Page 1

GUARDIAN A Publication of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance

Volume 19, Issue 4 4th Quarter 2012

13 Exemptions for

Agriculture Transportation

20 Enforcement Reacts to CSA

23 2012 NAIC Awards

GUARDIAN Fourth Quarter Volume 19, Issue 4


President’s Message.....................................................................................1 Executive Director’s Message................................................................... 2 Letters to the Editor..................................................................................... 2 Knowledge Matters......................................................................................4 Five Questions to Ask Before Selecting an Onboard Computing Provider...............................................................4 Placarding/Safety Marks and Their Reason for Being.......................6 Ten Things a Carrier Needs to Know About Brake Adjustment ..... 7 n Cover Story

GUARDIAN 2012 Canadian National Professional Truck Driving Championships Winners...................................................................... 30 School Bus Inspections and PBBT in Alberta.................................... 30 Local Enforcement......................................................................................31 Regional Rap................................................................................................ 32 n Safety Innovators

Fleet Safety: How to Prevent an Accident........................................... 33 The Importance of Using Data-Driven Technology When Shaping Commercial Vehicle Safety Programs.............................. 33 TraCS (Traffic and Criminal Software) and the National Model.....34

A Look at the New NTC...............................................................................9 n RAD Inspection News n Government News

Ask the Administrator................................................................................12 Exemptions for Agriculture Transportation..........................................13 Importance of MedCert Information.....................................................13 Intermodal Equipment Providers........................................................... 14 Passenger Carrier Strike Force.................................................................15 NTSB: Fatal Motorcoach Accident Investigations.............................. 16 The Legislative & Regulatory Rundown ...............................................17

DOE Announces Issuance of Draft Supplemental Environmental Study on Plutonium Disposition............................36 Now You Can View Level VI Inspection Data Online.......................36 Level VI Train the Trainer Course Enhanced.......................................36 Are You Prepared to Respond to an Accident Involving Radioactive Material?............................................................................ 37 Level VI Classes for 2013.......................................................................... 37

n CSA News

Competing for Drivers Under CSA........................................................ 19 Enforcement Personnel React to CSA................................................. 20 n Inspector’s Corner

My Experience at NAIC.............................................................................22 n CVSA Committee & Program News

2012 NAIC Awards: Inspectors’ Dedication to Commercial Vehicle Safety Recognized................................................................... 23 Alternative Compliance: The Next Frontier for North America?.................................................................................24 Annual Conference Round-Up...............................................................25 Operation Safe Driver Program: New Curriculum Addresses Drastic Increase of Texting While Driving Among Teens............. 27 Operation Safe Driver Week Takes Aim at Preventing Deadly Epidemic of Distracted Driving........................................................... 27 n Regional News

NJ MVC Surprises Charter Buses with Safety Inspections..............28 Brake Safety Week in Puerto Rico.........................................................28 Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and Pennsylvania State Police Hold Vehicle/Towed Vehicle Safety Event.......................................29 Minnesota and South Dakota Joint Saturation Operation a Success...................................................................................................29 New Brunswick Supports 2012 National Professional Truck Driving Championships........................................................................ 30



GUARDIAN 6303 Ivy Lane • Suite 310 • Greenbelt, MD 20770-6319 Phone: 301-830-6143 • Fax: 301-830-6144 Guardian is published quarterly by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance with support from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. CVSA and FMCSA are dedicated to government and industry working together to promote commercial vehicle safety on North American highways. CVSA Staff: Stephen A. Keppler, Executive Director • Collin B. Mooney, CAE, Deputy Executive Director • Larry D. Stern, Director, Level VI Inspection Program • Adrienne Gildea, Director, Policy & Government Affairs • William P. Schaefer, Director, Vehicle Programs • Randy J. West, Director, Driver Programs • Lisa Claydon, Director, Communications & Marketing • Iris R. Leonard, Manager, Member & Program Services • Edgar M. Martinez, Member Services • Claudia V. McNatt, Manager, Meetings & Events • J. Craig Defibaugh, Controller • Wanica L. Foreman, Administrative Assistant Copyright 2012, CVSA. All rights reserved. No part of this issue may be reproduced without written permission from the publisher. For comments, suggestions or information, please email Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance



By Major Mark Savage Colorado State Patrol

PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE In the spring of 2004, I started my CVSA “career” as an attendee at the conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. I had been a sergeant in the Colorado State Patrol’s Motor Carrier Safety Section for about two years when I was lucky enough to attend. As a sergeant for the Colorado State Patrol, I was responsible for the training program, compliance review program and a team of experienced troopers. Being a new sergeant in a troop full of more experienced and knowledgeable troopers was intimidating, but, at the same time, a great learning experience. My initial CVSA experience was quite similar; as a new attendee I was surrounded by experience and a depth of knowledge that far outclassed my own. I remember attending the training committee led at that time by Past President Steve Dowling from California. At the meeting and afterwards, I remember being impressed with the structure of the organization and those in attendance. I was instantly impressed with the partnership between the enforcement and industry as they cooperatively worked through problems that impacted both perspectives. Additionally, it was at this meeting that I learned the true value of our Alliance—the successful implementation of commercial vehicle safety initiatives developed by an open and collaborative environment of multiple stakeholders. As I continued to attend the conferences and worked in the committees, my sense of appreciation for my peers grew. Now, as I enter office as the president of the Alliance, I am humbled by the opportunity to lead this organization, but also excited to work with a remarkable group of dedicated professionals with a common goal. As a leader within the Alliance, I am grateful for the strength of our organization and its members, but I also know that we will need to use our collective will as an organization to

overcome the challenges that we face. Whether they are political in nature—like the two-year reauthorization or economic obstacles, such as shrinking state and provincial budgets—the strength of our North American partnership may be tested. As we work together on how we will identify and address these obstacles, it is important to remember the parameters of our success— that the value of what we produce is equally important to the process we employ to develop the product, and the integrity of the process is not only fundamentally connected to the output produced, but also to the integrity of our organization. Therefore, during my next year as president of the Alliance, I will focus on several initiatives that will enhance the value of our product, be guided and scoped by our mission and strategic plan, and maintain the integrity of this remarkable organization we have all worked hard to build. Therefore, as an Alliance, we must: Strengthen our current partnerships and identify new ones by maximizing opportunities to increase the effectiveness of our communication and the size of our audience. Specifically, we need to engage members more frequently and seek out additional opportunities to communicate with those stakeholders who are not members. In relation to the discussions themselves, we need to stay engaged in discussions that are important to our collective success. For example, raising awareness of the challenges both industry and enforcement face as we operate under a tough economic environment and seek the most effective and efficient balance between safety regulation and commerce. Focus on the core principle of our work—increasing the quality, uniformity

and consistency of our daily enforcement activities. Admittedly, the roadside inspection program is not the only traffic safety initiative we champion, but from a data uniformity and quality perspective, it is the most important and valuable. It drives the allocation of our resources, is used by stakeholders to make business decisions, and is the most frequent contact that we have with those safety professionals operating the commercial vehicles that are the focus of our efforts. Therefore, re-emphasizing the importance of providing high-quality training—not only to new inspectors but as guidance and management to all levels of experience—is critical to our success. Identify forward-thinking, dynamic and accountable leaders that understand the issues and how they will impact our Alliance and all jurisdictions. To accomplish this, we should identify and develop future leaders for the Alliance in an effort to ensure the long-term success of our Alliance. Internally, we must develop a leadership training plan where new members can be mentored for not only their own success, but also that of the Alliance. I am excited about leading this remarkable organization of public safety professionals. While we all come from differing perspectives and backgrounds—and we may not always agree—it is that diversity that makes us strong. The strength of our organization makes it possible for us to identify, address and solve problems as a team. Finally, if you have any questions or comments regarding the future of the Alliance, please approach me at a meeting, send me an email or give me a call. I welcome your feedback and comments as we work together to build a stronger Alliance. Thank you and stay safe! n




letters to the editor Let’s Not Blow the Shale Bonanza By Stephen A. Keppler CVSA, Executive Director

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE As we transition to a new CVSA President, Vice President and Secretary-Treasurer, I would like to highlight a few key items that are on the horizon in 2013. By the time you receive this issue of Guardian, the United States will have had its own Presidential election, as well as numerous other state and local elections. There are a number of transportation and truck and bus safety related items that are hanging in the balance for the coming year. Some of them are long-standing issues such as CSA, hours-of-service and electronic onboard recorders (or electronic logging devices, depending on who you ask); some more recent due to the recent enactment of the MAP-21 legislation and a slew of regulations (29 new regulations for FMCSA, compared to 12 for FHWA, 10 for FTA, 7 for NHTSA and 2 for PHMSA) and studies (15 reports are required) such a truck size & weight, hours-of-service, electronic logging devices, safety exemptions, wetlines, hazmat safety permits, bus crashworthiness & crash avoidance, drug and alcohol clearinghouse—all to be completed within basically a two-year time frame. For its part, Canada is moving forward on items such as EOBRs, updating its PMVI Standards and Cargo Securement changes as well as engaged in an ongoing dialogue with the U.S. on Safety Rating Reciprocity. Mexico is making a number of strides with modernizing their regulatory and operational infrastructure. At no other time that I can recall has the activity level been this high, nor with so many crucial and potentially game-changing events on the horizon. Now more than ever, all of us need to be engaged in contributing to the various mechanisms for participation and

input—of which CVSA is just one. It is particularly important for each of us to recognize that many of the changes in the offing will affect all of us and the organizations we work for in the years and decades to come. This is one reason I think it is critically important to take a minute to think about one of President Savage’s goals for the coming year—to identify new leaders that we can bring into the fold to help with a smooth and stable transition as a number of us move into new jobs or into retirement. This is something we have been working on and are having some measure of success, but more can be done. It is also important during these fast-paced times to not to lose sight of our core and our principles. Starting three years ago with Buzzy France, and then continuing on with Steve Dowling and David Palmer, each of these CVSA Presidents have seen fit to make sure we do not forget our basic goals and objectives as an Alliance. Mark Savage will continue on with this as one of his pillars. Clearly, over this time period, there have been a number of external issues that have pushed and pulled on our attention. Despite this, we remain grounded and continually evaluate our activities to ensure we are staying on course—while still remaining nimble, proactive and able to help shape the future of CMV safety. I look forward to 2013 with great anticipation for our collective ability to affect positive change for safety. It will be an eventful year to say the least, and CVSA certainly will be in the middle of it! n

North America and the trucking industry have been given a great opportunity to become energy independent and to create thousands of jobs while developing the shale oil and gas resources found all across the continent. Shale producers and transporters and trucking regulatory agencies represented by CVSA all have significant roles to play to ensure that trucking does not become the Achilles’ heel of the shale boom. We are told that it takes up to 8,800 truckloads of materials to serve an eight-well pad. Products going to the pads include equipment, chemicals, sand and lots of water. Being trucked from the pads are oil and gas products and wastewater for disposal or reclamation. Many of those materials move by cargo tank and include both hazardous and non-hazardous materials. The demand for trucks is high and the need for qualified drivers to operate those trucks is even higher. If we all do the job correctly, shale could be the gift that keeps on giving to the trucking industry. We have known anecdotally that there are some safety issues within the trucking segment serving the shale industry. The results of targeted inspections in shale areas in ten states during the June 2012 Roadcheck gave statistical support to that concern. Shale area drivers were placed out of service three times as often as HM drivers and shale area equipment was placed out of service at double the rate for HM equipment. Clearly, this is unacceptable. There are many safe and experienced trucking companies very active in the energy trucking industry. Those companies have brought the same safety culture to the shale fields that they conduct in other sectors such as the transportation of chemicals, petroleum, products, foods and general commodities. There also has been an influx of new truck operators to this marketplace. They are welcome if they know and operate under the regulations covering them and their drivers. There is not a need to reinvent the safety wheel to Continued on next page




raise the safety culture in the shale fields; we simply need the same safety triangle of safe shipper/producers, trucking companies and enforcement. National Tank Truck Carriers is pleased to partner with the American Trucking Associations through the Consumer Safety Alliance to help enhance trucking safety in the shale areas. We are working with our carrier and supplier partners to provide information and resources on safe operations, regulatory compliance and critical safety carrier selection criteria for producers. We are pleased that the Texas Department of Public Safety has conducted safety compliance initiatives in key shale areas in the Lone Star State. We know similar efforts are underway in other shale markets. This additional demand comes at a time of reduced resources, but must be met. The growth of shale exploration and development has produced a new challenge to all players. Many of these operations, especially in the eastern part of the country, have brought thousands of truck trips to communities not accustomed to heavy truck traffic. Access to many well sites is through communities and regions with small roads and poor infrastructure. We need to work within these communities to provide not only safe but also considerate

Standards Benefits Should Extend to Oversize/ Overweight Loads In the Second Quarter 2012 issue of Guardian, CVSA President David L. Palmer published an excellent article “Consistent Adherence to Standards of Uniformity Can Create a Continuum of Knowledge.” He pointed out the value of uniformity and standards in commercial vehicle regulation and inspection. He stated in part [before commercial vehicle inspection standards were adopted], “…the states were involved in a redundancy of work effort—a redundancy that wasted government resources as well as caused time and monetary loss of equipment and personnel for the motor carrier industry.” That is certainly true, but I would go one step further. The lack of standards caused a pass-through increase in cost of goods sold to consumers. Conversely, the subsequent implementation of uniform inspection

trucking. That may mean voluntary restrictions on delivery times and routes. A direct line from Point A to Point B might be the most productive and economic, but it also might increase the exposure to accidents and public discontent with our trucks. We must reach out to these communities to explain the essential nature of trucking to energy and to solicit and consider their ideas. How can we remain efficient yet as non-disruptive as possible? The Salt Lake City Tribune did a succinct job of addressing the quandary in an August article: “It’s good that Salt Lake City refineries will be processing more crude oil from Utah to produce gasoline and other petroleum products. Energy independence is important to the nation and to Utah’s economy. It’s better to have the oil come from Utah than from somewhere more distant.” It also pondered the issues posed “If you live in Heber City, where U.S. 40 doubles as Main Street...That could mean one or two of the heavy trucks passing every minute.” We believe that the heavy truck traffic on overworked roads and even off-road will present enforcement challenges beyond what is found on the general highway. A perfectly compliant tractor and trailer can leave the terminal but the road conditions could result in violations that develop during a trip. Will

standards has saved U.S. residents countless millions in the reduced cost of moving goods. Mr. Palmer also suggested that we have a long way to go in creating standards in a variety of areas, with the greatest impact to SC&RA, in size and weight specifications of transportation equipment, trucks, trailers and loads. SC&RA is the association representing companies moving oversize and overweight goods throughout the U.S. road system and more than 45 other nations. The association also represents the crane and rigging companies that do the heavy lifting to load and place over-dimensional loads once they reach their destination. SC&RA is proud of our longstanding partnership with CVSA to increase and improve consistency in safety standards and enforcement procedures. One of SC&RA’s primary functions is to maximize the standardization in regulations among the states in terms of the size and

or should there be discretion exercised when inspecting these vehicles? Drivers also will sometimes face unusual operating demands and conditions. FMCSA has issued a policy which it is currently reviewing on the use of the Oilfield Exception to the Hours of Service rules. If the policy that the exception does not apply to sand, water and other trucks serving the shale areas stands, the HOS challenge will be less acute than if that policy is reversed. Regardless, shale drivers must be in full compliance and, as elsewhere, are the key element to safety. Those of us involved in the shipping and transportation of shale field materials, and those of you charged with ensuring that that service is done safely and in compliance, must aggressively work to demonstrate to the public that we can provide the same safe and efficient trucking in the energy arena that we do in other markets. Remember, to the general public, the truck going through its communities to and from the shale areas IS the shale industry. Let’s make sure we enhance not restrict the many benefits shale development represents. Visit and www. for more information. n John Conley, Past President, National Tank Truck Carriers Assocation

configuration of equipment allowed to transport over-dimensional loads. There are still an incredible variety of procedures, rules, regulations, enforcement practices and permits for oversize and overweight loads, not only between states, but even among counties, townships and municipalities within states. SC&RA has been in existence for more than 60 years and has been working to create greater uniformity in regulations ever since. Either through our inefficiency, the enormity of the problem or the states’ unwillingness to champion or adopt change, we are still working on it—with no end in sight. In truth, we have made a great deal of progress over time with a variety of states and entire regions, on a large number of issues, but as each situation is resolved it seems that another emerges. In fact, the problem is so significant that SC&RA publishes an Oversize and Overweight Permit Continued on next page




Continued from page 3

Manual which is updated at least quarterly and contains more than 300 pages of material on the rules, regulations and permit procedures for the 50 states and Canada. The manual contains hundreds of changes each year. Industry members use the manual as the guide to enhance compliance, increase safety and determine routing for various loads. The variety of state rules frequently causes transportation companies to take extremely inefficient routes to avoid states with onerous, unnecessary regulations or exorbitant permit fees. This year, one of our key initiatives will be to seek uniform weight limits for tandem axle allowance. Currently, 44 states allow tandem axle weight of 46,000 pound loads with a permit. South Carolina allows tandem axles to carry 44,000 pounds with a permit and five states (AR, TN, IA NE, OK) only allow 40,000 pounds on a tandem axle configuration with a permit. Let’s say you were trying to move construction equipment from St. Louis, Chicago or Minneapolis to Louisiana to help with clean-up from Hurricane Isaac. If the weight distribution of the equipment required a 46,000 axle load you would need a larger, longer trailer configuration than if you transported the same equipment from Boise to Dallas. Trailers with loads requiring tandem weights of 46,000 pounds in the five 40,000-pound states need more than two axles. This lowers diesel mileage per gallon, uses more expensive equipment, increases tire usage, increases vehicle length and may even require an accompanying pilot car in certain instances.

knowledge matters Five Questions to Ask Before Selecting an Onboard Computing Provider By Fred Fakkema, Director of PM & Compliance, Zonar Systems Recent trends in the transportation industry including CSA implementation, increasing driver shortages and growing freight demand require fleets to process greater amounts of data to make the best decisions for their operation. Today’s fleet manager must manage and track stringent safety requirements, retain and recruit the best drivers, and coordinate maintenance resources while reducing operational costs. Effectively managing these objectives requires new levels of fleet operational data. There are a growing number of onboard technology systems available to help meet data requirements. When evaluating these systems, ask the following five questions to help ensure the solution you select best addresses your unique needs.


