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Truck-mounted LED billboards coming under fire 7/17/2019 Trucker 'drones on' with unique approach to teaching driving skills 7/15/2019 Friday Short Haul - Rhode Island tolls, human smuggling, contractor vs employee status 7/12/2019 ELD mandate deadline looming, many still not compliant 7/10/2019 New "boot" device being deployed to threaten Walmart overnighters 7/8/2019 Friday Short Haul - Prime Inc vs Amazon, mother fights HOS changes, truck drivers appreciation week 7/5/2019 Proper way to fly the American flag on your truck this Fourth of July 7/3/2019 Roundabouts are becoming popular; but are they best for trucks? 7/1/2019 Friday Short Haul - Skills test proposal, driver shortage, hemp sentencing, driverless trucks 6/28/2019 Experts warn of active wildland fire season 6/26/2019 More states signing on to enlist truckers against human trafficking 6/24/2019 Friday Short Haul - Shippers of Choice, insurance rates, wheel spikes, WIT award 6/21/2019 Freight numbers not holding up to 2018's highs 6/19/2019 Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers 6/17/2019 Friday Short Haul - Self-driving certificate, truck platooning, trade war stacking up cargo 6/14/2019 HOS waiver coming soon for fireworks haulers 6/12/2019 FMCSA takes a further look at detention time 6/10/2019 Friday Short Haul - Autonomous delivery, HOS rules changes, CDL retest 6/7/2019 Roadcheck 2019 in effect this week 6/5/2019 Hemp arrest prompts USDA memo 6/3/2019 Friday Short Haul - Waymo big rigs, Move over sting, Under-21 comments 5/31/2019 Severe weather prompts renewed emergency declaration 5/29/2019 Memorial Day holiday is prime time for cargo thefts 5/25/2019 Friday Short Haul - Hauling hemp, road rage fatality, new rules for autonomous vehicles 5/24/2019 Autonomous trucks on USPS test run 5/22/2019 Future era of cab-less trucks will be the end of HOS rules 5/20/2019 Friday Short Haul - FMCSA under-21 comments, Tesla autonomous car crash, 24,000 drivers sign contract with YRC 5/17/2019 Under-21 interstate drivers getting serious look by FMCSA 5/15/2019 Trucker Buddy program matches drivers with a classroom; everyone wins 5/13/2019 Friday Short Haul - Driver awarded $80 million, ODFL driver wins, loading dock black hole 5/10/2019 Storm breaks out from Rockies, slams into Midwest, South 5/8/2019 Capacity issues have shippers looking at private fleets 5/6/2019 Friday Short Haul - HOS rules, dark skies, Falcon drivers 5/3/2019 'Bug' permits now required for four eastern states 5/1/2019 Simulator use is catching on for schools, carriers 4/29/2019 Friday Short Haul - Thinking electric, Penske opens charging station, border crossing crisis, railroads taking trucking business 4/26/2019 ELDs might not be the panacea that was hoped for 4/24/2019 Truck drivers may soon see "phantoms" driving yard trucks 4/22/2019 Friday Short Haul - Nikola big rigs, WIT welcomes Peterbilt, Oregon crashes, Border crossings 4/19/2019 Carriers claim financial benefit of putting up drivers in hotels 4/17/2019 Uber's IPO application reveals interesting data about its freight brokerage business 4/15/2019 Friday Short Haul - CDL examiner arrested, tolls proposed for trucks, marijuana use on the rise 4/12/2019 Smart Load Board will get carriers the loads they need 4/10/2019 Huge lines and long wait times greet carriers at Mexico border 4/8/2019 Friday Short Haul - Marijuana, ATA campaign, personal conveyance rules 4/5/2019 Over-the-air downloads revolutionize parameter updates 4/3/2019 Don't get scammed by skimmers 4/1/2019 Friday Short Haul -- New Cascadias honored, motorist survey, U.S, Xpress awarded, rest stop parking 3/29/2019 Legislators address underride collisions, propose more underguards for trucks, trailers 3/27/2019 Motorists soon may encounter a different kind of truck convoy 3/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Women in Trucking, irate motorist, FMCSA eases HOS, Safe-Cap 3/22/2019 Recent survey shows cost of roadside repairs is rising 3/20/2019 FMCSA announces drug and alcohol clearinghouse website 3/18/2019 Friday Short Haul - Swift settlement, driver shortage myth, TCA Best Fleet award 3/15/2019 The hidden danger of looking but not seeing 3/13/2019 Accident scammers target trucks for financial payout 3/11/2019 3/9/2019 3/9/2019 Friday Short Haul - Snow on the roof, bypassing toll road, Waze under fire 3/8/2019 Retailers blame driver shortage for price increases 3/6/2019 Drivers' smartphones may be clue to road roughness 3/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Freight rates, HOS changes, tonnage reports 3/1/2019 New tax changes hit drivers hard 2/27/2019 FMCSA to implement under-21 interstate driver program for former military 2/25/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Connecticut tolls proposed, hydrogen fuel-cell trucks, cell phone use 2/22/2019 Congress committee looks at state of America's highways 2/20/2019 Number of cargo thefts is down; but dollar value about the same 2/18/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Crossing the border, CA sues FMCSA, Lobbying against larger trucks 2/15/2019 Detention - A problem still in search of a solution 2/13/2019 February Highway Angels honorees named 2/11/2019 Friday Short Haul -- C.R. England announces pay raises, eCommerce impact on trucking, TCA announces best fleets 2/8/2019 Is a guaranteed minimum pay the solution to the driver shortage? 2/6/2019 Long CDL testing wait times cost economy billions of dollars; not helping driver shortage 2/4/2019 Friday Short Haul -- Walmart hiring, Uber Freight App, Speed-limiter Law, America's Road Team 2/1/2019 Cranking -- The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly 1/30/2019 California survives challenge to its low-carbon fuel standards 1/28/2019 Friday Short Haul - Highway robbery ... autonomous trucks ... new trailers 1/25/2019 LithiumHub enters jump-starter market with Jumpbooster JP30 1/23/2019 2019 Looks Good For The Transportation Industry 1/21/2019 Raymond Burt named TMC Trainer of the Month for February 2018 3/28/2018 TMC Transportation Announces Recipient of Prestigious Wheel Master Award 3/7/2018 TMC Transportation Named The Home Depot’s Flatbed Carrier of the Year For Fourth Straight Year 2/28/2018 Pay Raises & New Peterbilts for PAM Drivers 2/26/2018 New DOT Drug Testing Rules Effective Jan 1, 2018 1/11/2018 Amtrak Derailment: Trucks Haul 270,000 Pound Locomotive Engine During Cleanup 12/21/2017 Pepsi Places Largest Order Yet For Tesla Electric Trucks 12/12/2017 Kavin Hallett named Trainer of the Month for October 2017 12/8/2017 Over 100,000 Truck Drivers Likely Have Undiagnosed Sleep Apnea And More Testing Is On The Way 8/10/2017 Drivers Share Their Best Tips, Tricks, And Secrets For Life On The Road 7/18/2017 Drivers Are Losing Money By Taking The Wrong Approach 7/13/2017 Truckers and Guns: What Is and Is Not Legal 7/6/2017 Preparing To Go Solo For The First Time? Experienced Drivers Share Their Best Advice 6/29/2017 The Truck Stop Survival Guide: Advice From Experienced Drivers 6/15/2017 The Worst Cities For Traffic In The U.S. For 2017 6/8/2017 We Ask Drivers How They Would Make The Logbook Rules Better 5/30/2017 Self Driving Trucks Are Not Coming Anytime Soon 5/25/2017 11/30/-0001

