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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
On May 27, 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published in the Federal Register a Final Rule to identify motor carriers transporting passengers in interstate commerce and correctly assign responsibility to these entities for regulatory violations during inspections, compliance investigations, and crash investigations.
This Final Rule will also provide the general public with the means to identify the responsible motor carrier at the time transportation services are provided.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) had recommended that FMCSA regulate the leasing of passenger carriers in much the same way as it regulates the leasing of for-hire property carriers.
The original compliance date as set forth in the Final Rule was January 1, 2017.
The one-year extension of the compliance date announced today will allow FMCSA a sufficient opportunity to review and, where appropriate, make adjustments due to a number of petitions for reconsideration.
For further information, see today’s Federal Register announcement here.
Arlington, Va. – Today, American Trucking Associations and the professional drivers that make up its Share the Road highway safety program urged motorists to be cautious around potholes.
“The trucking industry knows our network of highways continues to show signs of age and wear and tear every day, so when poor winter weather magnifies problems with our roads and bridges, safety has to be our biggest priority,” said ATA President and CEO Bill Graves. “Professional truck drivers know the hazards associated with potholes because they see it in their daily work - cars sitting on the side of the road, blown tires creating unsafe conditions and traffic congestion slowing the movement of freight.”
A recent study released by AAA estimates that potholes cost drivers more than $3 billion annually. The costs come in the form of bent wheels, blown tires and suspension damage and, over the past five years, have impacted more than 16 million drivers.
“Potholes can cause extensive damage to your vehicle and create unsafe conditions for everyone on the road,” said Share the RoadProfessional Truck Driver Byron Bramwell (YRC Freight). “This time of year, it’s important that all drivers maintain safe following distances and go over potholes slowly so that the holes don’t get worse.”
ATA continues to call on lawmakers at every level of government – federal, state and local – to fully fund infrastructure repairs, and urges all drivers to stay safe by remaining alert and paying attention to potholes in their communities.
Share the Road Professional Truck Drivers are elite drivers with millions of accident-free miles. The drivers offered these tips in order to keep your family safe and avoid unnecessary car maintenance costs when faced with potholes:
The last two months have been very busy at ATA. I wanted to update you on a number of issues, including the Hours of Service restart issue and ATA’s effort to pursue preemption clarification in the FAA Authorization bill.
Hours of Service: Since the Executive Committee provided direction in February, ATA has been actively working with congressional staff in an attempt to find a satisfactory, bipartisan resolution to the problem created by the legislative glitch. I’ve met with several Members of Congress to discuss the issue, and we continue to be optimistic that a solution can be found in the near-term. Getting to a satisfactory solution is the first step, and then working with the right Congressional Committees and Members of Congress to get it enacted is the critically important second step. We will keep you updated as things continue to progress.
F4A: In 1994, Congress broadly preempted states from regulating interstate motor carriers, to ensure that the trucking industry would be shaped primarily by market forces under a nationally-uniform system of rules promulgated at the federal level. That Congressional policy is currently under threat by states and courts that are refusing to faithfully implement it, and are allowing plaintiffs’ attorneys to use state regulation of trucking companies as the basis of ruinous multimillion dollar class action lawsuits. We support Section 611 of the pending House FAA authorization bill, which will clarify that the 1994 provision precludes states from imposing meal- and rest-break rules on top of those promulgated by FMCSA, and from prohibiting carriers from paying drivers on a simple piece-rate basis (i.e. by the load/by the mile). Without this, states will be free to impose a patchwork of state-by-state rules on interstate carriers, resulting in confusion and inefficiency. ATA continues to work with Congress on this issue, with the support of a coalition of ATA members and other stakeholders.
Below are a few links to important information concerning ATA’s effort.
New Jersey Motor Truck Association | 160 Tices Lane, East Brunswick, NJ 08816 | 732-254-5000