If we really want to improve safety for truckers and the motoring public, we need to focus on the base reasons for unsafe behavior. We believe better training is key — teaching drivers good work habits. That will reduce the frequency of truck crashes. . .
Take a look at one company’s option for an Electronic Logging Device app to satisfy requirements for electronic logging of truckers’ hours of service.
Makani notes the KeepTruckin ELD remains a $20/monthly subscription product, with an ELD Plus option at $30 that includes mostly automated IFTA collection and reporting. Other features, Makani notes, are coming to that package, from vehicle diagnostics to driver performance monitoring and other features.
KeepTruckin’s self-certification on FMCSA’s device registry means it joins three others also detailed in Overdrive‘s quick-glance comparison chart for a variety of ELD vendors old and new.
We are excited to see that the FMCSA has released the final rule for Electronic Logging Devices designed to keep better track of truckers’ driving hours and to reduce truck driver fatigue.
After our truck crash on May 4, 2013, for which we never saw the truck driver’s paper log books, we are very happy about this. We never found out for sure why the truck driver who hit us was unable to slow down with the rest of the traffic–which was stopped for another crash two miles ahead of us. But we suspect that fatigue –drowsy driving — may well have played a part.
We are thankful that FMCSA has taken this important step to protect travelers on the road. We hope that it will also be followed by the best possible Hours of Service rules and better wage compensation for truck drivers who work hard to deliver the goods.
Thank you to everyone who signed the AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up For Truck Safety Petition which we delivered to DOT on May 5, 2014. One of the three requests in that petition was for Electronic Logging Devices to be implemented.
A reporter from Rocky Mount has been following our story since we got back to North Carolina in May 2013 after the crash. She published an article in today’s Rocky Mount Telegram following the recent Advance Notice of Public Rulemaking for rear underride protection on Single Unit Trucks–encouraging readers to write a Public Comment and make a difference.
Yet, there is still opposition to this method of keeping track of the hours that drivers are behind the wheel (paper log books are a joke, not considered reliable, & never shown to us after our crash).
From that report on the THUD Bills: “The House version also chose not to expedite mandates for electronic logging devices or speed limiters, which – like the insurance issue – are items opposed by OOIDA and small-business truckers but supported by large carriers and the American Trucking Associations.” – See more at: http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryId=29323#.VZUr1_lViko
You’ve got to be kidding!
In our petition, we also asked for increases in minimum liability insurance for truckers–currently at $750,000 for over 35 years.
This, too, is being opposed. Read what that article said, “The House of Representatives has already passed its version of HR2577 for Transportation, Housing and Urban Development (THUD). That occurred on June 9. OOIDA and small-business truckers won a victory in that version because it contained language to prohibit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from pursuing an increase to insurance requirements for motor carriers.” – See more at: http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryId=29323#.VZUr1_lViko
At least there is some hope for moving the insurance issue forward, “Specific to the insurance issue, the Senate version says FMCSA may continue pursuing an increase to insurance requirements, but only if the Department of Transportation secretary reports to the Appropriations Committee about the effects of raising the financial responsibility. The report would have to include an assessment of crashes that exceed the damage limits and assess the effects of higher insurance premiums on large and small motor carriers.”While hardly a glowing endorsement for increasing insurance requirements, the Senate version of HR2577 does not prohibit an increase as the House version does.” – See more at: http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryId=29323#.VZUr1_lViko
“I applaud Sen. Fischer for her work on this bill. I have been saying for years, and hopefully it can be added to this or another bill soon, that what we need is a panel of veteran truck drivers, not company executives or industry stakeholders, but the actual guy who has his butt in the seat everyday, to oversee and review all existing FMCSA Regs, and also to be a part of all new regulation writing, so we can finally get rules and regs that are actually about safety and not money.”
Something’s wrong with this picture! When will it end?
Let’s make sure that it is not just about $.
And let’s not just point our finger at someone else to take the blame. Let’s figure out what we can do to end this senseless, tragic heartache happening on our roads. Let’s work together.
