Tag Archives: FMCSA rulemaking

DOT Regulatory Priorities for 2017

This is what I found out today about DOT’s regulatory priorities for 2017. . .

National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) priorities for 2017:

The statutory responsibilities of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) relating to motor vehicles include reducing the number, and mitigating the effects, of motor vehicle crashes and related fatalities and injuries; providing safety performance information to aid prospective purchasers of vehicles, child restraints, and tires; and improving automotive fuel efficiency. NHTSA pursues policies that encourage the development of nonregulatory approaches when feasible in meeting its statutory mandates. It issues new standards and regulations or amendments to existing standards and regulations when appropriate. It ensures that regulatory alternatives reflect a careful assessment of the problem and a comprehensive analysis of the benefits, costs, and other impacts associated with the proposed regulatory action. Finally, it considers alternatives consistent with the Administration’s regulatory principles.

NHTSA plans to issue a final rule on vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communications in Fiscal Year 2017. V2V communications are currently perceived to become a foundational aspect of vehicle automation. NHTSA will publish a final rule on heavy vehicle speed limiters in response to petitions for rulemaking and recommendations from the National Transportation Safety Board. In Fiscal Year 2017 NHTSA will also finalize rulemaking for Tire Fuel Efficiency in response to requirements of the Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007. In response to requirements in MAP-21, NHTSA plans to continue work toward a final rule that would require automobile manufacturers to install a seat belt reminder system for the front passenger and rear designated seating positions in passenger vehicles. The seat belt reminder system is intended to increase belt usage and thereby improve the crash protection of vehicle occupants who would otherwise have been unbelted.

In addition to numerous programs that focus on the safe performance of motor vehicles, the Agency is engaged in a variety of programs to improve driver and occupant behavior. These programs emphasize the human aspects of motor vehicle safety and recognize the important role of the States in this common pursuit. NHTSA has identified two high-priority areas: Safety belt use and impaired driving. To address these issue areas, the Agency is focusing especially on three strategies-conducting highly visible, well-publicized enforcement; supporting prosecutors who handle impaired driving cases and expanding the use of DWI/Drug Courts, which hold offenders accountable for receiving and completing treatment for alcohol abuse and dependency; and adopting alcohol screening and brief intervention by medical and health care professionals. Other behavioral efforts encourage child safety-seat use; combat excessive speed, driver distraction, and aggressive driving; improve motorcycle, bicycle, and pedestrian safety; and provide consumer information to the public.

Despite being included on the list of long-term actions, underride protection for rear guards on trailers and underride protection on single unit trucks are not included as priorities for 2017.

And, of course, there is absolutely no mention of underride protection on the sides of large trucks.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) priorities for 2017:

The mission of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving commercial trucks and buses. A strong regulatory program is a cornerstone of FMCSA’s compliance and enforcement efforts to advance this safety mission. FMCSA develops new and more effective safety regulations based on three core priorities: Raising the safety bar for entry, maintaining high standards, and removing high-risk behavior. In addition to Agency-directed regulations, FMCSA develops regulations mandated by Congress, through legislation such as MAP-21. FMCSA regulations establish standards for motor carriers, commercial drivers, commercial motor vehicles, and State agencies receiving certain motor carrier safety grants and issuing commercial drivers’ licenses.

FMCSA’s regulatory plan for FY 2017 includes completion of a number of rulemakings that are high priorities for the Agency because they would have a positive impact on safety. Among the rulemakings included in the plan are: (1) Carrier Safety Fitness Determination (RIN 2126-AB11), (2) Entry Level Driver Training (RIN 2126-AB66), and (3) Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (RIN 2126-AB18).

Together, these priority rules could improve substantially commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safety on our Nation’s highways by increasing FMCSA’s ability to provide safety oversight of motor carriers and commercial drivers.

In FY 2017, FMCSA plans to issue a final rule on Carrier Safety Fitness Determination (RIN 2126-AB11) to establish a new safety fitness determination standard that will enable the Agency to prohibit “unfit” carriers from operating on the Nation’s highways and contribute to the Agency’s overall goal of decreasing CMV-related fatalities and injuries.

