News

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

Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding

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All Accredited Schools must Sign Department of Defense Memorandum of Understanding to Participate in Tuition Assistance Programs

CVTA was told that all schools that participate in veterans benefits and military tuition assistance programs must sign (on-line) a Memorandum of Understanding in order to continue their participation. The Association held two webinars under the direction of Lou Spoonhour, in which many members participated, to explain the new requirement.

Following the webinars, there was a great deal of confusion as to which schools needed to sign the Memorandum in order to continue participation. As a result, Lou, Mike and Cindy had a conference call with a senior person at the National Guard that is responsible for educational benefit programs.

As it turned out, the original information was incorrect. While tuition assistance programs are administered by the Department of Defense, programs involving the Montgomery GI Bill and Post 9/11 GI Bill are administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Therefore, the only schools that need to sign the MoU are schools that participate in federal tuition assistance programs (which means only schools that hold accreditation).

CVTA will set up another webinar to explain the process and walk those schools through the sign up procedure. If your school would like to participate, please contact Cindy Atwood. When we have determined the level of participation, we will set a date and time for the call.

Carrier Operating Authority Advisory

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In late November of 2011, FMCSA upgraded the licensing and registration portion of its website to conform with the elimination of the requirement for motor carriers to file mandatory cargo liability insurance (still required for household goods carriers). That upgrade has resulted in a glitch that FMCSA is diligently working to address. As a result of this glitch, some carriers are getting a Notice of Investigation letter via the mail indicating a potential issue with their authority. Carriers have thirty days to respond or their authority(ies) may be revoked, which is also supposed to trigger a letter to the carrier indicating revocation. ATA is aware of some instances where the carrier did not receive either or both letters. ATA advises its members to respond in a timely manner if a Notice of Investigation is received. In addition, ATA advises carriers to frequently check the Licensing and Insurance web page to ensure that the carrier’s authority remains active. If you believe your authority has been revoked without cause, please contact the following toll-free telephone number at FMCSA (866) 637-0635.

PTDI Certifies Driver Training Courses as HOS Brings Industry Changes

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Alexandria, Virginia – From Washington to Tennessee, truck driver training programs that recently received PTDI course certification or recertification weighed in on what the newly revised hours-of-service (HOS) safety requirements mean for the industry.

“With all the CSA requirements being implemented and other industry changes, especially the continuing battle with hours of service, it is more important than ever for trucking companies to ensure the quality of their new hires,” said Don Hess, director, transportation and public safety at John Wood Community College. “If you’re hiring entry-level drivers, you’ll want to be sure you’re hiring drivers who are well prepared and trained to meet these requirements.”

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) recent publication of the HOS Final Rule reduces by 12 hours the maximum number of hours a truck driver can work within a week and requires drivers to take a break of at least 30 minutes after driving eight hours. That’s a 15-percent reduction in the average maximum allowable hours of work per week.

Although the FMCSA says these changes will affect only a minority of drivers who regularly work longer hours, those in the trucking industry may not agree. Gary Warren, truck driving instructor, Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville, said he believes “HOS will cause a driver shortage with electronic onboard recorders; carriers will have to find someone to replace those who are at their limit. If a company had to have 100 drivers before to get the job done, now it will require more.”

As far as how HOS will affect their program, Warren said students are already required to keep a log of their on-duty /off-duty time which includes classroom and driving hours. “We teach them how to keep up with how much time they spend behind the wheel. We make our students aware that everything they do has consequences.”

Since discovering PTDI when he started at Tennessee Technology in 2004, Warren said he has been “working really hard with our current [school] administration and the Tennessee Trucking Association to get all our schools here on board with the same curriculum as far as what we teach, because I’ve found we’re very different. I’d like to see all of our state truck driving schools with PTDI course certification if for no other reason than it helps hold all schools accountable.”

Gina Buda, president, Progressive Truck Driving School, has been in the industry 37 years and said PTDI standards offer the best training program she has seen. “As long as we follow PTDI curriculum and certification standards, our students will be very well prepared.”

In terms of HOS, she said, “I think we’re heading in the right direction as an industry. I’ve always believed that changes are for the better if they help us stay safe and make corrections as needed. If it improves safety and saves one more life, it’s good.”

Jeff Frank, director, Iowa Central Community College, Transportation Technology Center, believes HOS will be complex to enforce and interpret accurately. “I’ve been in the industry 31 years and the rules have gotten very complex.”

“Until students actually get into a job and encounter the rule,” he said, “it will take a while to master the hours of service. While in training, they may not exceed the 11 hours of driving and 14-hour rule, yet we average about 2,000 miles per student over the 11-week course, so we are probably one of the longest programs in the country. We exceed the behind-the-wheel time that PTDI requires.”

Frank believes that eventually the federal government will mandate the number of hours required for training to get a CDL nationwide. “I think personally if they follow PTDI standards, it would be very successful. We have excellent checks and balances in place, and our students are better prepared to enter the industry.”

Hess agrees. “The Feds are on the verge of releasing entry-level training standards, which will require anyone taking a CDL test to have gone to an approved school before they will issue a CDL. Rest assured that all PTDI course-certified schools will be approved schools.”

The truck driver training courses that received PTDI recertifcation in December are Bates Technical College, Tacoma, Washington; Iowa Central Community College, Transportation Technology Center, Fort Dodge, Iowa; John Wood Community College, Quincy, Illinois; Swift Driving Academy in San Antonio and Phoenix; and Tennessee Technology Center at Nashville.  Two courses each at Progressive Truck Driving School in Lansing and Cicero, Illinois, as well as an additional course at the Chicago location, received initial certification.

PTDI is a national, nonprofit organization established for the twofold purpose of developing uniform industry skill, curriculum, and certification standards for entry-level truck driver training and motor carrier driver finishing programs, and certifying entry-level truck driver training courses at public and private schools and driver finishing programs at carriers for compliance with PTDI standards.  PTDI is based in Alexandria, Virginia.

Randall-Reilly Digest Dispatch e-Newsletter - January 2012

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Welcome to your January issue of the Randall-Reilly Digest Dispatch e-Newsletter. This promises to be an interesting and innovative year for recruiting media as we continue to develop new solutions for our customers.

In this month’s issue, we talk about how and why to use Facebook pages to enhance your recruiting efforts. We also highlight the Highway Angel music video that was recently launched to help change the public perception of trucking.

As always, we bring you recruiting and retention tips from nationally known speaker, teacher and trucking consultant Dan Baker. This month, Dan cautions you against making assumptions, and he emphasizes the importance of utilizing your best drivers to steer retention programs.

Click here to view your January issue of Digest Dispatch e-Newsletter.