Secretary Ray LaHood Announces - "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over"

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U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Announces
“Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” Crackdown on Drunk Driving
New Research Shows Major Drop in Drunk Driving Fatalities in Many States

WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today kicked off a nationwide crackdown on drunk driving coinciding with the 2011 winter holiday season. New data show drunk driving deaths declined in 2010 in many parts of the country. However, the data also show that fatalities from alcohol-impaired driving crashes continue to account for one in three deaths on American roadways each year.

“Safety is our focus year round at DOT. But this holiday season, we’re stepping up our efforts to get drunk drivers off our roads and reminding Americans ‘drive sober, or get pulled over,’” said Secretary LaHood. “We’re making gains in our fight against drunk driving, but we cannot and will not let up.”

New state-by-state data for 2010 released by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) show a decline in drunk driving fatalities in 32 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Compared with 2009, California and Florida saw the largest reductions—with each declining by more than 100 fatalities last year.

All 50 states and the District of Columbia have outlawed driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. Yet NHTSA data show that last year, 10,228 people were killed in alcohol-impaired driving crashes, including 415 during the second half of December alone.

The education and enforcement effort is the latest push in the Department’s “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign involving thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country. The winter holiday enforcement crackdown is supported by a $7 million national Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over advertisement campaign that runs from December 16 through January 2. The ads, which first premiered this past summer, feature “invisible” law enforcement officers observing alcohol-impaired individuals and then apprehending them when they attempt to drive their vehicles. The ads are designed to raise awareness and support law enforcement activities in every state. They convey the message that law enforcement officers are vigilant in deterring drunk drivers.

“Thanks to the hard work of law enforcement and safety advocates and the incredible commitment of organizations like Mothers Against Drunk Driving, we are making real progress in reducing drunk driving deaths,” said NHTSA Administrator David Strickland. “Our message to drivers is clear: if you decide to drink, find a safe and sober ride home or you will be pulled over.”

Secretary LaHood and NHTSA Administrator Strickland were joined for today’s announcement by Virginia law enforcement officials and Jan Withers, National President of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).

“The data clearly show that while drunk driving remains the primary threat to American families on our roadways, we have a path to progress,” said Withers. "Increased enforcement efforts around the holidays are a vital part of MADD's Campaign to Eliminate Drunk Driving®, which relies on proven drunk driving countermeasures to eliminate the leading cause of highway fatalities."

To view NHTSA's 2010 state-by-state data on impaired driving fatalities, click here.

To view the Department's "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" television ads, click here.

Call For Nominations - Board Election 2012

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CVTA will be holding elections at the 2012 Spring Conference. This is a wonderful opportunity to share your alents with the industry. We strive to be considerate of your time and appreciate any and all efforts.  If you feel you would like to join the leadership of your organization please take a moment to review:

The following seats are up for election

  • Three Member Schools Seats, (Will Bowker, Jamie Sather, Chuck Wirth)
    (Current Board Members may run for re-election)

  • Two Associate Member Seats (Vinnie Picciarelli)
    (Current Board Members may run for re-election)

  • Two Motor Carrier Member Seats (John Frey)
    (Current Board Members may run for re-election)

The due date for the Board Applicant Statements is January 16, 2012. We know that seems a long time away and with the Holiday Season upon please take a moment to consider joining the few, the proud the CVTA Board of Directors!  

If you have any questions please call Cindy at the office 703-6423-9444 or email Cindy.

TCA's New Music Video - Highway Angel

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TCA has announced the availability of a new video aimed at improving the image of truck drivers. A link can be found at:

While we attended the presentation of the Trucking’s Top Rookie award at the Dallas Truck Show, Michael Darling, Gary Strube, Bruce Busada and Mike O’Connell met the artist, who performed the song during the presentation ceremony.

The trucking industry is dedicated to providing professional, safe, and courteous truck drivers. Because you share the road with truck drivers, you are in the best position to assist us in identifying those truck drivers who are truly Highway Angels.

Highway Angel recognition is awarded for a driver's "good deeds", ranging from simple acts of kindness, such as fixing a flat tire, to heroic life-saving efforts, such as pulling someone from a burning vehicle and administering CPR. When you know of, witness, or experience an exceptional act of kindness or courtesy by a truck driver, please take the time to fill out and submit this Highway Angel nomination form.

Not only will the truck drivers you nominate receive your recognition of superior performance, but TCA will also reward them as a Highway Angel by sending them a lapel pin, clothing patch and personalized certificate of appreciation. The drivers' companies will also receive a personalized certificate of recognition that they can hang in their terminals or offices for everyone to see.

In addition to special recognition by TCA and the driver's company, the Highway Angel program seeks to promote greater public recognition of Angels through the placement of articles in industry trade press.

As the program continues to focus on improving the public's image of truck driving as a profession, and providing a program that recognizes drivers and helps individual drivers feel better about themselves and their professions, companies use this program as a source of increasing morale and self image among their driving force. The Angel program has become part of their recruitment and retention programs.


ODAPC's Random Testing Rates Have Been Updated

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ODAPC's web site has been updated to reflect the CY 2012 random drug and alcohol testing rates within the transportation industries.

