Monthly Archives: May 2014

Certified Medical Examinations: Reminder from DOT to Commercial Drivers


May 21, 2014 was the effective date of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. This is a measure to ensure that DOT physicals are conducted by certified medical practitioners and, bottom-line, commercial motor vehicle drivers meet our health requirements. See the article below to learn more about this important step:

More Opposition to DOT Safety Measures? You Have Got To Be Kidding!


When will resistance to safety measures come to an end? Guess what…more delays are sure to mean more deaths.

How is it that anything can take priority over human life?

Maybe part of the problem is that “safety” is a word which can be argued back and forth. “This is being proposed to improve ‘safety’.” “That is not really helping ‘safety.'”

We aren’t talking about simply safety. We are talking about life and death, and horrific injuries.

Yet, the American Trucking Associations–I found out just today (May 21, 2014)–have thrown yet another monkey wrench in DOT attempts to decrease driver fatigue. What is likely to be the result? More confusion and delays and ultimately more untimely deaths due to crashes which come about as a result of driver fatigue…


Two Years to Comply: Electronic Logging Devices

Once the final rule for Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) is published–possibly by the Summer of 2015 according to DOT on May 5—then the trucking companies will have two years to comply (i.e., Summer of 2017).

What I want to find out is: Why are they allowed two years? What takes so long to get ELDs installed?

That’s what I am going to investigate.

It looks like part of the situation is the need for a management system which will monitor the ELDs:

“Other provisions state that every motor carrier will have to set up and use an hours-of-service management system to detect and prevent violations. This has always been a best practice. Now it would become a requirement when the rule is finalized. This management system will likely include the use of supporting documents that carriers generate or receive in the normal course of business. The rule will specify the exact criteria these documents will have to meet.”

But why two years?

Here are details on the rule-making process:

”So, to break down the EOBR / ELD mandate process so far:

The road to the ELD mandate began when Congress passed MAP-21 in June 2012.

The president signed MAP-21 shortly thereafter, requiring the FMCSA to write a rule requiring use of electronic logging devices, or EOBRs, for all drivers that keep a Record Of Duty Status—about 3.1 million trucks and 3.4 million drivers today.

The FMCSA developed a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (SNPRM) that was sent to the Office of the Secretary, who approved it and sent it back to the FMCSA in July 2013.

From there, the rule moved over to OMB, where it cleared today, March 12, 2014.

The FMCSA will keep the rule for the next two weeks, eventually publishing the SNPRM for public comment.

A comment period will then take place, published as 60 days, giving anyone a chance to add their feedback.

The FMCSA will take those public comments and revise the rule, a process that can take between six and nine months.

According to these time frames, we can estimate a final rule to be published in the first calendar quarter of 2015.

Based on MAP-21 requirements, fleets will have two years to comply with these rules—meaning you will be required to implement an EOBR for an Electronic Logging Device by January 2017 at the latest.”

Taken from:




Product Liability

underride guards trip to RDU 005IMG_4465

According to Wikipedia: “Product liability is the area of law in which manufacturers, distributors, suppliers, retailers, and others who make products available to the public are held responsible for the injuries those products cause.”

According to our lawyer, product liability regarding underride guards on the back of semi-trailers would involve one of the following:

  • design according to federal standards
  • proper installation
  • maintenance

Should a company also be held liable for the safety of their products if there are higher known standards than what federal law requires of them?

Paper Log Books

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On the way home from DC, we stopped at a truck stop for gas. On the way through the convenience store, I walked down an aisle which displayed Driver’s Daily Log booklets. Never saw one before. I just had to buy it for $2.99—good for keeping track of a month’s worth of driving days and nights and however many hours of service a driver logged.

 Never found one for the driver in our case. But apparently nobody takes these too seriously. Unreliable. The reason for the change to Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). I hope that they can make ELDs work better than the paper log books and not just for after-the-fact evidence but for PREVENTION–for changing driving behavior to save lives.

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Petition Update

Petition Photo Bags at DOT, best

The AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up for Truck Safety Petition is recorded in the Public Comments for the Electronic Logging Devices Rule in the Federal Register:!documentDetail;D=FMCSA-2010-0167-1177 (You can easily view the names & comments by opening the Multiple Commenters XLS Spreadsheet–Sheet 1–at the bottom of that page.)

We are thankful for Care2 for providing a means for us to publicize our petition for truck safety to a large audience. We are thankful for the many people who responded to our request.

A Note From the Truck Safety Coalition: “To continue to receive updates on the Karth family’s advocacy, including opportunities to advance underride guard protection, minimum insurance requirements and ELDs, as the Karth family did in their petition, please go to and fill out the contact information at the bottom of the page. The Truck Safety Coalition appreciates your interest and hopes that you will continue to support actions to improve truck safety issues and help protect our families.”

Thank you for signing our petition for truck safety in memory of AnnaLeah and Mary Karth. Eight members of our family traveled to Washington, DC, to deliver over 11,000 petitions one year after the crash that killed AnnaLeah and Mary Karth.

We were able to deliver all of the petitions to the top two administrative officials, Anne Ferro (FMCSA) and David Friedman (NHTSA), in the Department of Transportation in Washington, DC, on May 5, 2014—one year after our crash. We then had an hour-long meeting with DOT.

Basically, we were really well received. The 11,000 petitions will be put on the Public Comment record for each of the 3 issues. And it appears that the DOT is making positive movements toward truck safety, but many of these changes will still take years to accomplish.

From the DOT meeting notes:  “After speaking with reporters, we proceeded with the bags of petitions into DOT for our meeting. Ferro had the Karths officially present the petition, she accepted it on behalf of DOT, and then the meeting began. The meeting addressed the three petition issues:  minimum insurance, underride guards and Electronic Logging Devices.

Attending from DOT:   Anne Ferro, Administrator, FMCSA; David Friedman, Acting Administrator, NHTSA; Bill Bronrott, Deputy Administrator, FMCSA; Jack Van Steenburg, Chief Safety Officer & Assistant Administrator, FMCSA; Kevin Vincent, Chief Counsel, NHTSA; Lori Summers, Director, Office of Crashworthiness Standards, NHTSA”

Here are links to media and photos:

Here is a link to make public comment on Electronic Logging Devices:

Please be sure to periodically check our website,, for future updates and ways that you can help us keep pushing for safer roads for us all.

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