My parents grew up in a relatively small town. After they married, they moved to a bigger city. But my dad’s brother married my mom’s sister, and then my aunt and uncle took over a dairy farm which was in the family. For years, my family drove an hour north on many Sundays of the year to have a big family meal with two sets of grandparents, aunts, uncles, and lots of cousins.
I often spent vacations there, including a few weeks in the summer when I helped with the haying, feeding the chickens, gathering eggs, playing in the hayloft, cutting the big country lawn, chasing the cows out of the cornfield, repairing the fences, and picking strawberries from the patch.
Now it is no more. For one thing, the government bought them out to put an expressway through the old farm. They moved into a new house which they built nearby next to the family sugarbush. These days, it seems odd to shop at a major grocery store where I used to pick apples, explore old family outbuildings, bale hay, and hide in the tall, waving grass.
Two of their sons–my double cousins–bought some property a few miles away and managed a dairy farm of their own. They took out some loans to build a new barn and get new milking equipment. It got to a point where it was no longer affordable to run the small family dairy farm and make a living wage.* They sold the cows. And now they have sold the farm. An era is over.
I thought about all of this, on a recent trip “back home”, as I reflected on the plight of small trucking companies and independent owner-operator truck drivers. Are the costs of owning a company and the pressure to drive many miles creating a situation where they won’t be able to stay in business?
Frequently, I hear that changes of one kind or another in the trucking industry–in order to improve safety (i.e., reduce crashes, injuries and deaths)–will result in increased costs for the trucking companies. I hear that it will put them out of business.
Is this true? According to whom and based on what information? If it is true, then does something need to change in the trucking industry itself in order to allow for the beneficial work, which trucking provides, to continue but to also allow for truckers to make a decent living wage–without jeopardizing their health and the safety of travelers on the roads?
Will this someday be an era that is over, or can we fix the problems for the benefit of all? Who pays for Safety? And can we figure out how to fairly and logically spread the increased costs around? The alternative seems to be unacceptable: Forget safety and let the cost be spilled blood.
(* I might not have gotten all of the details of the family farm history exactly correct, but I hope you can see the picture that I am trying to paint.)
OOIDA contends that an increase in insurance would be a death nail for the small businesses that comprise over 90 percent of the trucking industry.
In response to OOIDA’s comment about “fewer than one percent,” our son Peter made this observation prior to our meeting with FMCSA on May 5, 2014,
The 1% issue is at best a red herring. Refusing to raise a limit because such a small percentage reach the limit only indicates that the increase in cost should be minimal. It can’t be both ways, either this increase should raise the cost of doing business or the effect should be minimal.
This isn’t life insurance where all the money is always paid out. Nor is this homeowner’s insurance in which you have a set amount of house that can be destroyed. This is liability insurance in which the amount paid out is based on the amount of damage being done. If such a small percentage of claims reaches the limit, then greedy lawyers, increased costs, and mythical “windfall” payments are all proven absurd or irrelevant.
We are a 23 truck fleet and carry 25 million in liability insurance. We carry that much to protect not only us but our customers. The argument that only 1 % of the claims exceed the current threshold for insurance makes no sense. You carry insurance to cover you no matter what happens. 1 % exposure is too much. The fact that it seldom happens makes the coverage cheap. The actuaries price according to probability. I don’t believe that this coverage will be cost prohibitive unless the carrier has a dismal safety rating in which case they shouldn’t be in business. When carriers don’t carry enough coverage the expose responsible carriers, shippers and the general public. We need responsible carriers, pricing their services correctly to cover all costs and excepting responsibility for the liability created by their business. Skirting this liability and charging for services is deceptive to shippers and puts the public or state at financial risk in the form of a claim that is part of a service they get no remuneration for. When you provide a service, charge fees and profit you must also be responsible financially which means carrying adequate insurance.
“. . . many of the truck drivers/companies which I see making comments complain about how the premiums will skyrocket. But on what are they basing that opinion?
