2003 Member News
FMCSA Administrator Sandberg Addresses Fall Workshop
While giving roadside inspectors much of the credit for their efforts in achieving the 4.2% decrease in heavy truck fatalities in 2002, Administrator Sandberg appealed to the attendees to help FMCSA meet the goal of reducing truck fatalities by 41% from 1996 to 2008. This would, she said, result in a fatality rate of 1.65 per million miles driven.
Administrator Sandberg stressed the need for Congressional action on a 6-year Reauthorization bill and pointed out the limitations imposed by the 5-month extension of TEA'21 funding levels and the Continuing Resolution (CR) in effect at least through October 31 for FY 2004 expenditures. The combination results in funding at 2003 levels on a month to month basis. She said MCSAP grants normally are not dispensed under a CR and states are advised to use their rollover money until the Congress approves the 2004 Transportation Appropriations bill. However, if any state does not have sufficient rollover money to continue commercial vehicle enforcement efforts at least at 2003 levels of effort while the CR remains in effect, she said they should contact FMCSA immediately.
Sandberg also called upon the states to improve data systems operation. The average time to upload accident data is 120 days and inspections data 36 days. She said the goal for inspection data uploading should be 20 days.
CVSA Strategic Plan — We need your input!
President Peter Hurst established an Ad Hoc Committee in the Summer of 2003 to review CVSA's current Strategic Plan, last updated in 1996. The committee first met in August and has initiated work on a number of fronts. The most important piece of the committees' work is to gather input from internal and external stakeholders. We ask CSVA Members and other interested parties to complete the questionnaire and either e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or fax (202-775-1624) your response to CVSA Headquarters. If you have questions or would like more information, please contact Steve Keppler at CVSA Headquarters or one of the committee members:
- Major Jack Van Steenberg, New York State Police — Chairman
- Lt. Paul Sullivan, Massachusetts State Police — Region 1
- Major Julian Allen, Harrison County Sheriff's Department — Region 2
- Lt. Chuck Teasdale, Wisconsin State Patrol — Region 3
- Capt. Ron Cordova, New Mexico Motor Transportation Division — Region 4
- Steve Callahan, Alberta Transportation Inspection Services — Region 5 (Canada)
- Geraldo Michel — Autotransporte Federal (Mexico)
- Ron Noel, BESL Transfer — Industry representative
Transportation Security Administration Deputy Administrator for Maritime and Land Security Discusses Surface Transportation Security
Mark Johnson, Deputy Administrator for Maritime and Land Security, told the attendees that roadside inspectors are the first line of defense against terrorists. He also said the TSA is now beginning to focus its efforts on surface transportation security, having spent the early days of its existence dealing primarily with aviation security.
Johnson said the Congress was not as specific in telling the new agency how to achieve security in the surface transportation system as it was with respect to the aviation industry. Thus, a threat based risk management approach is being developed to determine where the greatest vulnerabilities are and this requires leveraging private partnerships and a achieving a balanced effort among the various modes of surface and maritime transportation systems.
Deputy Administrator Johnson said that private organizations and associations are also essential to educating the private sector against security threats and in getting things "up and running" after an incident, should it occur.
With respect to the November 1st deadline for implementing the fingerprinting process required by HM background check provisions of the Patriot Act, he said a delay is now under serious consideration. Johnson also said a Transportation Worker Identification Card will be created for all non-CDL workers in security sensitive areas of the transportation system.
Johnson said he looked forward to continue working with CVSA and would depend on the Alliance to help TSA alert the private sector to transportation security risks.
Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day was held on October 10, 2003
Its goal is to deliver messages to the public about the major causes of transportation fatalities - chiefly highway fatalities - and their avoidance, in an upbeat fashion. The event is commemorated with state and local events across the country.
Who's behind it?
Larry Emig, P.E., a Kansas DOT staffer and member of Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day founding organization, the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE), conceived the idea. Supported by Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary E. Dean Carlson, president of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, Emig and NSPE have gathered together a "who's-who" of major transportation organizations for the event. They include the U.S. Department of Transportation, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Road Information Program (TRIP), the Roadway Safety Foundation, AAA, the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, 3M Corporation, the National Association of County Engineers and the Governors Highway Safety Association.
Annual "Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day" Scheduled
The third annual Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day will take place Friday, October 10. The National Society of Professional Engineers originated this yearly event in 2001 to reduce fatalities by addressing the need for improvements to roadways, vehicles and basic driver behavior. More than 40 major organizations, including CVSA, are now partners in this venture to save lives.
