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2012 Press Releases

 

oct
25

2012

Brake Safety Week Finds Substantial Compliance Despite Increase in Overall Out-of-Service Rate for Brakes of Trucks and Buses for Second Year in Row

 

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oct
15

2012

Operation Safe Driver Week Takes Aim at Preventing Deadly Epidemic of Distracted Driving; New Curriculum Addresses Drastic Increase of Texting While Driving Among Teens

 

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oct
9

2012

CVSA Names New Officers for 2012-2013; Recipients of President’s Awards and Scholarships Also Announced

 

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SEP
24

2012

Commercial Motor Vehicle Community Gears Up for Operation Safe Driver: NTSB Chairman Hersman and FMCSA Administrator Ferro Help Promote Safe Driving Practices

PORTLAND, ME (September 24, 2012) —Each year, more than 36,000 people die on the roadways throughout North America—nearly 4,000 of which are related to large trucks and buses. Many are the direct result of aggressive and unsafe driving by truck and bus drivers, as well as the passenger car drivers operating unsafely around them. This fatality figure equates to more deaths than a 737 airplane crashing every two weeks for a year. A new survey released by the Centers for Disease Control earlier this year shows just how severe the problem of texting while driving really is, especially among young drivers. In the survey, 58% of high school seniors said they had texted or emailed while driving during the previous month. About 43% of high school juniors acknowledged they did the same thing.

During the week of October 14-20, 2012 law enforcement across North America will respond by actively targeting unsafe drivers during ‘Operation Safe Driver,’ a program sponsored by CVSA and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) with support from a number of other organizations, including FedEx Corporation. Stephen A. Keppler, CVSA’s Executive Director, says, “We are calling on all drivers to make a difference, reduce unsafe and distracted driving behaviors and help us save lives across North America with this annual mobilization week. The truth is that most of these accidents are avoidable. That’s why taking aggressive enforcement action as well as educating both passenger vehicle drivers and truck and bus drivers is a priority for CVSA; this program can and will save lives,” explains Keppler.

"Whether you are a truck or bus driver, a parent driving your kids to school, or a teenager who just got your driver’s license, we want you to arrive alive. Sharing the road safely is what Operation Safe Driver is all about," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. FMCSA will be working with CVSA to step up enforcement and education to urge motorists to follow the safety rules of the road.

"It takes three things to effectively change unsafe behavior on our nation's highways: strong education, strong laws, and strong enforcement," said NTSB Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman. "CVSA's efforts today bring into sharp focus what still needs to be done behind the wheel and on the road. Remember—no text, no call, no update is worth a human life."

In advance of next month’s launch, several items for the Operation Safe Driver campaign were previewed at a media conference on September 24, 2012, by Deborah Hersman, Chairman, National Transportation Safety Board; Jack Van Steenburg, Chief Safety Officer & Assistant Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; Colonel Robert A. Williams, Maine State Police; David Palmer, President, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance; Brian Neal, Operation Safe Driver Program Chair, FedEx Ground; and Scott Mugno, Vice President Safety & Maintenance, FedEx Ground. The event was held in conjunction with CVSA’s Annual Conference & Exhibition, the annual forum where safety experts in the law enforcement community, policy makers and other representatives of the commercial motor vehicle industry from all across North America gather to exchange information, best practices and solve our most pressing safety challenges.

Updated Educational Materials for Teens and PSAs Get Operation Safe Driver Message Out          

A revised edition of the “Teens & Trucks: Curbing Distracted Driving” curriculum will be unveiled prior to the launch of Operation Safe Driver Week. This is an update to the Teens & Trucks curriculum produced several years ago, which will teach teen drivers how to adapt many of the same tactics used by professional drivers to reduce or eliminate on-road distractions. The DVD also teaches teens and other drivers about the operating characteristics of large trucks, and explains how to safely share the road with them by staying out of the truck’s “NO Zones” or blind spots. “Teens & Trucks: Curbing Distracted Driving” includes a 23-minute DVD and a CD containing a handout of key tips for reducing distractions, a “no-texting, no-distracted-driving” pledge form for teen drivers and their parents, instructor guidelines and two radio public service announcements that state agencies can tag with their own identifier.        

“Defeating Distracted Driving,” the educational training program released in 2011, will also be promoted and distributed for Operation Safe Driving Week. This kit includes a DVD, two 30-second PSAs, a tri-fold handout, a PowerPoint instructional kit, talking points and model policies for motor carriers about the dangers of distracted driving for use by fleets, driving schools and other outlets. All three of these training programs were developed in collaboration with the Arizona Transportation Education Foundation and Arizona Department of Public Safety with funding support from FMCSA.

Currently, two additional events are planned for the Operation Safe Driver mobilization week. The first event is scheduled for October 15 in White Plains, New York. Another event will take place in Harrison, Arkansas on October 16.

