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Companies Using Questionable Tactics to Sell Reasonable-Suspicion Training

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of July 18, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

 

Carriers are encouraged to review faxes and mailers closely to determine whether or not they are from the DOT.

There is never a dull moment in the customer service department at Foley. On a typical day our Compliance Specialists juggle phone calls from clients preparing for an upcoming audit, truckers needing permitting or fuel tax preparation help and Designated Employer Representatives (DERS), supervisors and collectors needing drug and alcohol testing assistance and many others. Lately, though, we’ve noticed a disturbing trend.

In recent weeks, our Compliance Specialists have been responding to an unusual number of questions from clients concerned that they may not have met their mandatory Supervisor Reasonable-Suspicion Training requirements. It turns out that companies have been using overly aggressive marketing tactics and the DOT has taken notice.

Closely Review All Communications
In some cases, the companies are trying to fool carriers into believing the message is coming directly from the DOT. In one case, a company is faxing a single sheet with headers like “Compliance Notice” and “2nd Compliance Notice” along with the DOT logo. It’s easy to see why carriers are confused even after the company added a fine-print disclaimer stating that it is not the DOT.

At this time, we are advising clients to closely review all mailers and faxes as many official-looking documents may not have originated from the DOT or any government office. If you need help determining if a notice is legitimate, please do not hesitate to call our customer support team at 800-253-5506, ext. 0869.

Since the most recent round of aggressive marketing focuses on Supervisor Reasonable-Suspicion Training, we wanted to take a moment to assure all of our clients that Foley’s DOT Supervisor Reasonable Suspicion modules and live training programs do meet the mandatory requirements. Therefore, if you have completed live training through us or if you have completed our self-study program, there is no reason to panic.

The DOT’s Response
The DOT is aware of the questionable marketing tactics currently being used by some companies. In fact, just last week the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a bulletin clarifying Reasonable Suspicion Training requirements and alerting carriers about aggressive marketing techniques being used by some training companies. In the notice, FMCSA reminded carriers that the agency does not certify or approve trainers, training companies or curriculum.

Reasonable-Suspicion Training Requirements
As most Fast-Fax readers know, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) require supervisors of safety-sensitive employees to complete 60 minutes of training on the signs and symptoms of alcohol use and 60 minutes of training on the signs and symptoms of controlled substances use. This training, required by 49 CFR Part 382.603, qualifies and prepares supervisors to make reasonable-suspicion testing determinations.

Ultimately, it’s the carrier’s responsibility to ensure that the Supervisor Reasonable- Suspicion Training meets the requirements outlined in 49 CFR Part 382. Proof of training, such as a signed and dated training certificate, should be kept on file.

Call If You Have Questions
If you have any questions about Supervisor Reasonable-Suspicion Training or any other aspect of your DOT drug and alcohol testing program, please call a Foley compliance specialist at 800- 253-5506, ext. 0869.

Transportation Ticker

HVUT Filing Deadline Delayed. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced that it was giving truckers and owners of other heavy highway vehicles a three-month extension to file their highway use tax return. The deadline, which is usually August 31, has been pushed back to November 30, 2011. Additionally, the IRS will not be accepting HVUT returns or payments before November 1.

No, the IRS didn’t arbitrarily decide to give truckers a break. The delay was designed to eliminate confusion and the possibility of multiple filings in the event that Congress modifies the highway use tax after the traditional filing deadline. The highway use tax is due to expire on September 30 of this year.

Visit www.FoleyServicesBlog.com for more information.


Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 111, No. 696 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011


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Request from Cengage Learning

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Cengage Learning will be using some of the photos schools sent them previously in the upcoming 4th edition of "Trucking: Tractor/Trailer Handbook/Workbook" (name to be revised).  However, within the first ten chapters they would like to add 34 more photos, click here for "wish list."

For these photos they need 300 dpi resolution at approximately 3x5 size. Most digital cameras today take this resolution without changing any settings. For any photos submitted, they need to have the permission form signed and on file, and also if there are any individuals in the photos, they need them to sign the model release form.

