The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced today that passengers riding in large commercial trucks will be required to use seat belts whenever the vehicles are operated on public roads in interstate commerce. Effective August 8, 2016, the final rule revises Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations and holds motor carriers and drivers responsible for ensuring that passengers riding in large commercial trucks are using seat belts.
“Seat belts save lives – period,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Whether you’re a driver or passenger, in a personal vehicle or large truck, the simple act of wearing a safety belt significantly reduces the risk of fatality in a crash.”
In 2014, 37 passengers traveling unrestrained in the cab of a large truck were killed in roadway crashes, according to the most recent data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Of this number, approximately one-third were ejected from the truck cab.
FMCSA’s most recent Seat Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Drivers Survey, published in March 2014, found that commercial motor vehicle passengers use seat belts at a lower rate (73 percent) than CMV drivers (84 percent). Federal rules have long required all commercial drivers to use seat belts.
“Using a seat belt is one of the safest, easiest, and smartest choices drivers and passengers can make before starting out on any road trip,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “This rule further protects large truck occupants and will undoubtedly save more lives.”
Click here to read a copy of the final rule.
Truck Drivers Honor Fallen Soldiers by Promoting Highway Safety
Arlington, Va. – Today, American Trucking Associations and America’s Road Team Captains are turning their attention to highway safety in anticipation of a busy Memorial Day weekend. According to AAA, this year’s Memorial Day weekend will see the second highest traffic volume in the holiday’s history, with more than 38 million Americans expected to take to the highways this weekend.
“During busy weekends, our job as professional truck drivers gets a little more challenging, but we have the skills and training to deal with the extra traffic,” said America’s Road Team Captain Kirk Weis, of ABF Freight. “We want everyone to have a safe summer of driving and, to me, that starts with having a safe Memorial Day weekend on the highway. Keep these tips in mind while you’re traveling this weekend.”
The trucking industry is remembering the fallen soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in defending the nation’s freedoms. Trucking companies take great pride in providing meaningful, rewarding work for veterans of the military who want to continue their service to the country by assisting in the transportation of its most essential goods.
“There is no greater responsibility than protecting the lives of others,” said America’s Road Team Captain Henry Bruster, of UPS Freight. “I learned how to protect others and drive a truck while in the military, and I think those responsibilities have carried over to my job as a professional truck driver. We are all called upon to make safety a priority when using the highways, especially during busy holidays when more vehicles are on the roads.”
America’s Road Team Captains offer these safety tips to remind motorists about some key elements of safe driving, especially relating to operating small passenger vehicles near large tractor-trailers.
America's Road Team, sponsored by Volvo Trucks, is a national public outreach program led by a small group of professional truck drivers who share superior driving skills, remarkable safety records and a strong desire to spread the word about safety on the highway.www.americasroadteam.com.
Program Works with Motorcyclists to Promote Awareness, Safety Tips
Arlington, Va. – Today, American Trucking Associations and ATA’s Share the Road Highway Safety Program are bringing awareness to Motorcycle Safety Month and urging all motorists to be aware of motorcycles while driving down the highway.
“Motorcyclists and truck drivers understand that due to the unique qualities of their vehicles, they must remain vigilantly committed to safety at all times in order to keep our roads safe,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “As part of Motorcycle Awareness Month, ATA’s Share the Road program is working with motorcycle groups to educate all motorists on the importance of safely sharing the road with trucks and motorcycles.”
Last week, Share the Road professional truck drivers spoke with the Williamsport, Pa. chapter of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association about how motorcyclists can stay out of truck blind spots. GWRRA meetings held in Dalton, Ga. and an upcoming meeting in Billings, Mont. aim to bring attention to the need for cooperation and dialogue between professional truck drivers and motorcyclists.
“Like motorcyclists, truck drivers find a certain level of comfort and enjoyment while out on the highway,” said professional truck driver John McKown (UPS Freight). “With that said, we need to take every safety precaution possible and teach each other about our vehicles so that we can continue to take advantage of the nation’s roads.”
ATA’s Share the Road professional truck drivers compiled a list of truck safety tips for motorcyclists looking to stay safe this driving season.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that fatalities are 26 times more likely in motorcycle crashes than in car crashes. ATA and ATA’s Share the Road highway safety program are committed to improving safety between trucks and motorcycles.