What features do I need in an onboard telematics solution? Before evaluating specific solutions, you must understand the data points that are crucial to making fleet management decisions for your organization. The information is unique to each fleet and you should select technology partners that can structure the solution to your specific needs.

East and west transportation will encourage permitted 46,000 pound tandem loads to go through Kansas and Missouri rather than have to use more expensive equipment and higher operating costs to go through the five 40,000 pound “barrier states.” The worst part about this situation is that there are no off-setting benefits to a 40,000 tandem axle limit. It doesn’t increase safety nor does it lessen road wear and tear.

Common features of onboard computing and telematics systems include fleet GPS tracking, engine fault code data capture, driver performance reporting, onboard event recording, speed and safety monitoring and automated fuel tax reporting. Other features may include certified vehicle electronic inspections, in-cab navigation, two-way communication, driver logs, routing and hours of service. Integrations with third-party systems can greatly expand this list.

SC&RA will be reaching out to these “tandem axle barrier states” requesting that they increase load limits for permitted tandem axle vehicles to 46,000 pounds. The industry is not asking that these vehicle and load combinations be exempt from permits. Rather, we are simply asking that there be consistency in all 50 states.

Also, consider unique or patented applications that are not available in other solutions. One way to approach this is to ask onboard computing providers what makes their product unique or different from other telematics systems. Often, these exclusive features can help you easily differentiate between otherwise similar products. The more specific you can be with your needs list, the better you can compare different technology providers.

Various transportation-related associations take the lead on different government relations issues depending on the relative impact on their represented constituencies. CVSA members are charged with enforcement and SC&RA members are responsible for complying with the various over-dimensional regulations. SC&RA hopes to work with CVSA and its members to help influence the creation of greater consistency in regulations to increase safety, make compliance easier and improve the efficiency of transporting goods for everyone’s benefit. n Joel Dandrea, Executive Vice President, Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association (SC&RA)

During this assessment, speak with other departments within the organization to determine data needs outside the transportation department. For example, the maintenance department may need remote diagnostic data and automatic fault code alerts to help determine service priorities and speed the repair process. Human resources could be interested in capturing driver shift and hours data for payroll processing. Sales and customer support departments may be interested in real-time delivery updates for customer service purposes. Other common needs include compliance, routing and dispatch and back office scheduling. By taking a systemic approach to the decision process, you ensure that the solution benefits the needs of all stakeholders within your organization. Continued on next page




Can the telematics system integrate or provide data to our other operational systems? If you want to share or integrate data captured by the onboard computing system with other systems in your business you will want to make sure the system uses an open, published API (application programmer interface). An API is a source code based specification that serves as an interface by other software components to communicate with each other. If you have specific integration or data needs identified, speak with onboard computing providers about the process and complexity involved with accessing the data across the organization. Some onboard computing providers have already created integrations and partnerships with other third-party transportation and back office software systems. Some integrations can help extend the functionality of the telematics system to other transportation needs, including maintenance management, route planning, navigation, logistics, cell phone use tracking and lane departure. Other integrations provide data captured by the telematics system for business management purposes, including time and attendance tracking, payroll, accounting and financial systems, and customer billing. Many of these integrations are customer-driven, so it is important to understand how well your onboard computing provider will work with you to provide and integrate the data to fit your business.


Is the solution scalable and can it grow and change as my needs change? Your needs today may not be the same as your needs tomorrow. If you are just starting out with fleet telematics you will want to find a solution that is easy to implement, simple to use and highly scalable to meet your needs as you expand. Some systems can provide basic functionality and add increasing features as you need them. Pricing structures are also different. Consider if the vendor offers a subscription-based plan or if a long-term contract is required. As you consider these systems, look for innovative companies that are continuing to enhance and add functionality to their products. You don’t want to find yourself with a technology solution that is not keeping pace with the evolving needs of the marketplace. One recent development in the trucking telematics industry is OEM affiliated systems. Many truck manufacturers are developing or partnering with onboard computing providers to offer telematics functionality as standard options in the vehicle. For example, Freightliner now installs Virtual Technician in 2012 and later models as a standard option. Developed for Daimler by Zonar, Daimler uses this system to help their service network provide superior service to new Freightliner truck owners during their warranty period. Customers can subscribe and access all of the telematics data and reporting features through the upgraded Visibility Package. Other onboard computing systems are installed aftermarket and are not affiliated directly with truck manufacturers. When evaluating systems you will want to find solutions that work best with the makeup of your fleet. The advantage of a manufacturer-sponsored system is that typically the fault code data retrieved is more accurately identified and interpreted by


the system. As fault codes change, the technology solution will recognize these new codes. Most of the aftermarket and some of the manufacturersponsored systems will work for all makes and models. You should confirm compatibility with the truck model and engine. In addition, if the telematics system connects to the vehicle data bus (J-1939), determine if the vendor’s device is certified for the connection. This could prevent unnecessary problems down the road.


Does the provider understand my business? A vendor that takes the time to understand your business rather than a one-size-fits-all approach is better positioned to help you create a solution specific to your needs and to help suggest new improvements in the future. It is the difference between a consulting partner and a simple supplier. Customer-focused companies use flexible business practices that start with you. They listen to your needs before discussing the solution. They work to understand the reasoning behind your needs to uncover areas where additional value can be created. They tailor the solution to best meet your intended goals. From a support standpoint, consider working with vendors that provide you an assigned sales or support representative. This person or persons can effectively understand your business and communicate your needs within their organization. And you have one point-of-contact to work with even though dozens of people may be involved with your project. Within the provider’s organization, learn about their technical staffing levels to ensure they will understand your current systems and how the new telematics system will work within your environment. In addition, since a primary focus of telematics systems is safety and compliance, inquire about the level of expertise when it comes to compliance, law enforcement and occupational safety. At the end of the day, you want a partner that understands your business, a variety of technology environments to ensure success and can provide information to help you navigate the system and use the data to increase compliance, safety and efficiency.


Can the provider support me for the long-term? Selecting and implementing an onboard computing and telematics system is a major investment in time, resources and money. There are many fleet telematics providers to choose from and more are being created each year. Aside from technology solutions and customer support, you want to work with an established provider that is available to help improve your business for the long-term. You should understand how and when the company was established, how the technology was developed, where the company has been and their plans for the future. Ensure the provider is financially sound and management has the business expertise to help ensure future stability. Lastly, conduct due diligence by speaking with reference fleets about their experience with the vendor and, in the final stages of the decision process, request a site visit to meet company leaders and staff, and see facilities first hand. Taking the time to conduct a thorough vendor review to make sure you are selecting the best partner for your operation will pay off in increased efficiency and cost savings for years to come. n




Placarding/Safety Marks and Their Reason for Being By Tech. Trooper Rex C. Railsback, MCSAP, Kansas The hazmat/dangerous goods placard/safety mark that we use and see today began in the 70s, due to a hazmat tragedy in Norwich, CT in the 60s. As a result of this tragedy and others, the modern hazmat regulations in the U.S. were born in the mid-70s. The requirements included the creation of the diamond shaped and colorcoded hazmat placards that help us identify hazardous materials shipments today. In the 90s, HM181 and then the HM215 series of final rules started to harmonize the U.S. hazmat regulations with the UN Recommendations on the Transport of Dangerous Goods—Model Regulations. This harmonization further refined hazmat placards and continues to do so today. The hazmat/dangerous goods placard/safety mark reason for being is to be a communication device that helps convey the type of hazard one might encounter during transportation. This is true whether you’re a first responder, shipper, carrier, driver or enforcement officer. Since hazard communication is the primary purpose of the hazmat/dangerous goods placard/ safety mark, let’s look at an enforcement practice that is stringent enough to ensure the placard/ safety mark effectively communicates the hazards they represent without going to such extremes that an undue burden is placed on the shipper and/or motor carrier. In other words, use a common sense enforcement approach. Placarding and safety mark violations are some of the most commonly cited for hazmat/ dangerous goods shippers/carriers. The most contentious violations deal with the display and color requirements. We know that citing violations for placards that misrepresent or are missing is a given and fairly straight forward when it comes to the question—is it or is it not a violation? However, those violations dealing with the correct color of a placard (see fig. 1) or whether the placard is displayed with the text reading horizontal left to right (see fig. 2) are not as cut and dry, but rather in a gray area when citing for a violation. With these more contentious violations, maybe enforcement should ask the question—is it still performing its primary purpose of communicating the hazard? When looking at the color of placards/safety marks, both U.S. and Canadian regulations



reference appropriate Hazardous Materials Label and Placard Color Tolerance Chart, or as an alternative, the PANTONE® formula guide coated/uncoated as specified for the placard/ safety mark colors. When looking at these color guides, one would see a variance within each color range to a point that placards from two different suppliers may appear to have different shades, hues or tones and yet meet the regulations. One might want to cite someone if placards appear to be different shades (see fig. 1), but unless that enforcement person has that above mentioned color chart or formula guide and then knows to which standard the placard/safety marks were manufactured, I would be cautious before citing a violation unless that enforcement person can clearly articulate how the placard/ safety mark no longer meets the required color. I’m not saying do not enforce that pink shaded flammable placard, but as a friend of mine once said, “no one knows your lack of knowledge, until you put it in writing.” In the end, I’d say if it is supposed to be red and it still looks red, is it not performing its purpose for being and communicating the hazard it represents? The second contentious placard/safety mark violation would be that the placard/ safety mark is Fig. 1 not displayed with the text horizontal, reading left to right or, in other words, the placard/safety mark is not displayed square on point. Once again, if we look to the strict letter of the regulations—if a placard/safety mark is not displayed with the text horizontal in reference to the transport vehicles frame, then that would technically be a violation. Now let’s stop and think, how far off horizontal/ square on point would a placard/safety mark need to be to lose its effectiveness as a hazard communication device; ¼ inch, ½ inch, ¾ inch or maybe even 1 ½ inches? I don’t really start to look at this issue being a violation until the placard/ safety mark is probably getting closer to 2 ½ to 3 inches off horizontal/square on point, but that is me. I know a placard/safety mark displayed on its side is definitely a violation, but if you look at the photo below, I don’t think many of

us would guess that it measured 1 7/8 inches off horizontal. I performed the HM/DG inspection in which the picture was taken and did not list it as a violation. Some readers may think I did the carrier and safety a disservice and others may agree with me for Fig. 2 not listing the placard/safety mark as a violation. Although the regulations are printed in black and white, and often seem written without roadside enforcement in mind, we all know there are plenty of gray areas that can’t be put into the written regulation. I’ve always tried to look at the big picture and the purpose of CMV roadside inspections. That big picture would be to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. The roadside inspection helps to accomplish this through verification of compliance and safety education. With that in mind, I try to further apply some common sense to the enforcement equation and think at what point would education alone be as/or more effective than education and enforcement. That thought process becomes one of the biggest challenges for inspectors and is difficult to teach in the classroom and/or during the OJT phase of certification. In the end I’m not saying, “don’t enforce the regulations,” but think about the gray areas that cannot be written into the regulations by those who have little to no roadside experience, and try to apply common sense into your enforcement practices. Think about the purpose of placards/safety marks and the ultimate goal of reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. Don’t think about how many violations you can find. Although most Hazardous Material/Dangerous Good loads do not lead to crashes, they certainly can enhance the consequences or hinder the mitigation of a crash. So during your enforcement efforts, ask yourself if that dull red or slightly crooked placard would impede the mitigation and/or heighten the consequences of a crash. n


Ten Things a Carrier Needs to Know About Brake Adjustment By Rolf VanderZwaag, Manager, Maintenance & Technical Issues, Ontario Trucking Association Test yourself: a successful carrier will know the right answer to every one of these questions. (This information is related only to cam-actuated air brake systems used on the majority of heavy duty highway trucks, truck tractors and trailers.)


strokes will go back to where they were when they return to the same type of service. It can take as little as a few hundred miles for the brake stroke to revert back to where it was.

Who is primarily responsible for making sure brake strokes never exceed stroke limits?

Rx for Brake Adjustment Success

The culture of many fleets places the primary responsibility for detecting brake adjustment problems on their drivers. The implication of expecting drivers to find problems is that there’s not much anyone else can do about it.

Don’t assume your self-adjusting brake adjusters are being diagnosed correctly. To be sure, you need to ask the following questions…

 Check that repairs are done properly.  Make sure the technician follows a proper diagnostic procedure. if the technician is able to identify what is causing the  Ask excessive stroke.  Make sure it is not just being temporarily repositioned.

The problem with placing this responsibility on drivers is that they are poorly equipped to detect problems. They might be able to detect an obvious problem, but doing a compliance check that’s anywhere close to what an enforcement officer does is unlikely. And drivers are almost always not given enough time to do this type of check. Many driver trainers and fleet managers will say that drivers need to know how to measure their brakes, but generally don’t fully support their drivers doing a thorough stroke check of every vehicle, every time.


Are brake stroke measurements being recorded?

Fleets have to place this responsibility on their maintenance program. Whether these are staff of the same company or you use outside service providers, they have the capability to do a proper check, identify problems and make repairs. Train them well and place the accountability for brake compliance on their shoulders. This is not to say that drivers can ignore brake stroke. Give them stroke indicators that are properly installed and set up, and they can do a pretty good job of being a support to the maintenance program. Stroke indicators can make it quick and easy for a driver to check stroke, but many of them are not set up properly and, again, this falls on the maintenance program to correct.


Are your mechanics doing the right things related to brake stroke during a PM inspection? The answer to this question lies in identifying what the right thing is in the first place. It is frustrating to hear that most often during a Preventive Maintenance Inspection, mechanics simply re-adjust the brakes.

So, if you have mechanics measuring the brakes, how much value do the measurements have? To be able to know how stable a brake is and how well it is maintaining normal stroke, you need to be able to compare a current measurement with historical measurements. This means you need to record the data. When a brake is close to the limit (say ¼ inch less than the re-adjustment limit), should it cause concern or not? Well, when you look at historical data and you can see that the brake has been at that stroke for the past 12 months, there is no need to be concerned. It is stable and it is compliant. If, on the other hand, the stroke was 1 ¼ inch for six months, increased to 1 ½ inches a couple of months ago and now it’s reached 1 ¾ inch, there is an indication of some sort of deterioration of that brake. Will a re-adjustment fix the problem? Not likely. So, with data, a mechanic can identify normal, and abnormal, brake behavior.


The fact is that self-adjusting brake adjusters tend to operate with longer brake stroke than what mechanics were used to with manual adjusters. If the brakes that they are checking were, in fact, manual adjusters, there’s no question that they should be adjusted. But it’s different with S-ABAs. They may have longer stroke, but that stroke doesn’t get any longer. It’s hard for some mechanics to get used to this. So given the inherent stability of S-ABAs, the real exercise is to see how they’re performing. That means measuring the stroke properly at every PM inspection and making sure those measurements are taken before re-adjusting anything. Re-adjusting before measuring will hide any problems that may be present. Remember that any re-adjustment of S-ABAs is temporary. Those brake

What percentage of your vehicles’ brakes are likely to be at or above the stroke limit right now? When you are tracking brake stroke data, you will know the answer to this question. This is basic risk management. If your mechanics are doing an inspection properly (this means the same way as an enforcement officer would), you can use their data to measure your exposure out on the highway. This is also a useful spot check process. Anytime you have a vehicle in the shop for repairs unrelated to brakes, you can spot check the brake stroke measurements. Again, make sure the check is done the same way as if it were being done at roadside so that whatever you find is the same thing an enforcement officer would find. Continued on next page



INSIGHT Trucking operations vary a great deal and brake systems involve many subtle differences. You need to know what works and what doesn’t. You also need to know whether any brake adjuster that is replaced really needed to be replaced at all. Don’t forget to look to the manufacturers for technical support.

As you accumulate data, you will be able to compare it to data being gathered during periodic or preventive maintenance inspections. This is a potential performance measure that you could use to rate success.


What are the typical root causes of brakes that are out of adjustment?


What type of adjusters are you using?

The answer to this question will vary between operations. The point is that any person who is responsible for fleet maintenance management needs to know the answer. It is often worn brake linkage that gives the biggest problem. This can be corrected with more diligent attention to replacing the parts on time. Wear of other internal and external brake components can also cause brake stroke to increase. Brake overhaul procedures, component re-use policies and general repair practices need to be taken into account. If you are having component failures, work with suppliers to find solutions. Proper spec’ing of brake system components also makes a difference. You may want to have the greatest possible operating margin between the legal brake stroke limits and where your vehicles operate. To achieve this, you need to study your own data and identify what works and what doesn’t work. Long-stroke brake chambers offer a significant advantage, for example. This is another indicator of the importance of having data about what works in what operational setting.