Resources Available to Media: Members of the working press are invited to access additional information, including radio and TV PSAs, at www.cvsa.org/osd/Tool_Kit.php

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprising local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Its mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers. The Alliance actively monitors, evaluates, and identifies solutions to potentially unsafe transportation processes and procedures related to driver and vehicle safety requirements most often associated with commercial motor vehicle crashes. In addition, CVSA has several hundred associate members who are committed to helping the Alliance achieve its goals; uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial vehicle inspections, and enforcement activities throughout North America by individuals dedicated to highway safety and security. For more on CVSA, visit www.cvsa.org

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SEP
7

2012

PROPER BRAKE MAINTENANCE IS THE BEST DEFENSE AGAINST BRAKE SAFETY WEEK VIOLATIONS

Enforcement Agencies Will Inspect 30,000 Vehicles

WASHINGTON, DC (September 7, 2012) — Year after year, inadequate or improper brake maintenance is the leading reason for vehicles to be placed out of service during Brake Safety Week, CVSA’s annual safety enforcement and education campaign focused on commercial truck and bus braking systems. Representing approximately half of all out of service violations, brake-related maintenance issues are predominantly a result of lack of awareness or proper training for maintenance personnel, drivers and motor carrier fleet personnel in general.

While the majority of the estimated five million commercial trucks on the road are well maintained by responsible motor carriers, there are hundreds of thousands of commercial vehicles that are neglected and poorly maintained. These vehicles, especially, are found by inspectors at roadside throughout the year having inoperative brakes, air leaks, missing components, malfunctioning ABS, out-of-adjustment pushrod stroke, worn linings, and the like. During this year’s Brake Safety Week September 9-15—particular attention is paid to braking systems, and inspectors across North America participate to both enforce the safety regulations and educate drivers, maintenance personnel, and other fleet personnel through numerous efforts coordinated by federal, state and local agencies and industry.

“Properly maintained brakes are a driver’s critical safety net for avoiding crashes or a catastrophic event, whether in normal day to day driving or in emergency stop situations,” said Stephen A. Keppler, CVSA’s executive director. “Brake Safety Week’s focus is to highlight the importance of proper brake adjustment and maintenance through enforcement and educational outreach—both for drivers and maintenance personnel. Our primary interest is for the safety of drivers, passengers, pedestrians and other people working or living in or around trucks and buses on our nations’ roadways.”

Inspections and educational activities will be conducted throughout the week at truck stops, weigh stations and other locations. Brake Safety Week is part of CVSA’s ongoing Operation Air Brake program, which is committed to making commercial vehicles safer by emphasizing brake system safety and working with manufacturers, motor carriers and the federal, state and local jurisdictional enforcement agencies—in the U.S. and Canada alike—to achieve industry wide proper maintenance and regulatory compliance.

A few jurisdictions are equipped with enforcement technologies, such as infrared imaging cameras and performance-based brake testers (PBBTs), to assist them with identifying less obvious brake issues on vehicles. Infrared cameras can be used to spot individual wheel ends that are especially hot or especially cold, in comparison to the rest of the vehicle, suggesting the possibility that a brake at one wheel is working too hard or not hard enough. PBBTs, meanwhile, are used to directly measure brake force available on the vehicle. They are useful tools inspectors can use to quickly identify a poorly braked vehicle or even single wheel end.

The Operation Airbrake program originated in Canada in 1998 and has since expanded throughout the U.S and Canada. It uses a Selective Traffic Enforcement Program (STEP) model, as has been used successfully in other areas of traffic safety (most notably seat belt usage), and is being employed throughout North America to focus on the very important issue of brake safety and regulatory compliance. In addition to enforcement, the Operation Air Brake program works to develop educational materials and seek ways to inform drivers and technicians about proper brake function and maintenance. The program develops and promotes brake maintenance guides, brochures, web-based training and handbooks. CVSA maintains a growing menu of enforcement tools and educational materials available at www.cvsa.org and on the Operation Airbrake website, www.operationairbrake.com.

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada and Mexico. Our mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers. The Alliance actively monitors, evaluates, and identifies solutions to potentially unsafe transportation processes and procedures related to driver and vehicle safety requirements most often associated with commercial motor vehicle crashes. In addition, CVSA has several hundred associate members who are committed to helping the Alliance achieve its goals; uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial vehicle inspections, and enforcement activities throughout North America by individuals dedicated to highway safety and security. For more on CVSA, visit www.cvsa.org.

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AUG
14

2012

ROADCHECK 2012 FINDS DRIVER AND VEHICLE OUT-OF-SERVICE RATES NEAR HISTORIC LOWS

Inspection Activity Hits Record Total

WASHINGTON, DC (August 14, 2012) —In June, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) member jurisdictions conducted a record 74,072 truck and bus inspections during the 25th Annual Roadcheck, a commercial vehicle safety enforcement and outreach event. Of those inspections, 48,815 were North American Standard Level 1 inspections — the most comprehensive roadside inspection, of which 22.4 percent of vehicles and 3.9 percent of drivers were placed out of service (OOS). These vehicle and driver OOS rates for Level 1 inspections represent the second lowest achieved in 25 years, continuing its successful historic trend downward. For comparison, in 1991 (the first year comprehensive data were available,) the Level 1 OOS rates were 34.8 percent for vehicles and 5.6 percent for drivers.