If you have photos you would like to submit, please send them to Dawn Jacobson at  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by August 5.

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DOT Proves Its Point

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of July 11, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance


The Department of Transportation claimed a significant victory in its war against distracted driving. Pilot programs in Hartford and Syracuse were hailed as overwhelming successes.

Drivers nationwide will have to get used to another roadside slogan; the Department of Transportation has announced that its “Phone in One Hand, Ticket in the Other” anti-distracted driving campaign has been a major success in its pilot phase.

Ray LaHood, the Secretary of Transportation, has made distracted driving somewhat of a cause-célèbre during his tenure as the head of the department. It was LaHood who announced that the two pilot programs, Hartford, Connecticut, and Syracuse, New York, had achieved successful results.

Pilot Program
As with similar ‘slogan campaigns’ such as “Click-It or Ticket” — the seat belt safety campaign — and “Over the Influence Under Arrest” — the anti-drunk driving campaign — Syracuse and Hartford mixed education with enforcement. Both cities were blanketed with advertisements — on billboards, busses and the airwaves — warning of the dire consequences of distracted driving. This was followed up with a strict enforcement policy.

A one-year study of the program revealed that the rate of electronic devices in use while driving dropped significantly in both pilot cities. LaHood was overflowing with praise for both cities.

Over the last 12 months, Syracuse showed an overall decrease of 32 percent in both handheld phone use and texting.   Hartford showed an “even more impressive” 57 percent decline in handheld phone use and a “stunning” 72 percent drop in texting behind the wheel.

Next Steps
The programs, which although municipal, are largely funded by grants from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), a branch of the Federal DOT. NHTSA, pleased with the results is planning on expanding the pilot program statewide.

For Connecticut, that will be a relatively minor affair; given the size of the state, much of the population lives within the Hartford metropolitan area anyway. For New York that will, obviously, be a much larger endeavour. Exact plans were not forthcoming at this juncture, however, it is safe to assume the programs will follow the same blueprint.

Beyond New York and Connecticut, NHTSA has expressed interest in expanding the program and the grants to other states with anti-distracted driving laws. As always, Fast-Fax will keep you up to date with any changes in laws and regulations regarding this matter.

Below is an overview of the states with Distracted Driving Laws. Note in many states bans are not blanket and vary based on license type and driver age. There are also a number of municipalities with their own laws. Consult with your local enforcement officials before using a cellphone while driving.

Of course, for commercial motor vehicle operators, Federal Regulations already ban texting while driving as well as hand-held cellphone usage.

Table of Distracted Driving Laws by State
State Texting Cell
Phones
State Texting

Cell
Phones

State Texting

Cell
Phones

AL X X KY X X ND X
AK X LA X X OH
AZ X ME X X OK X X
AR X MD X X OR X X
CA X X MA X X PA
CO X X MI X RI X X
CT X X MN X X SC
DE X X MS X SD
DC X X MO X TN X X
FL MT TX X X
GA X X NE X X UT X X
HI NV X VT X X
ID NH X X VA X X
IL X X NJ X X WA X X
IN X X NM X WV X X
IA X X NY X X WI X
KS X X NC X X WY X

 

Transportation Ticker

FMCSA Alerts Carriers About Shady Marketing Tactics. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a bulletin this week clarifying reasonable-suspicion training requirements and alerting carriers about aggressive marketing techniques being used by some training companies. In the notice, FMCSA reminded carriers that the agency does not certify or approve trainers, training companies or curriculum.

If you have any questions about supervisor reasonable-suspicion training or any other aspect of your DOT drug and alcohol testing program, please call a Foley compliance specialist at 800- 253-5506, ext. 0869.

Go to www.FoleyServicesBlog.com for more information about this story.

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 111, No. 695 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011

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SCAM Alert July 22, 2011

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This one is specially disturbing as it is more believable than previous scammers:

From Roger Rollins, Great Lakes  Truck Driving School:

One of my reps in the office took this call the other day. I knew Marten did not accept grads so I called Marten to verify that it was not them and they had no idea who this person was posing as a Marten recruiter. This is the info the guy gave us, this is the email that one of my employees sent me, I copied and pasted it for you:

"I received a call from Marten Transport this morning, looking for drivers (both new graduates and experienced). 

