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FMCSA to Question Motor Coach Passengers on Safety

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of October 17, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced plans to question motor coach passengers about whether they received a voluntarily-administered pre-trip safety briefing from the carrier.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced this week that they would be increasing their scrutiny over the motor coach industry. This would especially include the enforcement of and compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). Before the agency can start however, it needs to gather certain information and make an assessment.

FMCSA unveiled its information collection mission in the Federal Register. The purpose of collecting this information is to assess the current levels of voluntary compliance by motor coach operators to provide pre-trip safety awareness and emergency preparedness information to passengers and to obtain passenger opinions of the implementation of the pre-trip program and any recommended improvements.

Once this information has been gathered the Department of Transportation will work to enact policy; filling in gaps that the study reveals with new regulations.

Background

2011 has been the year of the crackdown for passenger carrying motor carriers. Due to several high-profile fatal bus crashes, FMCSA — at the behest of an angry Congress — has been focusing on removing poorly-performing carriers. The root of this particular issue, however, goes back to the 1990s. After a series of fatal crashes back then, the National Transportation Safety Board performed a study that concluded that, in the immediate post-accident environment, passengers were panicking and unsure of what to do. After consulting with the industry and with FMCSA, it was decided to recommend to carriers that that perform a voluntary pre-trip safety briefing.

What Information Are They Collecting?

According to the Federal Register entry: “FMCSA is concerned about the accuracy of self-reported data provided by motorcoach operators and requires third party validation of industry efforts to provide this information to passengers, as well as the effectiveness of the means by which the information is being provided. Currently, compliance is measured during FMCSA’s National Passenger Carrier Strike Forces. The data received from these Strike Forces has shown increased adoption levels, however this data is based solely on input from the motorcoach companies and not actual passengers.”

Essentially, FMCSA is concerned that it is being lied to. Without checking with the passengers, FMCSA inspectors are being forced to take the carriers at their word. Obviously, for the safety-conscious carrier, this isn’t a problem. FMCSA, however, is not really interested by the good carriers. They want to investigate the carriers with poor safety records. These are the carriers who are more likely to be in accidents. These are also the carriers who are more likely to lie about performing safety checks.

Where Does This Go From Here?

Once it has gathered the information that it needs, FMCSA will be able to put together a detailed study and present its recommendations. In all likelihood this will result in new regulations. Indeed, given the depth and breadth of safety regulations for passenger carriers, it is surprising that this was not already a regulation. Similar rules have long been common practice for the airline industry and for certain modes covered by the Federal Transit Authority, such as ferries. The timeframe of such an action, however, is probably relatively far into the future. FMCSA has to begin its studies, collect the information, provide a report to Congress and THEN begin the rulemaking process. It should be noted, however, that FMCSA has requested emergency processing of the matter. This action, performed in deference to the number of people killed in motor coach accidents in 2011, means the entire process may be accelerated. FMCSA granted itself powers to fast-track new regulations deemed non-controversial; it is likely that this proposal would be included in those regulations. Passenger carriers should prepare themselves for both the increased questions and the questioning of customers in the short term. In the long-term, carriers should expect new regulations.

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 111, No. 710 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011

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Dan England Elected ATA Chairman

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GRAPEVINE, Texas — American Trucking Associations’ Board of Directors elected Dan England, chairman of Salt Lake City-based C.R. England Inc., its 67th chairman.

The board voted at ATA’s annual Management Conference & Exhibition, which adjourns here on Tuesday.

“I’m honored to have been chosen by my peers in this great industry to represent America’s motor carriers, drivers, independent contractors and employees,” England said in a statement.

“The last few years have been difficult for our industry and our nation, but I’m confident that regardless of our challenges, trucking and ATA will continue to lead the country toward economic recovery,” he said.

Refrigerated carrier C.R. England is ranked No. 21 on the Transport Topics 100 listing of U.S. and Canadian for-hire carriers, and is the largest refrigerated carrier.... Continue reading...

Source: ttnews.com/articles/basetemplate.aspx?storyid=27838&utm_source=alert&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=newsletter

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Easy CDL Hazardous Materials Endorsement Review App Debuts

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PRESS RELEASE
For more information contact:  Devorah Fox
ph: 361-749-4007, fax 361-749-4009
e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

“EASY CDL HAZARDOUS MATERIALS ENDORSEMENT REVIEW” APP DEBUTS

PORT ARANSAS, Texas – Easy CDL Hazardous Materials Endorsement Review, an app for the iPhone, has just debuted in the Apple iTunes App Store. The Hazardous Materials Endorsement Review follows on the heels of BUMPER TO BUMPER® Easy CDL, the first iPhone app developed by Mike Byrnes and Associates, Inc., publishers of BUMPER TO BUMPER®, The Complete Guide to Tractor-Trailer Operations and other commercial motor vehicle driver training materials, and produced by StudyByApp, LLC, an educational software development company that develops apps for the iPhone, iTouch and iPad. Easy CDL Hazardous Materials Endorsement Review sells for $2.99 and can be obtained via the Study By App Web site at www.studybyapp.com or from the iTunes store at http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/easy-cdl-hazardous-materials/id436098704?mt=8.