The overall OOS rates for the entire event in 2012 (includes all inspection levels) were 20.9 percent for vehicles and 4.6 percent for drivers, both of which were higher than last year’s numbers. Despite the positive trend on the Level 1’s, this highlights that one in five vehicles selected for inspection was found with a violation serious enough to be considered an imminent safety hazard. These mixed results indicate that, while the attention paid by industry to maintenance and regulatory compliance generally is improving, more needs to be done by industry and enforcement alike.

Roadcheck 2012 emphasized a back-to-the-basics focus, with special attention paid toward braking systems and hours-of-service, the top ranking violation categories for vehicles and drivers, respectively. Even with these focus areas, the proportions of brake related and hours-of-service related violations relative to all out-of-service violations declined slightly (see fact sheet attached). In addition, seatbelt violations issued totaled 848, the fewest recorded since 2007. During the event, CVSA estimates that over 9,500 CVSA and FMCSA inspectors participated at approximately 2,500 locations across North America. Also during Roadcheck 2012, 10 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces engaged part of their enforcement activities to focus on vehicles serving oil field and natural gas production sites, where increases in commercial truck traffic have raised significant safety concerns.

“Roadcheck continues to shine a spotlight on the critical importance of the roadside inspection program across North America and how vital it is to commercial vehicle safety and our march toward zero deaths on our roadways. I appreciate the continued focus by both enforcement and industry towards ensuring that it remains a top priority,” said CVSA president David Palmer, an assistant chief with the Texas Department of Public Safety.

“This is a clear indication that enforcement and industry’s efforts during Roadcheck are having a positive impact,” said CVSA’s executive director Stephen A. Keppler. “This goes to show that even in these difficult budgetary times for states, provinces and local agencies that each and every roadside inspection is important and makes a difference.”

Roadcheck 2012 took place June 5th through 7th, with an average of more than 1,000 trucks or buses inspected every hour during the 72-hour campaign. The United States, Canada and Mexico participated with inspections occurring either at fixed or temporary inspection locations. Inspections included an examination of driver license and credentials, proper and complete records of duty status, safety belt use, driving behaviors and other driver safety conditions. Vehicles were examined for proper brake system maintenance, tire condition, function of lighting systems, properly secured loads, and other vehicle condition related violations. The annual three-day Roadcheck event has resulted in the inspection of over 1.2 million vehicles since it began in 1988 and gives enforcement, industry and academia an eye on inspection trends from year to year. Meanwhile, enforcement agencies across North America conduct commercial vehicle inspections every day, with approximately 4 million inspections completed in 2011.

CVSA sponsors Roadcheck each year with the support of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA), Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).

“Once again Roadcheck effectively identifies and removes from the road truck and bus companies that cut corners at the expense of safety,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “FMCSA embraces Roadcheck 100 percent and for good reason – it enforces high safety standards and improves roadway safety for everyone.”

The 74,072 inspections conducted during Roadcheck 2012 included 652 inspections of passenger carrying vehicles and 4,826 inspections of vehicles carrying hazardous materials. Of passenger carrying vehicles inspected, 8.6 percent of vehicles and 2.5 percent of drivers were placed out of service. Of vehicles carrying hazardous materials, 15.6 percent of vehicles and 2.3 percent of drivers were placed out of service. Approximately 27,000 CVSA Decals were issued during Roadcheck 2012 to vehicles that were found to be without violations in the critical inspection items.

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Our mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers. The Alliance actively monitors, evaluates, and identifies solutions to potentially unsafe transportation processes and procedures related to driver and vehicle safety requirements most often associated with commercial motor vehicle crashes. In addition, CVSA has several hundred associate members who are committed to helping the Alliance achieve its goals; uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial vehicle inspections, and enforcement activities throughout North America by individuals dedicated to highway safety and security. For more on CVSA, visit www.cvsa.org.

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AUG
10

2012

NAIC RECOGNIZES INSPECTORS’ DEDICATION TO COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SAFETY

Commercial Vehicle Inspectors Who Compete are Leaders in Highway Safety

WASHINGTON, DC (August 10, 2012) — Fifty roadside inspectors representing jurisdictions across North America convened this year in Minneapolis, MN – August 6-9, 2012 to compete in the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) North American Inspectors Championship (NAIC). This year, Christopher Smithen, a CVSA-certified North American Standard inspector from Nevada, was awarded the Jimmy K. Ammons Grand Champion Award for his combined performances in six competition elements: 1. North American Standard Level I Inspection; 2. North American Standard Level I Inspection Procedures; 3. North American Standard HazMat/Transportation of Dangerous Goods Inspection; 4. North American Standard Cargo Tank/Other Bulk Packagings Inspection; 5. North American Standard Level V Passenger Vehicle (Motorcoach) Inspection; and, 6. North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria Exam.

NAIC 2012 Winner“We are proud to recognize and reward each of our 50 roadside inspectors from across North America who not only demonstrate their professional excellence and dedication to highway safety but inspire others to do the same,” said Stephen A. Keppler, CVSA’s Executive Director. “Their enthusiasm and passion goes a long way in advancing commercial vehicle safety and saving lives due to the information, techniques and experiences they will share with others in furtherance of improving uniformity in the enforcement of highway safety standards across the continent.”

