More than 500 Transportation Safety Professionals Gathered at CVSA Workshop in St. Louis, Missouri

More than 500 enforcement personnel, government officials and industry representatives attended the CVSA Workshop, March 31-April 4, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri. Participants attended membership, region, committee and program meetings, as well as informational sessions, aimed at improving uniformity and reciprocity in commercial motor vehicle safety and enforcement by sharing information, developing best practices, and enhancing roadside inspection program activities and services.

The week started with the general session. Attendees heard from Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Administrator Raymond Martinez. Administrator Martinez discussed a variety of topics and provided updates on many issues. He stated that, just a few days prior, U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao announced that the agency sent a notice of proposed rulemaking to reform hours-of-service regulations to the Office of Management and Budget. In addition, Administrator Martinez provided an update on the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse final rule, 2019 grants (which he proudly stated comprises nearly 57 percent of the agency’s annual budget), human trafficking prevention, addressing the recent increase in crashes involving large trucks and buses, and he devoted some of his time to acknowledge recent deaths of law enforcement officers while performing traffic safety functions.

Administrator Martinez also addressed a “hot-button topic” – electronic logging devices (ELDs). “We are in a time of transition regarding ELDs,” said Administrator Martinez. “This is a process. It takes time to achieve equilibrium any time you have a fairly dramatic change in regulation, process and standard operating procedures. This introduction of ELDs is a pretty dramatic shift in the industry. We don’t want to minimize that. I believe there has been an honest effort on the part of industry to comply. A large segment of that community, the overwhelming majority, want to be safe on the road and they understand the challenges, just as we do. So, we have to work together and I believe that’s the way we will get this done. This is a process and we are in the middle of the process.”

CVSA presented Timothy Dean, of Werner Enterprises, with the 2019 International Driver Excellence Award (IDEA). IDEA is CVSA’s industry-wide driver excellence award program. Dean has been with Werner for more than 30 years and safely driven more than 4 million miles without incident. He was selected for the award based on his 30-year history of safe driving, his long-term commitment to the trucking industry, his 20 years competing in driving competitions and his dedication to projecting a positive image.

“When I was a kid walking to school every day, in Omaha, Nebraska, I’d cross a bridge that goes over interstate 80,” said Dean during his acceptance speech. “Me and my older brother would ask ‘Where are all those trucks going? Someday, we’re going to drive a truck and find out where they’re going.’ After 30 years of driving, I can honestly say, I still don’t know where they’re all going. But they keep going. And we’re all playing a critical part in keeping America moving.”

Dean thanked his wife of 35 years, Corissa, and the team at Werner Enterprises. Jaime Maus, vice president of safety and compliance at Werner, also spoke during the ceremony, sharing stories about Dean, not just as a driver, but as a kind, caring and selfless human being.

During his remarks, Dean also acknowledged the truck driving championships and the importance it has played in his profession. He has competed in state and national truck driving championships for 20 years. Dean won the Grand Champion title at the 2011 and 2018 Nebraska Truck Driving Championships. He has placed first, second or third, in nearly every championship since 2001.

Also of importance, Maj. Brian Preston, of the Arizona Department of Public Safety, and Maj. Jeremy “Chris” Nordloh, from the Texas Department of Public Safety, were nominated for the leadership position of CVSA secretary. The secretary election will take place in September at the CVSA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Biloxi, Mississippi.

The CVSA Workshop featured these informative and collaborative sessions:

  • At the North American Cargo Securement Harmonization Public Forum, attendees discussed cargo securement regulatory issues and differences; identified inconsistencies in the application of cargo securement enforcement policies; reviewed reports on research findings and securement equipment; and examined new technologies related to cargo securement.
  • Truckers Against Trafficking held an educational session for the commercial motor vehicle enforcement community and members of the truck and bus industries. Attendees examined human trafficking case studies, learned how to identify human trafficking indicators at inspection and interdiction stops, received tips for employing a victim-centered approach and learned ways law enforcement, trucking and busing can work together to fight this crime.
  • The International Fuel Tax Agreement and the International Registration Plan education session featured updates on both programs and interactive discussions.
  • An update was provided on the Unified Carrier Registration Agreement, an interstate agreement governing the collection and distribution of registration information and fees generated under the agreement.
  • Jurisdictions using performance-based brake testers (PBBTs) and others interested in their use met to advance PBBTs as an enforcement tool and to refine procedures and training materials for PBBT use.

FMCSA held an information session on 2017 fatal crash data. During the session, the agency reviewed the latest large truck and bus fatal crash statistics and discussed how FMCSA and key stakeholders can work together to address commercial motor vehicle safety.

Next year’s CVSA Workshop is scheduled for April 19-23, 2020, in San Antonio, Texas.