Archive for March, 2016

Taking a look a registration systems for driver jobs

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016

A new system is affecting driver jobs.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) launched a new, simplified, online registration process that truck and bus companies, freight forwarders, brokers, intermodal equipment providers, and cargo tank manufacturing, inspection and repair facilities use as new applicants for USDOT registration.

When fully implemented in 2016, URS will enable FMCSA to more readily identify unfit carriers and detect unsafe truck and bus companies seeking to evade Agency enforcement actions, including civil penalties, by attempting to regain USDOT registration by registering as a purported different, unrelated business entity.

The first phase of the Unified Registration System (URS) combines multiple “legacy” reporting forms into a single, online “smart form” that streamlines the registration and renewal process, improves efficiency, reduces errors and, most importantly, strengthens safety for the motoring public.

FMCSA estimates URS will ultimately reduce costs to industry by approximately $9 million in time saved and fees incurred over a 10-year period.

Roadside inspections saving driver jobs

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) said that roadside inspections and enforcement activities is saving driver jobs.

An annual analysis estimates that commercial vehicle roadside safety inspection and traffic enforcement programs saved 472 lives in 2012.  Since 2001, these programs have saved more than 7,000 lives.

FMCSA’s annual Roadside Intervention Effectiveness Model (RIEM) analysis estimates that in 2012 (the most recent year in which data is available), these life-saving safety programs also prevented nearly 9,000 injuries from more than 14,000 crashes involving large commercial trucks and buses.

“We should recognize the essential role played by thousands of carriers and millions of professional truck and bus drivers on the road every day who understand the importance of protecting the safety of the traveling public while also doing their part to move the economy,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling.  “Our analysis demonstrates that inspectors at roadside and state troopers conducting traffic enforcement are making a vital difference to prevent crashes.  In addition, the truck and bus industries are working every day to comply with federal safety regulations designed to make sure that everyone reaches their destination safe and sound.”

In all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in all U.S. territories, federal, state, and municipal commercial vehicle safety inspectors that are trained and certified conduct thousands of unannounced roadside safety inspections on commercial trucks, buses, and their drivers on a daily basis.

Annually, more than 3.5 million such inspections are conducted.  Commercial vehicles that fail inspection are immediately placed out-of-service and not allowed to potentially endanger the lives of the drivers and of the motoring public.

Similarly, commercial drivers who are not compliant with critical safety requirements are also immediately placed out-of-service and not allowed to continue driving.

FMCSA developed RIEM as a tool to annually analyze and measure the effectiveness of these roadside safety inspections and traffic enforcement programs and activities in terms of crashes avoided, injuries prevented, and lives saved.

Should there be training standards for driver jobs?

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proposing that there should be training standards for driver jobs.

The agency has proposed proposed a set of comprehensive national prerequisite training standards for entry-level commercial truck and bus operators seeking to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL). The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) reflects consensus recommendations of a negotiated rulemaking committee comprised of FMCSA representatives and 25 stakeholders and responds to a Congressional mandate imposed under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.

Applicants seeking a “Class B” CDL – necessary for operating a heavy straight truck (such as a dump truck or box truck) or a school bus, city transit bus, or motorcoach – would be required to obtain a minimum of 15 hours of behind-the-wheel training, including a minimum of seven hours of practice range training.

There is no proposed minimum number of hours that driver trainees must spend on the classroom portions of any of the individual curricula.

Mandatory, comprehensive training in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and all U.S. territories would apply to the following individuals under the proposal:

First-time CDL applicants;
Current CDL holders seeking a license upgrade (e.g., a Class B CDL holder seeking a Class A CDL) or an additional endorsement (necessary, e.g., to transport hazardous materials, operate a tank truck, school bus, or motorcoach, or pull double and/or triple trailers); and
A previously disqualified CDL holder seeking to reacquire a license.

These individuals would be subject to the proposed entry-level driver training requirements and must complete a course of instruction provided by an entity that:

Meets the minimum qualifications for training providers;
Covers the curriculum;
Is listed on FMCSA’s proposed Training Provider Registry; and
Submits electronically to FMCSA the training certificate for each individual who completes the training.

 

Agency asking for public input about driver jobs

Wednesday, March 9th, 2016

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) is seeking input for driver jobs.

Te agencies are seeking public input during the next 90 days on the impacts of screening, evaluating, and treating rail workers and commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).  The National Transportation Safety Board  recommended that DOT take action to address OSA screening and treatment for transportation workers.

It is estimated that 22 million men and women could be suffering from undiagnosed OSA, a respiratory disorder characterized by a reduction or cessation of breathing during sleep.  Undiagnosed or inadequately treated moderate to severe OSA can cause unintended sleep episodes and deficits in attention, concentration, situational awareness, memory, and the capacity to safely respond to hazards when performing safety sensitive service.

For individuals with OSA, eight hours of sleep can be less refreshing than four hours of ordinary, uninterrupted sleep, according to a study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine.  The size and scope of the potential problem means that OSA presents a critical safety issue for all modes and operations in the transportation industry.

“The sooner patients with OSA are diagnosed and treated, the sooner our rail network will be safer,” said FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg said.  “Over the next 90 days, we look forward to hearing views from stakeholders about the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea, their views on diagnosis and treatment, and potential economic impacts.”

“The collection and analysis of sound data on the impact of OSA must be our immediate first step,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling.  “We call upon the public to help us better understand the prevalence of OSA among commercial truck and bus drivers, as well as the safety and economic impacts on the truck and bus industries.”