News

Recording of Webinar on Web-based Training

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You can see how the Delmar products (copyright PTDI) align with the PTDI standards at www.ptdi.org/standards: Page 16 of the Curriculum Standards is an overview of the required units and time, followed on subsequent pages by details of objectives for each unit. In the Certification Standards, see specifically Standards 5.2 (Instructional Time) and 9.2 (Distance Learning Option). Guidelines on distance learning and the related standards for PTDI course certification are also provided below.

Contact information for the product or the standards is listed at the bottom of this page.

How many hours does PTDI allot to a distance learning program?

The PTDI Certification Standard on Distance Learning (DL) (page 50 of the Certification Standards and reprinted below) was updated and re-released in May 2011.  Formerly it had allowed two hours per chapter.  It now basically requires the school to ensure that the a student gets the equivalent training by DL as if in the classroom setting.  Equivalent does not mean equal to; i.e., if you have four hours for a unit to be completed in the classroom, via DL it may take only two or three hours for a student to learn the same information.  The school is responsible for verifying that the student is getting the same (equivalent) training.  Also note that independent study (IS) is a separate option from distance learning and has its own requirements, which includes a minimum of 70 (84 50-minute hours) of actual classroom/lab instruction.  IS is Certification Standard 9.1 (page 49 & printed below) and also has guidelines in the Curriculum Standards (page 7-8).

PTDI Certification Standard 9.2 – Distance Learning Option:

  1. All PTDI enrollment standards as outlined in Standard 1.4 (Student Eligibility and Admissions) are applicable.
  2. Distance learning is defined as: educational or instructional activity that is delivered electronically to students. This could include interactive instructional models such as audio or video computer conferencing, or Internet/Web-based instruction. The use of home-based learning using only a workbook as a study guide is not acceptable.
  3. The core curriculum in distance learning must be the same or comparable to the curriculum in the on-campus program.
  4. The course provides for timely interaction between instructor and student.
  5. The course being offered electronically must be the equivalent of all hours of credit as required for classroom/lab time in PTDI Standard 5.2 (Instructional Time).
  6. The school must verify appropriate training and support services to instructors who teach courses and programs electronically as outlined in Standard 3.2 (Instructor Development). Training must be documented and placed in the instructor file.
  7. Prospective students in distance education programs must be provided with information regarding admission; skills needed to participate; equipment requirements; academic support services available; course and program completion requirements; and any additional costs for distance learning programming as outlined in Standard 1.1 (Truth in Advertising & Public Information).
  8. Each student must take a proctored exam at a certified location offered by the school. Documentation of identity, date and time, location of the test and test scores must be signed by the appropriate administrator and placed in the student file.
  9. Courses begin and end within a specified or controlled time frame and require that the assignments and tests be submitted by specific due dates. Students must be able to review completed lessons as part of the course offered prior to any proctored exam.

(Rev. 5/20/11)

PTDI Certification Standard 5.2 – Instructional Time (excerpt) states: Classroom and lab time must be a minimum of 104 hours (60-minute hours) or 125 (50-minute hours).

  • Classroom/lab and skills training must include each component outlined in the Curriculum Standards Units of Instruction as found in “Curriculum Standards and Guidelines for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Courses.”

PTDI Certification Standard 9.1 - Independent Study Option:

Independent study is an alternative method of guiding student learning in addition to traditional classroom instruction and must meet the same objectives with regard to content, time on task and mastery of material.  It requires independent consideration and mastery of a designated body of knowledge and is, therefore, differentiated from homework, which merely reinforces materials covered in class.  Independent study should include the following key elements for each unit:

  • Number and title of PTDI curriculum classroom unit for which it is proposed independent study be substituted; e.g., Unit 1, Unit 2 (See Curriculum Standard Units of Instruction in “Curriculum Standards and Guidelines for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Driver Courses.”)
  • Classroom hours required for that unit, including both classroom contact hours and independent study
  • Total number of hours being submitted with independent study
  • Performance objectives
  • Knowledge objectives
  • Independent study materials to be used
  • Estimated time to complete independent study materials
  • Procedure used to determine whether the student did in fact achieve the objectives
  • Evaluation instruments and other documentation indicating successful completion of independent study

Thirty-four (34) (41)hours of independent study may be utilized for classroom/lab instruction, subject to a minimum of 70 (84) hours actual classroom/lab instructions, in order to meet the required 104 (125)hours of classroom/lab time.  Courses must explain how the option is used and complete and file the time waiver form.  (See Appendix C of these standards.)

If independent study is used it should be cited in the school catalog, brochures, and other documents where it is legal to do so.