Easy CDL Hazardous Materials Review’s nine units recap all the topics that applicants must study to get a Hazardous Materials Endorsement on their Commercial Driver's License Test. It offers over 200 practice multiple-choice test questions and includes a bonus Glossary. The answers to the test questions are included in the app as are explanations as to why those answers are correct. According to the reviewers who gave BUMPER TO BUMPER® Easy CDL four and five stars, the audio "lecture" that accompanies each of the units makes prepping for the CDL tests more enjoyable.

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SCAM ALERT! - Oct. 14, 2011

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From Maralyn Chavez, Western Pacific Truck School

SCAM ALERT!

We received a call today from a man, "Willard Peabody", who informed us that he was at the terminal in downtown Los Angeles and wanted to know how he was supposed to get to the school. 

We told the caller we did not have a school in that area.  He then informed us that John D. Western had signed him up for Western Pacific Truck School in Georgia and gave him a discounted price, if he paid up front.  He also said that 8-9 others were also there waiting at the terminal trying to get to the school.

We asked the caller for a phone number, and were provided with two numbers.  One number was supposed to be for John D. Western and the other was supposed to be a cell phone of one of the others waiting at the terminal.  The number for "John D. Western" had an outgoing message that said "not taking calls at this time".  The other number was an unassigned MagicJack phone number.

Maralyn Chavez

Western Pacific Truck School
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FMCSA Post-Accident Testing: The When and How

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of October 3, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

It is tough to get the call informing you that your driver has been involved in an accident. Minimize this stressful situation by knowing the facts about Post-Accident Testing ahead of time and being assured that Foley is with you providing help at every turn.

Taking care of everything when faced with the aftermath of an accident is an emotional and hectic time. Processing all of the information coming at you can be intimidating. Once the safety of the driver has been established, Post-Accident Testing needs to be addressed. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has very clear regulations denoting whether or not your driver is to be tested under federal requirements.

What are the circumstances that require federal testing in Post-Accident situations?

The FMCSA requirements pertaining to Post-Accident Drug and Alcohol Testing are found in 49 CFR, Part 382.303. There you will find the three situations which require

Post-Accident Testing:

  1. If there is a human fatality as a result of the accident, your driver must be tested.
  2. If your driver receives a citation for a moving violation and there is bodily injury that results in medical treatment away from the scene, your driver must be tested.
  3. If your driver receives a citation for a moving violation and there is disabling damage to any of the vehicles involved, your driver must be tested.

The key point in Numbers 2 and 3 is that the driver must first have been issued a citation for a moving violation.

When does my driver need to be tested if testing is required?

FMCSA regulations state testing for drugs and alcohol must take place “as soon as practicable following an occurrence”.

Post-Accident Alcohol Testing must be administered “within eight hours of the occurrence”. However, if alcohol testing is not completed within two hours, the employer must maintain written documentation regarding the reason(s) testing could not occur. If testing is not completed within eight hours, the employer “shall cease attempts to administer an alcohol test and maintain the same record”.

Post-Accident Drug Testing must be administered “within 32 hours of the occurrence”. If testing is not completed within 32 hours, the employer “shall cease attempts to administer a controlled substances test, and prepare and maintain on file a record stating the reasons the test was not promptly administered”.

In any Post-Accident situation, the driver “shall remain readily available” for testing. If one does not remain available, he/she may be “deemed by the employer to have refused to submit”.

Which Custody and Control Form (CCF) do I use?

When federal drug testing is required under FMCSA regulations, a Federal CCF is always needed. It is a good practice to ensure that your drivers have a company specific Federal CCF in their truck.

If federal testing is not required, but your company policy warrants testing, be sure to use a Non-Federal CCF. Using CCFs that were provided specifically to your company is important as they have your company information imprinted on them. This ensures accurate and timely reporting of the drug test results.

How can Foley Carrier Services help me in a Post-Accident situation?

