This is a reminder that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) drug testing program will soon require testing for four semi-synthetic opioids (i.e., hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone). The change is effective January 1, 2018.
What does this mean for the employees?
Beginning January 1, 2018, in addition to the existing DOT drug testing panel (that includes marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, phencyclidine (PCP), and opiates), you will also be tested for four semi-synthetic opioids (i.e., hydrocodone, oxycodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone). Some common names for these semi-synthetic opioids include OxyContin®, Percodan®, Percocet®, Vicodin®, Lortab®, Norco®, Dilaudid®, Exalgo®.
If you test positive for any of the semi-synthetic opioid drugs, then as with any other drug test result that is confirmed by the laboratory, the Medical Review Officer (MRO) will conduct an interview with you to determine if there is a legitimate medical explanation for the result. If you have a valid prescription, you should provide it to the MRO, who will determine if the prescription is valid. If a legitimate medical explanation is established, the MRO will report the result to your employer as a ‘negative’. If not, the MRO will report the result to your employer as ‘positive’.
As it has been the requirement in the past, when your employer receives a ‘positive’ drug test result, your employer is to immediately remove you from performing safety-sensitive functions and provide you with a list of qualified Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP) available in your area. In order to return to performing safety-sensitive functions for any DOT-regulated employer, you must complete the return-to-duty process that will include an evaluation by a SAP, who will require education and/or treatment. The SAP will determine if you successfully completed the prescribed education and/or treatment. Before an employer could return you to safety-sensitive work, the employer must get a negative result on a directly observed return-to-duty drug test. After you return to safety-sensitive work, you must be subject to directly observed follow-up testing for 12-60 months depending on the SAP’s recommendations.
Do I need to tell anyone about my prescribed medications?
Your employer may have a policy that requires you to report your prescribed medications to them. So check with your employer. If your job function has DOT-regulated medical standards (truck/bus driver, airline pilot, mariner), the DOT agency regulation may require you to report your prescribed medications to those who approved your medical qualifications.
What should I tell my prescribing physician?
If you are taking any prescription medications, consider this to be a reminder to have a conversation with your prescribing physician to discuss your safety-sensitive work. Be proactive in ensuring that your prescribing physician knows what type of transportation-related safety-sensitive work you currently perform. For example, don’t just provide a job title but describe your exact job function(s) or ask your employer for a detailed description of your job function that you can give to your prescribing physician. This is important information for your prescribing physician to consider when deciding whether and what medication to prescribe for you. It is important for you to know whether your medications could impact your ability to safely perform your transportation-related work.
Will the MRO report my prescribed medication use/medical information to a third party?
Historically, the DOT’s regulation required the MRO to report your medication use/medical information to a third party (e.g. your employer, health care provider responsible for your medical qualifications, etc.), if the MRO determines in his/her reasonable medical judgement that you may be medically unqualified according to DOT Agency regulations, or if your continued performance is likely to pose a significant safety risk. The MRO may report this information even if the MRO verifies your drug test result as ‘negative’.
As of January 1, 2018, prior to the MRO reporting your information to a third party you will have up to five days to have your prescribing physician contact the MRO. You are responsible for facilitating the contact between the MRO and your prescribing physician. Your prescribing physician should be willing to state to the MRO that you can safely perform your safety-sensitive functions while taking the medication(s), or consider changing your medication to one that does not make you medically unqualified or does not pose a significant safety risk.
NOTE: This document informally summarizes some of the effects of recent changes to the Procedures for Transportation Workplace Drug and Alcohol Testing Programs that are important for transportation employees, but it should not be relied upon to determine legal compliance with those procedures.
A study released recently by the Pew Charitable Trusts finds that eleven states were in deficit – overall spending exceeding overall revenues – for the fiscal years 2002 through 2016.
The study looked at all revenues and spending, not just that covered by a state’s regular budget, which often excludes pensions and other special funds.
New Jersey finds itself at the bottom of this list as well as similar rankings in this category: the state managed to cover only a little more than 92 percent of its costs, and was in deficit in every year of the 15 in the study period. So was Illinois, the second-worst, which covered a little over 94 percent of spending.
The other deficit states, in alphabetical order, were California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Mexico, and New York.
As a whole, the states averaged 102.2 percent, with some of the jurisdictions whose economies depend heavily on oil and gas coming out the best in those years: Alaska, North Dakota, and Wyoming.
Details on the Pew study may be seen here: http://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/analysis/2017/10/26/revenue-trails-expenses-over-long-term-in-11-states?hd&utm_campaign=2017-11-01+PNN&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Pew.
Source: The State Laws Newsletter
Just one week before the U.S. electronic logging device (ELD) mandate is set to kick in, nearly half of trucking professionals who responded to a recent survey said they’ve yet to select an ELD.