Truck safety group urges purges of drug abuse drivers

Dave Wickenhauser on Mon, June 17, 2019

Last Updated: Sun, June 16, 2019

In a move that might at first glance appear to be counter-intuitive in light of the driver shortage, a trucking group is calling for the purging of at least 300,000 drivers -- but their main concern is public safety, as this is the number of drivers they estimate are un-caught illicit drug abusers.

In a statement by the Alliance for Driver Safety and Security to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure recently the group also took strong stands on the ELD mandate, calling for no exemptions; on the under-21 driver proposals, supporting the current age restriction; on a maximum speed of 65 for all large trucks; and that collision mitigation systems should be installed on all new commercial trucks.

Commonly known by its shorter name, the Trucking Alliance is a group by invitation only, and lists board members including representatives from J.B. Hunt, Cargo Transporters, KLLM Transport Services, Knight Transportation, Maverick Transportation, Swift, U.S. Xpress and May Trucking Company.

This recent statement submitted to the "Under Pressure: The State of Trucking in America" Congressional hearing reflects the Alliance's concern for not only reducing large truck crashes on America's highways, but also to eliminate all large truck crash fatalities.

The Trucking Alliance reports that its statement is supported by the companies making up its board of directors and advisory group.

In its statement, the Alliance noted that in 2017 there were more than 415,000 large truck accidents of America's highways, resulting in 4,761 fatalities, including more than 600 truck drivers. Collateral injuries numbered about 148,000.

“The trucking industry is indispensable to the US economy,” Alliance President Steve Williams recently said. “But the industry has too many accidents. More truck drivers lost their lives in 2017, than in any year in the previous 10 years. We must aggressively address these tragic figures.”

Williams is chairman and CEO of Maverick USA, and is a co-founder of the Trucking Alliance. He is also a former chairman of the American Trucking Associations.