On the average, 116 people die each day on U.S. highways. Last year 42,850 people died in highway incidents. Every one of those unfortunate persons was someone's beloved friend or family member. The tragedy is even worse when we consider that their deaths were most often the result of preventable accidents. Even though the number of fatalities resulting from crashes involving large trucks continues to decline, we need to redouble our efforts in order to meet the FMCSA goal shared by all — a 2008 fatality rate of 1.65 fatalities per 100 million miles of truck travel.
The official slogan of Put the Brakes on Fatalities Day is "Drive as Your Life Depends on it" and this year's message for everyone is "Slow down, buckle up and drive sober!"
CVSA's message also reminds commercial drivers to avoid being distracted while driving, refrain from aggressive driving, remember to do pre- and post-trip inspections, and be an aware, alert and defensive driver.
We also remind the entire driving community that in order to keep you and your family safe when driving around large trucks and buses, you should be extra cautious. Sharing the road with larger vehicles can be dangerous if you are not aware of their limitations. You are at a serious disadvantage if involved in a crash with a larger vehicle. In crashes with large trucks, the occupants of the car sustain on average 78 percent of fatalities. For more information and tips on how to drive around heavier vehicles go to www.sharetheroadsafely.org.
We encourage CVSA Members and Associate Members to actively support this program and to seek out other agencies and partners in their jurisdiction. You'll find information to help you tailor a "Put the Brakes on Fatalities" program you can share throughout your circle of influence such as state government, state society chapters, community, schools, and the media. And remember, "Drive as if Your Life Depends on it."
Hours-of-Service Rules Issued
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published the first substantial changes to the hours-of-service rules in the United States since 1939. The science-based rules are intended to improve highway safety and help reduce the number of truck crashes and related fatalities and injuries by addressing commercial motor vehicle driver fatigue.
- While there are some changes to the existing rules, they do not resemble the proposed rules FMCSA issued back in 2000. At first glance, the Administration seems to have listened to many of the comments CVSA submitted to the Docket. Those comments were based on these principles: Correlation of research findings and crash analysis with the proposed rule
- Ease of understanding
- Uniformity in application and enforcement
- Ease of enforceability
While we expect there will be some bumps to deal with, on balance it appears that enforcement of the rule itself it will not create a huge burden on the membership. The existing exemptions (including the 100 air mile radius) remain unchanged.
- Driving time increased from 10 to 11 hours
- On duty time decreased from 15 to 14 hours
- Off duty time increased from 8 to 10 hours
- Sleeper berth requirements basically unchanged except that it's over 10 hours rather than 8(a minimum of 2 hours is required)
- 60/7 and 70/8 hour rules were left unchanged, except for a 34 hour restart provision
- 16 hour on duty time permitted for short haul property carriers (under certain circumstances)
- Motorcoach operators subject to existing rules
- No on-board recorder requirement, although FMCSA is initiating a research initiative
FMCSA and the states will begin enforcing the revised rules on January 4, 2004 - voluntary compliance is not permitted before that date. This will give the FMCSA and the states time to modify computer systems to reflect the regulatory changes and train the more than 8,000 U.S. personnel who will be enforcing the rules. The implementation plan also will give carriers and drivers time to become familiar with the new regulations and make any procedural and operational changes necessary for compliance.
To promote uniformity and harmonization, it is equally important for CVSA to coordinate these changes with Canada and Mexico. In January of this year, Canada issued proposed changes to its hours of service requirements. The comment period just ended. The new rules are expected to be issued early in 2004.
CVSA's Driver and Training Committees already have initiated work and will be busy in the coming months helping the Alliance ensure a smooth transition to implementation.
2001 NAIC Grand Champion Joins NAIC Committee
Kerri Wirachowsky, who is with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, will be joining Paul Tamburelli, (with the XTRA Corporation), and David Abeita, (with the New Mexico Department of Public Safety), as a co-chair of the North American Inspectors Championship Committee. Kerri's experience as an inspector, instructor and NAIC contestant will be an asset as the Committee develops and delivers the inspector-focused program.
Washington State Patrol Gives Low Slung Trailers Special Attention
The Washington State Patrol recently conducted a commercial motor vehicle brake check on low slung trailers at the Cle Elum Scale. Thirty-two vehicles, which included auto transporters, hay haulers, moving vans and low boy type trailers, were inspected and 38 percent of the vehicles/drivers were placed out of service. Defective brakes were the leading reason for being placed out of service.
Division Commander Captain Frederick Fakkema says, "These trailers often are not checked because inspectors are not able to get under them because of their low profile." This emphasis showed a real need for continued inspections of this type of equipment.