The survey was conducted between Nov. 30 and Dec. 5, by HELP Inc., the provider of the PrePass weight station bypass service. The survey was taken by 1,620 trucking professionals, 49% of whom said they haven’t yet selected an ELD.
Only 33% of respondents said they have selected and installed an ELD, while 18% said they have made a selection but have yet to install them.
More than half the respondents who identified themselves as fleet managers reported having ELD devices installed and operational, while just under 28% of drivers and owner-operators claimed to be ready.
Of those who have not installed an ELD, 68% don’t plan to do so before the deadline, the survey found. They cited reasons including not being convinced the ELD mandate will take effect. Some 31% of drivers said they don’t plan to install an ELD at all.
“It is surprising to see that such a large share of both owner-operators and drivers as well as fleet professionals see no need or rush to comply with the upcoming ELD mandate,” said HELP CEO Karen Rasmussen. “Whether they are in favor of ELD or not, there is every indication that the FMCSA intends to follow through with its plans to require the devices without delay.”
The poll also found 24% of respondents said they have not selected an ELD due to the costs.
“I believe there is a misconception among some fleets and owner-operators/drivers that ELDs are expensive and difficult to install, but that’s not the case,” said Rasmussen. “PrePass and a few other providers offer ELD solutions that literally take just a few seconds to install when paired up with a smartphone or tablet, and the apps cost no more than a dollar per day to use.”
Learn how to access the new CVSA online learning management system and take advantage of new training opportunities. We’ll show you where to find hazardous materials regulations, special permits and interpretations on the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) website, and modal hazardous materials regulations and interpretations on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) website.
CVSA-certified roadside inspectors, Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) managers, hazardous materials program managers and motor carrier safety managers/directors
Date and Time
Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, from 1-2 p.m. (EST)
CVSA Director of COHMED Program Bill Reese
Registration is required to attend this webinar. Click here to register.
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. If you have not previously joined a webinar with CVSA, you may be prompted to download and install a GoToWebinar program (this is required to view the webinar). Please download well in advance of the start time to ensure everything is in working order prior to the start of the webinar.
A telephone number and access code will be included in your registration confirmation email. Your telephone audio pin will be shown on the webinar control panel on screen after you connect to the webinar via computer.
To hear the audio, you may be able to use your computer's speakers (VoIP) but a landline telephone is preferred if you want to verbally ask questions. After connecting by computer, dial the phone number sent with your registration confirmation and (important) enter the audio pin shown after you connect via computer. If you’re using a telephone, we recommend you use a landline, if possible, rather than a cell phone, and participate on the call from a noise-controlled location. We recommend using either the audio from your computer or your telephone; not both. Using both results in audio feedback.
If you're unable to attend the webinar or are interested in viewing the recording of this webinar at a later time, CVSA members can view webinar archives through their CVSA member portal. Once logged in, click on the "My Video & Webinar Library" tab at the top of the page to view a listing of all past webinars. This webinar will be added to the archives approximately one week after the webinar concludes.
If you have any questions, contact CVSA Director of COHMED Program Bill Reese.
Thank you and we look forward to having you join us for this informative webinar.
The Driver Compensation Survey deadline has been extended to December31! But we encourage you not to wait – take 25 minutes today and complete the survey!
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Share the Road Safety Program Releases Instructional Video Ahead of Holidays
Today, American Trucking Associations and ATA’s Share the Road highway safety program provide tips for safe driving ahead of Thanksgiving weekend.
“The high volume of travelers for Thanksgiving amplifies the importance of taking safe driving measures to ensure everyone can make it to the dinner table,” said Share the Road professional truck driver Tim Taylor, of FedEx Freight. “As a family man and a professional truck driver, I am one of the last drivers on the road, delivering all the trimmings necessary for Thanksgiving. I hope my fellow motorists will consider safety as they travel to their Thanksgiving destinations.”
AAA projects more than 51 million Americans will travel more than 50 miles this Thanksgiving weekend, making this year the highest travel volume in over a dozen years. High traffic volume can contribute to congestion and a reduction in speeds. Share the Road’s Instructional Video spreads truck safety messages to the millions of motorists who will be driving alongside large trucks this week. The video, featuring professional truck drivers, gives an eight-minute recap of critical safe-driving habits and has already been viewed by hundreds of thousands of motorists, including truck drivers and the general motoring public.
“The professional truck drivers in the Share the Road Instructional Video are highly-trained drivers who have accrued millions of accident-free miles. Just taking a few minutes to review some of these important safety messages can make all the difference on the road,” said ATA COO and Executive Vice President of Industry Affairs Elisabeth Barna.