They are looking for 4 drivers immediately and 14 more within the next 2 weeks.  Here are the particulars...

Contact:  Jim Snow...
Training period & pay:  4 weeks @ $400/week
Solo pay rate:  $.28/mile
Felonies:  over 5 years old
DUI:  over 3 years old
Points:  8 points maximum
Equipment:  International 10-speed w/ 53' dry van
Endorsements:  none...no HazMat
Hiring area:  East & South...running lower 48"

As we have discovered this was a complete fraud just searching for contact information on entry level drivers to scam.

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RIDE OF PRIDE TO HONOR VETERANS - Schneider National

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Jeff Edwards, a London, Ky.-based driver for Schneider National, has been chosen as the driver for this year's Ride of Pride. Edwards, who has worked at Schneider since 2006, served in the U.S. Marine Corps for 12 years, and was called to active duty in Iraq in 2003. "It is a special honor to be able to drive this truck and to support those in the Armed Forces," said Edwards, "and to work for a company that is so supportive of the men and women who serve their country through military service."

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Covenant Transport – 25 Year Anniversary Celebration

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Covenant 25th AnniversaryOn My 17 & 18, covenant Transport gathered to celebrate its 25-yearanniversary. The company held a reception after the annual shareholders meeting to honor the 2-year employees, which include James Burklow, R.H. Lovin Jr., Mike Owens, David & Jacqueline Parker, Clay Scholl and Stan White.

The celebration continued the next day with a 1980’s celerity and each department was invited to decorate heir space in an 80’s theme. A luncheon was held for all employees and 25th anniversary t-shirts were distributed. In addition to the corporate office celebration, each terminal hosted a luncheon for the drivers.

The company gathered to not only celebrate the outstanding contributions of these individuals, but also the many milestones achieved by the company. David Parker founded Covenant Transport at age 28 with his wife, Jacqueline, and has worked to make it into a$600 million-a-year corporation.

“It’s been a long, hard, joyful, wonderful, emotional ride for the last 25 years,” David Parker said, reflecting on the milestone achieved by his company.

For more information, contact Covenant Transport: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 423-463-3847

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Annual Truck Driving Career Fair on Thursday, July 21st - Hamrick School, Ohio

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Hamrick School invites you to attend the Annual Truck Driving Career Fair on Thursday, July 21st, from 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm at 1156 Medina Rd., Medina, OH 44256.

This is a great chance for current students, graduates, and the public to:

  • meet with various trucking companies' representatives and learn about employment opportunities;
  • view different motor carriers' equipment;
  • learn about tax deductions, resume writing, on-line job search, credit union benefits, insurance info and more...
  • acquire information about our Truck Driver Training Programs. (CDL Class "A")

Bring your resume and be ready to talk with trucking industry employers. Registration is not required.

Please call 1-800-362-0098 or visit our website for more information: www.hamrickschool.edu.

Thank you very much.


Sincerely,

Val

Val Hamrick, M.Ed., M.A.
Vice President/Director of Education
Hamrick School
1156 Medina Road
Medina, OH  44256

Call Toll Free:  1-800-362-0098

Accredited member, ACCSC; OH Reg.# 88-02-1147T; Lic. # 155

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Carriers Alerted to Aggressive Marketing Attempts to Sell Supervisory Training for Drug and Alcohol Testing Requirements

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Notice to Carriers:

In recent weeks, we have received numerous inquiries regarding companies using aggressive marketing tactics to sell supervisor training to employers who may be subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s drug and alcohol testing requirements. Please note that the FMCSA is not familiar with these companies nor the training they are offering.

49 CFR §382.603 requires supervisors of CDL drivers to take 60 minutes of training on the symptoms of alcohol abuse and another 60 minutes of training on the symptoms of controlled substances use. The purpose is to qualify supervisors for determining when reasonable suspicion testing is needed.

