Turn Signals – Issue 81

Reminder: Operation Safe Driver Week will take place Sunday July 14th through Saturday July 20th. This annual event across North America is different as it targets automobile drivers as well as commercial motor vehicles. This year’s emphasis will be on speeding. Recent studies show drivers who speed contribute to 94% of all traffic crashes and 26% of fatal accidents. Last year 51,000 officers in the US and Canada took part in Operation Safe Driver, pulled over 113,331 vehicles, and issued 67,405 citations.

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance recently declared Sunday September 15th through Saturday September 21st as 2019 Brake Safety Week. This year’s emphasis will be on brake hoses and tubing, an essential component to a vehicle’s mechanical fitness and safety. Brake hoses must be undamaged, properly attached, without leaks, and appropriately flexible. Out-of-adjustment brakes and other brake violations caused 45% of the vehicles put out-of-service during last year’s Roadcheck campaign, and account for 6 out of the top 10 violations cited in all roadside inspections.

Are your company’s trucks still using “grandfathered” Automatic OnBoard Recording Devices, the electronic predecessors to ELDs? If so, you have until December 16th to remove your AOBRDs and replace them with ELDs. It is also the same date that Texas will require ELDs in intrastate trucks for drivers who are required to prepare logs. Recent surveys show a significant percentage of motor carriers are waiting until the fourth quarter to make the transition. Be aware the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Texas Department of Public Safety have stated there will be no grace period beyond the deadline for installing ELDs and having drivers properly trained.

The Office of Management and Budget is reviewing proposed rules to allow hair testing for drugs from workers in safety sensitive positions regulated by the US Department of Transportation. Drivers of commercial motor vehicles would fall into this category. If the OMB approves the rules, each affected DOT agency would review and perhaps tailor procedures before publishing specific regulations for public scrutiny in the Federal Register. We’re still a long way off before any new rules would go into effect.

FMCSA is granting Groendyke Transport, a large hazmat tanker carrier, a 5-year exemption to install a new brake light array on its trailers. Along with the required left and right red brake lights, the company can place a brake-activated pulsating amber light on the upper center of the trailer’s rear end. Groendyke was allowed to install the extra brake light on 63 trailers for a 30-month study. The result was a 33% reduction in rear-end crashes with no crashes at all when their units slowed down or stopped at railroad crossings. FMCSA declined to expand this exemption for all truckers. It wants more research to see if the blinking amber light distracts or confuses some motorists.
Did you know…. Two US senators filed a bill requiring all 18-wheelers to have the trucks’ electronic speed limiter set not to exceed 65 mph nationwide. For safety reasons, the ATA opposes such legislation unless automobiles are restricted to the same speed.

Published by Nicholas Wingerter and TRUCK SAFETY
©2019 All Rights Reserved – Published on this site with their permission.