Thanksgiving offers several other driving challenges beyond traffic congestion. Winter driving presents unique problems for motorists, including high wind and blowing snow, which contribute to reduced visibility in many regions throughout North America. Similarly, freezing temperatures can have a profound impact on vehicles and the roadways. A thorough pre-trip inspection and understanding of driving conditions can play a significant role in driving success this holiday season.
“As a veteran driver and a truck driver from Minnesota, I have been trained to deal with wintery conditions on the road,” said Share the Road professional truck driver Bill Krouse, of YRC Freight. “It’s important to make sure your vehicle is prepared for extended trips. Check your wiper fluids, antifreeze, and pack a few extra blankets before you pull out of the driveway in case of emergency.”
Share the Road professional drivers recommend these safety tips to drivers and would like to remind motorists about some key elements of safe driving, including how to operate small passenger vehicles near large tractor-trailers:
September 2017 Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI)
On Sept. 7, 2017, enforcement personnel throughout Canada and the United States conducted 7,698 inspections on commercial motor vehicles as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Brake Safety Day. Fourteen percent of the vehicles inspected were placed out of service specifically for brake-related violations.
The goal of Brake Safety Day is to conduct roadside inspections, and identify and remove vehicles with critical brake violations from our roadways in an effort to reduce the number of crashes caused by or made more severe by brake system deficiencies on commercial motor vehicles.
Inspection data from Brake Safety Day featured the following notable results:
Brake Safety Day also captures data on how well antilock braking systems (ABS) are maintained in accordance with federal regulations. ABS help the driver to stop in the shortest possible distance under many conditions and to maintain steering control in situations when tires start to slip. Many participating jurisdictions surveyed ABS compliance. ABS violations were counted when the malfunction lamp did not work or the malfunction lamp stayed on, indicating a fault of some kind. The findings are as follows:
"Brake-related violations are the largest percentage of all out-of-service violations cited during roadside inspections. CVSA’s Brake Safety Day provides an opportunity enhance brake safety," said CVSA President Capt. Christopher Turner with the Kansas Highway Patrol. "Our goal is to reduce the number of crashes caused by faulty braking systems, by conducting roadside inspections, educating drivers, mechanics, owner-operators and others on the importance of proper brake inspection and maintenance."
Properly functioning brake systems are crucial to safe commercial motor vehicle operation. Improperly installed or poorly maintained brake systems can reduce braking efficiency and increase the stopping distance of large trucks and buses, posing serious risks to driver and public safety. ABS, combined with the brake system, provide a platform for stability control and for other safety-enhancing systems to function.
Brake Safety Day is part of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake Program in partnership with the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA) and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). More than 3.4 million brakes have been inspected since the program’s inception in 1998.
The New York City Department of Transportation and MTA Bridges and Tunnels advise that the Annual New York City Marathon will take place on Sunday, November 5th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Motorist should expect local street closures and delays throughout the 5 boroughs of New York City during these times. The entire Verrazano-Narrows Bridge will be closed from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Over height vehicles and vehicles carrying hazardous materials will be banned from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in both directions from 11 p.m., Saturday, November 4th through 3 p.m., Sunday, November 5th. The Pulaski Bridge, Queensboro Bridge, Willis Avenue Bridge, and Madison Avenue Bridge will also be closed during the marathon. Motorists should allow for extra travel time to reach their destination or consider using mass transit.
Law enforcement agencies throughout North America will engage in heightened traffic safety enforcement and educational outreach as part of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Week, Oct. 15-21, 2017. Throughout the week, enforcement personnel will identify and issue warnings and/or citations to commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and passenger-vehicle drivers exhibiting unsafe driving behaviors on our roadways.
Unsafe driver behaviors by CMV drivers and passenger-vehicle drivers continue to be the leading cause of crashes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) “Large Truck Crash Causation Study” cites driver behavior as the critical reason for more than 88 percent of large truck crashes and 93 percent of passenger-vehicle crashes.
CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Program was created to help to reduce the number of crashes, deaths and injuries involving large trucks, buses and passenger vehicles due to unsafe driving behaviors. During Operation Safe Driver Week, there will be increased CMV and passenger-vehicle traffic enforcement.
Examples of dangerous driver behaviors that enforcement personnel will be tracking throughout Operation Safe Driver Week are speeding, distracted driving, texting, failure to use a seatbelt while operating a CMV or in a passenger vehicle, traveling too closely, improper lane change, failure to obey traffic control devices, etc.
Operation Safe Driver Week is sponsored by CVSA, in partnership with FMCSA and with support from industry and transportation safety organizations, and aims to help improve the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner – either in or around a CMV – through educational and traffic enforcement strategies to address individuals exhibiting high-risk driving behaviors.
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