New Safety Data Shows Some Yearly Gains and Continuation of Long-Term Trend
Arlington, Va. – Today, American Trucking Associations officials said they were pleased by the announcement today by the Department of Transportation that fatal truck crashes fell 3.7% in 2014, continuing the decade-long improvement in safety the industry has experienced.
“It is a tragedy whenever there is a fatality on our highways, but the trucking industry is pleased to see that it is a tragedy that fewer and fewer Americans are experiencing,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “While the one-year decline being reported by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is positive, the long-term trend is of paramount importance, and that trend is impressive. The number of crashes involving large trucks had fallen 39% since 2004 and, while there is much more to do, that is a figure our professional drivers, our safety directors, our technicians and our safety partners in federal and state law enforcement can be proud of.”
There were a number of important findings in today’s release of FMCSA’s Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2014, including:
“Today’s announcement of a decline in truck related fatalities and crashes is significant,” said ATA Chairman Pat Thomas, senior vice president of state government affairs for UPS Inc. “It shows the continuation of the positive long-term trend, a trend made possible, in part, by our industry’s continued investment in safety tools and technologies.”
America’s Road Team Offers Tips during National Work Zone Awareness Week
Today, American Trucking Associations and America’s Road Team are urging motorists to be acutely aware of work zones in order to be safe on the nation’s highways. As part of National Work Zone Awareness Week, America’s Road Team Captains, elite drivers with millions of accident-free miles, are providing safe driving tips to keep both motorists and workers safe during this spring’s construction season.
“The men and women working to improve highways and build infrastructure are committed to getting each of us home safely, which is why as a professional truck driver, I think all drivers should pay close attention to safety when entering work zones,” said America’s Road Team Captain Paul Savill, of UPS Freight. “Slowing down and not being distracted are two life-saving habits that we are working to promote.”
National Work Zone Awareness Week, now in its 17th year, happens every April to encourage safe driving during the springtime resurgence of construction projects along roadways. This year's theme, "Don't Be That Driver" emphasizes the message that all drivers should be constantly focused and prepared for challenging conditions in and around work zones.
America's Road Team Captains, professional truck drivers selected for their impressive driving records and commitment to safety, are sharing their wealth of experience from the road:
Work Zone Safety Tips for Motorists
Expect the Unexpected – Speed limits may be reduced, traffic lanes may be changed, and people may be working on or near the road.
The NJMTA established the New Jersey Motor Truck Association Fund Scholarship to assist the children of New Jersey employees of NJMTA members who seek to pursue a college education at an accredited two-year or four-year college or university or at an accredited vocational/technical institution.
Scholarships are made on academic potential, financial need and unusual circumstances without reference to race, creed, gender, disability, religion or national origin.
Applicants must be New Jersey residents who are *dependent children, age 23 and under, of full-time New Jersey based employees of a NJMTA member, in good standing. The member company must have a minimum of six months membership with NJMTA.
*Dependent children are natural and legally adopted children or step-children living in the employee's household or primarily supported by the employee.
Awards There will be three (3) $1,000 scholarships awarded. Awards are for undergraduate study only.
Interested students must complete the NJMTA Scholarship Fund Application for the next academic year and mail to NJMTA, 160 Tices Lane, East Brunswick, NJ 08816, along with current transcript of grades, post marked no later than Monday, May 23, 2016. Recipients will be notified in June.
Applicants are responsible for gathering and submitting all necessary information. Applications are evaluated on the information supplied; therefore, it is important to answer all questions as completely, as possible. All information received is considered confidential and is reviewed only by the scholarship committee and NJMTA staff.
Click here for a copy of the 2-page Scholarship Application or call 732-254-5000 for a copy.
Selection The final selection of recipients is made by the NJMTA Scholarship Committee. The committee will evaluate all applications on the basis of past educational performance and future potential, work experience, statement of career and educational aspirations and goals, leadership and participation in school and community activities. Unusual circumstances and financial need will be given careful consideration. Anyone who serves on the Scholarship Committee agrees that their family members will not be eligible to participate in the program.
Payment of Awards
The award check will be mailed directly to the school in the student's name.
Students or employees having questions should contact: Jennifer Blazovic at
732-254-5000 or by email email@example.com.