CVSA Participates in Reauthorization Coalition
CVSA is participating in a coalition of organizations representing key agencies that are involved in safety at the state level to urge the Congress to support several major themes in the upcoming reauthorization legislation. The other organizations are the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials; the Governor's Highway Safety Association, and the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
These are the coalition's major themes:
- Increase safety funding
- Enhance flexibility and streamline programs
- Increase investment in safety research
- Improve and coordinate safety planning
The coalition held a press conference on Capitol Hill last week to announce the formation of this group.
In addition, representatives of each organization will be participating in a Highway Safety Leadership Forum on June 2 in Lexington, Kentucky. The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials is sponsoring the Forum. CVSA Executive Director Steve Campbell will represent CVSA and discuss its reauthorization recommendations.
Other Forum participants will include FMCSA Administrator-designee Annette Sandberg; NHTSA Administrator Dr. Jeffrey Runge and FHWA Administrator Mary Peters.
Michigan State Police, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hosted the opening ceremony for Roadcheck 2003 — a three-day (72-hour) truck and bus safety inspection effort conducted throughout Canada, Mexico and the United States focusing on the international roadside inspection program and other commercial vehicle and driver safety programs.
To learn more click here.
Administrator Sandberg, FMCSA, announces John H. Hill as the new Chief Safety Officer and Assistant Administrator
John Hill, who has been with the Indiana State Police since 1974, has been appointed FMCSA's Chief Safety Officer and Assistant Administrator. He will assume this position on June 1.
John's 29 years with the Indiana State Police have covered a wide series of significant assignments that included Field Operations and Commercial Vehicle Enforcement. He served as the Logistics Division Commander from 1988 to 1989 and from 1989 to 1994 as the Commercial Enforcement Division Commander. And from 1994 to 2000, he was the Field Enforcement Division Commander. And in 2001, he assumed his most recent assignment as the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Division Commander. In that position, he was responsible for a division of 170 police officers and civilian personnel.
Over the years, John has been very much involved in CVSA activities, including serving on the Driver Committee, the ITS Committee and the Driver Traffic Enforcement Committee. He also has played a major role in American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) activities, such as serving on the AAMVANET Board and working on CDLIS projects. John also has chaired AAMVA's Law Enforcement Committee.
John has a bachelor's degree from Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. In 2000, he received the Distinguished Alumni for Personal Achievement Award in 2000.
Fatalities Involving Large Trucks Are On the Decline
The number of fatalities resulting from crashes involving large trucks is declining, according to statistics recently released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Fatalities involving large-truck crashes dropped from 5,082 in 2001 to 4,902 in 2002 - a 3.5 percent decline. Although the statistics will not be final until this fall, they reflect a consistent decline over the past five years. However, 2002 statistics show the biggest drop in fatalities.
Although fatalities involving large trucks declined, overall highway fatalities were higher. NHTSA estimates that 42,830 people died in 2002 on U.S. highways - up from 42,116 in 2001.
CVSA Discusses New Entrant Program with FMCSA
CVSA's New Entrant Committee had recent discussions with FMCSA about a number of issues relating to implementation of the New Entrant program. We'll give you an update on the outcome of these discussions in the near future..
Commercial Motor Vehicle Inspections/Entering & Resealing Locked Trailers or Containers
CVSA has been notified of an increasing number of roadside inspections where the cargo seals on trailers/containers are being broken without noting the breakage or using a replacement seal. This results in rejection and condemnation of loads with security that had not been otherwise compromised.
Due to the recent complaints, we recommend that jurisdictions having the legal authority to break seals and no policy on entering and resealing locked trailers/containers during commercial motor vehicle inspections or searches use the following guidelines (taken from prior CVSA North American Standard Level I Course Material): click here for full memorandum.
FMCSA Holds Stakeholder Meetings on Implementation of Hours of Service Rule
On March 26, FMCSA held briefings with various stakeholders including industry, organized labor, law enforcement and safety interest groups to solicit comments on the agency's plans to implement the hours-of-service final rule that is expected to be published by May 31, 2003.
The content of the final rule was not discussed, but FMCSA's Acting Chief Safety Officer Brian McLaughlin gave a brief history of the existing HOS rule from when it was adopted in 1939 to the draft rule that was sent to the Office of Management and Budget in January 2003. He also said they expect the rule to become effective eight months after publication.
McLaughlin told the stakeholders that in the months following the publication of the rule, FMCSA will work with enforcement and industry to take steps to give the agency and the states adequate time to implement rule. And, the various industries that will be subject to the new regulation would be given adequate time to prepare for compliance. He also said carriers and law enforcement would operate under the current hours of service rules until the regulation is implemented.