This is an obvious follow up question to the last one. Since S-ABAs behave differently, and you are very likely dealing with different operating conditions, you need to understand a little about the different types and how they behave. There are two types of S-ABA and about six different manufacturers. One major manufacturer makes what is known as a ‘strokesensing’ type of adjuster. The others make what is known as ‘clearancesensing’ types. Since different issues will come up with each type of adjuster, it is very helpful for you to know these differences and to be able to relate them to the specific type of adjuster being used.



How often do the brakes on your vehicle get re-adjusted? The answer to this question is another important risk management factor you need to know. Ideally re-adjustments will be done very infrequently, if ever. Remember, a re-adjustment doesn’t really fix anything. It will temporarily shorten a brake’s stroke, but nothing has really changed. If the adjuster couldn’t keep the stroke where it needs to be before it was re-adjusted, it won’t be able to keep it there afterwards either. So, when you find that some brakes are occasionally, or regularly, being found with strokes that are near the adjustment limit, at the limit or past it, the root cause of the problem needs to be identified and corrected. Re-adjusting a brake is not correcting a problem.


How often do you replace brake adjusters? This is another important question and you should know the answer. The question is tied in to the answer to the previous question on identifying the root cause of brake problems. There are several different adjusters available and you need to know when one type or another fails more often or is more or less reliable.

How are stroke-sensing adjusters different from clearance-sensing adjusters? We often hear of drivers being told to make hard brake applications; particularly when they are entering an inspection facility where they may undergo an inspection of their brakes. The belief is that this will ensure that the brakes are as well-adjusted as they can be. When this type of general instruction is given to drivers for all vehicles and all operations, it indicates a real lack of awareness of all of the things we have just discussed. Now there’s no harm in this, but if you’re expecting to make all things better by working the brakes harder once in a while, you may be creating a false sense of security and missing some easily solved problems. And if you’re relying on this approach to avoid brake adjustment violations, you really don’t understand what’s going on in your fleet and you probably can’t answer most of the questions we’ve just reviewed. In some situations it can be helpful, but you need to understand exactly what situations those are and you need to check to confirm it is achieving anything.


Are there benefits to making regular hard brake applications? This type of instruction to drivers can be an obvious sign of a lack of confidence about brake performance, mechanic skills and the general success of a maintenance program. Now there’s no harm in this, but if you’re expecting to make all things better by working the brakes harder once in a while, you may be creating a false sense of security and missing some easily solved problems. n

Learn More About Brakes This helpful handbook is the industry standard for driver training. It provides all of the knowledge drivers need to operate their vehicles safely and in compliance with the law. It exceeds the minimum CDL requirements, covers system operation, testing and inspection, and includes review exercises. This is also a great resource for technicians!

Expanding on the content of the Practical Airbrakes Handbook, this book provides complete coverage on brake adjustment issues from the importance of keeping brakes properly adjusted to proper inspection procedures. You’ll learn the function, operation and proper inspection of self-adjusting brake adjusters. This is followed by step-by-step procedures on how to re-adjust manual and self-adjusting brake adjusters.

It’s easy to order one or both publications through the CVSA Store at




A Look at

the New NTC In March 2012, Curtis Allen officially became Director of the FMCSA National Training Center (NTC) and inaugurated a new era at NTC. Under his leadership, the new NTC has set a course for greater collaboration and transparency and mobilized staff to make important process improvements. As Director Allen says, “Collaboration with stakeholders is one of the keys to producing improved training processes and outcomes.� Inclusion allows NTC partners to have a voice heard by NTC decision-makers, and transparency aids problemsolving efforts and supports successful communication. Continued on next page




The NTC has already made tremendous progress in meeting budget and resource constraints and in addressing instructor availability issues. Collaborating with partners has paid off and NTC is now receiving instructor requests at least 45 days before class start dates. This helps to relieve some of the travel problems that caused difficulties in the past. NTC has expedited shipping of training and testing materials by bringing the function in-house to eliminate problems with print vendors’ shipping late or to the wrong location. A new workflow system validates current inventory and backfills shelves as necessary which assures the validation of inventory checks and the timely shipment of all training materials. NTC has also implemented a new test administration program and now ensures that test scores can be returned to state POCs in only two weeks. In another initiative, NTC Test Administration program leaders have been working closely with course support and IT staff on the internal testing of a new Learning Management System (LMS). Phase I LMS testing is set to launch in September and Phase II by November. Phase II consists of a controlled introduction of the training course to a group of state POCs. The effort includes plans to add management and certification testing data as well as tracking and reporting processes to the system. Using the LMS, course managers and test administration staff will be able to track certification training results, evaluation results, user information and other important data—all online. NTC also has new certification courseware and tests ready for use after the start of the fiscal year. Newly revised courses include Hazmat training, North American Standard Parts A and B, Passenger Vehicle Inspection, Investigations, New Entrant Safety Audit for the field and industry, Enforcement Procedures, Commercial Driver’s License, Household Goods for State Partners, Americans with Disability Act and Commercial Motor Vehicle training. These and other courses in development are subject to NTC’s systematic lifecycle approach to training. The systematic approach ensures that standards are met or exceeded at each phase, beginning with performance analysis and ending with the evaluation of training results. The improved course management lifecycle includes annual quality reviews by qualified subject matter experts and the use of formal mechanisms and tools to capture deficiencies and problems. Strategies used to improve product quality also benefit from the full engagement of CVSA, state partners, instructor staff and stakeholders. As Director Allen says, “Our combined efforts will produce far greater results than any one of us can accomplish alone.” Pending NTC actions include the roll out of new instructor webinars. Webinars are becoming a staple NTC method of delivering updates and refresher training. In FY12 alone, NTC presented more than 25 webinars on topics ranging from specific policy and enforcement issues to NTC personal development issues; and the queue also includes a



demonstration of FMCSA software—the “New Applicant Screening (NAS) Tool Web Demonstration.” Many of these webinars have also been made into videos and posted on the FMCSA “KnowZone” so others may view and learn from them. As the use of this tool continues to expand, NTC’s instructional partners will get timelier course updates and refresher training.

“Our combined efforts will produce far greater results than any one of us can accomplish alone.”

NTC is also launching new instructor development training courses. The very active Test Administration (TA) program will ensure that NTC’s certification tests are reliable. The TA program aims to test competencies on the job as part of the weighted certification for new and existing employees. The NTC TA program has recently created and deployed new performance-based testing for the DIAP criminal interdiction training courses. DIAP training is a testing ground for the planned performancebased testing to be used by many state safety programs. So far, it has been successful and well-received by state partners. In July 2011, NTC was awarded accreditation by the Federal Law Enforcement Training Accreditation (FLETA) board for its Drug Interdiction Assistance Program (DIAP). NTC is now pursuing accreditation for all of its programs and, to that end has been monitoring, documenting and improving all its operational, development and production processes. Process formalization and standardization are key to achieving FLETA accreditation. All course content and tests will meet approved quality standards, and all delivery processes will be subject to review and audit. Director Allen is working to align all NTC activities with the priorities of FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro and the needs of CVSA stakeholders. Other moving forces on the NTC team include Ron Crampton, who manages the State Safety Programs; John Waters, who leads the FLETA Accreditation and knowledge management efforts; David Ridgley, who manages budget and acquisitions; and Vanessa Sizer, who oversees the administration of the training management system. In future issues of Guardian, our goal is to address NTC’s initiatives in greater detail. In the following interview for this issue, we asked Director Allen about NTC’s recent achievements and his vision for the future. Mr. Allen came to the directorship with 20 years of training and management expertise and three years of experience with NTC. He served as Acting Director of the Center for almost one half year before his official appointment to Director in early 2012. Continued on next page


Getting to Know the NTC Director Could you tell Guardian readers a bit about yourself, Mr. Allen? I started out in the Marines and spent 20 years designing training for marine aviation maintenance technicians. I also managed course curricula for multiple aircraft maintenance fields for the Curriculum and Instructional Standards Naval Air Maintenance Group. I taught OSHA, Total Quality Management, and Quality Assurance/Quality Control classes. In total, I have 26 years of federal service. I was a training officer of EMT Paramedic Instructors in North Carolina and before have experience as a law enforcement fire arms instructor. At DP Associates, I was the lead Instructional Systems Designer (ISD) for the development and maintenance of training for the V-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft. I was also Joint Knowledge Development and Distribution Capabilities Assessment Manager with the U.S. Joint Forces Command (USJFCOM) in Suffolk, VA, where I worked to increase the interconnectivity of military branches and the ability of service members to conduct joint training. In 2007, I was hired as Director of Training Programs at Craig Technologies in Cape Canaveral, FL. In July 2009, I joined FMCSA as an ISD training manager. In December 2011, I took over as Acting Director of NTC and, at the end of March, 2012, was hired as permanent Director. I have a BS degree in Management and Computer Information Systems, a Masters in Human Resource Management with a focus on Performance Improvement and Training, and a Masters Certificate in Applied Project Management. What does your role as Director of the FMCSA’s National Training Center consist of? I see my role as a facilitator and coordinator. NTC is in the middle, balancing the needs of implementing the mandate for providing training resources and professional development to enable federal employees to succeed in their jobs, while also providing commercial regulatory training to our state Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) partners. We have to balance those needs. What is your sense of how NTC has changed over the years? In general, NTC is becoming more structured and formal in its approach to training. This more structured and formal approach is bringing us in line with other federal law enforcement training programs. We’re now more organized and responsive to stakeholders. We’re more effective and efficient—and we continue to grow in these areas. What are your short-term priorities for NTC? My short-term priority is to ensure that we successfully mitigate all stakeholder problems, issues and complaints. Building better and more effective relationships with AAMVA, CVSA, MCSAP entities and all our state partners is also a priority.

Curtis Allen Director, FMCSA National Training Center (NTC)

What have you already accomplished at NTC? We have formalized and implemented transparent and effective communication processes with stakeholders at the state level. We’ve also built more collaborative relationships with CVSA, our state partners and FMCSA field staff. What are the primary opportunities for growth that have not yet been addressed? The primary opportunity is in the accreditation—as we formalize and standardize courses, tests and other training resources, we’ll increase our standing as an elite training organization. What is your biggest challenge? Our biggest challenge is meeting the competing training requirements of our stakeholders. We have a lot of stakeholders and they all want X, and they all want it in different ways. What is your most gratifying success at NTC? Well, recently we’ve had stakeholders say they are very happy with the way we respond to their needs. Since we’re a customer service organization, their happiness about that is important to me. I am assuming that you spend a fair amount of time with your staff at NTC. Do you also meet with external stakeholders, such as state partner agencies and carriers? Yes, I make a point of meeting with internal and external stakeholders, though these meetings are not on a regular schedule. I’ve directed all NTC staff to be responsive to stakeholder needs within the constraints of normal operational requirements. Can you tell me about how the work done by NTC is aligned with the goals of FMCSA, CVSA and its membership? We work very closely with the CVSA Training and Executive Committee to ensure that we are aligned properly with our stakeholders’ goals and needs. Which of the current NTC initiatives are you most excited about? Our current and ongoing efforts in accreditation which enable and empower us to better meet, mitigate and sometimes exceed the needs of our stakeholders as we move into the future. What is NTC doing to assure that accreditation efforts are sustainable? We are staffing NTC in a way that will sustain momentum after any of us leave. We are laying the foundation for operational processes that will continue and not rely on any one person. n

What would you like to accomplish over the next 2-3 years? I want to ensure that we’re more transparent and accessible to all of our stakeholders and partners. I also want us to be fully accredited across the board as a National Training Center.




ASK THE ADMINISTRATOR Administrator Ferro addresses questions on two hot topics: the recently enacted surface transportation law called MAP-21 (“Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century”) and training on the new hours-of-service (HOS) regulations.

What MAP-21 requirements do we need to consider immediately? MAP-21 contains two provisions on operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) for agricultural purposes that went into effect October 1, 2012. The first provision provides a statutory exemption from the HOS rules for drivers engaged in transporting agricultural commodities and farm supplies within 150 miles of their starting location. This exemption is an extension of the current exemption, which allows carriers to transport farm supplies within 100 miles. The second provision is a broader exemption for farmers from the commercial driver’s license, HOS, medical certification, drug and alcohol testing, and vehicle inspection, repair and maintenance requirements. To qualify for these exemptions, a vehicle must be operated by a farmer or rancher, or their employee or family member, be used for agricultural commodities, livestock, machinery, or supplies, and be equipped with a special license plate or other designation by the state in which the vehicle is registered. Also, if over 26,000 lbs., the vehicle must be operated within the state it is registered in or within 150 miles of the farm or ranch. Additionally, there are a few changes to the grant programs that went into effect October 1, 2012. These changes include calculating the maintenance of effort (MOE) requirements based on 2004 and 2005 spending and eliminating MOE requirements for the federal Commercial Driver’s License Improvement Program grant. The law also eliminated the MOE requirements for Border Enforcement grants. What other major policy issues were covered in MAP-21? As you may already know, MAP-21 aligns well with FMCSA’s safety priorities of raising the safety bar to enter the industry; requiring operators to maintain high safety standards to remain in the industry; and removing high-risk operators from our roadways. In all, Congress



directed FMCSA to complete or begin 29 rulemakings, 34 programmatic changes and 15 reports during the two-year span of the bill.

• Requiring drivers to take at least one 30-minute break, at a time of their choosing, if they intend to drive longer than the 8 hours after coming on duty.

The policies most likely to affect your work include: • A requirement that new entrant audits (for anyone that registers after October 1, 2013) be completed within 12 months for property carriers or 4 months for passenger carriers, instead of the current 18-month requirement. FMCSA is continuing to work to develop more efficient ways of conducting new entrant audits to facilitate this change.

• Requiring drivers who maximize their weekly work hours with a 34-hour restart once a week to have at least 2 nights off duty during the restart, including the period when their 24-hour body clock demands sleep the most—from 1 am to 5 am.

• A requirement that all carriers complete a proficiency exam prior to registering. We will begin a rulemaking to implement this requirement in the coming months. • A requirement for FMCSA to complete rulemakings on electronic logging devices (commonly referred to as EOBRs) and entrylevel driver training. • A requirement for FMCSA to complete a rulemaking regarding a clearinghouse of drivers’ positive drug and alcohol test results and refusals to test. • FMCSA will also develop a standard for Employer Notification Systems and will consider the pros and cons of requiring all States to have a State inspection program for buses. What are FMCSA’s plans to provide training on the new HOS regulations? FMCSA estimates that driver fatigue is present in about 13 percent of large truck involved crashes. In December 2011, FMCSA issued a new HOS rule that helps truck drivers get more rest and be more alert behind the wheel. The new rule, which goes into effect on July 1, 2013, includes the following provisions: • Reducing a driver’s allowable work hours per week by 15 percent from 82 hours to 70 hours.

FMCSA will develop training for all CVSA-certified inspectors and state employees conducting new entrant audits and focused or comprehensive investigations. The training will focus on these new provisions. Currently, we plan to deliver the training between April and June of 2013—prior to the July 1, 2013 implementation date. In addition to training, FMCSA will also: • Develop policies and procedures for our field staff and state partners to ensure that they have the information necessary to implement the requirements of the rule, • Determine and coordinate Information Technology needs, • Create educational materials for industry, • Ensure that the Electronic Field Operations Training Manual (eFOTM) is updated with HOS Final Rule requirements, • Update the Part A North American Standard (NAS) course, • Update the FMCSA web site, as needed, and • Develop job aides for field staff. MAP-21 and the new HOS rule give us an extraordinary opportunity to raise the safety bar as we continue our work together to reduce CMV-related crashes and save lives. Thank you for your partnership. n Have a question? Send it to


Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Transportation (MAP-21): Exemptions for Agricultural Transportation

The Importance of Medical Certificate Information for Commercial Vehicle Inspections

MAP-21, signed into law on July 6, 2012, includes two exemptions from the safety regulations currently affecting commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) engaged in agricultural transportation. The exemptions, effective October 1, 2012, affect the application of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), and, in limited circumstances, state safety regulations governing this transportation.

Picture this scenario: A commercial vehicle safety inspector stops a commercial vehicle or bus to conduct a roadside inspection. The inspector initiates an electronic status request with a few keystrokes, and is able to discover that the driver is not medically qualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). As a result, the inspector is able to remove the unqualified driver from the road.

Section 32101(d) of MAP-21 provides a statutory exemption from the hours-of-service (HOS) rules for CMV drivers engaged in the transportation of agricultural commodities and farm supplies.The provision states that maximum driving and on-duty times for drivers used by motor carriers will not apply during planting and harvesting periods, if: 1. The driver transports agricultural commodities from the source to a location within 150 air-mile radius from the source;

This scenario is quickly becoming a reality thanks to a new class of driver data now available to users of the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS). Since October 2010, when the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) published an updated version of the CDLIS System Specifications Document, State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLA) have been working diligently to implement system enhancements now known as CDLIS Modernization (CDLIS Mod).

