carriers
Arlington, VA (March 14, 2012):  Today the Senate passed by a strong, bipartisan majority vote a monumental bill that will improve truck safety for all motorists and truck drivers.  Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, MAP-21, (S. 1813) includes numerous provisions that will advance truck safety regulations.  Family and friends of truck crash victims and survivors expressed gratitude to Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chair of the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Ranking Member James Inhofe (R-OK) as well as Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) for their leadership in shepherding this bill with lifesaving improvements to passage.
The Truck Safety Coalition (TSC) also thanks Senator John Rockefeller (D-WV), Chair of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Chair of the Surface Transportation Subcommittee, and Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR), Chair of the Consumer Protection Subcommittee, for introducing the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act of 2011, S.1950, which was incorporated into MAP-21.  The TSC commends these truck safety champions for their dedication and determination to pass this legislation which included numerous provisions to improve commercial motor vehicle safety and excluded truck size and weight increases.  The TSC now urges the House of Representatives to pass this bill as is immediately upon their return from recess.
“At a time when the number of overall motor vehicle crash fatalities decreased to its lowest level since 1949 yet truck crash fatalities increased by nearly 9%, with 3,675 people being killed in 2010, the Senate’s actions today demonstrated a true commitment to save lives by improving truck safety regulations.” stated John Lannen, TSC Executive Director.  “Unfortunately a couple of special interest farm truck exemptions passed, but the overall bill is a huge step in the right direction toward making our roads safer,” Lannen continued.
Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways Board member Tami Friedrich Trakh responded to today’s passage, “I want to give heartfelt thanks to the Senate and especially my Senator, Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, for her true grit and determination to pass a comprehensive bill that advances motor carrier safety.  The improved registration requirements for motor carriers and driver training and medical qualifications for commercial motor vehicle drivers will undoubtedly save lives on our highways.”
“In our work as truck safety volunteers, we are so grateful for victories such as this one.  The Senate demonstrated leadership and a forthrightness to improve motor carrier conditions.  I urge my Congressman, Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica, and the House leadership to follow suit,” stated Jane Mathis, Parents Against Tired Truckers Board member.  “It is past time to have the advancements included in MAP-21 in operation, such as Electronic On-Board Recorders, EOBRs, in all trucks to reduce truck driver fatigue.  My son and his new bride were needlessly killed by a truck driver who fell asleep behind the wheel.  We need to stop these archaic work conditions that are forcing drivers to exceed their limitations by requiring EOBRs and other proven technologies and regulations,” continued Mathis.

The Truck Safety Coalition Supports the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act of 2011, S.1950

In 2010 truck crash fatalities increased by almost nine percent, from 3,380 in 2009 to 3,675 in 2010.

We support the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act of 2011, S.1950 and urge Congress to retain the safety improvements therein including:

Improved Registration Requirements for Motor Carriers (Title I): a written proficiency exam for applicant MCs; restrictions on “reincarnated” MCs; evaluating minimum financial responsibility (insurance) requirements; increased penalties for operating without registration; the ability to revoke registration for unsafe operations causing imminent hazard

Improved CMV Safety (Title II): evaluation of crashworthiness standards for CMVs; improving accountability of foreign MCs

Improved Driver Safety (Title III): requiring electronic on board recorders (EOBRs); creation of a safety fitness rating methodology; establishing a National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners; development of a plan for a National Driver Record Notification System; minimum entry-level training requirements for CMV operators, including behind-the-wheel

“Safe Roads Act” (Title IV): establishing a National Clearinghouse for Controlled Substance and Alcohol Test Results of CMV operators
Improved Enforcement (Title V): increases penalties for most egregious offenders (out of service and financial penalties)
“Compliance, Safety, Accountability” (Title VI): establishes CSA grant program; new entrant safety assurance grant program; border enforcement grant program; high priority grant program
“Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act” (Title VII)
“Safe Highways and Infrastructure Preservation” (Title VIII): truck size and weight study including crash frequency and causes on NHS where overweight trucks are permitted, and infrastructure impacts; compilation of existing size and weight exemptions on the NHS
“Miscellaneous” (Title IX): study of detention time and HOS violations

Three fatal truck accidents draw national attention

By Jill Dunn

Three headline-making fatal truck accidents occurred in a 15-hour period this week, killing 19 people, though one accident may have been caused by a four-wheeler.

Continue reading “Three fatal truck accidents draw national attention”

Truck Driver Faces 5 Homicide Charges in Bus Crash

By ROBERT IMRIE  / Associated Press Wausau Bureau

EAU CLAIRE Continue reading “Truck Driver Faces 5 Homicide Charges in Bus Crash”