Within six months of the rule's publication, FMCSA plans to modify its computer systems, work with CVSA to make any necessary modifications to the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria, inspection procedures and training materials, update the Field Operations Training Manual and modify its education and technical assistance program packages and website. Within eight months of publication, FMCSA plans to work with CVSA staff and the states to train more than 8,000 Federal and MCSAP investigators, inspectors and auditors.
For further information, contact Steve Keppler at CVSA Headquarters.
CVSA Supports Sandberg Nomination
On CVSA's behalf, Executive Director Stephen Campbell has written to President Bush in support of nominating Annette Sandberg as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator. The letter stressed that Sandberg's 17-years of experience on the Washington State Patrol uniquely qualifies her to hold that position.
CVSA Officers Visit Key Partners and Congressional Staff
At the conclusion of the recent Executive Committee meeting, CVSA's International Officers and staff met with some of CVSA's partners, * including AAMVA, ATA, and IACP, as well as key staff members of the House and Senate authorizing committees, to discuss reauthorization.
Reaction to CVSA's policy was generally positive. One congressional staff person observed that if commercial vehicle and passenger car traffic was projected to double in future years, why shouldn't there be a commensurate increase in enforcement resources? The problem is, of course, how to generate the necessary funding. However, this is the issue facing every other group that has a stake in the upcoming reauthorization process. And that will be the subject of the first big debate in the Congress before the legislators get into the specifics of each stakeholder's recommendations.
The partners CVSA's officers and staff visited (including congressional staff) urged CVSA to organize coalition support for as many of its issues as possible. They were assured that CVSA would make every effort to do that.
The Congress Clears FY 2003 Funding Legislation
The Congress has cleared the Fiscal Year 2003 Omnibus Spending bill, which includes the Department of Transportation and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's 2003 budget. The President is expected to sign the bill.
This action now clears the way for the Congress to begin considering DOT's Fiscal Year 2004 proposed budget. This is some good news for CVSA member jurisdictions because the 2004 budget proposal contains a new line item of $17 million to fund the New Entrant Program. This also appears to reflect FMCSA's long term commitment to the program.
The overall request for MCSAP for 2004 is as follows:
- Basic MCSAP grants, $130,329,000
- Incentive grants $7,015,000
- High Priority, $8,250,000
- Border Grants, $8,250,000 (separate line item)
- State Training, $2,000
- New Entrant Program, $17,000,000
- Separate from the MCSAP, the amount for the CDL Improvement grants to the states would double from $11 million to $22 million. This is also good news.
Other 2004 budget items include $2 million to implement a HAZMAT Permit Program and an increase of $1 million for Outreach and Education (Share the Road). Funding for the State Border Truck Safety Enforcement Program would increased by $5,750,000 bringing the total funding for this effort to $32 million. And, for the first time, funding for the Northern Border is included in the budget ($9 million).
Transportation Funding Issues to Drive Reauthorization Debate
The Congress must resolve Fiscal Year 2003 highway funding levels before the transportation reauthorization process can begin in earnest. Because the 107th Congress did not complete its work on FY 2003 spending bills for most federal agencies and departments (including DOT), the task must now be completed by the 108th Congress that convened January 7. Work on the spending bills is expected to be completed by early February.
The FY 2003 fiscal year highway funding levels are important because they will serve as the baseline for new funding levels in the upcoming reauthorization bill. MCSAP 2003 funding levels are not at issue. Nevertheless, because MCSAP is funded from the Highway Trust Fund, consideration of MCSAP reauthorization cannot begin until the current highway funding issues are resolved. The Congress wants to fund the highway program at $31.8 billion for FY 2003. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) wants it funded at $27.7 billion. Once this matter is resolved, the debate then becomes how to increase Highway Trust Fund revenues in future years (2004-2009) and draw upon them at a rate that will allow the highway program to grow along with highway safety programs that include MCSAP.
CVSA Offers Airbrake Inspection Handbook
CVSA's Vehicle Committee has just approved the use of a new brake inspections handbook entitled Practical Airbrakes and is offering it to the commercial vehicle industry.
The handbook is a complete air brake training resource that includes information and procedures for inspecting brake adjustment and readjusting brakes. Practical Airbrakes also includes a study guide with review exercises and full color photos throughout the handbook to help the reader understand the material. The Practical Airbrakes handbook, part of CVSA's product line is available to members for $15 (U.S dollars) and $20 (U.S.dollars) to non-members.
To place an order, visit CVSA's online store here or call CVSA's headquarters at 202-775-1623.