2. The driver transports farm supplies for agricultural purposes from a wholesale or retail distribution point to a farm or other location where the farm supplies are intended to be used within a 150 airmile radius from the distribution point; or 3. The driver transports farm supplies for agricultural purposes from a wholesale distribution point to a retail distribution point within a 150 air-mile radius from the wholesale distribution point. Section 32934 of MAP-21 provides a statutory exemption from most of the FMCSRs for the operation of covered farm vehicles, including the individuals operating the vehicles. Covered farm vehicles, including the individuals that operate these vehicles, are exempt from the requirements related to: 1. Part 382 (Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing); 2. Part 383 (Commercial Driver’s License Standards); 3. Part 391—Subpart E (Medical Qualification Standards);

A key benefit of CDLIS Mod is the availability the driver’s MedCert status. For an inspector at roadside, being able to verify a medical certificate via the CDLIS driver record provides a significant benefit to both highway and officer safety. Real-time availability of a driver’s medical status through CDLIS helps to ensure that only medically qualified CDL holders are driving CMVs and enables the inspector to remove high-risk operators from our nation’s roadways. The MedCert status, when fully implemented in every state, will include the driver’s self-certification category plus the name, address and phone number of the certified medical examiner who conducted the examination. If the CDLIS record shows that the driver’s MedCert status is certified, the inspector can be assured that the SDLA has collected and evaluated the driver’s medical certificate information and determined that the driver is medically qualified for issuance of the CDL. However, if the driver’s MedCert status is “not certified,” the driver should be considered not medically qualified.

4. Part 395 (Hours of Service of Drivers); and 5. Part 396 (Inspection, Repair and Maintenance). The legislation explicitly states what is considered a covered farm vehicle, including a requirement that the vehicles be “equipped with a special license plate or other designation by the State in which the vehicle is registered to allow for identification of the vehicle as a farm vehicle by law enforcement personnel.” The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has plans to educate both enforcement personnel and motor carriers on this exemption to ensure uniform and consistent application of the legislation. The Agency plans to issue (1) a final rule, at a later date, to make conforming amendments to the FMCSRs; and (2) a Federal Register notice announcing the exemption. In addition, the Agency has developed outreach materials for federal and state personnel. n

Because many SDLAs have yet to implement their programming changes for CDLIS Mod, some or all of the MedCert information may be missing from the CDLIS record for some drivers. As a result, these SDLAs are unable to send or receive medical certificate information to or from other SDLAs. When this information is unavailable, the inspector will need to continue to verify the paper documentation that the driver is required to carry to ensure that the he is medically qualified to drive a CMV. All states will be required to post driver MedCert data on their driver record to CDLIS by early January 2014. Today, drivers must present a copy of their current valid medical card to the SDLA, which will then enter the MedCert data by hand in to the CDLIS system. Until all MedCert data is transmitted electronically, the commercial vehicle inspection community will have this information on only an intermittent basis. Accurate and timely evaluation of medical certificate information takes us one step closer to achieving our safety-first mission and helps us more swiftly and surely remove unsafe drivers from our nation’s roadways. n




Marking Violations Still Being Cited Against Intermodal Equipment Providers and Motor Carriers On December 17, 2010, the second compliance date of the requirements for Intermodal Equipment Providers (IEPs) and Motor Carriers and Drivers Operating Intermodal Equipment final rule took effect. By that date, IEPs and motor carriers were required to mark all intermodal equipment they offer for interchange with a USDOT number, as required by Section 390.21 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). IEPs and motor carriers were given five options in which to “mark” their intermodal equipment: OPTION 1: Permanently mark each unit with their legal name or single trade name and USDOT number (49 CFR 390.21(g)(4)(i)). OPTION 2: Mark each unit with their legal name or single trade name and USDOT number, using a label (49 CFR 390.21(g)(4)(ii)). OPTION 3: Include identification of the IEP and the intermodal equipment on the interchange receipt, which is generally on board the power unit (49 CFR 390.21(g)(4)(iii)). OPTION 4: Include identification information for the IEP and the intermodal equipment on the trailer documentation that is kept in the weatherproof compartment on the equipment (49 CFR 390.21(g)(4)(iv)). OPTION 5: Include identification information for the IEP and the intermodal equipment in a database that is available via real-time internet and telephonic access (49 CFR 390.21(g)(4)(v)). Since the compliance date the intermodal industry has used the Global Intermodal Equipment Registry (GIER) database, developed by the Intermodal Association of North America, as the primary marking option. GIER correlates the equipment number to the USDOT number of the IEP. GIER has more than 600,000 pieces of intermodal equipment registered in its database. The database is most beneficial when identifying which IEP is responsible for the safe operation of a chassis. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) continues to receive periodic complaints from IEPs and motor carriers who assert that they are being erroneously cited for failing to mark their equipment during roadside inspections, although their equipment is “marked” in GIER. In response to these concerns, FMCSA looked at roadside inspections conducted since October 1, 2011. That analysis revealed that IEPs and motor carriers have been cited 1,918 times for failing to mark their chassis. A closer look at the data also revealed that the majority of the IEPs and motor carriers had either marked their chassis in GIER or were not required to mark their chassis at all.



The six-page Inspection Bulletin Intermodel Equipment Provider Marking Options clarifies the five marking options available to intermodal equipment providers (IEPs) for identifying intermodal chassis per 49 CFR 390.21(g)(4), and provides guidance for identifying the IEP using the fifth marking option, 49 CFR 390.21(g)(4)(v)—an internet or telephonic database query. Download it today from the North American Standard Inspection Program page on CVSA’s website at

The FMCSA is committed to providing training on the intermodal program and plans to deliver additional training in the near future. The training, like the series delivered in April, will focus on accurate identification of IEPs and the marking options available to the IEP. The training will be geared towards inspectors and will aide in uniform enforcement of the intermodal rules. n

It’s time for the 2013 “Be Ready. Be Buckled.” Kids’ Art Contest! Want to spread the message about the importance of safety belts for Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers? Sponsor a school! Visit the website at for more information.

Entries are due by March 1, 2013.

2012 Grand Prize Winners: Sophia Chen, Age 7, Edison, NJ, Grades K-2 (Category A) Richard He, Age 10, Parsippany, NJ Grades 3-6 (Category B)

The Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Safety Belt Art Contest is sponsored in collaboration with the CMV Safety Belt Partnership.


National Passenger Carrier Strike Force Concludes with a Focus on Tire Safety FMCSA and our state and local law enforcement partners recently concluded the National Passenger Carrier Strike Force, resulting in more than 9,000 driver and vehicle safety inspections and over 450 comprehensive reviews on passenger carriers. The National Passenger Carrier Strike Force is just one component of FMCSA’s comprehensive strategy to remove unsafe drivers and motorcoaches from our nation’s highways. The strike force ran from August 13-27, using a cadre of enforcement strategies to identify and remove unsafe drivers and passenger-carrying vehicles from operation. An analysis of the strike force data revealed that of the 9,489 inspections, 402 drivers were placed out-of-service (OOS), a four percent driver OOS rate. The most common driver OOS violations were failure to have the medical certificate in possession followed by failure to retain the previous seven days’ records of duty status, and no record of duty status. Vehicle data revealed 850 vehicles were placed OOS, equivalent to a nine percent vehicle OOS rate, with brake violations as the leading category. In addition to driver and vehicle inspections at major tourist destinations, inspectors focused on regional carriers that provide low cost intercity service, known as “curbside operators.” This segment of the motorcoach industry grew 30 percent in 2011 and continues to grow at an exceptional rate. FMCSA and our state and local partners are responsible for ensuring that bus companies hold the safety of their passengers as the top priority as this business expands. In an unprecedented move last May, FMCSA shut down 26 curbside passenger operations that displayed a flagrant disregard for the public’s safety. Also during the strike force, FMCSA issued an advisory bulletin to the passenger carrier industry that was prompted by a series of tire failures. The advisory cautioned motorcoach operators to consider the maximum tire load capacity along with an adequate safety margin and the tire speed rating when carrying high capacity passenger and luggage loads.

this manner are OTRBs. Tandem axle weight restrictions apply to axles that are placed between 40 and 96 inches apart. Motorcoach tandem axles meet this definition. In addition, inspectors should refer to the manufacturer information stamped on a tire when weighing vehicles. Inspectors must evaluate the compatibility of this information with the vehicle manufacturer’s certification label, which on motorcoaches is usually posted in the vehicle entry area or near the driver’s compartment. Inspectors should compare the tire load rating to scale results by wheel and also compare the results to the designated and permitted axle weight ratings for the vehicle. Inspectors should also examine the speed rating of tires and look for indicators such as “not rated for highway use” when inspecting motorcoaches used on the interstate system, state highways or other high speed service environments. n

Load Rating/ Capacities



Manufacturer Load index Speed symbol DOT#

(includes plant and date)

Retread ID

Here’s where to find manufacturer tire information.

There is a distinct difference in the regulations that govern vehicle gross and axle weights and tire weight ratings. Gross vehicle and axle weight restrictions are regulated by a combination of state and federal laws, with the Federal Highway Administration being the federal entity that oversees these restrictions. However, operating in excess of the maximum tire load capacity is a violation of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) under 49 CFR Part 393.75(f). If a vehicle is found to be in violation, the vehicle is to be placed OOS under the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria. The Federal Highway Administration’s maximum allowable single axle weight under 23 U.S.C. 127 is 20,000 lbs. Federal legislation (ISTEA, SAFETEA-LU and MAP -21), however, has increased the single axle weight for “over-the-road” and public transit buses to 24,000 lbs. when operating on the interstate system. An over-the-road bus (OTRB) is a bus characterized by an elevated passenger deck located over a baggage compartment. Single deck and double deck motorcoaches configured in

The manufacturer’s certification label is usually found in the entry area or near the driver’s compartment.




NTSB: Fatal Motorcoach Accident Investigations Reveal Fatigued Drivers and Carrier Deficiencies By Jennifer L. Morrison, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

New York, New York In the pre-dawn hours of March 12, 2011, a 1999 Prevost 56-passenger motorcoach, operated by World Wide Travel of Greater New York, was traveling southbound on I-95, en route from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, to New York City, carrying 32 passengers. Immediately following a right-hand curve in the road, the motorcoach departed the travel lanes, driving over the rumble strips onto the right shoulder. After crossing the shoulder and traveling nearly 500 feet against the guardrail as it rotated onto its right side, the front of the motorcoach collided with a vertical highway signpost. The signpost entered the passenger compartment along the base of the passenger windows as the motorcoach slid forward. The impact resulted in the roof being torn from the bus body for almost the entire length of the motorcoach. As a result, 15 passengers were killed, 17 passengers received serious-to-minor injuries, and the motorcoach driver received minor injuries.

The NTSB determined that the probable cause of this accident was the motorcoach driver’s failure to control the motorcoach due to fatigue resulting from failure to obtain adequate sleep, poor sleep quality, and the time of day at which the accident occurred. Contributing to the accident was inadequate safety oversight of the accident driver by World Wide Travel’s management. Contributing to the severity of the accident was the motorcoach’s speed and a guardrail that was not designed to redirect the heavy vehicle and did not prevent it from colliding with the vertical highway signpost. Contributing to the severity of passenger injuries was the extensive intrusion of the vertical highway signpost into the passenger compartment.

Doswell, Virginia On May 31, 2011, just two months after the New York accident, and again in the early morning hours, a 2000 Setra 59-passenger motorcoach operated by Sky Express, Inc., was traveling north on I-95 en route from North Carolina to New York City, carrying 58 passengers. The motorcoach drifted from the highway to the right, struck a cable barrier, rotated, and overturned onto its roof. As a result, four passengers were killed, 14 received serious injuries and 35 received minor injuries. The driver sustained minor injuries and refused medical treatment. The NTSB’s accident investigation revealed that the motorcoach drifted from the travel lanes because the driver fell asleep while driving, which he admitted to when interviewed. After departing the travel lanes, the motorcoach crossed the shoulder, passing over the rumble strip and onto an earthen area before striking the cable barrier. At that point, the driver awoke, steered to the left, and overcorrected toward the travel lanes, resulting in the rollover.

New York, New York—Aerial view of motorcoach at final rest (Source: The Journal News, Frank Becerra)

The NTSB’s accident investigation revealed that the motorcoach driver was fatigued at the time of the accident due to sleep deprivation and poor sleep quality and that, according to data contained in the electronic control module of the bus’s engine, the motorcoach was traveling upwards of 78 mph in the moments before the accident, exceeding the posted speed limit of 50 mph.



The NTSB determined that the probable cause of this accident was again due the motorcoach driver’s failure to control the vehicle due to fatigue and the failure of the carrier, Sky Express, Inc., to follow adequate safety practices and to exercise safety oversight of the driver. Also contributing to this accident was the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s lack of adequate oversight of Sky Express, Inc., which allowed the company to continue operations despite known safety issues. Contributing to the fatalities and the severity of the injuries was the lack of a comprehensive occupant protection system,

including systems for providing passenger restraint and for ensuring sufficient roof strength.

Doswell, Virginia—Northbound view of motorcoach at final rest (Source: FMCSA, Mike Fox)

Curbside Motorcoach Safety Report As a result of the New York and Doswell accidents and the resulting increased public attention to motorcoach safety, the NTSB conducted a focused investigation on scheduled interstate “curbside” motorcoach operations. These types of operations conduct scheduled trips from city to city, or to a destination, and originate or terminate at a location other than a traditional bus terminal, often discharging passengers at sidewalks or parking lots, as was the case with both the New York and Doswell operations. As a result of the focused investigation, the NTSB published the Report on Curbside Motorcoach Safety, which evaluates curbside business models, as they compare to other interstate motorcoach operations, and the adequacy of their safety oversight. The report concludes that safe motorcoach operations are not a function of where passengers are picked up and dropped off, but rather good management by the carriers that own the vehicles and the drivers that operate them. As a result of the New York and Doswell accident investigations, and the focused investigation on curbside motorcoach operations, the NTSB issued 21 new safety recommendations to U.S. Department of Transportation agencies, as well as four new safety recommendations to industry associations. In addition, ten existing NTSB safety recommendations were reiterated. Full reports are available on the NTSB’s website: n


The Legislative & Regulatory Rundown By Adrienne Gildea, CVSA, Director, Policy & Government Affairs

House Committee Holds Hearing on CSA

Witnesses: • Administrator Anne Ferro, FMCSA

On September 13th, the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit held a hearing on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program. The hearing, called for by subcommittee Chairman John Duncan (R-TN), was held in response to growing complaints from industry about the program. Members have been receiving complaints about the methodology used in calculating CSA BASIC ratings, as well as what information is included and how that information is ultimately used. CVSA’s President at the time, Assistant Chief David Palmer of the Texas Department of Public Safety, was invited to testify on behalf of the Alliance. Other witnesses included FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro, representatives from the truck and bus industries, safety advocates and a representative for the shipping community. Opening remarks from the Members of Congress in attendance were brief, focusing for the most part on concerns with CSA, though a few Members did speak in support of the program and FMCSA. Administrator Ferro provided an overview of how the program works and the success the agency has seen so far in her prepared remarks. Mr. Owings, who lost his son in a truck crash, told his story and voiced opposition to industry calls for factoring fault into crash reporting, pointing out that the current Crash BASIC is already a good predictor of crash risk and expressing concerns over how fault is determined and the accuracy of some reporting. Mr. Palmer began his remarks by praising FMCSA for their work so far and called CSA an improvement over previous methods. He said, “… from the enforcement community’s perspective the CSA program is working much more effectively than the previous approach. Overall, inspectors and investigators are pleased with their experience and, most importantly, the results. Quite frankly, CSA has brought commercial vehicle safety to the forefront of industry and enforcement like no other program in my time before it.” However, he added, there are several areas where the program could be improved. Most of his testimony focused on opportunities to strengthen CSA. He highlighted the need for frequent, ongoing training for enforcement and industry, telling the Committee that, “It is critical that those using CSA and those being evaluated fully understand how the system functions.” Mr. Palmer also spent several minutes talking about the need for timely, accurate, complete data, stressing that “data is the foundation of CSA.”

• Steve Owings, Road Safe America • Assistant Chief David Palmer, Texas Department of Public Safety • Scott Mugno, FedEx Ground • Ruby McBride, Colonial Freight Systems, Inc. • Bruce Johnson, C.H. Robinson • Bill Gentry, Gentry Trailways

Recommendations were included in the written testimony on how to improve data collection, as well as necessary improvements to the DataQs process. Mr. Palmer’s remarks also stressed the importance, from enforcement’s perspective, that compliance with regulations continue to factor into CSA. He went on to discuss the Alliance’s recommendation that FMCSA address the issue of crash accountability as quickly as possible. Finally, Mr. Palmer briefly discussed the concept of alternative compliance, which CVSA’s Program Initiatives Committee has been working on this year. Testimony from industry representatives focused on two core areas: accurate data methodology flawed. Several of the witnesses spoke to the ‘compliance versus crash risk’ issue, urging FMCSA to remove so-called ‘paperwork’ violations from CSA, arguing that they are not tied in any way to safety. The issue of crash accountability was also heavily discussed in the industry testimony. Mrs. McBride, testifying on behalf of the Alliance for Safe, Efficient and Competitive Truck Transportation (ASECTT), also criticized the new intervention process, explaining that her company did not receive any warning letters prior to their onsite audit. Mr. Johnson, who spoke on behalf of the shipping community, told the Committee that shippers want more clarity from FMCSA on which companies are safe, asking for a “clear line,” with no gray area. The question and answer portion of the hearing was dedicated almost entirely to Members asking Administrator Ferro to address industry concerns. The ‘compliance versus crash risk’ issue figured prominently into the Q&A, as did crash accountability. Several members also concentrated on the lack of data in CSA, asking how the agency could make determinations on safety with 60 percent of industry lacking adequate data to calculate at least one BASIC score.