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FMCSA Proposal Eliminates Confusion on Schedule I Drug Use by CMV Drivers

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of July 4, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

The agency also plans to eliminate incorrect use of the term “actual knowledge” and harmonize Part 382 refusal-to-test provisions with Part 40 requirements.

Today, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed changes designed to clear up “perceived” inconsistencies regarding Schedule I drug use by CMV drivers. The bottom line is that the use of Schedule I drugs by CMV drivers is never permitted.

Change 1: Schedule I Drugs
Here’s why some people are confused. Although 49 CFR Part 392.4 clearly prohibits the use of Schedule I drugs, other parts of the regulations are not so definitive. FMCSA is concerned that some may be interpreting that certain regulations (49 CFR Parts 382.213, 391.41 (b) (12), 391.43(f )) permit the use of Schedule I drugs when recommended by a medical practitioner.

While a physician’s prescription validates the use of other drugs, it does not, nor has it ever, applied to Schedule I drugs. In fact, Schedule I drugs cannot legally be prescribed in the United States. Even when a driver is taking a Schedule I drug as directed by a physician, the Medical Review Officer is not permitted to report a verified negative test result.

Under the proposed changes, the regulations will use the term “non-Schedule I drug” when making an exception for use as directed by a medical professional.

What’s a Schedule I Drug?

Schedule I Drugs are one of five classifications established by the Controlled Substances Act, which regulates the manufacture, possession, use and distribution of certain substances. Schedule I substances are those that have:

  • a high potential for abuse;
  • no accepted medical use in the U.S.; and
  • a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision.

At this time, Federal law only allows for the use of Schedule I substances in research, chemical analysis or the manufacture of other drugs. Examples of Schedule I drugs include marijuana, heroin, ecstasy (MDMA), mescaline and peyote.


Medical Examination Form to Be Updated
In conjunction with the regulatory change, FMCSA plans to update the Medical Examiniation Report for Commercial Driver Fitness Determination form. Once the changes are finalized, Foley will update DQF 2: Medical Examiniation Report and DQF 2-1: Medical Examiner’s Instructions and ensure that they are available before the effective date.

Change 2: Refusals
FMCSA is also proposing to clear up an inconsistency between the DOT’s Part 40 and FMCSA’s Part 382 drug and alcohol testing regulations. Part 40 deems refusing pre-employment and return-to-duty tests as violations that require drivers to complete the return-to-duty process. Currently, FMCSA’s 49 CFR 382.211 does not include pre-employment and return-to-duty refusals as violations. The agency is proposing to correct this inconsistency by adding pre-employment and return-to-duty refusals to the prohibitions in 382.211.

Change 3: Actual Knowledge vs. Knowledge

Finally, FMCSA is proposing to replace the term “actual knowledge” with “knowledge” in 49 CFR Parts 382.201 and 382.215 to clarify the regulations. The problem is that “actual knowledge” is defined elsewhere as the observation of alcohol or controlled substances use. Parts 382.201 and 382.215 address test results — not observed use — so the use of the term knowledge is more appropriate.

Comments Due by Sept. 6
FMCSA is accepting comments on the proposed changes through September 6, 2011. To comment, or to read what others have to say, visit www.regualtions.gov and search for Docket No. FMCSA-2011-0073. To request a PDF copy of the proposal, send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .


Transportation Ticker

U.S., Mexico Ink Cross-Border Trucking Agreement. The United States and Mexico signed a three-year memorandum of understanding this week paving the way for the return of cross-border trucking and the suspension of retaliatory tariffs.

Safety is a major focus of the pilot program, according to the DOT. Mexico-based carriers participating in the pilot will be required to complete a three-stage evaluation process in order to receive permanent operating authority.

The program’s terms and conditions require Mexico-based carriers and drivers to comply with all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, track hours-of-service compliance with electronic monitoring systems, and submit to drug tests conducted by HHS-certified labs in the U.S. Additionally, the DOT will review complete driving records, and program participants must complete an English language assessment.
Visit www.FoleyServicesBlog.com for more information.

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 111, No. 694 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011

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Another One Bites the Dust...

