Last week, a dump truck towing a Bobcat bulldozer rear ended a minivan, causing it to collide into a tractor in front of it. Consequently, the minivan was destroyed and a 42 year-old high school English teacher was killed.
Unfortunately, this fatal crash could have prevented by commonsense proposals that TSC has been promoting for years. Adopting forward collision avoidance and mitigation (F-CAM) technology could have prevented this crash, or at least mitigated the severity of it. Establishing a drug clearinghouse database would have also possibly prevented the crash. The driver of the dump truck, who had a history of driving violations as well as two pending drug charges, should not have been behind the wheel of this truck.
The Truck Safety Coalition Team
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.
The Truck Safety Coalition Team
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