Continued on next page



GOVERNMEN T NE WS The DataQs process was also discussed and Mr. Palmer was asked to explain how DataQs are processed and what states do with violations that have been dismissed in court. Several Members also asked Administrator Ferro to speak to claims that CSA disproportionately impacts small carriers, who may not receive inspections as frequently as the larger carriers. A number of issues with the CSA program were raised in the discussion, which lasted just over two hours. Administrator Ferro committed to continue working with industry and Congress to address the concerns expressed in the hearing. Congressman Don Young (R-AK), who was not satisfied with the Administrator’s comments, suggested that the Committee might need to call for a review of CSA by the Government Accountability Office. In October, Subcommittee Chairman and Ranking Member DeFazio sent that request to OIG. Written testimony from the witnesses, along with video of the hearing, is available on the Committee’s website at: gov/hearings/hearingdetail.aspx?newsid=1714 n

Highlights from CVSA Written Testimony

Safety Fitness Determination NPRM is slated to be published in early 2013 as well; and the agency plans to have completed its research into the issue of crash accountability by summer of next year. n

FMCSA Issues Rules on Brakes and GCWR In early August, FMCSA published a Final Rule addressing two CVSA petitions regarding brake adjustment limits. In addition, the agency issued a Direct Final Rule (DFR) later in the month, in an attempt to address the Alliance’s concerns regarding enforcement of GCWR limits. The rule would change the definition of GCWR in 383.5 and 390.5 to read “Gross combination weight rating (GCWR) means the value specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a combination motor vehicle.” However, FMCSA received “negative comments” in response to the DFR and was forced to withdraw the item.. CVSA is working with the agency to ensure that future changes meet inspectors’ needs. n

HOS Challenge Moves Forward

• Better Data Quality & Collection • DataQs • Improvements to the SMS • Importance of Regulatory Compliance • Crash Accountability • Alternative Compliance • Safety Fitness Determination Rulemaking • Intervention Process • More Outreach/Training • Use of CSA Data

FMCSA Moving Forward on Several Initiatives Meanwhile, FMCSA continues to move forward on several key initiatives. In August, the agency officially made public a number of proposed changes to the CSA SMS, which were made available to enforcement earlier this year. The changes include moving cargo securement to the Vehicle BASIC and creating a new HazMat BASIC, along with adjustments to the SMS to better align the system with Intermodal Equipment Provider (IEP) regulations, eliminating vehicle violations derived from driver-only inspections and driver violations from vehicle-only inspections; adjusting terminology within the system; and distinguishing between crashes with injuries and crashes with fatalities. The changes will go into effect in December. FMCSA has also updated their timeline for several issues. The agency expects to have a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on EOBRs in March of 2013, and aims to have the rule complete by October 2013. The



Finally, the ongoing legal challenge to the agency’s current Hours of Service (HOS) rules has taken a step forward. In late July, both ATA and the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety submitted briefs in their suits against FMCSA. FMCSA was ordered by the court to respond by September 24. In September, FMCSA filed its response brief arguing that, contrary to comments in ATA’s filing on the matter, the changes included in the new HOS rules were “not arbitrary or capricious.” Instead, the agency states that “The HOS rule reflects FMCSA’s weighing of scientific evidence and its careful consideration of the potential impacts on health and safety, as well as the costs and the effects of the rule on the public and the regulated industry.” ATA has until October 24 to file a response. n

NEW! CMV Awareness Training The NTC has launched a new online CMV Awareness self-study program. This 30-minute course outlines the basic requirements to safely complete a CMV traffic stop and to determine a proper course of action if a violation has occurred. Find the course and and student guide at cmvvideo.aspx.


csa news Competing for Drivers Under CSA By David Saunders, CEO, Compliance Safety Systems

CSA to Date Many carriers, shippers and enforcement personnel have different views of “CSA,” the new Compliance Safety Accountability program. Some argue that CSA is unfair, unscientific in their data collection, not accurate in their scoring methodology and cannot prove “crash predictability” factors—which means the proof of declining crashes actually credit the new CSA model and contribute to it. States are facing administration challenges when addressing inspection disputes or DataQs.

Competing for Qualified Drivers Regardless of your opinion on CSA, the one accomplishment of the new FMCSA policy change is that motor carriers that have good drivers with low inspection history and they are fighting to keep those drivers while competing with carriers that are trying to recruit them. Recruiters now are finding it more challenging than ever to find qualified drivers that have little or no negative inspection history on their PSP. In addition to competing for drivers, motor carriers now also are competing with CSA, constantly fighting to keep points off of their scoreboard. They are quickly learning that this situation affects their current drivers and places the carrier on the defense of their company. And they have to invest more of their resources in maintaining the shipping customer relationship.

Communicating Awareness It is natural for us in the motoring industry to react if we see a patrol car sitting on the side of the road; you naturally “tap” the brakes. In theory, that is what the officer is trying to get you to do in the first place by bringing awareness to the fact that speed limits are in place. If you don’t “tap” soon enough, a citation will remind you, too, the next time. CSA’s scoring system is designed to get the fleet owners and drivers to “tap” their brakes before conducting commerce in and on our nation’s roads and highways, and ensure that

maintenance practices are being followed and the drivers are rested and medically qualified. But instead of finding yourself answering to the judge, you find yourself answering to a warning letter from FMCSA. More significantly, you could find yourself answering to the plaintiff attorney if a fatality occurs and civil action is taken.

Adopting the Change Back in 1988-89, I read a script in an article pertaining to the new engine electronics that were coming in new trucks, it said, “If you change, tomorrow will come; if you don’t change, tomorrow will still come.” It’s important to understand your driver’s point of view: “If my company does everything they can to protect my record, I will stay today, but if they don’t put forth the effort to help me, I will leave tomorrow.” Motor carriers have to communicate to their drivers that they matter or someone else will—another carrier who is anxious to “love” your driver away from you.

Cultivating the Relationship Between the Driver and Enforcement

insurance companies will be forced to set their own standards by which they are willing or able to cover a carrier’s policy if that carrier and its driver force has negative inspection history when addressing a fatality or civil suits. Financial Institutes will soon find themselves in this new CSA process when qualifying a motor carrier for new equipment or operating capitol. Manufacturers are going to have to find ways to build in “self-diagnostic” tools for the drivers to use when conducting pre- and post-trip, more importantly when alerting the driver that a light has burned our during their dispatch, before the officer is forced to record the defect impacting the driver’s PSP record.

Drivers Matter Drivers matter—motor carriers will need to put forth more effort and invest more time into building and maintaining their driver continuing education programs surrounding regulatory changes and what could effect that drivers livelihood regardless of their carrier.

Normally this title would read the other way around, Cultivating the Relationship Between the Carrier and the Driver, but when the carrier has already hired the driver and placed the vehicle into dispatch mode, that driver becomes the “carrier’s public relations director” when being inspected by the roadside enforcement officer.

Family matters—it is far better for the Industry to begin launching outreach campaigns all across this nation targeting drivers’ families and gaining their trust by explaining how there company is putting forth every resource they can to protect their loved ones “life and driver record.”

That’s why training that driver on how to conduct themself during a roadside inspection has just become priority number one. Knowing that outcome of that inspection could affect that driver’s record for the next three years.

Enhanced “maintenance” practices matter—this is the number one challenge for the motor carrier industry as CSA continues enters into the fitness determination phase. Drivers will ultimately demand it from there employer since their driver’s record is “all” he or she has when obtaining gainful employment in the trucking industry.

Finding Common Ground Using a Remedial Action Plan Until the court system defines “standards” by which “acceptable” hiring practices are conducted under the new CSA operating model,

Continued on next page




Enforcement Personnel React to CSA By Micah D. Lueck, American Transportation Research Institute

Looking for the Best Offer Bidding pools may very well become the norm for drivers that have a spotless record and find themselves marketable for highend paying jobs where carrier -shipper contracts are being written with specific driver safety history clauses built in. Motor Carrier Rates—the motor carriers that are investing into their operating systems and protecting the drivers record could find themselves being far more attractive when the shippers are forced to place stricter guidelines when selecting premium carriers that will protect their brand from vicious liability exposure.

New Approaches When considering outsourcing of departments or personnel when faced with streamlining the company’s infrastructure, there are a number of good suppliers that are able to provide recruiting tools, IT systems, and enhanced onboard vehicle technology. But, the one thing motor carriers will never be able to outsource is the driver. Companies like “Truckers Matter” have recently have come on the scene with new concepts of carrier-driver relations, serving as a mediator when trying to salvage the carrier and driver relationship that both should have a vested interest in protecting. While companies like these attempt to aid the motor carriers and drivers with mediation programs, these new concepts are being adopted slowly. Over time, all of us in the trucking industry, including state and federal agencies, will have to try new things and approaches if we are to combat the ever-looming driver shortages, as well as help drivers who are under enormous stress at home and have pressure points that have to be confronted and addressed if they are to truly accept the new trucking industry under CSA. n



Earlier this year, CVSA members were afforded the opportunity to provide input on CSA through a survey conducted by the American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI). Thirty-nine respondents, including U.S. highway patrol officers, roadside inspectors and administrative personnel from 25 of the 50 states, as well as several Canadian CVSA members, responded to questions on a variety of CSA-related issues. Topics included CSA’s impact on safety goals, CSA’s role in targeting problem carriers and drivers, as well as satisfaction ratings on FMCSA’s responsiveness to enforcement community concerns. Survey respondents were also asked about several high-visibility CSA topics, such as crash accountability and Safety Fitness Determinations (SFDs). All responses were collected as part of a broader ATRI analysis of CSA which collected data from thousands of truck drivers, motor carriers and shippers over the past two years. The introduction of CSA has clearly had an impact on the nexus between enforcement personnel and the motor carriers they monitor. As the number of safety categories being evaluated has expanded from four (SEAs) under SafeStat to seven (BASICs) under CSA, so have the odds of interacting with motor carriers and drivers in need of attention. The overwhelming majority (70%) of enforcement officers contend that the Inspection Selection System (ISS) used to detect which trucks to pull for roadside inspections has become more effective as a result of incorporating the expanded CSA information. While only 17.2 percent believe the sheer number of inspections has increased, the fact that the ISS is better targeting the right trucks is encouraging. Likely explained by the increase in new CSA intervention tools, 76.1 percent of enforcement personnel believe that carrier interventions have been on the rise since CSA’s national launch in December 2010. Again, most enforcement personnel (84.4%) believe that the algorithms and targeting

approaches of CSA are better able to detect which carriers are in need of interventions than SafeStat. Survey respondents also believe that the new CSA intervention tools (e.g., warning letters, on-site focused or comprehensive investigations and off-site investigations) are better at dealing with specific safety problems than the one-sizefits-all approach of SafeStat. A key objective of CSA is being met through increased interactions; the greater quantity of CSA data is increasing the number of contacts between enforcement and CMV fleets. However, 57.1 percent of those responding to ATRI’s survey indicated there are currently not enough resources available to meet the new demands associated with CSA. Among proposed solutions, 85 percent agreed additional funding is necessary; 60 percent propose more MCSAP officers; 30 percent desire more training; and 30 percent want technology to be better utilized. In fact, ATRI discovered that more than 10 percent of the enforcement personnel completing the survey had not received a single formal training or educational session on CSA, while one in five had been through just one session. Enforcement personnel who did receive CSA training were asked to describe the nature of the training, including the training topics discussed. Surprisingly, although 100 percent of respondents should have received training on how to conduct roadside inspections under CSA, many still have not. For instance, while FMCSA’s “roadside uniformity effort” seeks to standardize the RI process and accurately document all RI and violation data, up to 40 percent of respondents who felt they should have received this type of training so far have not. For these reasons, 73.5 percent of respondents suggested that more CSA training is needed. Specifically, respondents were most interested in receiving regular “refresher” courses on CSA; timely updates on general program or SMS methodology changes; additional information on Continued on next page


Overall Attitudes Very supportive 5


Supportive 4 Neutral 3







Opposed 2 Very Opposed 1

how to properly document violations; and a fuller understanding of the implications that enforcement actions (such as “frivolous violations”) have on motor carriers. Given the complexity of CSA, the lack of training among law enforcement officers, roadside inspectors and data management personnel is troubling and explains many of the inconsistencies that have plagued the program to date (e.g., regional discrepancies in enforcement). A signature example is the finding that not all roadside inspectors who completed the survey reported “always completed RI reports” when violations were not discovered (10.4% “almost always” did and 6.8% “never” did). Since clean inspections are a vital component of the SMS, and particularly for improving most BASIC scores, this situation must be corrected through increased training and standardization.


Nonetheless, the enforcement community appears united in their support of CSA. Of all the stakeholders surveyed by ATRI, enforcement attitudes were generally the most positive overall—followed by shippers, carriers and drivers. Given the complexity of CSA and the controversy surrounding it, overall attitudes about CSA appear to change considerably based on issue and respondent type. While most motor carriers and drivers have been disappointed by CSA’s performance, 100 percent of enforcement personnel reported that CSA has been performing the same or better than they had anticipated. The enforcement community was also more likely to be satisfied with FMCSA’s responsiveness to industry concerns than drivers and carriers and among the most supportive groups to state that CSA has been a positive influence for reducing truck-involved collisions.

Despite general enforcement community support for CSA, the responses from CVSA members demonstrated that program shortfalls still need to be addressed. Perhaps most critically, ATRI found strong consensus between enforcement and motor carrier respondents that a system for determining crash accountability needs to be incorporated into the SMS. In fact, a solid majority of all respondents would choose to exclude all non-preventable crashes from the SMS, while the next largest group would prefer including all crashes, as long as less weight is assigned to non-preventable crashes. The basis for assigning fault, however, revealed less consensus between the trucking industry and enforcement community. The majority of enforcement personnel (54.5%) were of the opinion that Police Accident Reports (PARs) are sufficiently detailed and reliable to make crash responsibility determinations, whereas the majority of carriers (59.7%) were not convinced PARs are adequate. ATRI will soon release an overall report integrating and synthesizing the findings from all stakeholder groups that were surveyed as part of the organization’s CSA evaluation. Separate from this, ATRI is completing a thorough statistical analysis of the relationship between CSA BASIC scores and crash rates.Both reports will be available from ATRI at www. n

2013 Edition Coming Soon! North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria Handbook and Pictorial




Inspector’s corner My Experience at NAIC By Val Hunsaker, Area Vehicle Inspector, Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, British Columbia

I was lucky enough this year to win our British Columbia “Challenge” competition and advance to the North American Inspectors Championship (NAIC) in Minneapolis, and I wanted to let you all know how it went. Prior to leaving, I talked with past BC Challenge winners and they all said the same thing, “It is the best experience you will have working with Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement (CVSE).” Well, they were right! This year there were fifty inspectors—6 from Canada, 3 from Mexico and 41 from the U.S. On Monday night, we all met and went through a debriefing, got our books (you can only use the books they provide you, no cheat sheets from home) and the agenda. We were broken down into six teams that we would be competing with in each event. The rest of the night was spent getting to know your team and the city of Minneapolis. Tuesday started with a full dress uniform opening ceremony. If there ever was a moment to feel proud to wear a uniform, this was it! After some welcoming speeches and picture taking, we dove into bulk TDG training focusing on TC407 cargo tanks. After lunch, the training shifted from TDG to Hours of Service focusing on the use of Electronic Onboard Recorders. We did both classroom and practical sessions, and there were six different models on the floor to compare and learn to navigate. This was a fantastic course and I hope we can incorporate some of the material into our training. Wednesday started with debriefing on rules for each event followed by a classroom and practical training session on Performance Based Brake Testing (PBBT). We then went straight into competing, a written Out-of-Service Criteria exam, Level 1 inspection, Small Means of Containment TDG Inspection and Bulk TDG Inspection. To say my brain was completely spent by the end of Wednesday was an understatement. We had an evening reception to recognize volunteers, sponsors and swap patches. This was a highlight of the trip; an opportunity to visit with all the inspectors, judges and volunteers to talk shop. It is cool to learn how each province and state operates and compare similarities and differences.



Fifty roadside inspectors from across North America competed in this year’s NAIC in Minneapolis, August 6-9.

Thursday morning was the “breakfast of champions” where we, the inspectors, ate breakfast with the truckers that were competing in the American Trucking Association’s driving championships (they are going on at the same time). This was held in the largest ballroom I have ever been in; there must have been almost 1,000 people in one room. After breakfast we rushed straight into the Motor Coach Inspection. After every team had finished competing, we all met and went through each event scenario, a full on question and answer period with pictures of all the defects. The attitude from the presenters was not to show what you did or did not find but rather as a training session so that everyone left with a clear understand why each item was or was not a defect or Out-of-Service. I think most of the inspectors, myself included, left feeling like we had completed two full days of training rather than competing. Thursday was wrapped up with an awards ceremony. Unfortunately, I did not bring home any hardware, but I do feel good coming in 15th out of fifty well-trained, smart people. If you are looking for a new challenge (no pun intended) I would encourage you to start studying and get ready for next year’s, BC Challenge is in Victoria and NAIC will be in Salt Lake City. I guarantee it will be one of the best experiences of your career. n

C V S A CO M M I T T E E & P R O G R A M N E W S

2012 NAIC Awards Inspectors’ Dedication To Commercial Vehicle Safety Recognized

Fifty roadside inspectors representing jurisdictions across North America gathered in Minneapolis, Minnesota, August 6-9, to compete in CVSA’s North American Inspectors Championship (NAIC). This year, Christopher Smithen, a CVSA-certified North American Standard inspector from Nevada, was awarded the prestigious 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 6. North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria Exam The following awards also were presented:

Nevada’s Christopher Smithen swept this year’s NAIC Competition and took home the Grand Champion Award and the John Youngblood Award of Excellence.