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of June 27, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration continues its highly publicized war against problematic passenger carriers; naming and shaming those shut down. Are cargo-carrying motor carriers next?

FMCSA’s aggressive pursuit of passenger carriers claimed another victim this week. The Agency issued a press release announcing that it had shut down Georgia-based H & W Tour, Inc. for gross violations of the regulations.

Serious Violations

The press release revealed that the violations H & W Tour, Inc. committed were so severe that the shut down order was issued only a few hours after the investigation began. Per FMCSA:

“Evidence obtained during a compliance review conducted today by FMCSA Safety Investigators disclosed that H & W Tour, Inc., continued transportation of passengers without federal operating authority and without the required level of insurance. The company failed to conduct pre-employment drug tests on its drivers and institute a random drug and alcohol testing program as required by federal regulations. The company failed to ensure that its drivers comply with hours-of-service requirements, records of duty requirements and driver’s qualification requirements. Buses were not properly inspected, maintained or repaired by the company as required by federal regulations.”

Why Is This Happening?

Obviously, these violations are extremely serious. So why is FMCSA taking such a hard-line? And why now?

The reason lies in the media response to the Bronx Expressway crash in March. Not only was that a particularly deadly accident — 14 killed — but the facts of the accident, especially, the fact that the bus was nearly cleaved in two were, from a media perspective, highly salacious.

It is safe to say that most bus and truck crashes don’t get the media attention that the Bronx expressway crash did and since then, there has been widespread media coverage of the safety of the motor coach industry. In the last month or two virtually every crash involving a bus has made at least the cable news channels if not the nightly network broadcasts.

This has put a lot of pressure on FMCSA. Not only is the agency being held culpable for the accidents it is also finding that the CSA system is a double-edged sword. By posting every violation, even the most minor, on the publicly accessible website, it is being forced to answer to the media — and to Congress — for every violation it allowed to pass.

Are Cargo-Carriers Next?

The key question for the summer will be ‘are cargo-carriers next?’ Unfortunately, there is a distinct possibility that they will be. Late last week, there was a tragic accident near Fallon, NV which has brought the media spotlight squarely on truck drivers.

In this accident, a truck failed to stop at a crossing-gate and plowed into the side of Amtrak’s California Zephyr. At least six people were killed with another two still left unaccounted for.
Already, there have been strong similarities to the Bronx Expressway accident in the media’s response. Within hours of the crash, the Associated Press was dissecting the trucking companies’ CSA scores and looking for previous violations. These were quickly spread around the web and cable news and even were discussed during the nightly network broadcasts.

While it is still early, it looks likely that FMCSA will be forced to respond to this accident with the same strict hand they responded to the bus companies.

What Can You Do?

It is important to understand that, for the foreseeable future, FMCSA is not going to be giving any leeway for moderate to serious violations. While Foley Carrier Services has always endorsed strict regulatory compliance, it cannot be overstated that, right now, you should be crossing every ‘t’ and dotting every ‘i’.

As we reported in Fast-Fax 690, appeals extensions are a thing of the past. If FMCSA finds a serious error with your compliance activity, it is likely you will be immediately shut down (and your company’s name publicly denounced).

We recommend, very strongly, that you perform a self-compliance review of your entire operation. If you have any area where you even think you may have an issue, please give us a call. You can call us toll free at 1-800-253-5506. We will be more than happy to go over any area of the regulations and to help you make sure that you are in compliance.

Transportation Ticker

Late Breaking News. As Fast-Fax was being put to bed this week, we received word that yet ANOTHER passenger carrier had been shut down by FMCSA.

Mr. Ho Charter Service of Bethlehem, PA, was already appealing a fine for not having a random drug testing program when one of its busses crashed, killing the co-driver and injuring 25 more.

During the appeal against the original fine, it was discovered the company had hired two new drivers (those involved in the crash) without requiring a pre-employment drug or alcohol test. It was also discovered that the two drivers had falsified their records. The details of the shut-down were published in an FMCSA press-release.

Go to www.FoleyServicesBlog.com for more information

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 111, No. 693 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011