Trucker Helps Boy Who Wandered onto Highway 395

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By Paula Horton, Tri-City Herald, Paula Horton: 582-1556, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

ELTOPIA — A 4-year-old boy who wandered away from his aunt's house near Eltopia, crawled under a barbed wire fence and crossed four lanes of Highway 395 is home safe with his family thanks to a trucker who looked a little like Santa Claus.

The boy got about a mile away while his aunt was taking a shower, but other than some scrapes on his hands and cuts on his pants, he was found and kept safe by a passing truck driver, said Washington State Patrol Trooper Robert Lamay.

"God was watching over this little guy," Lamay said. "It could have been pretty bad."

It was about 2 p.m. Tuesday when the boy, wearing jeans and a red shirt, was found walking on the highway. There was heavy truck and other vehicle traffic and low spots in the median, so some drivers didn't even see him, Lamay said.

Fortunately, Dan Barton of Portland, who drives for KKW Trucking in Pomona, Calif., spotted him. Barton had picked up a load of paper Tuesday morning in Usk, about 50 miles north of Spokane, and was heading to Marysville, Calif.

He was going south on Highway 395 about a mile south of the Eltopia exit when traffic suddenly stopped and Barton couldn't figure out why.

"I looked to my left and saw this little boy running in the median away from traffic," Barton told the Herald. "I opened my door and kind of waved him over to me. I didn't expect it, I thought he'd just run past me, but he stopped. I picked him up and put him in the truck to just get him out of the danger -- out of the traffic."

Then everybody drove off and Barton was left on the side of the road with a little kid.

"It was a very strange experience," he said.

The boy, who spoke only Spanish, told Barton he was 4 -- almost 5 -- but when Barton asked where his mother was, Barton couldn't understand the answer... Continue reading.

Truck Driver Turnover Rate Rises for Fourth Straight Quarter

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Transport Topics

The turnover rate for truckload drivers at large fleets rose to 89% in the third quarter, from 79% in the second quarter, the fourth straight increase, American Trucking Associations reported.

The benchmark turnover rate is now at its highest level since the first quarter of 2008, ATA said.

The large fleet truckload turnover rate is an indication of increased demand and competition for drivers.

“Due to the economic recovery, as well as regulatory factors like [the federal Compliance, Safety, Accountability program], we are seeing the market for good, quality drivers tighten,” said ATA Chief Economist Bob Costello... Continue reading.


Truck Fatalities Rose in 2010

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Transport Topics

Fatalities in U.S. highway accidents involving large trucks increased 8.7% in 2010, the first increase in four years, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said last week.

A total of 3,675 people died in truck-related accidents in 2010, an increase of 295 from the 2009 total of 3,380, NHTSA said in its annual report.

In addition, the number of people injured in truck-related accidents rose to 19,000 in 2010, from 17,000 in 2009, a 12% increase.

At the same time, truck occupant fatalities increased by 6%, to 529 in 2010 from 499 in 2009.

“We’re still trying to figure out clearly what [caused] this uptick,” NHTSA Administrator Davie Strickland said at a Dec. 8 press conference where the report was unveiled.

American Trucking Associations said that in the 10-year period from 1999 to 2009, the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes dropped by 35%, while injury crashes dropped by 48%... Continue reading.


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.]