Please note the 2012 annual random testing rates will remain the same as the 2011 rates.

The following chart outlines the annual minimum drug and alcohol random testing rates established within DOT Agencies and the USCG for 2012:

DOT Agency
2012 Random Drug Testing Rate
2012 Random Alcohol Testing Rate
Federal Aviation Administration



Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration



Federal Railroad Administration



Federal Transit Administration



Pipeline & Hazardous Materials Safety Administration



United States
Coast Guard
[USCG] (now with the Dept. of Homeland Security)



NOTE: Employers (and C/TPAs) subject to more than one DOT Agency drug and alcohol testing rule may continue to combine covered employees into a single random selection pool. However, companies (and C/TPAs) doing so must test at or above the highest minimum annual random testing rates established by the DOT Agencies under whose jurisdiction they fall. For example, an employer having both FMCSA- and FRA-covered employees in one pool must test, as a minimum rate, 50% for drugs and 10% for alcohol. PHMSA- and USCG-regulated employees should not to be placed in DOT random alcohol testing pools. Contact the appropriate DOT Agency for additional clarification.

[Please note that USCG covered employees may be combined with DOT covered employees in drug testing pools even though the USCG is now part of the Department of Homeland Security.]

Brokers Say DOT Agencies Fail to Share Data

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By Rip Watson, Senior Reporter
Transport Topics

This story appears in the Dec. 5 print edition of Transport Topics.

A lack of information-sharing between two Department of Transportation agencies with safety responsibilities is jeopardizing the safety of hazardous materials shipments, the head of the freight brokers’ trade association said.

The reportedly error-plagued Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration carrier registration database and the fleet record-keeping system of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration aren’t connected electronically, said Robert Voltmann, president of the Transportation Intermediaries Association.

Voltmann said users can’t rely on PHMSA’s data, which shippers and brokers need to check because they’re legally required to use hazardous materials carriers certified by that agency.
“In spite of all the national security concern about securing supply lines, hazardous materials are moving through neighborhoods, and the agency [DOT] doesn’t know who they have given licenses to and whether that data is accurate or current,” Voltmann told Transport Topics. “Industry is made to guess on its own.”

PHMSA spokeswoman Patricia Klinger in a Dec. 1 statement acknowledged that the agency’s publicly available hazardous material information “is not real-time data but rather a cumulative data report from the previous month.”

In a joint statement, the two agencies told TT that “although not publicly available at this time, PHMSA and FMCSA developed and utilize a joint registration validation process,” describing that effort as “an invaluable first step into data integration providing an efficient method for sharing information,.”

A recent FMCSA action to shut down Gunthers Transport, Hanover, Md., illustrates the situation. FMCSA shut down Gunthers on Nov. 8 because it posed an “imminent hazard” after repeated violations. Yet PHMSA still listed a valid hazardous materials registration for Gunthers on its website as late as Nov. 30.

“There is a disconnect,” said Annette Sandberg, currently the principal at TransSafe Consulting and FMCSA’s administrator from 2003 until 2006. “There are issues of the databases not talking to each other, and there is no data checking. FMCSA has the issue of how to accurately determine who is a [registered] hazardous materials carrier.

PHMSA doesn’t require a DOT [identification] number or an MC [FMCSA motor carrier] number when a carrier registers,” added Sandberg, who said inadequate funding was causing the problem. “It would help to make the database easier to search if it contained that information.”
The absence of a requirement to include those numbers makes PHMSA’s data “useless,” said Voltmann, whose group asked that agency to require that information. “FMCSA wants to put the hazardous materials information into its database, but they don’t know who [carriers] are, so they have to guess.”

If DOT or MC numbers are missing from PHMSA’s database, it’s impossible to know if the carrier actually has operating authority when brokers do computer data searches, said Jeffrey Tucker, CEO of Tucker Co. Worldwide, which offers brokerage services.

In other cases, Tucker added, computer searches can’t properly process available carrier data that is supposed to contain only numbers because it has letters as well.

He claimed that as much as 40% of PHMSA entries are inaccurate or incomplete.

While Tucker criticized PHMSA, he praised FMCSA, saying “their data is very good.” Its value results from daily updates with changes such as fleets that lost insurance or operating authority.
TIA officials met with Ryan Posten, senior director at PHMSA, in late October to express its concerns, Voltmann said, but the trade group hasn’t received any response. It’s also been rebuffed in efforts to access databases other than PHMSA’s system, which is known as Regis11Excel.

Carriers also recognize the issue.

“FMCSA and PHMSA don’t have the time or resources to focus on what they would like to do, which includes a top-notch information system,” said John Conley, president of the National Tank Truck Carriers Conference. “We really have no idea of how many companies that should be registered there are not.”

Conley said the agencies are instead “wasting their time and resources on politically motivated nonsense,” such as a proposal to ban flammable liquids from tank trailer wetlines during transport.
“The need for reliable data throughout the Department of Transportation is even more important with CSA,” Conley said, referring to the FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program that evaluates fleet safety.