(Rev. 5/20/11)

FOR INFORMATION ON PTDI:

Marlene Dakita
Certification Coordinator
Professional Truck Driver Institute
555 E. Braddock Rd., Alexandria, VA 22314
703-647-7015; fax 703-836-6610
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.ptdi.org

FOR INFORMATION ON THE WEB-BASED PRODUCT:

Jennifer Barbic
Senior Marketing Manager
Delmar | Chilton
Cengage Learning
5 Maxwell Drive, Clifton Park, NY 12065
(0) 800.998.7498 x2691 | (e) This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
www.trainingbay.cengage.com | www.chilton.cengage.com

CTA decides in La Quinta to combat human trafficking

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LA QUINTA — Members of the California Trucking Association will join a nationwide effort to put the brakes on human trafficking, the group’s president announced today during the annual CTA conference in La Quinta.

“At the California Trucking Association, we say that ‘safety is our priority,’ and that priority drives our members to combat the evils of human trafficking,” said CTA Chief Executive Officer Michael Campbell.

“Truckers are the heart and soul of our nation, so the choice to join forces with Truckers Against Trafficking was a natural one for our members.”

Kendis Paris, national director of Truckers Against Trafficking, said having the state’s largest trucking association involved in the anti-trafficking campaign will “make a substantial difference.”

“Truckers are the eyes and ears of our nation’s highways,” Paris said. “We’re very excited ... and believe the California trucking industry will do much to put a dent in domestic sex trafficking.”

CTA will distribute informational DVDs for its member companies to use during training, orientation and safety seminars, according to the organization. Wallet-size cards will also be provided to members with information about how to recognize trafficking and what to do when it’s suspected... Continue reading...

News and Alerts from Mike Byrnes & Assoc., Inc.

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Happy New Year!
Hope 2012 has been good to you so far. This is a banner year for us — it's our 25th year! Yes, we first hung out our shingle on Jan. 5, 1987. Lots of things have changed since then but one thing remains the same: the need for a solid education to get new drivers off to a good start and a promising career. Let us know what we can do to help provide that.

Hang on to that paper
Starting Jan. 30 and no later than Jan. 30, 2014, all commercial driver’s license holders must provide information to their state driver’s license agency regarding the type of commercial motor vehicle operation they drive in or expect to drive in with their CDL. Drivers operating in certain types of commerce will be required to submit a current medical examiner’s certificate to their state licensing agency to obtain a “certified” medical status as part of their driving record. CDL holders required to have a "certified" medical status who fail to provide and or update their medical examiner’s certificate will become “not-certified” and may lose their CDL. The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators has a helpful link on their Web site about this.

Play Time
If there's drilling operations going on in your area, you know that a shale "play" means a geographic area which has been targeted for exploration due to favorable geoseismic survey results. There are plays all over the US but here in south Texas, the Eagle Ford Shale play is big news. It's created challenges in lots of industries, not the least of which is commercial motor vehicle driving, training and safety. Our Education Coordinator, John Rojas, is a member of the Eagle Ford Consortium. He recently participated in the Eagle Ford Shale Job and Vendor Fair held January 13, 2012 at the Laredo Energy Arena and is spearheading the meeting scheduled for the March 1-2, 2012 in San Antonio. He's the go-to guy if you've got questions about what all this drilling means to you and your enterprise.


We've Got an App for That!
If you've got an iPhone, iTouch or iPad, check out our latest app: BUMPER TO BUMPER ® Easy CDL for Hot Shot Trucking. Our first two apps, BUMPERTOBUMPER® Easy CDL and Easy CDL Hazardous Materials Endorsement Review were so well received they've earned a Five Star rating. Easy CDL for Hot Shot Trucking will help operators of heavy duty pickups study for and pass the CDL tests, get a license and be able to drive a commercial motor vehicle truck-and-trailer combination with a gross combined weight rating in excess of 26,000 pounds. Eight "lectures" cover the information that CDL applicants must know and the audio feature makes reading more enjoyable. Over 200 multiple-choice test questions give the student lots of practice. There's even a bonus vehicle inspection video.

Look for these apps in the iTunes store or go to Study By App on the Internet. We'd love to hear your reactions. You can also leave your comments right on the iTunes Easy CDL pages.

And yes, we've started working on our fourth app. Look for a Spring 2012 launch. It's on a topic that people have been asking us to write about for decades!

Interested in a custom app for your program, like an orientation or safety session? We can do that. Give us a call at 361-749-4007 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
We've Got a Map for That!
trucking school mapCheck out our blog at www.cdlbookblog.com where we've added an interactive map. Clicking on the different maptacks links to the Web sites of truck driving schools in the US and Canada. We hope that makes finding a good training program easier. Contact John Rojas to find out about getting your school on the map. Phone 361-442-9552 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Like Us on Facebook
Did you know that Mike Byrnes & Assoc., Inc. now has its own Facebook page? We invite you to Like us on Facebook.