PLEASE POST FOR ALL EMPLOYEES
Commercial drivers with questions about participating are encouraged to contact ATRI by email at ATRI@trucking.org. ATRI rigorously protects the confidentiality of all participants and responses in its research. Any identifiable characteristics will be removed and findings will only be reported in the aggregate.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is issuing this bulletin based upon a safety recall initiated by Volvo Trucks affecting nearly 20,000 Class 8 motor vehicles, with more than 17,000 affected vehicles in the United States (click here to view Volvo Trucks’ “Safety Recall Alert”). - See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/urgent-inspection-bulletin-safety-recall-issued-volvo-trucks#sthash.YEUAstOt.dpuf
Today, a number of organizations representing the commercial truck and bus industries presented the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration with a poster honoring seventy-six professional drivers for their millions of miles of accident-free driving.
“We present this poster on behalf of the truck and bus industry recognizing these tremendous professional drivers,” Sean McNally, American Trucking Associations’ vice president of public affairs, said today in a brief ceremony at FMCSA headquarters. “There are four million professional drivers on the road and these men and women are the pinnacle of their profession. We hope this will hang in the foyer so visitors and staff of FMCSA can be reminded that they have many safety partners here, but none more important than our professional men and women who are behind the wheel of our trucks and buses.”
In addition to ATA, representatives of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the American Moving & Storage Association, the American Bus Association and United Motorcoach Association, presented the poster to Acting FMCSA Administrator Scott Darling.
“We congratulate all the drivers for being a part of something that the trucking industry can look to as the epitome of safe driving. Those men and women are the unsung heroes that carry the lifeblood of the nation and make it all work,” said OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer.
“The American Moving & Storage Association is pleased with this recognition of the moving industry’s drivers who have driven millions of miles safely and responsibly all across the country. Making sure customers get their goods in the safest, most professional way possible is the moving industry’s top priority, and we are honored that this poster will serve as a reminder of that commitment with the public and federal officials,” said Dan Veoni, AMSA vice president of government affairs.
FMCSA said the poster will be hung in a formal event later this spring.
“We’re pleased that FMCSA has taken this step to honor the professional men and women who move America’s goods safely each day,” saidATA President and CEO Bill Graves, “and we look forward to seeing it hung prominently in the halls of FMCSA headquarters.”
A PDF of the poster can be downloaded here, and photos and video of today’s event can be found here.
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today announced that the agencies are seeking public input during the next 90 days on the impacts of screening, evaluating, and treating rail workers and commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The National Transportation Safety Board recommended that DOT take action to address OSA screening and treatment for transportation workers.
The joint Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) is the first step as both agencies consider whether to propose requirements specifically on OSA. FRA and FMCSA will host three public listening sessions to gather input on OSA in Washington, DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
“It is imperative for everyone’s safety that commercial motor vehicle drivers and train operators be fully focused and immediately responsive at all times,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “DOT strongly encourages comment from the public on how to best respond to this national health and transportation safety issue.”
It is estimated that 22 million men and women could be suffering from undiagnosed OSA, a respiratory disorder characterized by a reduction or cessation of breathing during sleep. Undiagnosed or inadequately treated moderate to severe OSA can cause unintended sleep episodes and deficits in attention, concentration, situational awareness, memory, and the capacity to safely respond to hazards when performing safety sensitive service. For individuals with OSA, eight hours of sleep can be less refreshing than four hours of ordinary, uninterrupted sleep, according to a study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The size and scope of the potential problem means that OSA presents a critical safety issue for all modes and operations in the transportation industry.
“The sooner patients with OSA are diagnosed and treated, the sooner our rail network will be safer,” said FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg said. “Over the next 90 days, we look forward to hearing views from stakeholders about the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea, their views on diagnosis and treatment, and potential economic impacts.”
“The collection and analysis of sound data on the impact of OSA must be our immediate first step,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “We call upon the public to help us better understand the prevalence of OSA among commercial truck and bus drivers, as well as the safety and economic impacts on the truck and bus industries.”
FRA is also currently working on a rule that will require certain railroads to establish fatigue management plans. In 2012, FRA partnered with the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, WFBH Education Foundation and the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center to sponsor the Railroaders’ Guide to Healthy Sleep website[external link]. The site provides educational information to railroaders and their families about sleep disorders and information to improve sleep quality.
For any CMV drivers who are detected to have a respiratory dysfunction, such as OSA, FMCSA currently recommends that medical examiners refer them for further evaluation and therapy. In January 2015, FMCSA issued a bulletin to remind healthcare professionals on the agency’s National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners of the current physical qualifications standard and advisory criteria concerning the respiratory system, specifically how the requirements apply to drivers that may have obstructive sleep apnea. Click here for a copy of the FMCSA bulletin.
To read the ANPRM and provide comments, click here.
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