John Lannen, executive director of the Truck Safety Coalition, has shared background information with us which he has gathered from numerous sources, presentations, and conversations regarding the economics of additional insurance coverage for motor carriers. It turns out that the first million dollars’ worth of trucking insurance is the most expensive and each incremental amount is cheaper. . . . ” (For more details, go here: http://annaleahmary.com/2015/06/trucking-minimum-liability-insurance-trucker-wages-a-facebook-conversation/ )
The Cartwright Amendment, which would allow FMCSA to continue the process of updating trucking minimum liability insurance–to protect both trucking company and crash victims–was defeated in the House today:
We appreciate all of the people who signed the AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up For Truck Safety Petition. Together with over 11,000 people, we helped to send a strong message to the Department of Transportation: Changes are needed in truck safety issues in order to stop the senseless, preventable deaths which occur year after year on the roads of our country.
Please act now to be a part of our team to continue our push for change. The most important thing which you can do is to stay connected with us bysigning up to be on our Mailing List (get our newsletter and other important updates). As we continue to make inroads in truck safety issues, your participation is vital. We would like to be able to let you know when there is a way for you to help make a difference. You can multiply our safety advocacy efforts.
Newscast from our trip to DC to deliver the petitions to DOT:
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For those of you who have lost a loved one yourself in a truck crash, please consider sharing a photo and story with us on our Truck Crash Victim Photo Memorial Page. Not only will this allow us to help you preserve your loved one’s memory, but it will also serve as a reminder of the countless lives which have been touched by preventable truck crashes. Send your information to us here: firstname.lastname@example.org .
On behalf of the family of AnnaLeah & Mary Lydia Karth, whose loss we feel so deeply, Jerry and Marianne Karth
The Trucking Alliance, in October 2014, made a statement about truck drivers’ hours of service rules which included the following:
“The stark reality is that until there’s a way to verify industry compliance it doesn’t matter what the federal government’s hours of service rules are for truck drivers, because truck drivers can simply ignore these federal rules. *
They can choose to drive as many hours as they want to drive, and they do every day, because truck drivers are only required to fill out a paper logbook, writing down their driving time, and paper logbooks are easily falsified.
Enforcement of these federal hours of service rules relies on state commercial vehicle safety agencies to conduct roadside reviews and audits. While these agencies perform well, they are largely underfunded and undermanned to assure the public that truck drivers are obeying the law.
So nobody really knows who is and who is not following these federal hours of service rules because paper logbooks easily allow truck drivers to exceed their maximum number of hours behind the wheel.
That’s why the Alliance prefers a deliberate process in which a 2012 congressional mandate is accelerated to require electronic logging devices in all commercial trucks.Congress actually passed this legislation in its last transportation reauthorization bill, called MAP-21, but the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is almost two years behind schedule in implementing this critically important law, a measure that will truly improve highway safety. Every effort should be made to urge the Department of Transportation to accelerate the timeframe for implementing the electronic logging device law, sooner than later.
These electronic logging devices will record driving data that won’t lie. Technology will assure compliance with current rules and also provide objective data to determine how many hours of driving time for truck drivers should be allowed.
Additionally, the Alliance believes that other safety measures can do as much to reduce the number of accidents involving commercial truck drivers and motorists as these hours of service rules. For example, we support another congressional mandate passed in 2012 – to create a national drug and alcohol clearinghouse, which will help identify people who have previously tested positive on a drug and alcohol exam to become a truck driver, as well as related legislation now pending before Congress that will recognize even more effective methods to identify lifestyle drug abusers and keep them out of trucks.
The Alliance also supports speed governors on commercial trucks, an increase in the minimum insurance level for trucking companies and incentives to adopt other commercial safety technologies to reduce accidents on our nation’s highways. These measures will help ensure fewer accidents and safer highways for all Americans.”
If you took the time to read about our crash in the Bloomberg News article published today, please don’t stop there. I want you to understand the entire scope of our concern about truck safety; and it is NOT all about being upset with the truck drivers.
Please read the post I wrote back in July, called “Our Crash Was Not An Accident.” It summarizes what I am trying to say and why, if we really want changes made in truck safety, we cannot just read and talk and complain about it.