"How to..."
Don't forget to check out our short "how to" pieces on the Internet:

Just click on the links to view the stories. You can easily email them and share them. If you want to print them to use as handouts, there's a button for that at the top right of the Web pages.

And now, for something completely different!
This has nothing to do with trucking or training, but you might find it of interest. For decades, people (including Mike Byrnes) have been telling Devorah Fox that she should write a novel. She finally did. You can find "The Lost King" as a print book in the createspace.com e-store or on www.amazon.com where it has a Five Star Rating! You can even read the first chapter for free. It's also available as in e-book in Kindle format. Don't have a Kindle e-book reader? No problem. You can download a free Kindle for PC app and read Kindle books on your computer. You can also download free apps to read Kindle books on your iPhone or iPad.

Check our Web site www.bumper2bumpertruckbook.com, or our blog at www.cdlbookblog.com. Just click on the orange-and-white RSS Feed logo to subscribe. You can leave comments or suggestions on the blog as well. And, follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/redwritertx for updates. Questions? Suggestions? Give us a call at 361-749-4007 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Major Transit Awards, Addressing Local Needs and Cutting Red Tape

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U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Proposes Streamlining Major Transit Awards, Addressing Local Needs and Cutting Red Tape

WASHINGTON – During his State of the Union Address on Tuesday night, President Obama called on federal agencies to cut red tape in construction projects.  Accepting that challenge, U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today proposed a significant change in the way major transit projects compete for federal funds by streamlining the process and making decisions more responsive to local needs.

“This proposal would move more job-generating bus, rail and ferry projects from the drawing boards into construction sooner and with less red tape along the way,” said Secretary LaHood.  “President Obama has asked government agencies to cut red tape, eliminate waste, and streamline bureaucracy wherever possible, and that’s exactly what we’re doing.”

The proposed changes could potentially shave six months or more off the time that is now required to move major projects through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) New Starts pipeline. This new approach may also result in financial savings for the federal government and local taxpayers by allowing approved projects to begin construction sooner, thereby saving on finance charges and other costs.

The streamlined proposal would allow the FTA to focus more on local needs, such as economic development, revitalization and responding to historically underserved populations while reducing or eliminating certain time-consuming technical requirements that are duplicative or unnecessary.

“Our process for selecting big capital projects is historically successful—but at times painfully and unnecessarily complicated,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. “We’re aiming to make common-sense changes that will make a big difference to communities throughout the United States that need more mobility, and better access to jobs, sooner rather than later.”

Other benefits from the changes would include increased transparency and continued rigorous scrutiny of each project proposal.  By giving greater emphasis to evaluation criteria concerning environmental benefits and local economic impact, it would be possible for FTA to consider a variety of smaller-scale projects that might better meet a community's needs, including streetcars and rapid bus services. 

The proposed changes are described in FTA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to streamline the evaluation and rating of New Starts and Small Starts projects, published in two separate notices in today’s Federal Register are the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-25/pdf/2012-1198.pdf and Notice of Availability, http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2012-01-25/pdf/2012-1195.pdf.

A 60-day public comment period on the proposed rule begins today. Comments may be formally submitted to the federal government’s docket website at Regulations.gov. FTA also plans to hold a number public listening sessions and an online informational webinar; details will be announced in a future Federal Register notice.  All received input will be taken into consideration before a final rule is issued.

The New Starts and Small Starts program is one of the largest discretionary grant programs in the U.S. Government.  FTA’s final Fiscal Year 2012 appropriation includes more than $2 billion in capital projects requested by President Obama under FTA’s capital investment program.  Proposed projects such as rapid rail, light rail, commuter rail, bus rapid transit, and ferries are evaluated and rated on a number of measures at several steps in the process as they seek FTA approval for a federal funding commitment to finance project construction.

FTA’s streamlining effort was undertaken in response to an announcement in January 2010 by Transportation Secretary LaHood to change how major transit projects are selected to receive federal financial assistance from FTA. As part of this initiative, FTA rescinded restrictions issued by the Bush Administration in March of 2005 that greatly limited the factors that would be considered when evaluating transit projects seeking federal matching dollars.

Next-gen Roadside Drug Testing Device Unveiled

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dds2 next gen drug testConcateno, a leading drug and alcohol testing company, has unveiled the Alere DDS2 Mobile Test System, its next-generation handheld drug testing device. The company says it enables police to determine if a driver is under the influence of up to five drugs from a single oral fluid sample within five minutes, including cocaine, cannabis, opiates, amphetamines and methamphetamines.

The Alere is the successor to the Cozart DDS device, which has been successfully deployed by police forces in Europe and Australia, and won a Queens' Award for Innovation in 2010.