Country High Points

Team Award—Yellow Team

United States—Christopher Smithen, Nevada; Canada—Jason Droog, Ontario; Mexico—Jacobo Alejandro Garcia Arias

From left to right: JW Watlington, Arizona; Carlos Castillo Ortiz, Mexico; Jason Droog, Ontario; Brad Yates, Louisiana; Brent Moore, Georgia; Christopher Smithen, Nevada; William Bronson, South Carolina; Team Leader—Jack Wallace, Minnesota; Josh Anderson, North Dakota

North American Standard Level I Inspection

First Place—Josh Anderson, North Dakota; Second Place—Jonathan Bates, Massachusetts; Third Place— Christopher Smithen, Nevada

North American Standard Level V Passenger Vehicle (Motorcoach) Inspection

First Place—Jason Droog, Ontario; Second Place— Brad Yates, Louisiana; Third Place—Christopher Smithen, Nevada

North American Standard Hazardous Materials/ Transportation of Dangerous Goods and Cargo Tank/Bulk Packagings Inspection

Christopher Smithen, Nevada; Second Place—Josh Anderson, North Dakota; Third Place—Jason Droog, Ontario Continued on next page FOURTH QUARTER 2012


C V S A CO M M I T T E E & P R O G R A M N E W S

Alternative Compliance: The Next Frontier for North America? By Gerald Krisa, Chair, CVSA Alternative Compliance Task Force

Col. Kevin Daley of the Minnesota State Patrol gives a warm welcome to NAIC participants.

Across North America, we have seen improvement in many safety and compliance metrics in the last decade. Moving the proverbial needle into higher marginal levels of safety is a challenge for both the industry and the enforcement community. Legal challenges to rulemakings pose a burden as well. There is a desire by everyone to raise the bar on safety and reduce the economic burden of fines and battle customer perceptions of any less than stellar performance. A select number of jurisdictions from around the world have embarked on the concept of Alternative Compliance. A leader in the trucking industry is found in Australia. Closer to home, the Canadian province of Alberta has for many years fostered the Partners In Compliance program.

FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro presents the Grand Champion Award.

An inspector competes in the Level I inspection event.

NAIC is hosted by CVSA, however, it is successful due to strong industry participation and sponsorship. For the past twenty years, the championship event has been held in partnership with the American Trucking Associations’ (ATA) National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC). The 2013 challenge will take place August 19-24 in Salt Lake City, Utah. See for more details. n



Alternative Compliance can have an array of meanings, even within our own industry. Fundamentally, it refers to motivating organizations and the individuals that comprise them to attain better compliance and fostering safer sustained behaviors. The paradigm shift is often accompanied with a form of recognition or reward. Based on the premise that you can attract more bees with honey than with vinegar, transitioning from the carrot and stick method of attaining safety and compliance is no simple or short term endeavor. The best compliance is founded on voluntary compliance. With the advent of the CSA program in the United States, and similarly structured programs across the Canadian provinces and territories, there exists a motivation for organizations to dedicate and invest more resources into safety. The CVSA Task Force on Alternative Compliance is one working group committed to translating the concept into a pragmatic means of doing business. Our objectives at this juncture are to explore areas where Alternative Compliance can be applied, define the lead indicators that will make a positive impact on the lag indicators we already have in place in the industry, calculate the correlation, and then proceed to quantify the value of a safety investment. For instance, if a motor carrier is statistically plagued with hours of service violations, and if an AOBRD-EOBR is deemed to be a resource that can provide evidence to be a viable solution, what if any relief from high CSA percentile scores can the motor carrier be rewarded with in the short to medium term, before the problem is extinguished in the long term? In this case, Alternative Compliance, namely the deployment of a technical solution to a problem, may be one of several components of a CSA Cooperative Safety Plan. The carrier must be committed to the solution, and track the progress of some of its internal leading measures, subjecting itself to agreed-upon levels of higher scrutiny in the journey to improved compliance. Alternative Compliance has caught the attention of many who wish to engage industry in attaining superior levels of safety. Intentionally or subconsciously, it may already form part of reinstatement procedures proposed in upcoming regulation and protocol. In microeconomics, one discusses the law of diminishing returns often illustrated through the use of the marginal revenue product curve. Alternative Compliance may be our solution to engaging everyone, both the elastic and inelastic portions of the cure, in the pursuit of safer roadways in our society. n

C V S A CO M M I T T E E & P R O G R A M N E W S

Annual conference Round-Up CMV Safety Community Gathers in Portland More than 500 CMV safety professionals from all across North America attended CVSA’s Annual Conference & Exhibition in Portland, Maine, September 23-27. “This was one of our most successful conferences. People came ready to roll up their sleeves and get down to business,” said Stephen A. Keppler, CVSA Executive Director. “The amount of work that was accomplished in all meetings was phenomenal,” he said. For Technical Working Committee and Program updates, please visit the member section of the CVSA website, n

CVSA 2012 Scholarship Recipients Announced

CVSA Names New Officers for 2012-2013

Major Mark Savage (center) of the Colorado State Patrol took office as President of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) in Portland. The CVSA membership also elected Sergeant Thomas “Tom” Fuller from the New York State Police as Vice President and Captain William “Bill” Reese from the Idaho State Police as Secretary-Treasurer. Also, a number of new Executive Committee members took office in Portland. Mark Savage served as the CVSA Vice President for 2011-2012. He has been with the Colorado State Patrol for 18 years. In 2010, he was promoted to his current rank of major and assigned as the commander of the Motor Carrier Services Branch. He currently supervises the Port of Entry, Motor Carrier Safety Section, Hazardous Materials Section and Special Enforcement Section. Savage said, “I am honored to represent CVSA as the president. I will work diligently with our partners to promote the Alliance’s mission of improving commercial vehicle safety and security,” says Major Savage. “To that end, my focus for the next year will be on four points: data quality and uniformity, enhanced communication with stakeholders, strengthening partnerships and developing leaders.”

Sergeant Tom Fuller (left) has been with the New York State Police for 25 years. In 1998, he became the MCSAP Inspector with the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit (CVEU), and since 2003, he has been the program administrator of the Hazmat, Radiological and Technology Program. Sergeant Fuller is also an associate staff instructor for the FMCSA National Training Center, a Radiological Interdiction instructor for U.S. Department of Homeland Security and one of nine national Level VI instructors. Captain William “Bill” Reese (right) has been with the Idaho State Police since 1986. After serving as the CVS sergeant and lieutenant, in 2010 he was promoted to CVS Captain. As division commander, Captain Reese is responsible for Idaho’s commercial vehicle safety and hazardous materials inspection and response programs. From 1995-2003, he also served as an associate staff member of the FMCSA National Training Center. n

See page 38 for a complete listing of Executive Committee members or visit

Tess TroskoI received her Associates Degree in Arts with highest honors, graduated in the top three percent of her high school class and obtained the quint ruby in Speech and Debate—the highest degree you can achieve as a student. Trosko was the captain of the mock trial team and competed in varsity doubles tennis. She also volunteered for a variety of community service projects. She is the daughter of Richard Cortese of the Oregon Department of Transportation.

Feliciano Daniel Talavera graduated sixth in his class and participated in many activities, including football, basketball and track all four years. He achieved two state titles in track, football all-state, football all-stars, football and track all district and more. Talavera also was active in drama, mock trial, National Honor Society and his church, and did community service and fundraising for several charities. He is the son of Terri Gomez, a police officer with the Motor Transportation Police Department, State of New Mexico, and is she CVSA-certified. n



C V S A CO M M I T T E E & P R O G R A M N E W S

CVSA President’s Awards Presented David Palmer, Assistant Chief with the Texas Department of Public Safety, who served as CVSA president until September 26, 2012, presented three President’s Awards during the Portland conference for “going above and beyond.” The recipients are: Long-standing CVSA Associate Member Mike Tallaksen who was selected for this prestigious award for his dedication to the mission of CVSA and of roadside inspection program, furthering pride and excellence within the roadside inspector, and promoting and enhancing the safety culture. According to Palmer, “He exemplifies what membership in CVSA is about and of the partnership that we promote between industry and enforcement. He has contributed to many efforts within the Alliance over his years of service, to include NAIC, was Associate Advisory Committee Chairman, and was a representative on CVSA’s most recent Task Force on developing the Alliance’s policy on Reauthorization.”

Attendees had the opportunity to hear from NTSB Chairman Deborah S. Hersman.

The Maine State Police Honor Guard was on hand for the Posting of Colors at the opening general session.

Representatives from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security were on hand at the exhibition.



Kerri Wirachowsky, a member from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, received the award for her tireless work in pursuit of furthering and enhancing the roadside inspection program throughout North America. She participated in and won several awards during the 2001 NAIC including the Jimmy K. Ammons Grand Champion award, the highest honor for roadside inspectors. Since 2001, she has also played an integral role in all of the NAIC events and has demonstrated unrivaled knowledge and skills of a commercial vehicle enforcement officer. She is also a well-respected member of Region V’s Education, Quality, Assurance, Team (EQAT) and has served as the CVSA Vehicle Committee chair for several years. Palmer said, “Her actions embody the values and Mission of CVSA, and her high standards and ideals serve as a benchmark for all of us who follow.”

Attendees appreciated the opportunities for networking at the CVSA Annual Conference and Exhibition.

Larry Stern, who has served the commercial vehicle safety industry in many capacities over his 42-year career, most recently as CVSA’s Director of the Level VI Inspection Program, is retiring at the end of the year. Palmer explained, “My final President’s Award is reserved for one of the longest standing individuals who was one of our founding leaders.” Larry was very active in the early years of the Alliance when it was laying the foundation and establishing a presence in the Washington, DC area. He was elected CVSA Secretary-Treasurer in the mid-80s when he was with the West Virginia Public Service Commission. And, as a Vice President, he was instrumental in hiring CVSA’s first full-time Executive Director and was one of CVSA’s first staff members. He has held a number of positions with CVSA over the years. “His dedication has indirectly and directly contributed to the nearly 30 years of success we have enjoyed as an organization,” said Palmer. n

Having key players from around North America at the table is mission critical.

Much was accomplished during committee and program meetings.

Face-to-face interaction with vendors in the exhibition was highly beneficial to attendees.

Refreshment breaks held in the exhibit hall were a welcome respite in between meetings.

C V S A CO M M I T T E E & P R O G R A M N E W S

Operation safe driver program New Curriculum Addresses Drastic Increase of Texting While Driving Among Teens

Operation Safe Driver Week Takes Aim at Preventing Deadly Epidemic of Distracted Driving

By Randy West, CVSA, Director, Driver Programs A preliminary version of the newly developed Teens & Trucks ‘Curbing Distracted Driving’ DVD was distributed at media events in conjunction with Operation Safe Driver week. This DVD and accompanying training materials discuss with teen drivers the importance of recognizing and reducing the number of distractions encountered daily while driving a vehicle. The DVD also contains an interview with a convicted distracted driver Reggie Shaw, who, at the age of 19, was involved in a fatal crash in Utah while texting. This interview provides a sobering witness of the all too real consequences of driving while distracted. The two killed in the crash left behind families of their own who must now continue their lives without their loved ones. The ‘Curbing Distracted Driving’ DVD was also previewed at the CVSA Annual Conference held in Portland, Maine. It was presented twice, once during the Operation Safe Driver Program meeting and again during the Driver/Traffic Enforcement committee meeting. The DVD was greeted with rave reviews, including positive comments from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) members in attendance. The DVD runs approximately 23 minutes, which includes the interview with Reggie Shaw. All in attendance agreed that the length of the DVD was reasonable and paring down the Shaw interview would render the material less effective. The DVD breaks driving distractions down into three separate categories: • Visual Distractions—Things that take our eyes off the roadway • Manual Distractions—Things that take our hands off the wheel • Cognitive Distractions—Things that take our mind away from the driving task at hand

During its annual Operation Safe Driver Week, October 14-20, 2012, CVSA called on all drivers to reduce aggressive and distracted driving and save lives. What’s more, in light of a new CDC survey which revealed that 58% of high school seniors and 43% of high school juniors said they had texted or emailed while driving during the previous month, there was a special focus on this distracted driving behavior. In fact, many law enforcement agencies across North America actively targeted drivers of both CMVs and passenger cars during this important mobilization week in an effort to reduce texting and talking on the phone while driving. In addition, CVSA implemented a comprehensive media campaign which included the airing of PSAs all week on radio stations in the three metropolitan regions where the most truck and bus crashes occur, specifically, New York-New Jersey-Long Island, Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, and Chicago-Joliet-Naperville. According to CVSA’s President, Major Mark Savage of the Colorado State Patrol, the driving task is becoming more challenging each and every day. “It is critically important that all drivers keep their hands on the wheel, their eyes on the road and their minds in the game,” he said. n

October 15 Media Event in Yonkers, NY: (from L to R) Bill Bronrott, Deputy Administrator, FMCSA; CVSA President Maj. Mark Savage, CO State Patrol; Amanda Kloehr, Truck Crash Survivor/Activist, Distracted Driving Prevention; Capt. Evelyn Mallard, NYS Police; Brian Neal, Operation Safe Driver Program Chair, FedEx Ground; CVSA VP Sgt. Tom Fuller, NYS Police.

The DVD establishes an easier way of focusing attention and preventing the distractions listed above: • Eyes on the Road • Hands on the Wheel • Head in the Game We are all partners in safety. Please take advantage of the training material available and encourage family, friends, co-workers and neighbors to take steps to eliminate distracting driving. This material is available at no charge at beginning in January. n

Jack Van Steenburg, FMCSA Chief Safety Officer and Assistant Administrator, addresses teens in Harrison, AR on October 16.




Region I NJ MVC Surprises Charter Buses with Safety Inspections In June, the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) conducted a surprise safety inspection of charter buses traveling in the area of Liberty State Park as part of its partnership with the federal government to try to reduce the number of crashes and fatalities on the Garden State’s busy highways.

Region I Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, US Virgin Islands and Vermont.

Region II Alabama, American Samoa, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia and West Virginia.

The inspection was a Level 1 North American Standard Inspection that included an examination of the driver license, medical examiner’s certificate and Skill Performance Evaluation certificate, alcohol and drugs, driver’s record of duty status as required, hours of service, seat belt, vehicle inspection reports, brake systems, coupling devices, exhaust systems, frames, fuel systems, lighting devices (headlamps, tail lamps, stop lamps, turn signals and lamps, flags on projecting loads), securing cargo, steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels, rims and hubs, windshield wipers and emergency exits and/or electrical cables and systems in engine and battery compartments. “From interstate highways to local neighborhood streets, the MVC remains focused on one

FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro attended the safety inspection and spoke to the media.

thing—safety,” said MVC Chairman and Chief Administrator Raymond P. Martinez. “Throughout the year, our skilled and thorough inspection teams work diligently to ensure that the millions of people who rely on commercial bus service for work and pleasure have a safe, comfortable ride to their destination,” he said. In 2011, the MVC’s inspection team, in conjunction with local and state law enforcement, inspected 8,370 commercial buses in terminals across the state and 1,193 buses along the roadways. n

Region III Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin.

Region IV Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Mexico, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington and Wyoming.

Region V Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Yukon.



Brake Safety Week in Puerto Rico During Brake Safety Week, September 9-15 on Salinas, Puerto Rico, 25 units were taken out of service. The Public Service Commission/MCSAP team included: Inspector José Miranda, Inspector/Officer Luis Zayas, Inspector David Ramos, Inspector Wanda Perez, Inspector José Ortiz, Inspector Hector Altiery, Trainee Heriberto Zapata, Inspector Pedro Nieves, and Inspector Officer Eric Dekony. n


The Pittsburgh Bureau of Police and the Pennsylvania State Police Held Vehicle/Towed Vehicle Safety Event Last August, a one-day seminar designed to educate drivers, safety personnel, owners and mechanics who work in the trucking industry on laws that pertain to commercial motor vehicles and small towed vehicles was conducted. Important issues, including licensing requirements, weight of vehicles, load securing and hours of service were discussed. The seminar was staffed by multiple Motor Carrier Enforcement Teams from throughout Allegheny County and officers advised attendees on proper safety procedures including how to load, tow and secure trailers of all sizes and how to safely operate their vehicles on Pennsylvania roadways. This was not an enforcement event; its purpose was to educate the public on the proper rules of safe operation of vehicles on Pennsylvania roadways. Owners of vehicles with any defects were told what needed to be fixed and how to stop these problems from reoccurring. ONLY Commercial Motor Vehicles that passed a full DOT inspection had the inspection uploaded to FMCSA. n

Region III Minnesota and South Dakota Joint Saturation Operation a Success By Capt. Brian West, Minnesota State Patrol District #2300 State Troopers and Commercial Vehicle Inspectors from both Minnesota and South Dakota joined forces on June 21 for a high visibility enforcement operation along Interstate I-90, from Mitchell, SD to Worthington, MN. The saturation was aimed at criminal interdiction and reducing crashes.

There were 62 arrests and 152 warnings for speeding, two arrests and four warnings for the Move Over Law, 32 arrests and 12 warnings for seatbelt violations, 18 arrests and 54 warnings for driver’s license, insurance or registration violations, 11 arrests for other moving violations and 15 for non-moving violations.

From 7:00 am to 11:00 pm, the Minnesota State Patrol and South Dakota State Patrol worked the corridor, enforcing all traffic, highway and commercial motor vehicle laws with an emphasis on seatbelt use, speeding and drinking and driving.

In South Dakota, the I-90 enforcement was part of the “100 Days of Heat” Campaign, a summer-long highway safety initiative that involves the State Patrol, State Office of Highway Safety and law enforcement agencies across South Dakota.