At Foley Carrier Services, we provide “help at every turn”. If an accident should occur, call us right away at (800) 253-5506. Our staff of knowledgeable agents is available to help with post-accident emergencies around-the-clock.

Transportation Ticker

An Overview of DOT Record-Keeping Requirements.

Organized Files Streamline Audits
During Safety Audits and Compliance Reviews, auditors will carefully comb through all the paperwork in your DOT compliance records. By purging unnecessary records and properly organizing your files, you will simplify and streamline the review process.

Drug and Alcohol Testing
Remember all DOT drug and alcohol test (DAT) records must be maintained in a secure location with controlled access. This means all DAT records must be kept in a separate file under lock and key; they should not be stored with personnel files. As the rules make no exceptions for one-driver companies, we advise owner-operators to maintain their DAT files separately as well.

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 111, No. 707 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011

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Truck driving course gets you on the road to a career

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KatlawImagine training, passing a licensing test and having a new job in about a month. That’s entirely possible, says Ed Tanksley, general manager of Katlaw Truck Driving Schools.

“There is zero unemployed in the truck industry,” Tanksley said. “This is something you can learn pretty quickly then go out and make a good income doing.”

The sluggish economy has made driving a tractor trailer an attractive job occupation — so much so that the typical profile of the 30- to 40-year-old white male driver is disappearing, Tanksley said.

“Everybody is doing this now,” he said. “In the past few months, I’ve had three guys here who were around 70, and we put them right to work. I’ve now got several females in class. There are a lot of career changers, people coming out of the construction industry and retirees who aren’t happy being retired. Our demographic is just about everybody, from every kind of background imaginable.”

Since 1996, the Austell-based school has been preparing drivers to hit the road. The intense program includes 160 hours of what students need to know to pass the state’s licensing exam and earn a commercial driver’s license. Classes start at the beginning of each week and include sessions on handling 10-speed transmissions and double clutches, six back-up maneuvers and the details of a 96-point inspection. All of Katlaw’s training is conducted in full-sized sleeper cabs, so students get a feel for the physical space... Continue reading...


The school is in the Threadmill complex (5000 Austell-Powder Springs Road) in Austell.
For information, call 678-945-1900 or go to www.katlaw.com.
Source: ajc.com/jobs/truck-driving-course-gets-1193574.html
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Client Alert! New CCFs on October 1

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of September 19, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

The new (2010) Custody and Control Form goes into full-time effect on October 1. If you haven’t already changed over, now is the time.

This week’s Fast-Fax is a special edition Client Alert for all DOT drug and alcohol testing clients, including FMCSA, FTA, PHMSA, USCG, FRA, and FAA clients.

The 2010 Federal Custody and Control Form — which was introduced in October of last year and run in conjunction with the 2000 CCF for the last 12 months — will become the only Federal CCF allowed by the regulations on October 1.

The new CCF contained a number of changes most obviously, it includes a number of boxes to identify the DOT mode of the donor (found in Step One, Section D).

Review Your CCF

We have taken efforts to refit our clients with new CCFs in time for the regulatory change. You, however, should still check to make sure that you are using the correct CCF.

Review your stockpile of CCFs:

  • If you have both old CCFs and the new CCFs discard the old ones, you will no longer be able to use them.
  • If you have DOT CCFs that DO NOT include the boxes identifying DOT mode call Foley Carrier Services at 1-800-253-5506 ext. 0867 and we will furnish you with the correct forms. Once you have received your new forms, discard the old ones.
MRO Changes

While you are reviewing your CCFs please review the MRO information found in Step One, Section B. Discard the forms if your MRO information still reads as the following:

Frederick J. Pope, MD, MRO
Foley MRO Services
655 Winding Brook Drive
Glastonbury, CT 06033

Call Foley Carrier Services immediately at 1-800-253-5506 ext. 0867and we will furnish you with new CCFs.

Questions

If you have any questions or if you need assistance in identifying CCFs please call a customer service representative at 1-800-253-5506 ext. 0867.

Transportation Ticker

DeFazio Slams FMCSA Over Mexican Trucks. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) has openly attacked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration over the issue of Mexican trucks traveling on US highways. DeFazio, in a letter made public this week, challenged administrator Anne Ferro over the agency’s failure to respond to issues brought up during an audit of the plan to allow Mexican trucks across the border.

DeFazio also posited that FMCSA was over-reaching; going beyond the limited mandate from Congress to allow Mexican carriers to operate in the United States.

The full text of DeFazio’s letter is available on the Transportation Ticker Blog.

To view it and for the rest of the top indsutry news, visit www.FoleyServicesBlog.com.

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 111, No. 705 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011