In FY 2017, FMCSA plans to issue a final rule on Entry Level Driver Training (RIN 2126-AB66). This rule would establish training requirements for individuals before they can obtain their CDL or certain endorsements. It will define curricula for training providers and establish requirements and procedures for the schools.

Also in FY 2017, FMCSA plans to issue a final rule on the Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse (RIN 2126-AB18). The rule would establish a clearinghouse requiring employers and service agents to report information about current and prospective employees’ drug and alcohol test results. It would require employers and certain service agents to search the Clearinghouse for current and prospective employees’ positive drug and alcohol test results as a condition of permitting those employees to perform safety-sensitive functions. This would provide FMCSA and employers the necessary tools to identify drivers who are prohibited from operating a CMV based on DOT drug and alcohol program violations and ensure that such drivers receive the required evaluation and treatment before resuming safety-sensitive functions.

Despite being included on the list of long-term actions, acting on our petition to raise the minimum liability insurance for trucking companies from $750,000 (per incident) is not listed as a priority for 2017.

Is it any wonder that we have taken upon ourselves the task of  doing something about it and  drafted comprehensive underride protection  legislation and are looking to Congress to mandate that DOT carry out effective underride protection rulemaking in a timely fashion?!

We are also trying to push for action on the minimum liability insurance issue — not raised since the early 1980s.

Note: In identifying our regulatory priorities for the next year, the Department considered its mission and goals and focused on a number of factors, including the following:

  • The relative risk being addressed
  • Requirements imposed by law
  • Actions on the National Transportation Safety Board “Most Wanted List”
  • The costs and benefits of the regulations
  • The advantages of nonregulatory alternatives
  • Opportunities for deregulatory action
  • The enforceability of any rule, including the effect on agency resourcesThis regulatory plan identifies the Department’s regulatory priorities-the 19 pending rulemakings chosen, from among the dozens of significant rulemakings listed in the Department’s broader regulatory agenda, that the Department believes will merit special attention in the upcoming year. The rules included in the regulatory plan embody the Department’s focus on our strategic goals.

 

Breaking News: Road to Zero Coalition announced by DOT & National Safety Council

I am encouraged by the announcement today of a Road to Zero Coalition by DOT and the National Safety Council. See the details in the Press Release below.

I hope that they will seriously consider my Vision Zero requests for Vision Zero rulemaking, as well as citizen involvement and the appointment of a National Traffic Safety Ombudsman.

  1. Set a National Vision Zero Goal and make citizens aware of it.
  2. Establish a White House Vision Zero Task Force.
  3. Sign a Vision Zero Executive Order to authorize Vision Zero Rulemaking by DOT (and other agencies).
  4. Establish an Office of National Traffic Safety Ombudsman as an independent advocate/spokesperson for vulnerable victims of vehicle violence — not swayed by political pressures.
  5. Endorse the mobilization of citizens through a nationwide network of Vision Zero Community Action Groups — coordinated by the National Traffic Safety Ombudsman.

And, another thing. . .  it sure would be nice to sit down in person with these people and speak face to face. How many victims of vehicle violence have they involved in this coalition?

Feds set goal: No traffic deaths within 30 years

Livestreaming day-long conference:  http://www.nhtsa.gov/nhtsa/symposiums/october2016/index.html

Roads Safer

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

NHTSA contact:  Bryan Thomas (202) 366-9550
FHWA contact:   Jane Mellow (202) 366- 0660

FMCSA contact:  Ed Gilman (202) 366 – 9999

NSC contact:  Maureen Vogel (630) 775-2226

U.S. DOT, NATIONAL SAFETY COUNCIL LAUNCH ROAD TO ZERO COALITION TO END ROADWAY FATALITIES

New partnership aims to end traffic fatalities within the next 30 years

 WASHINGTON – U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Federal Highway Administration, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration are joining forces with the National Safety Council (NSC) to launch the Road to Zero coalition with the goal of ending fatalities on the nation’s roads within the next 30 years. The Department of Transportation has committed $1 million a year for the next three years to provide grants to organizations working on lifesaving programs.

“Our vision is simple – zero fatalities on our roads,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We know that setting the bar for safety to the highest possible standard requires commitment from everyone to think differently about safety– from drivers to industry, safety organizations and government at all levels.”