The operation included troopers and commercial vehicle inspectors assigned to the area, as well as additional personnel such as K-9 Units and the Motor Carrier Division. A total of 343 vehicles were stopped and 153 arrests made. More than 400 motorists were given warnings and three arrests were made for drug possession. The South Dakota Patrol contacted a vehicle eastbound on I-90 and uncovered 295 pounds of marijuana according to the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

For the last almost 100 years, about half of South Dakota’s traffic fatalities have occurred during the summer. Each year, the holidays with the most car accidents are Memorial Day, Fourth of July and Labor Day. Promoting safe driving is a component of Minnesota’s Core Traffic Safety Initiative Toward Zero Deaths (TZD). A primary vision of the TZD program is to create a safe driving culture in Minnesota in which motorists

support the goal of zero road fatalities by practicing and promoting safe and smart driving behavior. TZD focuses on the application of four strategic areas to reduce crashes, educate, enforcement, engineering and emergency trauma response. Sadly, 368 lives were lost on Minnesota roads in 2011. The mission of this joint enforcement is to help keep families and communities from going through the pain of a needless tragedy. Stopping motorists that are speeding, impaired, distracted and unbelted are preventative measures to ensure safety on Minnesota and South Dakota roadways. In Minnesota, at least four people were killed on Minnesota roadways due to crashes on Memorial Day weekend. Three of those deaths were the result of crashes in Southwestern Minnesota. Another man died on I-90 over the weekend, and the number of Minnesota traffic deaths to date is slightly higher than it was last year at this time. Eighty percent of the unbelted deaths on Minnesota roadways take place in Greater Minnesota according to the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety. n




Region V New Brunswick Supported 2012 National Professional Truck Driving Championships By John Lunney, Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Operations, Dept. of Public Safety— Compliance and Enforcement, New Brunswick, Canada New Brunswick’s Department of Public Safety’s Commercial Vehicle Enforcement unit was pleased to offer ‘in kind’ support of this year’s National Professional Truck Driving Championships held September 7-9, at the Moncton Coliseum. Each year, the event is held in a different province. The host organization this year was the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association, an associate member of CVSA. Commercial vehicle enforcement was pleased to partner in these important events. Two of our officers, Noel Hebert and Raymond Robichaud, assisted in judging the pre-trip event and the driving portion of the competition.

Herb Peters, Day and Ross; Norm Poirier, Armour Transportation; John Lunney, Dept. of Public Safety— Compliance and Enforcement, NB; and Bob Gay, LCV and safety trainer, were among the judges and organizers.

2012 Canadian National Professional Truck Driving Championships Winners Thirty-three of Canada’s best professional truck drivers gathered at the awards banquet to find out who was going to take home the 2012 National titles. Steve MacPhee of Day & Ross Transportation Group from Team Atlantic placed third in the 4 Axle category and Shawn Pieschke of the TDL Group from Team Atlantic placed third in the B-Train class.

The Results Grand Champion: Shawn Matheson, Home Hardware (Team Ontario) Rookie of the Year: Marc Léger, Transport Robert (Team Québec) 2 Axle 1st place Joseph Kuntz, Home Hardware (Team Ontario) 2nd place Keith Franklin, Canadian Freightways (Team Alberta) 3rd place Danny Maltais, Sim-Tran (Team Québec) 3 Axle 1st place Marc Léger, Transport Robert (Team Québec) 2nd place Wayne Burnett, Home Hardware (Team Ontario) 3rd place Calvin Briggs, Grimshaw Trucking (Team Alberta) 4 Axle 1st place Jeffery MacLean, SLH Transport Inc. (Team Ontario) 2nd place Louis Gauthier, Groupe Jean Coutu (Team Québec) 3rd place Steve MacPhee, Day & Ross Transportation Group (Team Atlantic)

School Bus Inspections and PBBT in Alberta



5 Axle 1st place Shawn Matheson, Home Hardware (Team Ontario) 2nd place Paul Mills, Canada Safeway (Team Alberta) 3rd place Steve Schwenker, Q-Line Trucking (Team Saskatchewan) B-Train 1st place 2nd place 3rd place

Ken Wiebe, EBD Enterprises (Team Manitoba) Adam Besse, Canadian Freightways (Team British Columbia) Shawn Pieschke, TDL Group (Team Atlantic)

Team Award: Team Ontario Joseph Kuntz, Home Hardware; Wayne Burnett, Home Hardware; Jeffrey MacLean, SLH Transport Inc.; Shawn Matheson, Home Hardware; Brian Heyworth, SLH Transport Inc.


Local Enforcement Multi-Faceted Effort Makes Operation Safe Driver Campaign a Success By Officer Robert Mills, Fort Worth, TX Police Department and Locals President, CVSA In September, I attended the annual conference in Portland, Maine. It was absolutely a great conference and much was accomplished. I was very excited to see everyone again and super excited to see more local agencies that attended the conference. I want to take this opportunity to thank David Palmer for his leadership and commitment to CVSA during his presidency. I know David will continue to stay involved in the future as he has in the past. David has been a good friend over the years and has helped shape our CVE program here in Fort Worth. As we welcome our new president, Major Mark Savage from Colorado, I want to thank him for his hard work at CVSA and for helping local agencies become more involved. Of course, one of our goals here at CVSA is to promote uniformity throughout North America. The more involved industry and enforcement are, the more likely we maintain uniformity among enforcement jurisdictions. Speaking of partnerships with industry, we just completed Operation Safe Driver Week in which we partnered with other local agencies, truck and bus companies, and the state to conduct numerous enforcement details and public education events around the metroplex. Officers rode with truck drivers on our interstate highways this week and were amazed at the dangers that these truck drivers face on a daily basis. We all

Fort Worth PD partnered with local agencies, truck and bus companies, and the state for Operation Safe Driver Week.

know how passenger cars drive around trucks, but to see it from a truck driver’s vantage point was sobering. We stationed other officers throughout our freeways to stop and ticket drivers who drove aggressively around large commercial vehicles, including the one in which we were riding. Our department and others in the area have participated in Operation Safe Driver for several years, but this is the first year we have teamed up with industry for this type of enforcement detail. Ticketed drivers were given




Billboards on the interstate highways promote safe driving around commercial vehicles.


educational material. We also utilized our grant funding and paid to have several billboards up on the interstate highways that promote safe driving around commercial vehicles. We have all have been around long enough to understand that it’s not always the truck driver that’s at fault. More than half of the time, passenger cars cause large truck crashes. Our intent is to educate the public about safely sharing the road. During the campaign, our CVE officers enforced the texting and cell phone ban on truck and bus drivers during roadside inspections. In closing, thanks again to all CVSA members for what you do. Together we CAN achieve our goal of saving lives. A good way to keep reaching for this goal is to know that when we are out on the highways enforcing laws and industry personnel are out delivering goods and services, always remember that our friends, family and loved ones are out there sharing the same roads and highways. n


Luis Castro




REGIONAL RAP People on the Move Dale Dickson has been named CVSA Program Coordinator for the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure, Commercial Vehicle Safety & Enforcement Branch. Regarding his new assignment, he says “Some ask me what I’ve gotten myself into, but I say ‘bring it on.’ I have been with this department for years and view this as a great opportunity to expand my knowledge of road safety.” Dickson won the honor in a competition after Richard Roberts (a former NAIC Grand Champion) finished his temporary term. Other distinguished individuals who have held the position include Perry Therrien, who was a former CVSA Region V president as well. n

Recognitions The California Highway Patrol won the 2011 IACP National Law Enforcement Challenge (NLEC) in the commercial motor vehicle category. Former CVSA President Capt. Steve Dowling accepted the award for the CHP during IACP 2012 in San Diego. The NLEC is a national traffic safety awards program that recognizes excellent law enforcement traffic safety programs. The 2012 NLEC application is now entirely online at and applications must be submitted by May 1, 2013. n

South Dakota Uses CSA Data to Name Most Improved Trucking Company

GUARDIAN Call for Submissions Share your news, ideas, insights and articles on the issues facing the commercial vehicle safety community for the next issue of Guardian!

Using information gathered from CSA data, the SD Highway Patrol and the SD Trucking Association partnered together to recognize the most improved trucking company in South Dakota. Representatives from both organizations analyzed information provided by the FMSCA reflecting the change in scores since the implementation of CSA. Changes in individual BASIC scores were compared as well as the overall change in the combined BASIC categories. Windwalker Transportation of Sioux Falls was presented the award at the association’s annual meeting in Rapid City on September 7. Representatives of the South Dakota Highway Patrol presented the award to Jeff Davis of Windwalker Transportation for the company’s hard work and dedication to improving highway safety. The company significantly improved scores in four of the seven BASIC categories. A total of 36 points of improvement across the seven categories was the result of focused effort to improve their safety measurement system. Windwalker Transportation improvement was through its own initiative and the reduction in score was achieved without intervention.



Please submit your content by December 14, 2012. Questions? Please contact Lisa Claydon at or 301-830-6152. Jeff Davis accepts the award on behalf of Windwalker Transportation from Lieutenant John Broers, South Dakota Highway Patrol.

Myron L. Rau, president, South Dakota Trucking Association, said, “The title, Partnership in Safety Award, speaks for itself; it is and will be a coveted award presented in a partnership between law enforcement and the trucking industry.” This is the second time the annual award has been given to the most improved trucking company based on CSA’s safety management system data. The award is intended to reflect the cooperative effort between enforcement and industry to reduce highway traffic crashes, injuries, and fatalities. n

Let the writing begin!

GUARDIAN A publication of

Volume 19, Issue 4 4th Quarter 2012

13 ExEmptions for AgriculturE trAnsportAtion

20 EnforcEmEnt rEAct to csA

23 2012 nAic AwAr ds


the commercial

Vehicle safety Alliance


sAFETY innovators Fleet Safety—How to Prevent an Accident By Shazia Haq, Teletrac® Accidents have an ugly price tag attached to them. Today, the average accident costs employers $16,000 for each incident, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These expenses include driver and company costs, such as worker’s compensation, vehicle maintenance bills, decreased productivity, lost sales and driver safety initiative costs. There are about 620,000 fleet accidents per year, and a 20% chance that one of your fleet vehicles will have one as well, according to NHTSA. The reason for this sizeable risk level is a systemic dilemma: on average, fleet drivers log six times more driving miles than the general public. Not only does this increase driver fatigue and accident risk, but it makes fleet managers more vulnerable to skyrocket replacement costs. So, let’s say your fleet has an average of two accidents a year. That will cost you approximately $32,000 a year—a wholly unnecessary and avoidable price to pay. Compare that number to the price needed to implement a comprehensive fleet safety program for your company; the return on investment is priceless. As Stephen Clark, a business development manager at Teletrac, notes, “Companies have shown that by monitoring driver behavior, there is also the potential to minimize insurance risk and gain a financial competitive edge.” Last year, the United Nations launched an initiative called the Decade of Action for Road Safety that was introduced to improve road and driver safety in more than 100 countries worldwide, including the United States. This is especially relevant as the number of motor vehicle accidents fluctuate by a few percentage points every year, according to U.S. Census Data.

Nearly half of all fleet accidents are preventable, according to the National Association of Fleet Administrators. They are the result of driver inattention, poor judgment, carelessness and diminished skills. It’s never been more important to emphasize preventive fleet safety initiatives.

Here are five benchmarks to gauge a fleet’s accident prevention:


Emphasize a Safety Culture. Create and maintain a safety culture through the implementation of driver safety programs that are supported by all areas of management. Market a variety of safety ideas and implement an environment that champions safe driving as a priority.

2 3

Implement a New Hiring Process. Do not hire risky drivers, period. Rely heavily on motor vehicle report (MVR) information detailing MVR violations, accident history and other safety data (such as traffic camera and toll violations). Introduce Safety Solutions. Introduce safety technology to your company that can examine fleet safety behavior and organize it into valuable data for analysis. This safety software should enable managers to easily pinpoint problem areas and take corrective actions to minimize overall accident risk.

4 5

Take Corrective Action. Act on poor driving trends immediately. Hold drivers accountable for dangerous behavior by implementing consequences for negligence. Reward Good Driving Behavior. Affirming safe driving improves company morale and motivates drivers to continue to practice safety. Positive reinforcement is a cornerstone for a healthy and productive working environment. n

The Importance of Using Data-Driven Technology When Shaping Commercial Vehicle Safety Programs By Nick Goodell, General Manager, Trucking & Transportation, Compli At a recent conference of fleets, company executives were proudly sharing success stories about their use of continuous improvement programs, many of which started a handful of years ago to achieve efficiency in operations processes. CSA, while not perfect, presents us with the ability to introduce the same data driven improvement structure to benefit safety and human resource departments. Technology can help us interpret data that is collected at a roadside inspection, to identify trends, direct internal policies, resources and apply consistent and documented remedial actions to individual employees. Companies that make safety and human resource decisions without using data will often rely on “gut” feelings. For example, a large private fleet noticed a disturbing trend in backing accidents at one of their distribution centers. To solve the problem the safety director first interviewed the drivers and managers who blamed poor visibility at night and suggested an expensive lighting system. The data revealed a different solution; that night accidents were only a small percentage of the losses and most were tagged as “driver inattentiveness” and occurred in daylight on clear days. Widening the parking spaces and changing the traffic patterns almost eliminated the backing accidents (although a small light was put on one of the buildings). The fleet would have made decisions based on erroneous information without a mechanism to collect and interpret real data. There are no shortage of opinions on the accuracy and consistency of the collection of roadside inspection violation data, or on the association with some violations to future crash risk. But if a company is satisfied that a particular set of data is real they can make it useful. Several years ago, progressive fleets were looking for ways to be more predictive in preventing accidents. Although Continued on next page




CSA is still developing, perhaps it is bringing us a step closer. Data can also shine a light on the gaps in compliance with internal policies. A refrigerated carrier, who outsourced maintenance, found a trend in tire violations across their company and discovered that the vendor managing their program needed more oversight. By presenting real violation data they were able to renegotiate the provider’s contract for better performance. It is that set of reliable data which we can use to measure, analyze and set our company policies. Best practices may be similar within a segment of the industry, but may also be very customized to a company and a source of true competitive advantage. In an industry with high turnover rates, using a data driven approach to policy setting and enforcement also affords fleets protection from employee and third party litigation, fines and investigations. A key to making data useful is its translation into follow-up communication and training with employees. Technology can help here as well. Back-end workforce and compliance management software should allow companies to: • Involve 100% of the employees in the process • Increase protection through workforce and compliance based activities, tracking, training, reporting and documentation • Increase efficiency and accountability through paperless automated processes, forms and training

• Experience cost savings by increasing staff productivity, eliminating workforcebased paperwork Organizations who have focused on front-end operational excellence programs instead of workforce development and compliance find themselves a bit overwhelmed from a best practices and management perspective. Maintaining employee performance and compliance requirements can be a significant challenge because information needs to flow freely throughout a company. For example, a roadside inspection might trigger a CSA violation that requires the driver to re-sign the company policy on pre-trip inspections, take remedial training and receive disciplinary action. The record of that violation also is needed by the mechanic and the safety department to document repairs and efficiently direct resources to prevent future violations. Each step of the process, however, is often managed independently in silos throughout the company and with technology that doesn’t support shared workflow and documentation. The flow of data into a centralized place is critical to making more timely, informed decisions and taking actions that result from those decisions. It is important when each company sets their own policies, and when regulations are developed, that we have clean and reliable data on which to base decisions. We are also in an industry that is ripe to take advantage of technology that is central to helping us improve safety, efficiency, retention and profitability. n

At a Glance Best Practices for CSA Compliance Step 1— View your company’s current performance. Step 2— Select a CSA program coordinator and write a CSA program plan. Step 3— Communicate and get sign-off on CSA policies. Step 4—Distribute CSA training to all relevant employees. Step 5— Regularly monitor CSA performance. Step 6—Document CSA incidents and implement corrective action. Step 7— Report and monitor overall compliance with the CSA program.