“The hard work of these dedicated law enforcement professionals makes a real difference, we owe a great debt of gratitude to our commercial vehicle inspectors for keeping trucks and buses operating safely on our highways,” said CVSA President Asst. Chief David L. Palmer “It is through NAIC that we honor these inspectors for their tireless commitment to highway safety and continuous improvement.”

“The 2012 NAIC is a great opportunity for FMCSA to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of top safety inspectors from across the country.” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro “Congratulations to all NAIC competitors for your achievement and thank you for your dedication to saving lives.”

NAIC is hosted by CVSA; however, it is successful due to strong industry participation and sponsorship. For the past 20 years, the championship event has been held in partnership with the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC). NAIC has been recognized by the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE) as an event that “Advances America.”

NAIC 2012 WinnerIn addition to the Grand Champion award, the following additional awards were presented:

  • High Points United States: Christopher Smithen, Nevada
  • High Points Canada: Jason Droog, Ontario
  • High Points Mexico: Jacobo Alejandro Garcia Arias
  • North American Standard Level I Inspection: 1. Josh Anderson, North Dakota; 2. Jonathan Bates, Massachusetts; 3.Christopher Smithen, Nevada.
  • North American Standard Level V Passenger Vehicle (Motorcoach) Inspection: 1. Jason Droog, Ontario; 2. Brad Yates, Louisiana; 3. Christopher Smithen, Nevada.
  • North American Standard Hazardous Materials/Transportation of Dangerous Goods and Cargo Tank/Bulk Packagings Inspection: 1. Christopher Smithen, Nevada; 2. Josh Anderson, North Dakota; 3. Jason Droog, Ontario.
  • John Youngblood Award of Excellence is a special award NAIC contestants bestow on a fellow NAIC inspector who exemplifies the high standards and unwavering dedication to the profession. The award this year goes to Christopher Smithen from the Nevada Highway Patrol.
  • Team Award: Yellow Team: Team Leader – Jack Wallace; JW Watlington, Arizona; Brent Moore, Georgia; Brad Yates, Louisiana; Christopher Smithen, Nevada; Josh Anderson, North Dakota; Jason Droog, Ontario; Carlos Castillo Ortiz, Mexico; William Bronson, South Carolina.

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Our mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers. The Alliance actively monitors, evaluates, and identifies solutions to potentially unsafe transportation processes and procedures related to driver and vehicle safety requirements most often associated with commercial motor vehicle crashes. In addition, CVSA has several hundred associate members who are committed to helping the Alliance achieve its goals; uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial vehicle inspections, and enforcement activities throughout North America by individuals dedicated to highway safety and security. For more on CVSA, visit www.cvsa.org.

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JULY
31

2012

NAIC RECOGNIZES BEST, DEVELOPS LEADERS, STRENGTHENS ENFORCEMENT, INDUSTRY PARTNERSHIP

Strengthens Commercial Vehicle Inspection Quality, Uniformity, Reciprocity

WASHINGTON, DC (July 31, 2012) —Fifty roadside inspectors from across North America will convene in Minneapolis, MN and compete to become the best commercial vehicle inspector during the 20th annual North American Inspectors Championship (NAIC), August 6-9, 2012. The event is hosted by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and is held in conjunction with the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC).

This year there are six contestants from Canada, three from Mexico, and 41 from the United States. The theme of NAIC 2012 is ‘Education, Performance, Uniformity, and Partnerships.’

“Each and every year we hold the competition, we are strengthening the quality of inspections across North America by providing each inspector with an opportunity to receive training on the latest safety information, technology, standards and inspection procedures while sharing ideas, techniques and experiences,” said Stephen A. Keppler, CVSA’s Executive Director. “In order to advance commercial vehicle safety, we need the involvement of all affected parties to help us better understand the issues and put into place practical solutions. CVSA’s goal is to build on the success of the North American Standard Inspection Program and we are pleased to continue the partnership with NTDC and ATA,” said Keppler.

Since its inception nearly 30 years ago, CVSA actively focuses on enhancing the development of education and training programs available to roadside inspectors. Roadside inspectors are highly-trained professionals who save lives every day by keeping unsafe CMVs and drivers off the roads. The work of a commercial vehicle inspector is not easy, but it is one of the most vital in public safety. Each year, CVSA recognizes the best of the best by inviting member jurisdictions throughout North America to participate in NAIC. The events sharpen their skills and provide a snapshot of the current roadside inspection environment as well as a forum to evaluate both successes and areas for improvement. Not only does NAIC recognize the best of the best CMV inspectors, it also provides member jurisdictions with a better understanding of the strengths and weakness of their CMV safety program.

NAIC develops future leaders, strengthens industry and enforcement partnerships and promotes camaraderie between inspectors, jurisdictions, and countries. This in turn, ensures the quality, uniformity and reciprocity of the more than four-million roadside inspections conducted each year across North America. NAIC gives inspectors the chance to compete for top honors in individual event categories in pursuit of the Jimmy K. Ammons Grand Champion Award.