The year 2015 marked the largest increase in traffic deaths since 1966 and preliminary estimates for the first half of 2016 show an alarming uptick in fatalities – an increase of about 10.4 percent as compared to the number of fatalities in the first half of 2015. 

“Every single death on our roadways is a tragedy,” said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. “We can prevent them. Our drive toward zero deaths is more than just a worthy goal.  It is the only acceptable goal.”

The Road to Zero Coalition will initially focus on promoting proven lifesaving strategies, such as improving seat belt use, installing rumble strips, truck safety, behavior change campaigns and data-driven enforcement. Additionally, the coalition will then lead the development of a new scenario-based vision on how to achieve zero traffic deaths based on evidence-based strategies and a systematic approach to eliminating risks. 

“The “4Es” – Education, Engineering, Enforcement and Emergency Medical Services provide a reliable roadmap for driving down fatalities. Coupled with new technologies and innovative approaches to mobility, we may now hold the keys that get us to zero,” said Deborah A.P. Hersman, president and CEO of the National Safety Council. “The Road to Zero Coalition affirms that it will take ALL of us working together in new ways to eliminate preventable deaths.”

“Reaching zero deaths will be difficult, will take time and will require significant effort from all of us but it is the only acceptable vision,” said FHWA Deputy Administrator David Kim. “We’re not at zero yet, but by working together, the day will come when there are no fatalities on the nation’s roadways, sidewalks or bicycle paths.”

With the rapid introduction of automated vehicles and advanced technologies, the Department believes it is now increasingly likely that the vision of zero road deaths and serious injuries can be achieved in the next 30 years. The Road to Zero Coalition will work to accelerate the achievement of that vision through concurrent efforts that focus on overall system design, addressing infrastructure design, vehicle technology, enforcement and behavior safety.  An important principle of the effort will be to find ways to ensure that inevitable human mistakes do not result in fatalities.

“Working closely with our partners, both inside and outside the Department, we are committing significant resources to the serious effort being put forth to make the ambitious goal of zero deaths an eventual reality,” said FMCSA Administrator T.F. Scott Darling III. “While we work tirelessly every day to promote safer roadways, we understand that this coalition will only succeed if we all do our part and pledge to make safety our highest priority.”

The “zero deaths” idea was first adopted in Sweden in 1997 as “Vision Zero” and since then has evolved across the country and across the world. A growing number of state and cities have adopted “Zero” fatality visions.

We have the ear of NHTSA. Now is the time to let them know that The People are speaking up with us.

We have the ear of NHTSA. Now is the time to let them know that The People are speaking up with us.

letter-of-receipt-from-nhtsa-for-underride-consensus-petition

SIGN our cross-border Comprehensive Underride Petition, launched with Canadian safety advocates, to get Underride Protection all around trucks — front, sides, & rear:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/929/955/764/end-preventable-death-by-truck-underride-north-americans-join-in-cross-border-effort-to-save-lives/

And now, my head & heart appeal to you:

For Mary, for AnnaLeah, for countless others already gone and for unknown people to whom we could give the gift of a longer life. . .

FMCSA ANPRM re: Eval. of Truck Drivers for Sleep Apnea; Public Comment Period ends 7/8/16

Take advantage of the opportunity to comment on FMCSA’s rulemaking — extended through July 8, 2016, on this Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:

Evaluation of Safety Sensitive Personnel for Moderate-to-Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea A Proposed Rule by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration on 03/10/2016

Tired Trucker Roundtable

Make a comment here: Federal Register: regulations.gov on sleep apnea & truck drivers

New Study: Crash risk soars among truck drivers who fail to adhere to sleep apnea treatment

A recently released study shows that the risk of a crash risk soars among truck drivers who fail to adhere to sleep apnea treatment.

Results show that the rate of serious, preventable crashes was 5 times higher among truck drivers with sleep apnea who failed to adhere to PAP therapy, compared with matched controls. In contrast, the crash rate of drivers with sleep apnea who were fully or partially adherent with treatment was statistically similar to controls.