Because of the data gap, Tucker added, FMCSA is forced to add weight in its CSA scoring system to hazardous materials violations. However, that increased emphasis means that carriers with such violations are penalized more heavily, Tucker added.

Conley offered some advice to brokers and shippers.

“If shippers or brokers are having a problem getting information from the Department of Transportation regarding who is a registered hazardous materials carrier, I suggest they are talking to the wrong people,” Conley said. “It is the responsibility of the shipper or broker to get this information from the carrier.”

Tucker responded that shippers and brokers often obtain hazardous materials data from carriers for their regular, or core, carriers.   “But brokers and shippers still need smaller [carriers] for the remaining 10% or so of their business,” Tucker said. “They want to be able to rely on that data.
“The world we live in relies on quick data access,” he observed. “From a logical standpoint wouldn’t you think that FMCSA and PHMSA databases would talk to each other?”

Fast-Fax - Year End Review 2011

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of December 9, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance


HOS Proposal Finally Hits the Federal Register

Safety advocates and big industry associations started weighing in on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new Hours of Service (HOS) proposal shortly after the preview copy appeared on the agency’s website on December 23.

DOT Issues Railroad Crossing NPRM

Two DOT agencies propose changes to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs)and Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs) that would prohibit a motor vehicle driver from entering onto a highway-rail grade crossing unless there is sufficient space to clear the crossing without stopping.


New Cargo Insurance Requirements Begin March 21

FMCSA eliminates the minimum cargo insurance requirements for most for-hire common carriers of property and freight forwarders. Household goods carriers and household goods freight forwarders are still on the hook.


GAO Report Reveals Price, Future of CSA

A report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed how much CSA has cost the taxpayer and what FMCSA has in store for the future of the program.

Settlement Agreement Results in CSA Changes

As part of a settlement agreement with three trucking associations, FMCSA made some changes to the CSA system.


PHMSA Texting Ban Begins

PHMSA issued a final rule that prohibits texting on electronic devices while transporting hazardous materials requiring placarding.

PHMSA Final Rule Enhances Enforcement Authority

PHMSA’s new enforcement and inspection procedures Final Rule enhances, but does not change, the current inspection procedures.


FMCSA Establishes Minimum Standards for CLPs

After more than 20 years of proposals, FMCSA published a Final Rule establishing a minimum standard that States must adhere to when issuing Commercial Learner’s Permits (CLPs).

FMCSA Reopens Hours-of- Service Comment Period

The agency will only consider comments on four driver fatigue-related documents it added to the public docket.

NY Congressman Reintroduces ‘Jason’s Law’.

Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) reintroduced “Jason’s Law,” a bill aimed at increasing safe truck parking facilities across the country.

FMCSA Delays Intermodal Equipment Rules

FMCSA announced that it would delay the new rules governing Intermodal Equipment. The new implementation date is June 30, 2012.


Are Safety Rating Appeals Extensions History?

After a deadly accident involving a carrier appealing an unsatisfactory safety rating, DOT head Ray LaHood calls for an end to appeals extensions for unsafe bus companies.

FMCSA Punts on Medical Certificate Filing Rule

FMCSA issues a proposed rule effectively delaying an overhaul to the medical certificate filing regulations that has been on the books since 2008. Drivers and motor carriers will be required to keep paper copies of the medical certificate until at least 2014.


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

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration 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. 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.

DOT Proves Its Point

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

FMCSA Releases Draft Strategic Plan

FMCSA released a draft of its latest strategic plan in July, giving the industry a glimpse at the future of safety regulations. Expect increased CMV safety regulations in 2012.


CAFE Standards Applied to Trucks for First Time

Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards have been applied to heavy-duty vehicles for the first time. Starting in 2014 new trucks will have to be much more fuel efficient.

FMCSA Swings the Ax to Old Regulations

The Obama Administration is waging war against regulations deemed harmful to small businesses; every agency is taking the axe to out dated or harmful regulations and FMCSA was no exception.


NLRB Rulemaking Causes Stir Trucking Industry

The new rules require that employers post information about the right to unionize along side other mandatory postings (such as disability and minimum wage laws).

NTSB Recommends Banning All Cell Phones in Trucks

The National Transportation Safety Board, an independent government body, made its recommendations to FMCSA and to the states earlier this week.


The Rise of the Tolls

With budgets over burdened, taxes at record lows and a nationwide infrastructure crisis only just getting started, States and Municipalities are looking to tolls to raise revenues.

Full Steam Ahead on Cross Border Program

Despite strenuous objections from the industry and from Congress, FMCSA is pushing on with the Cross Border Trucking Project with Mexico.


Motor Carriers Improving Safety

FMCSA has released figures that show that the number of fatal crashes decreased by almost a third between 2007 and 2009.

DOT Marks 20 Years of Drug Testing

The DOT marked twenty years since it was mandated by Congress to begin drug and alcohol testing of transportation workers.


FMCSA and PHMSA Ban Handheld Cellphones

In a widely predicted move, FMCSA and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a joint Final Rule on Wednesday, November 23 banning the use of a handheld cellphone while operating a CMV.

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • • Vol. 111, No. 716 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011

Online Training Update - Powered by MaxKnowledge

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