Posts Tagged ‘DOT

18
Jan
12

Change? Hours of Service Rule

Since the FMCSA new Hours of Service regulation changes do no go into effect until June 2013 does that mean they are serious about change? It seems to me that 18 months is a long period for the changes that they claim will improve driver safety. If it truely is the right change to make why delay it 18 months from the rule’s published date?

The guts of the changes include a mandatory 30 minute break in an 8 hour period, before continuing to drive and a change in the 34 hour restart. In order to qualify for the restart you have to have 2 periods that include 1am to 5am in the 34 hour period.

The restart qualifier baffles me. Now drivers will be forced to start after traffic begins to build so they are out there with more opportunities to mix it up in heavily congested traffic.

What’s your take?

For the complete rule go here.

Down the Road – Mike

28
Apr
11

Mexican Border Concerns Getting Worse

This past week, we’ve read about the latest mass grave uncovered along the border. In this week’s Houston Chronicle story, as many as 122 of the 177 bodies found in the most recent mass grave discovery were believed to be passengers dragged off of buses at drug cartel roadblocks.

  Go to fullsize image

Also in the last week, five beauty parlor workers were brutally murdered in Acapulco.

Sadly, every time we read about the U.S.-Mexico border, the news is getting worse.

News stories that once popped up once every few weeks are occurring daily. The news is getting worse, and more gruesome.

In the last week, the U.S. State Department has released yet another travel warning to U.S. citizens heading to or traveling throughout any part of Mexico. In short, the warning says to stay in tourist areas during daylight hours.

Yes, the same administration that wants U.S. trucks heading south of the border is asking its citizens to stay visible and travel there only in broad daylight.

“According to Government of Mexico figures, 34,612 people have been killed in narcotics-related violence in Mexico since December 2006,” the State Department warning reads. “More than 15,000 narcotics-related homicides occurred in 2010, an increase of almost two-thirds compared to 2009.”

Many of those murdered have worked with criminal organizations, but a growing number of victims are innocent bystanders, and even police officers, the State Department says.

Credit: Charlie Morasch

Down the Road – Mike

18
Feb
11

Hours of Service Proposals

Arlington, Members of the trucking industry had their first opportunity to make their case for preserving the current hours-of-service rules as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration conducted a listening session in Arlington, VA.

Max 11 hour drive time
The goal of the listening session was to gather a broad range of comments, ideas and relevant data as the agency analyzes responses to its HOS regulatory proposal, the agency said. The agency, on Dec. 23, proposed to add mandatory daily rest periods, tighten its requirements for a 34-hour restart period and said it was leaning toward cutting allowable driving hours from 11 to 10.

The primary areas addressed by industry representatives were related to their concern on how the proposed changes to the 34 hour restart, mandated breaks after 7.5 hours of being on-duty, and the reduction to 10 hours driving time would impact transportation and, ultimately, the consumer.

Industry representatives presented research that substantiated the negative impact they believe the new restrictions will have on overall road safety. This research indicates that crashes are not happening during the restricted hours, but during prime traffic hours. It is their belief that by implementing the new restrictions, it will force more trucks on the road during high traffic hours.

They also pointed to other issues this will create for industry as it relates to driver availability, fuel consumption, limited parking options, and delivery windows.

If you would like to view the archived video of the listening session, it is available on the FMCSA website. All comments on the Proposed HOS Rule must be submitted to FMCSA no later than March 4, 2011.

Down the Road – Mike

28
Jan
11

DOT May Have it’s Day

Did I hear President Obama right this week?

DOT Road

“Our infrastructure used to be the best, but our lead has slipped,” Obama said, referencing the infrastructure boom in Europe and parts of Asia including China. “Meanwhile, when our own engineers graded our nation’s infrastructure, they gave us a ‘D.’ We have to do better.”

Part of President Obama’s speech was dedicated to infrastructure and he also included a nod to roadway and bridge investments as way to improve the economy.

“We’ll put more Americans to work repairing crumbling roads and bridges. We’ll make sure this is fully paid for, attract private investment, and pick projects based on what’s best for the economy, not politicians,” he said.

I am sure that Mr Lahood was standing up and gleeming with excitement over that speech.

Down the Road – Mike

24
Nov
10

CSA Go Live Date Nears

CSA

The slated launch date of December 6th, 2010 for the Comprehensive Safety Analysis (CSA) is right around the corner. As that nears the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has made some last minute adjustments to the measurement system.

The agency will modify the presentation of SMS BASIC results by:

  • Changing the highlight color from red to orange.
  • Changing the term “Deficient” to “Alert” when a motor carrier’s score in one or more BASICs is above the FMCSA threshold for intervention.
  • Improving the language to clarify that BASIC results signify the carrier is prioritized for an FMCSA intervention.

Feedback during the Data Preview indicated that the display of SMS results needs to clarify that BASIC percentiles above the FMCSA threshold signify the carrier is prioritized for an FMCSA intervention and do not signify or otherwise imply a “safety rating” or safety fitness determination.

The Cargo-Related BASIC will be modified to:

  • Recalibrate the Cargo-Related BASIC by adjusting the cargo securement violation severity weightings based on input from subject matter experts (SMEs).
  • Modify the public display to show the SMS Cargo-Related BASIC violations only. The percentiles and intervention status will not be on public display.

Hopefully the above change will level out the scores for carriers that haul the majority of there loads on floats and lowboys versus carriers that haul mainly closed vans.

To review your CSA scores go here.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! (It’s pie time)

Down the Road – Mike

28
Oct
10

Texting Ban Started October 27, 2010

Today texting while driving for CMV operators becomes part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s list of serious violations that count against a driver’s CDL. In addition, texting while driving carries a 10-point severity weight rating and is a driver responsible offense in CSA 2010.

Fines range from $2,750 for drivers to $11,000 for carriers.

Additional regulatory actions are being sought to restrict the use of cell phones while driving commercial motor vehicles.

Down the Road – Mike

07
Jul
10

Is a Warning a Violation?

The fast answer is YES. If your commercial vehicle is inspected by the Department of Transportation and the officer writes you a warning, he maybe saving you some money, but any violations (or warnings) listed on the inspection report will appear on your driving record under the new CSA2010. In this case the warning is just an un-cited violation, yet still a violation.

Do yourself a favor, perform a thorough pre-trip and post-trip inspection, and have any deficiencies repaired before you hit the road. Keep some tools, fuses and spare bulbs in your vehicle at all times so you do not give enforcement agencies an obvious reason to pull you over. Expect to be inspected.

Down the Road – Mike




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