“The most surprising result of our study is the strength and robustness of the increase in the crash risk for drivers with sleep apnea who fail to adhere to mandated treatment with positive airway pressure therapy,” said lead author Stephen V. Burks, PhD, professor of economics and management and principal investigator of the Truckers & Turnover Project at the University of Minnesota, Morris. “The results of our study support the establishment of obstructive sleep apnea screening standards for all drivers through the commercial driver’s medical exam.”

Read more here:  Crash risk soars among truck drivers who fail to adhere to sleep apnea treatment

If we had a National Vision Zero Goal and Vision Zero Rulemaking Policies, what would we do with this information?

According to the authors, panels of medical experts previously convened by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) have recommended comprehensive sleep apnea screening for commercial drivers. However, rather than instituting mandatory screening, current federal regulations rely on drivers to self-report sleep apnea symptoms during a biennial medical examination to determine their fitness for duty. On March 8, 2016, the FMCSA and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) issued a joint Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, which is the first step as both agencies consider whether to propose specific requirements for screening, evaluating and treating rail workers and commercial motor vehicle drivers for obstructive sleep apnea.

If we were actually serious about saving lives, then we would do everything humanly possible to prevent crash deaths. Here’s a chance to do it right.

According to study co-author Charles A. Czeisler, PhD, MD, FRCP, chief of the Division of Sleep and Circadian Disorders at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and Baldino Professor of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School in Boston. “Given that the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, dementia and premature death are similarly increased in people with untreated obstructive sleep apnea, regulatory agencies worldwide owe it to truck drivers and to the motorists who share the road with them to require objective screening, diagnostic testing, and treatment adherence monitoring for all commercial drivers.”

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NHTSA proposes a change in rule for Motor Carrier Safety Fitness Determination

NHTSA has proposed a change in how they determine whether a Motor Carrier is “fit” to be on the road. Instead of ratings of “satisfactory,” “conditional” and “unsatisfactory”, they are proposing to grade a carrier as either “fit” or “not fit.”

As someone who has experienced untold loss due to a truck crash, this sounds like a promising move to me.

Article: “Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said the changes will improve the ability of federal regulators to identify bad actors that are endangering drivers and passengers on U.S. roadways. ”  http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/266094-feds-move-to-overhaul-truck-bus-safety-determinations?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=transportation

Safety Fitness Determination – Notice of Proposed Rulemaking:  https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/safety-fitness-determination-notice-proposed-rulemaking

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking pdf:  https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/SFD_NPRM_01-14-16.pdf

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An Amazing Week in Truck Safety Progress

We had some really good news this week. Progress was made on 2 out of the 3 requests which we made to Secretary Foxx in our original AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up For Truck Safety Petition (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/957/501/869/stand-up-for-truck-safety/):
  1. On December 7, 2015, NHTSA announced the next step in the Underride Guard rulemaking: http://annaleahmary.com/2015/12/unexpected-events-progress-in-underride-protection/ & http://annaleahmary.com/2015/12/a-moms-knee-jerk-reaction-to-nhtsas-proposed-rule-to-improve-rear-underride-protection/ & http://www.wsbtv.com/videos/news/new-rules-help-keep-you-safer-behind-big-rigs/vDf9Rt/
  2. On December 10, 2015, FMCSA announced that the Final Rule was being released for the Electronic Logging Devices to log trucker hours of service (to help combat driver fatigue): http://annaleahmary.com/2015/12/fmcsa-finally-releases-the-electronic-logging-devices-rule-to-track-trucker-hours/.  http://americansleepandbreathingacademy.com/the-dots-war-on-drowsy-driving/
We want to thank everyone, who signed the ALMSUFTS petition. You helped to make this impact on highway safety. Please continue to support our efforts as we wage battle and move toward a goal of Zero Crash Deaths and Zero Serious Crash Injuries through our Vision Zero Petitionhttp://www.thepetitionsite.com/417/742/234/save-lives-not-dollars-urge-dot-to-adopt-vision-zero-policy/ and Underride Research:  https://www.fortrucksafety.com/
Thank you in memory of Mary & AnnaLeah and countless others,
Jerry and Marianne Karth
Petition Photo Bags at DOT, best
AnnaLeah, Mary at Muskegon
Washington DC 129