Williams believes a first step is to reverse the industry priorities. “Support progressive safety reforms that make sense for our country and citizens first, our industry second, and our companies third.”

He says, however, that several trucking-specific bills are proposing the opposite – putting companies first, the trucking industry second, and the safety of the public third.

Recommendations

Toward the goal of reversing this trend, the Trucking Alliance recommends:

• Removing truck drivers who are illicit drug users

The group is alarmed that urinalysis, the only method recognized by USDOT, and used by virtually all trucking companies, actually fails to identify drug abusers to a large degree.

A recent survey of 151,662 truck driver applicants who already possessed CDLs discovered only 1 percent of drug abusers following the urine analysis, but that number jumped to 8.6 percent for drivers who either failed or refused the hair-analysis test. In other words, the urine-only test failed to expose 9 out of 10 illicit drug users.

The Alliance is alarmed that drivers who failed the hair test likely went on to employment at carriers that only perform the urine test.

Applying the results of the survey to the estimated 3.5 million truck driver population, the Alliance estimates that there are more than 300,000 truck drivers plying America's highways who would fail or refuse the hair analysis, and who should be taken out from behind the wheel.

The group urges DOT to complete hair-analysis guidelines, and to allow employers to submit hair-analysis results into the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse so that drivers who fail the test with one carrier can't jump to another that doesn't require the hair test.

• No exemptions for installing electronic logging devices

The Alliance says that carriers employing thousands of truck drivers combined ask for exemptions to the ELD mandate; which was passed by Congress in 2012 with the goal of reducing driver fatigue, a major factor in large truck crashes.

The group believes that absent ELDs drivers operate "off the grid" thereby defeating the purpose of the mandate by not giving a reliable way to verify they are in compliance with hours of service regulations.

They are opposed to one particular bill, H.R. 1697; which would allow for any motor carrier with 10 or fewer trucks to be exempt from the ELD mandate, and they call for the House to reject the bill.

• No change to the 21-years-old minimum age to drive interstate

Federal regulations require a person to be at least 21 years of age before operating a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce. The Trucking Alliance supports this age restriction.

The Alliance opposes H.R. Bill 1374 allowing under-21 drivers to operate Class 8 tractor trailers unsupervised in interstate commerce.

Proponents say that most states already allow under-21 drivers to drive commercially within the state, but the Alliance suggests that those teenage drivers are actually operating lighter vehicles such as delivery vans and straight or panel trucks; which require very different skills than are required to drive big rigs weighing up to 80,000 pounds.

Current restrictive state provisions allow teenagers an apprenticeship to the industry. H.R.1374 could compromise public safety and should be rejected, the Alliance concludes.

• A maximum speed of 65 mph for all large trucks

The Trucking Alliance supports a new federal safety standard that would require all large commercial trucks to maintain a maximum speed limit of 65 mph on the nation’s highways.

Citing the World Health Organization's "Report on Road Safety," the Alliance notes that for every one percent increase in mean speed there is a four percent increase in crash risk resulting in fatalities, and a three percent increase in serious crashes.

According to the Alliance, the National Transportation Safety Board estimates that a speed limitation of 65 mph could save as many as 214 lives, and prevent about 4,500 injuries per year from truck crashes.

The Alliance recommends that Congress enact legislation directing the DOT to issue a final rule requiring truck speed limiting devices, and enforcing the use of the devices.

• Requiring collision mitigation systems on new commercial trucks

In 2017 the AAA Foundation for Traffic Study released a report called "Leveraging Large Truck Technology and Engineering to Realize Safety Gains." The study determined that four truck safety technologies, if deployed by carriers, would greatly reduce injuries and fatalities in large truck crashes.

Those four systems are:

  • Lane Departure Warning Systems, which detect when the vehicle drifts out of its lane and warns the driver
  • Video-based Onboard Safety Monitoring, which utilizes in-vehicle video cameras and sensors
  • Automatic Emergency Braking Systems, which detect when the truck is in danger of striking the vehicle in front of it and brakes automatically, if needed
  • Air Disc Brakes, which will eventually be superior to traditional drum brakes, as these systems are continually improved.

In addition to the above technologies, the Alliance supports inclusion of a number of other safety systems like forward collision warning systems, adaptive cruise controls, roll stability control, vehicle-to-vehicle communications and blind-spot warning systems, among others.

In the meantime, the Trucking Alliance urges Congress to require NHTSA to set a minimum performance standard and issue a final rule requiring that commercial motor vehicles are equipped with automatic emergency braking systems, as standard equipment.

Source: Trucking Alliance

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Background Checks DOT Drug and Alcohol Testing Hair Follicle Drug Testing JB Hunt KLLM Transport Knight Transport Maverick Transport May Trucking Pre-Employment Screening Program Swift Transport Truckers Technology Trucking Accidents US Xpress Transport

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