NAIC’s purpose is to recognize the inspector for demonstrating inspector excellence. NAIC contestants are evaluated in the following six categories: 1. North American Standard Level I Inspection; 2. North American Standard Level I Inspection Procedures; 3. North American Standard HazMat/Transportation of Dangerous Goods Inspection; 4. North American Standard Cargo Tank/Other Bulk Packagings Inspection; 5. North American Standard Level V Passenger Vehicle (Motorcoach) Inspection; and, 6. North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria Exam.

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Our mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers. The Alliance actively monitors, evaluates, and identifies solutions to potentially unsafe transportation processes and procedures related to driver and vehicle safety requirements most often associated with commercial motor vehicle crashes. In addition, CVSA has several hundred associate members who are committed to helping the Alliance achieve its goals; uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial vehicle inspections, and enforcement activities throughout North America by individuals dedicated to highway safety and security. For more on CVSA, visit www.cvsa.org.


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JULY
6

2012

MAP-21 Transportation Bill Advances Critical CMV Safety Policy

CVSA Applauds Passage of Transportation Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC (July 6, 2012) —Today, the President signed into law legislation making critical improvements to commercial motor vehicle safety policy. The bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21, is a 27-month measure, providing a steady level of funding for state safety and enforcement programs and advancing key safety initiatives supported by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).

“The commercial vehicle safety title of MAP-21 is a victory for commercial motor vehicle safety proponents,” said Stephen A. Keppler, CVSA’s executive director. “The provisions in this bill ensure that adequate resources are available for the safety and enforcement activities delivered by the states under the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) — activities which have been shown through research and performance statistics to have a positive impact on commercial vehicle safety and most importantly, saving lives.”

MAP-21 includes a number of CVSA-supported policy items:

  • Adjustments to the Maintenance of Effort benchmark years, making them static and providing for waivers when necessary;
  • Stronger requirements to help address the chameleon carrier threat;
  • Several provisions to improve motorcoach safety;
  • A study of the safety impacts of certain exemptions from federal safety regulations;
  • An industry-wide requirement that CMVs be equipped with electronic logging devices for HOS compliance;
  • A requirement for safety rating reciprocity with Canada;
  • Increased penalties for violators; and,
  • Tighter CDL and driver training requirements.

MAP-21 also contains critical provisions requiring the development of a drug and alcohol clearinghouse. In addition, the bill includes language calling for a comprehensive truck size and weight study and an analysis of the impact to safety and the existing regulatory framework.

Work remains to be done on a number of commercial vehicle safety initiatives, however. MAP-21 continues the proliferation of unfounded exemptions from federal safety regulations for special interest groups. The legislation also fails to address the issue of en route inspections of buses, which CVSA believes is critical to improving motorcoach safety.

CVSA applauds Congress for passing this much needed transportation legislation, and thanks House and Senate leaders for their ongoing commitment to commercial motor vehicle safety,” said David Palmer, CVSA’s president and an assistant chief with the Texas Department of Public Safety. “CVSA members look forward to working with the Administration to help implement these much needed improvements. We also look forward to working with Congress on the next round of commercial motor vehicle safety policy improvements when work begins on the next transportation bill.”

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Our mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers. The Alliance actively monitors, evaluates, and identifies solutions to potentially unsafe transportation processes and procedures related to driver and vehicle safety requirements most often associated with commercial motor vehicle crashes. In addition, CVSA has several hundred associate members who are committed to helping the Alliance achieve its goals; uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial vehicle inspections, and enforcement activities throughout North America by individuals dedicated to highway safety and security. For more on CVSA, visit www.cvsa.org


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JUNE
11

2012

TRUCKING, SAFETY GROUPS TO URGE CONGRESS TO PASS S. 1813

CVSA: EOBRS Improve Safety, Compliance, Help Law Enforcement Target Resources

WASHINGTON, DC (JUNE 11, 2012) — The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), along with the American Automobile Association, American Trucking Associations, and Carbon Express, Inc., yesterday sent a message to Congress urging their support in adopting the Senate language in section 32301 of S. 1813 as part of the conference agreement on the transportation reauthorization bill. Trucking, safety, and law enforcement interests are united in their support of an Electronic On-Board Recorders (EOBRs) requirement because of the positive impacts EOBRs have on safety, compliance with hours of service regulations (i.e., how long a truck driver may legally be on duty and behind the wheel), and efficiency. 

“Hours of service compliance is far and away our largest driver-related safety challenge,” said Stephen A. Keppler, CVSA’s executive director. “Overall, CVSA strongly believes that EOBRs help to improve compliance, expand the enforcement footprint and increase its efficiency, as well as to help mitigate the falsification of logbooks thereby allowing it to contact more carriers and helping to level the playing field – ultimately improving compliance and safety. This in turn affects how enforcement targets their resources with respect to carriers and drivers.”

EOBRs have been shown by many fleets that have already adopted them to significantly increase their compliance rates AND increase their safety performance. In addition, fleets adopting EOBRs have seen positive returns on their investment with respect to impacting their CSA scores.

A video message was included in the communication to members of Congress. That message can be viewed here.