"Drug driving is a serious problem for road safety around the world," said Concateno's Bill Percy. ,international Business Development Manager. "There is growing evidence to indicate that there are just as many drug drivers on the road as there are drink drivers. In fact, Australian researchers found that 35 per cent of hospitalised drivers were affected by drugs, compared to just 29 per cent by alcohol."

The new CE-marked Alere DDS2 Mobile Test System has been developed for speed, accuracy, and ease of use, enabling police forces to quickly administer tests and work towards improving road safety. The device features improved THC sensitivity, a wider temperature range, and a colour screen that allows for better viewing under an assortment of roadside conditions. Importantly, the new testing device can also store up to 10,000 results using the data manager software, which generates drug trend reports, measures positivity rates and provides census information... Read the full story at ITS International.

Distracted Walking? Crashes Involving Headphones Skyrocket

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We've all heard of distracted driving, but it turns out distracted walking is dangerous, too.

In the past six years, injuries and deaths to pedestrians wearing headphones more than tripled, according to a new study by the University of Maryland School of Medicine and the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore.

Researchers looked at 116 accident cases from 2004 to 2011 where injured pedestrians were documented as wearing headphones. Nearly three quarters of the accidents resulted in pedestrian fatalities. Among the victims, more than two thirds were young adult males.

According to the study, more than half of the crashes involved trains. Nearly a third of the drivers in the accidents reported sounding a warning horn before the crash happened.

The study determined two likely causes for the injuries and deaths: Distraction and sensory deprivation. Pedestrians with the headphones were likely distracted by their devices, causing a condition called "inattentional blindness." With sensory deprivation, the ability for the victims to hear the warning sound became masked by the sounds from their devices.

Researchers hope this study will help to reduce the number of injuries and deaths related to pedestrians with headphones. They also hope to better understand how these accidents happen and what can be done to prevent them. Read the full story at NBC Washington.

Medical Certificate Program Moves Ahead

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of January 16, 2012
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

FMCSA has announced the start of a program to get driver medical certificates into the CDLIS database. The first step? Gathering information.

Starting on January 30, 2012 State Driver Licensing Agencies (SDLAs) will begin adding your medical certification status and the information included on your medical certificate to the Commercial Driver’s License System (CDLIS). This is to maintain compliance with a rule first issued in 2008 that aims to digitize the medical certificate.
Eventually, this will lead to drivers no longer needing to carry a paper copy of their certificate when they are driving around.

What Do You Need To Do?

While none of the driver physical qualification requirements are changing, your state is now required to maintain these files. The first step is to get drivers to submit a medical certificate to their SDLA.

According to the regulations, the states have until 2014 to gather this information. It is up to the state as to when you need to start submitting your information. We recommend contacting your SDLA as soon as you can to ensure compliance with both Federal and State regulations. Note: You may be told to wait to submit.

Who Will Be Required To Submit A Medical Certificate?

  • All drivers who have a CDL will be required to submit a medical examiner’s certificate providing they meet the provisions of 49 CFR 383.5. The four categories of CMVs for which an operator is required to have a CDL, as defined in 49 U.S.C. 31301(4) and specified in 49 CFR 383.5, are the following:
  • Those with a Gross Vehicular Weight Rating (GVWR) or Gross Combination Weight (GCW), of at least 26,001 pounds, including towed units with GVWR or GCW of more than 10,000 pounds;
  • Those with a GVWR or GCW of at least 26,001 pounds;
  • Those designed to transport at least 16 passengers, including the driver; or
  • Those of any size used to transport either hazardous materials that require a placard on the vehicle under 49 CFR part 172, subpart F, or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin under 42 CFR part 73.

Reminder of the Rule

We first wrote about this rule in Fast-Fax 565, back in December of 2008. Below is a reminder of the new rule:

The new rule will require your state’s licensing agencies to modify their CDL procedures to:

  • Require submission of the medical examiner’s certificates (or a copy) from those drivers operating in nonexcepted, interstate commence who are required by part 391 to be medically certified;
  • Record a CDL driver’s selfcertification regarding type of driving (e.g., interstate (non-excepted or excepted) and intrastate (non-excepted or excepted) on the CDLIS driver record);
  • Date stamp the medical examiner’s certificate (or a copy);
  • Provide the stamped medical examiner’s certificate or a copy as a receipt to the driver;
  • Retain the certificate or a copy for three years from the date of issuance;
  • Post the required information from the certificate or a copy onto the CDLIS driver record within 10 days; and Update the medical certification status of the CDLIS driver record to show the driver as ``not-certified’’ if the certification expires; and then downgrade the CDL within 60 days of the expiration of the driver certification.

When Will This Go Into Effect?

As the new rule affects the SDLA in every state, FMCSA has given plenty of time for the rules to go into effect:

All CDL holders must comply with the requirement to submit to their SDLA their self-certification as to whether they are subject to the physical qualification rules by January 30, 2014.

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 111, No. 719 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011