TraCS (Traffic and Criminal Software) and the National Model By Dave Meyers, TraCS Program Manager, Iowa Department of Transportation The Traffic and Criminal Software (TraCS) program in Iowa has really taken off since its inception in the mid-90s. The expanded use and increased functionality of TraCS has proven to be both tremendously popular and beneficial to Iowa’s criminal justice community. The Iowa Department of Transportation is excited about what TraCS can do already and equally excited about planned features that will enhance what TraCS will be able to accomplish in the future. In 1994, the Iowa Department of Transportation, working in partnership with the Iowa Department of Public Safety (DPS) and several local law enforcement agencies, initiated a program to create a PC-based crash reporting system to expedite the electronic capture of data for police crash reports. After the successful completion of that project in 1995, traffic citations and commercial motor vehicle inspections were then added as a new functionality. Again, capitalizing on these successes, the program evolved into TraCS, an integrated system used by state and local law enforcement agencies with continuing leadership and support from the state. Participation by all levels of law enforcement (city, county and state) in the development of TraCS was essential to the success of the program. In 1996, Iowa was selected by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) as a partner for the National Model for the Statewide Application of Data Collection and Management Technology to Improve Highway Safety Project. FHWA provided funds to share National Model/ TraCS project successes with other states. Currently, there are fourteen states and one Canadian province that are part of the National Model/TraCS consortium and several others states are considering joining. The management of the National Model is best described as a Lead-State Consortium, with a National Program Manager from Iowa, a Steering Committee made up of participants Continued on next page




from the licensed user community, an Executive Board made up of members of the Steering Committee, and working groups that are formed for specific tasks. The Steering Committee, which meets twice a year as arranged by the National Program Manager, serves as an opportunity for the participants to deliberate and espouse individual positions while maintaining an objective viewpoint for the greater good. It operates on a consensus basis, with each participating entity typically being represented by a state/province program manager and a technical manager. Licensed entities (e.g., states, provinces, localities) are eligible to participate in Steering Committee activities, but with varied levels of actual participation and commitment. The Executive Board, made up of three members from National Model States, provides high-level direction and oversight for the National Model/ TraCS Program. The Board meets quarterly and discusses issues, resolves problems, establishes priorities, develops and recommends policies, and reviews expenditures. In 2000, the Incident Location Tool (ILT) was added to the National Model crash reporting capability as a user-friendly tool to collect geographical information system (GIS) coordinates. Although a separate application, the ILT is launched from TraCS and the location output is stored with the report in the TraCS database and exported with the report. To take advantage of the data, including the location, and make the data immediately useable to local agencies, an Incident Mapping Tool (IMAT) was created. IMAT uses the same look and feel of the ILT for ease of use and provides law enforcement agencies with a set of queries for creating reports and the capability to create and print maps that graphically display the spatial concentration of incidents. To simplify the transition of the TraCS solution from one state to another and one jurisdiction to another, the Software Development Kit (SDK) was added to the TraCS suite of applications in November of 2000. The SDK allows other states to manage the evolution of their current paper forms into TraCS electronic forms and customize the TraCS environment to meet their individualized needs. In order to continue to stay current with new technology, TraCS version 10 was released in August, 2009. TraCS 10 was rewritten from the

ground up using Microsoft’s .NET framework. Rewriting TraCS presented an opportunity to incorporate all of the lessons learned from more than a decade of experience, as well as incorporate a significant number of new features. TraCS 10 is the new National Model baseline from which future projects and software will be based. Also in August 2009, ILT 5.0 was released. ILT 5.0 is a .NET version of ILT that was rewritten to work with TraCS 10. In 2010 Mobile Architecture for Communications Handling (MACH) was added to the National Model. MACH is a software application that utilizes an innovative, internet communications architecture to allow public safety agencies, including law enforcement, EMS and fire, to share information for facilitating cooperation and organization during everyday activities and emergency events. MACH offers in-car mapping, session-based messaging for cross agency communications between responders, dispatch capabilities, an NCIC/NLETS interface, and a TraCS 10 interface that allows TraCS to operate in wireless mode in the vehicle. TraCS Web, a complete web browser-based version of TraCS, was made available in the spring of 2011. Because TraCS Web has multiple setup configurations, it can be used as an effective way for rural agencies to go paperless with little or no on-site support, or it can be used in conjunction with TraCS 10 at larger agencies as an alternative to workstation installations. Currently, TraCS Web is used for crash reporting only, although consideration is being given to expanding its capability to include traffic citations. TraCS Web provides yet another alternative for flexible TraCS implementations.

criminal affidavit and complaint forms, evidence tracking, time and activity reports, and more. Electronic data collection also sets the stage for electronic filing with the courts in addition to populating the courts’ database with electronic data. Several key benefits are inherent in the National Model/TraCS program: 1) capturing the data where it originates improves the accuracy, completeness and timeliness of incident data and eliminates the need for duplicate entry into local and state databases; 2) the quantifiable benefit of reduced need for data entry resources and administrative duties; and 3) the less quantifiable benefit of having better data on a more timely basis for problem identification and improved decisionmaking. At the local level, TraCS provides law enforcement administrators immediate information. Expediting the receipt of data in a central enterprise system facilitates and supports timely business processes, including applying driver sanctions and other important public safety-related management functions. Combining these advantages with the benefit of linking to federal systems provides the opportunity for more timely delivery of higher quality data to federal data managers whose decisions impact a broader audience than just the jurisdiction submitting the data. The TraCS Program is truly an example of what cooperation and collaboration among multiple states, agencies and jurisdictions can produce. From its early days as a crash reporting tool to its current status as a robust, nationally recognized information sharing software, TraCS provides officers with the tools necessary to meet the challenges faced by today’s law enforcement community. n

Today, TraCS is a sophisticated data collection and reporting tool used by 197 agencies in Iowa to streamline and automate the capture of incident data in the field and transfer the data from the local agency to a statewide enterprise system. In 2011, Iowa law enforcement agencies transmitted 53,982 crash reports and 317,955 citations electronically via TraCS. In addition to crashes and citations, Iowa’s TraCS package includes a component for warning tickets, driving while intoxicated reporting, commercial motor vehicle inspections, field investigative reports, National Incident Based Reporting System (NIBRS) complaint incident reporting,




RAD INSPECTION NEWS DOE Announces Issuance of Draft Supplemental Environmental Study on Plutonium Disposition On July 27, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration released the Draft Surplus Plutonium Disposition Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (Draft SPD Supplemental EIS) for public review and comment. The Draft Supplemental EIS analyzes the potential environmental impacts of alternatives for the disposition of 7.1 metric tons (MT) of additional weapons-usable plutonium from pits that were declared surplus to national defense needs in 2007, but were not included in DOE’s prior decisions as well as 7 MT of surplus, weapons-usable non-pit plutonium. The SPD Supplemental EIS analyzes four alternative disposition pathways: disposition of plutonium using the can-in-canister vitrification approach, involving small cans of materials, which would be placed in a rack inside a Defense Waste Processing Facility canister and surrounded with vitrified high-level radioactive

This must be a Level VI Out-of-Service Item!

waste at the Savannah River Site (SRS); disposition of non-pit plutonium via H-Canyon and DWPF at SRS; disposal of non-pit plutonium at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico; and fabrication of pit and some-pit plutonium into mixed oxide (MOX) fuel for use in domestic commercial nuclear power reactors. The SPD Supplemental EIS also includes options for providing a pit disassembly and conversion capability including a stand-alone facility at SRS or installing capability in existing facilities at one or more of the following locations: the Plutonium Facility (PF-4) at Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), H Canyon/HB line at SRS, K-area at SRS and the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at SRS. The MOX Fuel Alternative is DOE’s preferred alternative for surplus plutonium disposition. DOE’s preferred option for pit disassembly and the conversion of surplus plutonium metal to supply

Level VI Train the Trainer Course Enhanced The Level VI National Instructors, Larry Stern, Level VI Program Director, and Bill Mackie, U.S. DOE Carlsbad Field Office, met in Morgantown, WV, July 10-12 to revise and enhance the Level VI Train the Trainer Course. The 2013 Train the Trainer Course will be a threeday course. It will include a compressed DOE’s Modular Emergency Response Radiological Transportation Training (MERRTT), work projects for the students before they attend, additional work projects for the course, more practical work with the TRUPACT unit, a post test for proficiency of the students, and the latest updates for the Level VI inspections and program. The 2013 course will be held February 26-28, the location will be announced soon. n



feed for the MFFF, is to use some combination of facilities at PF-4 at LANL, K-Area at SRS, H-Canyon/HB-Line at SRS and MFFF at SRS, rather than to construct a new stand-alone facility. This would likely require the installation of additional equipment and other modifications to some of these facilities. DOE’s preferred alternative for disposition of surplus plutonium that is not suitable for MOX fuel fabrication is disposal at WIPP in New Mexico. The Tennessee Valley authority (TVA) is a cooperating agency for the SPD Supplemental EIS, DOE and TVA have entered into an interagency agreement to evaluate the use of mixed oxide fuel in reactors at TVA’s Browns Ferry and Sequoyah Nuclear Plants. TVA does not have a preferred alternative at this time regarding whether to pursue irradiation of MOX fuel in TVA reactors and which reactors might be used for this purpose. n

Now You Can View Level VI Inspection Data Online To obtain Level VI inspection data from 2008 and later go to the FMCSA’s A&I Online website: SafetyProgram/ RoadsideInspections.aspx. You can view the data by year/state/ national programs. Also, the CVSA Level VI Program Inspections reports can be obtained at, simply click on “Programs,” then click the Level VI radiation symbol to enter the Level VI website.


Are You Prepared to Respond to an Accident Involving Radioactive Material? If not, the Department of Energy’s Transportation Emergency Preparedness Program has planning and training that can help you get prepared:

Radioactive material accident response made simple

The full course is delivered in a two-day format (approximately 14 classroom hours) or a Train-the-Trainer option (approximately 16 classroom hours). These two options offer up to 10.5 hours of continuing education hours (CEH). For conferences, the DOE offers an eight-hour compressed version of MERRTT which will provide up to 5.5 hours of CEH. The compressed version only covers the following topics/modules: • Radiological Basics • Biological Effects of Radiation • Radioactive Material Shipping Packages • Hazard Recognition

The DOE developed its Modular Emergency Response Radiological Transportation Training (MERRTT) program to help simplify radioactive material accident response. MERRTT was developed through various forums and the Transportation External Coordination Working Group (TEC), Training and Medical Issues Topic Group, DOE formed TEC to improve coordination with external groups interested in transportation activities. TEC membership includes a broad range of state, tribal, and local government organizations; other federal agencies; industry; and professional and technical organizations. DOE offers the MERRTT program to state and local agencies located along DOE transportation corridors. The training program is designed to take the topic of a radiological response and break it down into easily understood modules. The course includes use of hands-on activities using “live” radiation sources to reinforce learning.

• Handling Contaminated Patients • Radiological Survey Instruments • Radioactive Material Decontamination By completing MERRTT, students will develop a comprehensive understanding of radioactive material, common radiological survey instruments, decontamination techniques for handling radiologically contaminated victims, and resources available to you during your response. An important element of the training is detailed information on the types of packages used to transport radioactive material. To learn more about training offered by the Department of Energy’s Transportation Emergency Preparedness Program, contact Regional TEPP Coordinator or the DOE Manager, Ella McNeil at 301-903-7284 or or visit www. n

LEVEL VI CLASSES SCHEDULED FOR 2013 Under a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Energy, CVSA has scheduled eight classes for inspecting motor carriers and their drivers transporting transuranic waste and Highway Route Controlled Quantities (HRCQ) shipment of radioactive material. Under this cooperative agreement, CVSA will provide the Level VI training to jurisdictional inspectors who meet the prerequisite (CVSA Level I and HazMat certified). Any jurisdiction that needs inspectors trained and/or can host a Level VI Class in 2013 is asked to contact Carlisle Smith at 301-830-6147 or Dallas, TX—February 26-28 Level VI Train the Trainer Course

New Braintree, MA—March 11-14 Anthony, NM—June 10-13 Frankford, KY—July 22-25 Oak Ridge, TN—August 12-15 Reno, NV—August 26-29 Denver, CO—October 14-17 Austin, TX—November 4-7

Need More Level VI Information? The CVSA website is the place for the most up-to-date information regarding the Level VI Program. You’ll find the minutes of the Level VI Program Committee Meetings, Level VI reports, Level VI training and public outreach schedules and more. Also, you can ask questions concerning the Level VI Inspection Program on the Level VI online forum (blog). To reach the Level VI website, go to, click on “Programs,” then click on the Level VI radiation symbol to enter the Level VI website.



CVSA Leadership Executive Committee President Maj. Mark Savage Colorado State Patrol Vice President Sgt. Thomas Fuller New York State Police secretary-Treasurer Capt. William “Bill” Reese Idaho State Police PAST PRESIDENTS Asst. Chief David Palmer Texas Department of Public Safety Capt. Steve Dowling California Highway Patrol Francis “Buzzy” France Maryland State Police

REGION PRESIDENTS Region I Sgt. Raymond Weiss New York State Police Region II Capt. Douglas Shackleford North Carolina State Highway Patrol Region III Alan Martin Public Utilities Commission of Ohio Region IV Capt. Chris Mayrant New Mexico Department of Public Safety Region V Reg Wightman Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation

LOCAL VICE PRESIDENT (Non-Voting) Officer Wes Bement Grand Prairie TX Police Department

REGION VICE PRESIDENTS (Non-Voting) Region I Shari Leichter New Jersey Dept. of Transportation Region II Capt. Jay Thompson Arkansas Highway Police Region III Maj. Lance Evans Iowa Department of Transportation Region IV Lt. Ken Roberts California Highway Patrol

ASSOCIATE MEMBER (Non-Voting) Rob Abbott, Chair, Associate Advisory Committee American Trucking Associations FEDERAL GOVERNMENT (Non-Voting) William “Bill” Quade, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) William “Bill” Arrington, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) Mauricio Hinojosa, Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT)

Region V Pierre Pratte Contrôle Routier Québec

Ryan Posten, Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)

LOCAL PRESIDENT Robert Mills Fort Worth Police Department

Doug MacEwen, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators (CCMTA), CRA Chair

COMMITTEE AND PROGRAM CHAIRS COMMITTEE CHAIRS Associate Advisory Committee Rob Abbott American Trucking Associations Driver-Traffic Enforcement Committee Lt. Thomas Fitzgerald Massachusetts State Police Hazardous Materials Committee Sgt. Thomas Fuller New York State Police Information Systems Committee Capt. William “Jake” Elovirta Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles Passenger Carrier Committee Lt. Don Bridge, Jr. Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles

Program Initiatives Committee Sgt. William “Don” Rhodes South Carolina State Transport Police

COHMED Capt. William “Bill” Reese Idaho State Police

Size & Weight Committee Capt. Jay Thompson Arkansas Highway Police

International Driver Excellence Award Sgt. David Medeiros Rhode Island State Police

Training Committee Sgt. Rocco Domenico Colorado State Patrol

Operation Safe Driver Brian Neal FedEx Ground Corp.

Vehicle Committee Kerri Wirachowsky Ontario Ministry of Transportation

Operation Airbrake Scott Hanson Idaho State Police

PROGRAM CHAIRS Level VI Inspection Capt. William “Bill” Reese Idaho State Police

Roadcheck Lt. Mike Junkin Alabama Department of Public Safety North American Inspectors Championship (NAIC) Paul Tamburelli Checkmark Vehicle Safety Services, Inc.



2012 CVSA SPONSORS Premier



Intermodal Association of North America




TML Information Logo Update TBD

6/09/09 TBD 2747





101937.TML LOGO 4C.V1R1 N/A 100%










2012 CVSA SPONSORS SILVER ABF Freight System, Inc. Austin Powder Company ChassisLink, Inc. DiSilva Companies FoxFury, LLC Great West Casualty Company

Groendyke Transport, Inc. Herzig Hauling, LLC Landstar Transportation Logistics Mercer Transportation Company PERCEPTICS Imaging Technology Solutions Sims Metal Management, Inc.

Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association STEMCO Sysco Corporation Vehicle Inspection Systems, Inc. YRC Worldwide, Inc.

bronze Academy Express, LLC American Bus Association Arizona Trucking Association ATCO Electric Cambridge Systematics, Inc. Chesapeake Energy Corporation Coach USA Code Corporation

Compliance Safety Systems, LLC DATTCO, Inc. Dibble Trucking, Inc. Greatwide Truckload Management Hoffman Transportation, LLC Intercomp Company J. B. Hunt Transport, Inc. Motorcoach Association

NATC, Inc. National Tank Truck Carriers Old Dominion Freight Line, Inc. Praxair, Inc. RAIR Schneider National, Inc. Wal-Mart Transportation, LLC Warren Transport, Inc.

FRIENDS OF CVSA Ace Doran Hauling & Rigging Co. American Coatings Association, Inc. Anderson Trucking Services, Inc. The BESL Transfer Co Bork Transport of Illinois

Canadian Association of Oilwell and Drilling Contractors Currie Associates, Inc. EQT Corporation FFE Transportation Services, Inc.

Greg Neylon Greyhound Lines, Inc. H.R. Ewell, Inc. Horizon Freight System, Inc. Omega Laboratories, Inc.

2012 New CVSA Associate Members A. Duie Pyle, Inc.

Michels Corporation

ADS Logistics Co., LLC

Newport Sand & Gravel Co.

Arkansas Trucking Association

Nova Scotia Power—An Emera Company

Carbon Express, Inc.

Sling Tech, Inc.

Frontier Logistics

Trucking Business & Beyond

Grapevine Police Department

United Vision Logistics

Hi-Tech Solutions, Ltd.

V&H, Inc.

International Liquid Carriers, Inc.

Vogel Safety & Risk, Inc.

Lakeland Bus Lines, Inc.

Wright Brothers Const. Co., Inc.

Maxum Petroleum MI Transportation, Inc.



As of November 9, 2012


Make Plans Now!

COHMED Conference

January 28-February 1, 2013 B e au R i vag e H ot e l

Biloxi, MS

Register online at

6303 Ivy Lane, Suite 310 Greenbelt, MD 20770-6319

Read Guardian online.

See You in Louisville!


CVSA Workshop

North American Cargo Securement Harmonization Public Forum December 4, 2012 | Montreal, QC

April 21–25, 2013 North American Cargo Securement Harmonization Public Forum April 21 Information Systems User Workshop April 21-22 Technology Impacts on CMV Driver Field of Vision Symposium April 22 IRP & IFTA Training Sessions April 22 Lifecycle of a Roadside Inspection Violation April 22  Register online at

2013 COHMED Conference January 28–February 1, 2013 | Biloxi, MS Budget Committee Meeting January 29, 2013 | Biloxi, MS Winter Executive Committee Meeting January 30, 2013 | Biloxi, MS Budget Committee Meeting April 21, 2013 | Louisville, KY Executive Committee Meeting April 21, 2013 | Louisville, KY 2013 CVSA Workshop April 21-25, 2013 | Louisville, KY

Get complete details at

CVSA Guardian 4th Quarter 2012

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you