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Our mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers. The Alliance actively monitors, evaluates, and identifies solutions to potentially unsafe transportation processes and procedures related to driver and vehicle safety requirements most often associated with commercial motor vehicle crashes. In addition, CVSA has several hundred associate members who are committed to helping the Alliance achieve its goals; uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial vehicle inspections, and enforcement activities throughout North America by individuals dedicated to highway safety and security. For more on CVSA, visit www.cvsa.org


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JUNE
7

2012

ROADCHECK GETS UNSAFE COMMERCIAL VEHICLE DRIVERS, VEHICLES OFF THE ROAD

72-Hour Event Focuses on Enforcing Hours-of-Service, Brake Systems to Prevent Crashes

WASHINGTON, DC (JUNE 7, 2012) —For a period of 72 hours, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) and its members across the United States, Canada and Mexico will be aggressively enforcing compliance with commercial vehicle safety regulations, removing those high-risk carriers from the roads to ensure the public’s safety. This year, Roadcheck will place specific attention on two areas: enforcing compliance with Hours-of-Service regulations and educating drivers and fleets about preventing driver fatigue; and, checking brake system operations and brake adjustment.

“Consistently, every year we are seeing hours-of-service logbook violations leading by an overwhelming percentage of all driver violations cited – a total of 52.5 percent of all driver out-of-service violations,” said CVSA President David Palmer. “Hours-of-service rules are designed to reduce driver fatigue which can be a contributing factor in many large truck and bus crashes. Enforcement of hours-of-service limits is essential to ensuring compliance and combating driver fatigue.”

To do this, law enforcement during Roadcheck will emphasize checking driver logbooks and underscore to drivers the importance of maintaining their logbooks, taking breaks, preventing fatigue, and driving without distractions. From June 5- 7, CVSA members will be conducting Level I inspections and recording results for later comparison with past years’ results.

“For 25 years, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has joined forces with CVSA to support the world’s largest targeted inspection and enforcement effort aimed at commercial vehicles and their drivers,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro. “Trucking is a difficult job and a big rig can be deadly when a driver is tired and overworked. We want to prevent fatigue-related crashes and save lives by enforcing the hours-of-service requirements.”

“We run 8.7 million miles per day at Schneider National and have been using electronic onboard recorders (EOBRs) for several years,” said Don Osterberg, the senior vice president for Safety & Security at Schneider National, speaking at CVSA’s media kick-off event June 5, 2012. “As a result, we have clear evidence that EOBRs improve compliance and ultimately improve safety.”

Several jurisdictions will also be using Roadcheck as an opportunity to address an alarming trend of poor vehicle maintenance and non-compliance with driver hours of service in oilfield and, especially, natural gas hydraulic fracturing operations, which have increased in number because of higher oil and gas prices and customer demand. These operations require significant commercial vehicle support, often in areas unaccustomed to heavy truck traffic. Many of these vehicles have been found to be poorly maintained, and drivers are oftentimes in violation of the legal hours of service limits. Some jurisdictions have already been conducting these kinds of activities for some time. This effort should give enforcement a bigger picture of issues previously known only on a more regional or local basis.

One of the top contributing factors in large truck and bus crashes is insufficient brake system maintenance. Brake system-related violations consistently appear at the top of our Roadcheck list of serious vehicle related violations—those that result in the vehicle being placed out of service. They account for a little more than half of the total vehicle out-of-service defects found.

CVSA has posted a safety tip sheet which helps to educate drivers on what they can do to ensure they are thorough in their pre-trip inspections. Examples include suggestions to check for missing, non-functioning, loose, contaminated or cracked parts on the brake system; listen for audible air leaks around brake components and lines; and check brake adjustment; among several other areas.

Results from Roadcheck 2012 will be announced August 7, 2012 at CVSA’s North American Inspectors Championship (NAIC) in Minneapolis, MN.

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Our mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers. The Alliance actively monitors, evaluates, and identifies solutions to potentially unsafe transportation processes and procedures related to driver and vehicle safety requirements most often associated with commercial motor vehicle crashes. In addition, CVSA has several hundred associate members who are committed to helping the Alliance achieve its goals; uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial vehicle inspections, and enforcement activities throughout North America by individuals dedicated to highway safety and security. For more on CVSA, visit www.cvsa.org.


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MAY
31

2012

CVSA SUPPORTS LARGEST SINGLE SAFETY CRACKDOWN ON BUSES IN US DOT HISTORY

Sweep Spans Multiple States, Removes 26 Bus Operations As Imminent Hazard to Public Safety

WASHINGTON, DC (MAY 31, 2012) —The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) actively supports the aggressive action taken earlier today by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in shutting down 26 bus operations, declaring them imminent hazards to public safety.

“CVSA and its members strongly support and are actively engaged in taking aggressive enforcement action against bus operations that disregard safety putting innocent passengers at risk,” said CVSA’s Executive Director Stephen A. Keppler. “We appreciate the leadership exhibited by FMCSA in working with the states to pursue all available options to remove these high-risk operators from the road.”