Timing of New Hours of Service Rule Remains Uncertain
Acting FMCSA Administrator Annette Sandberg says there's no deadline for issuing a new hours-of-service rule. However, she said FMCSA's proposal was submitted on January 3 to the Office of Management and Budget for review (which could take up to 90 days). Once OMB returns the hours-of-service review to FMCSA, it could be published in the Federal Register within implementation beginning in 30 days.
First CVSA-Sponsored COHMED Conference a Resounding Success
The first CVSA-sponsored Cooperative Hazardous Materials Enforcement Development (COHMED) conference was held in Houston during the week of January 12. More than 140 participants took full advantage of the training opportunities that were offered. Courses on cargo tank inspections, cylinder requirements, intermodal hazmat shipments, Operation Respond, radioactive shipments, and the International Maritime Dangerous Goods Code) were but a few of the many choices. The General Session included presenters from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Tank Truck Carriers, the Dangerous Goods Advisory Council, Transport Canada and CVSA. The next COHMED conference is scheduled to be held in San Diego in January 2004.
CVSA Executive Committee to Meet in Early February
CVSA's Executive Committee will meet February 3 and 4 in Alexandria, Virginia. Annette Sandberg, Acting Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will meet with the Committee on February 4. This group of international officers also will be meeting with CVSA Associate partners and members including the American Trucking Associations, the Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators, the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and the American Bus Association. They will also be making Congressional visits as well.
Get Your Ice and Snow Brochures Now (It's a Long Time Until Spring)
CVSA's recently issued brochure for safely dealing with ice and snow accumulations on commercial motor vehicles is still available. For additional copies of this valuable brochure, contact CVSA Headquarters as soon as possible. Limited quantity available.
NHTSA Launches Yearlong Impaired Driving Crackdown
As part of the U.S. Department of Transportation's renewed battle against impaired drivers, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched the longest ever crackdown against drunk and drugged driving.
Joined by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, Mothers Against Drunk Driving and state and local law enforcement agencies, NHTSA has begun its national campaign: You Drink & Drive. You Lose.
NHSTA also released the State Alcohol Related Fatality Rates Report that documents the extent of alcohol related fatalities in traffic crashes from 1982 to 2001 for every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. This report is intended to help determine where improvements are needed in state and local awareness and enforcement programs.
Nationwide Effort Aimed at Increasing Student Bus Transportation Safety
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Joseph Clapp has announced "Moving Kids Safely," a nationwide effort to increase the use of safe bus companies for transporting school children to sporting events, field trips and other extracurricular activities.
"Moving Kids Safely" promotes the identification and use of safe bus companies for extra-curricular school activities. It encourages those responsible to find answers to important safety questions when searching for a bus company, including:
- Does the company have authority to transport passengers in interstate commerce?
- What is the company's accident history, safety rating and insurance status?
- Do company drivers possess current commercial driver's licenses with "a passenger" endorsement and valid medical certificates?
- Will the trip be completed within legal driving limits?
FMCSA plans to implement this safety initiative through its field offices and by forming partnerships with organizations including the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Services, Pupil Transportation Safety Institute, the Parent Teachers Association and the motorcoach industry.
CVSA Awarded Honor Roll Recognition for Roadcheck
The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) has just awarded 2003 Associations Advance America Honor Roll recognition to CVSA for its Roadcheck program.
In announcing this prestigious award, ASAE President Michael Olson said, "Your program is a perfect example of how associations play a vital role in helping the nation adapt to complex and changing times. Contributions such as yours are vital and add real value to society. We commend the work you are doing and encourage you to continue. Activities such as yours truly make America a better place in which to live."
CVSA Executive Director Stephen Campbell said: "Our congratulations and appreciation go out to the thousands of roadside inspectors and others who make the annual Roadcheck a successful part of CVSA's mission to save lives on North America's highways. What they do every day effects everyone's life."
"We also take this opportunity to recognize and extend our appreciation to our partners — the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation and the Research and Special Programs Administration. Their participation in Roadcheck is invaluable," Campbell said.
Cargo Securement Reminder
The final regulation requiring all interstate commercial motor vehicles to comply with new performance standards for securing cargo goes into effect December 26, 2002. However, motor carriers have until January 1, 2004 to fully comply with the new requirements. Until then, carriers have the option of complying with the existing or the new set of standards.
During the 2003 CVSA Conference in Toronto, the Vehicle Committee plans to conduct an in-depth review of the new cargo securement rules to update and incorporate the changes and revisions into the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria. CVSA and FMCSA are working to update and modify the North American Standard Inspection training courses to include the new changes. CVSA also is working to update its Cargo Securement Tie Down Guidelines.
Contact CVSA headquarters if you need a copy of or have questions about the regulations.