This action is the largest single safety crackdown in the agency’s history. Additionally, FMCSA ordered 11 individual bus company owners, managers and employees to cease all passenger transportation operations, which includes selling bus tickets to passengers. The bus companies transported over 1,800 passengers a day along Interstate-95, from New York to Florida.

“The egregious acts of these carriers put the unsuspecting public at risk, and they must be removed from our highways immediately,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “With the help of multiple state law enforcement partners, we are putting every unsafe bus and truck company on notice to follow the safety laws or be shut down.”

CVSA has also come out strongly in favor of removing the current restriction enacted in SAFETEA-LU prohibiting roadside bus inspections.

“Most bus inspections are planned and done at points of origination and destination; however, law enforcement needs the ability to inspect buses roadside just as they do trucks,” said Keppler. “Having this ability will provide an important enforcement tool, acting as a proactive deterrent to avoidable accidents, and sending a strong signal to bus operators that unsafe operations will not be tolerated.”

In addition to en route inspection authority, CVSA also strongly advocates for:

  • Granting FMCSA greater authority to pursue enforcement action against unsafe “reincarnated” companies by establishing a single national standard for successor liability that eliminates the loophole allowing bus and truck companies that have been shut down for unsafe operations to recreate themselves;
  • Eliminating the jurisdictional gap that prevents FMCSA from directly regulating passenger carrier brokers, including ticket sellers that are not also motor carriers;
  • Requiring new passenger carriers to undergo a full safety audit before receiving operating authority; and,
  • Raising the penalty from $2,200 to $25,000 a day against passenger carriers that attempt to operate without valid USDOT operating authority.

For more information about FMCSA’s orders, go to http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2012/i95-motorcoach-company-fact-sheet.pdf.

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Our mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers. The Alliance actively monitors, evaluates, and identifies solutions to potentially unsafe transportation processes and procedures related to driver and vehicle safety requirements most often associated with commercial motor vehicle crashes. In addition, CVSA has several hundred associate members who are committed to helping the Alliance achieve its goals; uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial vehicle inspections, and enforcement activities throughout North America by individuals dedicated to highway safety and security. For more on CVSA, visit www.cvsa.org.


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MAR
15

2012

SENATE TRANSPORTATION BILL A CRITICAL STEP FORWARD FOR CMV SAFETY

CVSA Applauds Passage of Delayed Transportation Safety Legislation

WASHINGTON, DC (March 15, 2012) —Yesterday, the Senate passed its long-stalled highway bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, S.1813. Passage of the bill, dubbed, MAP21, is a critical step forward for the nation to help advance commercial motor vehicle safety, providing a steady level of funding for state safety and enforcement programs, addressing key issues, and advancing a number of safety initiatives supported by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).

“The language addressing commercial motor vehicle safety in S.1813 demonstrates the priority that the Senate places on commercial vehicle safety,” said Stephen A. Keppler, CVSA’s executive director. “The provisions in S.1813 ensure that adequate resources are available for the safety and enforcement activities delivered by the states under the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) — activities which have been shown through research and performance statistics to have a positive impact on commercial vehicle safety and most importantly, saving lives.”

Critical CVSA issues addressed in the bill include:

  • Adjustments to the MOE benchmark years (2004/2005), making them static and providing for waivers when necessary;
  • Additional flexibility in motor carrier safety grants;
  • Stronger registration and new entrant requirements to help address the chameleon carrier threat;
  • Stronger provisions for bus safety;
  • Increased fine limits; and,
  • Tighter CDL and driver training requirements.

In addition, CVSA applauds Senate leaders for including critical provisions like electronic on-board recorders (EOBRs); the requirement for safety rating reciprocity with Canada; and language regarding development of a drug and alcohol clearinghouse, as well as the inclusion of a comprehensive truck size and weight study and an analysis of the impact to safety and the existing regulatory framework.
 
“CVSA and its members congratulate Senate leaders on passage of MAP21,” said David Palmer, CVSA’s president and an asst. chief with the Texas Department of Public Safety. “We look forward to working with Members of both the House and Senate to continue moving the process forward while ensuring that States’ needs are adequately met.”

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial, and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Our mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers. The Alliance actively monitors, evaluates, and identifies solutions to potentially unsafe transportation processes and procedures related to driver and vehicle safety requirements most often associated with commercial motor vehicle crashes. In addition, CVSA has several hundred associate members who are committed to helping the Alliance achieve its goals; uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial vehicle inspections, and enforcement activities throughout North America by individuals dedicated to highway safety and security. For more on CVSA, visit www.cvsa.org.


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JAN
6

2012

CVSA’S OPERATION SAFE DRIVER DATA SHOWS MESSAGE GETTING THROUGH TO DRIVERS

Combined Enforcement, Educational Outreach Takes Unsafe Drivers Off Roads

WASHINGTON, DC (January 6, 2012) —Targeting enforcement and education efforts at both passenger as well as commercial vehicle drivers is starting to pay off, according to recently released results from the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 2011 Operation Safe Driver campaign. Drivers are slowing down and taking heed of safety groups’ messages that driving fast and cutting it close around commercial vehicles is a deadly combination.

Operation Safe Driver was launched in 2007 by CVSA, in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), to address the problem of improving the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner — either by, in, or around commercial vehicles — and to initiate educational and enforcement strategies to address those exhibiting high-risk behaviors.

“Campaigns that target and remove unsafe drivers from the road, like CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver, are yielding positive results,” said Stephen A. Keppler, CVSA’s executive director. “Until we move closer to achieving zero deaths, CVSA will continue to educate the driving public – and especially teens - about the risks they take when speeding and cutting off vehicles.”

CVSA initiated two new focus areas under the Operation Safe Driver campaign after analysis of crash data revealed certain demographics were more prone to be at risk for being involved in crashes with commercial vehicles.  The Teens & Trucks Program was created to help educate teens about safe driving practices around commercial vehicles. Efforts educating young drivers (ages 16-20) are proving to have the most significant effect, with fatalities from crashes declining at a faster rate than overall fatalities between 2006 and 2010. According to recently released data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there has been a 39 percent decrease in fatalities in young driver-involved crashes compared to a 23-percent decrease in overall fatalities during the 2006 to 2010 time period.

In 2011, CVSA launched the Defeating Distracted Driving campaign for commercial vehicle drivers and will roll out a similar campaign focusing on Defeating Distracted Driving for Teens. Distracted driving has been a focus area both by safety groups and DOT Secretary Ray LaHood after the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute released its report linking catastrophic crash events to the use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices.

During this year’s campaign, law enforcement officers who pulled over nearly 44,000 commercial and passenger vehicle drivers found that the top three reasons warnings and citations were issued to both commercial and non-commercial vehicle drivers include (1) speeding, (2) failure to obey traffic control devices and (3) failing to use a safety belt.  This indicates a switch in the top three violations position from 2010.  In 2010, speeding was first, followed by failure to use a safety belt, and failure to obey traffic control devices respectively.

Of the warnings issued to CMV drivers, 16.8% were for speeding, versus 40.5% for passenger car drivers, both significant reductions from 2010; 5.9% were for failure to obey traffic control devices, compared to 3.2% for passenger car drivers, minor reductions from 2010; and, 3% were issued for failing to use a seat belt while operating their vehicle, compared to 1.9% for passenger car counterparts.  These numbers represent a slight rise for CMV drivers and a slight decrease for passenger car drivers.  Of the citations issued to CMV drivers, 12.8% were for speeding, versus 40.6% - a significant drop for passenger car drivers; 2.9% were for failure to obey traffic control devices, a slight drop, compared to 1.9% for passenger car drivers; and, 3.7% were issued for failing to use a seat belt while operating their vehicle, compared to 7.0% for passenger car counterparts. CMV drivers were issued significantly less warnings and citations in 2011 for failing to buckle up (416) as compared to 2010 (1,055).

The data, obtained during the fourth annual Operation Safe Driver campaign, October 15-22, 2011, was collected by 3,805 law enforcement personnel at 1,848 locations across the United States and Canada. On the enforcement front, details on the results include:

  • 34,725 CMV Roadside Inspections (4.7% resulted in the driver being placed out-of-service; 24.6% of the Level I Inspections resulted in the vehicle(s) being placed out of service. In 2010, there were 39,784 inspections conducted and a driver OOS rate of 5.3%, vehicle Level I OOS rate of 27.4%;
  • For Drivers: 0.81 violations per roadside inspection (0.44 in 2010); 0.08 OOS violations per roadside inspection (same in 2010); 0.07 citations per roadside inspection (0.04 in 2010);
  • For Vehicles: 4.45 violations per roadside inspection (1.04 in 2010); 0.23 OOS violations per roadside inspection (same in 2010); 0.07 citations per roadside inspection (0.08 in 2010);
  • 20,804 CMV Driver Traffic Enforcement Contacts: 7,062 warnings were issued (0.32 per contact); 8,121 citations were issued (0.35 per contact); In 2010, there were 21,555 contacts, which resulted in 7,062 warnings (0.33 per contact) and 8,067 citations (0.40 per contact);
  • 8,770 Non-CMV Driver Traffic Enforcement Contacts: 7,126 warnings were issued (0.52 per contact); 7,256 citations were issued (0.69 per contact); In 2010, there were 7,700 contacts, which resulted in 3,818 warnings (0.60 per contact) and 6,477 citations (0.68 per contact);
  • 27,482 CMV Driver License checks (31,737 in 2010) and 6,375 Non-CMV Driver License checks (9,876 in 2010).

“FMCSA is proud to be part of a life-saving effort like Operation Safe Driver – which sends a strong message to all drivers to think safety first, every trip and every time,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro.
For more information about CVSA’s outreach programs, including Teens & Trucks and Defeating Distracted Driving for Commercial Vehicle Drivers, please visit www.operationsafedriver.org.

CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada and Mexico. Our mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers. In addition, CVSA has several hundred associate members who are committed to helping the Alliance achieve its goals; uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial vehicle inspections, and enforcement activities throughout North America by individuals dedicated to highway safety and security. For more on CVSA visit www.cvsa.org.


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