Washington — The Department of Transportation has announced it will distribute about 15.5 million cloth facial coverings to transportation workers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Previous guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has identified transportation workers as essential and among those in “critical infrastructure” occupations.
“Transportation workers are on the front lines of keeping our transportation systems operational during this public health emergency and their well-being and safety is paramount,” Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao said in a May 28 press release.
Distribution of facial coverings by industry is as follows:
- Mass transit and passenger rail: 4.8 million
- Aviation: 3.8 million
- Maritime: 2.4 million
- Freight rail: 2.2 million
- Highway and motor carrier: 2.1 million
- Pipeline systems: 258,000
FEMA secured the facial coverings, which are expected to be distributed via the U.S. Postal Service “over the coming weeks.”
CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Week will go on as scheduled, July 12-18. Law enforcement personnel throughout North America will be looking for drivers who are engaging in unsafe driving behaviors on our roadways. Identified drivers will be pulled over by law enforcement and may be issued a warning or citation. CVSA selected speeding as the focus area for this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week to address the alarming trend of increased speeding on our roadways during the pandemic. Read More»
CVSA applauds Senators Wicker, Cantwell, Thune, Fischer and Duckworth, as well as the Commerce Committee, for their support of this legislation and urges passage by the full Senate. The Alliance has been advocating for relief for commercial motor vehicle safety programs to provide states and territories with needed flexibility as a result of the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. Read More
Greenbelt, MD — Law enforcement officers are expected to keep an extra sharp watch for commercial and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in unsafe behaviors July 12-18 during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual Operation Safe Driver Week.
Officers will be looking for drivers who are texting, following too closely, not wearing seat belts or maneuvering in otherwise unsafe manners, while placing added emphasis on speeding.
A May 12 CVSA press release cites recent findings from the Governors Highway Safety Association showing that state highway officials nationwide “are seeing a severe spike in speeding” as traffic volume has decreased as a result of quarantines and stay-at-home orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Preliminary estimates from the National Safety Council show that, in March, the rate of motor vehicle deaths in the United States was 14% higher than in March 2019 despite fewer drivers being on the road.
CMV and passenger vehicle drivers in North America received nearly 47,000 citations and around 88,000 warnings during last year’s Operation Safe Driver Week, per data collected from law enforcement personnel. Citations and warnings related to speeding were most common, with CMV drivers receiving 1,454 citations and 2,126 warnings, and passenger vehicle drivers receiving 16,102 citations and 21,001 warnings.
“It’s essential that this enforcement initiative, which focuses on identifying and deterring unsafe driving behaviors such as speeding, go on as scheduled,” CVSA President John Samis said in the release. “As passenger vehicle drivers are limiting their travel to necessary trips and many [CMV] drivers are busy transporting vital goods to stores, it’s more important than ever to monitor our roadways for safe transport.”
Vote for your favorite at azdot.gov/signcontest
May 11, 2020
PHOENIX – Need a fun distraction for a few minutes? The Arizona Department of Transportation has you covered.
It’s time to vote for your favorite in ADOT’s fourth annual Safety Message Contest. From Monday, May 11, through Sunday, May 17, you can pick your favorite from among the 12 finalists and vote at azdot.gov/signcontest.
“In these unprecedented times, we can all use a distraction that makes us smile, even if it’s just for a moment, and taking a look at the best of the contest’s message entries can, hopefully, do that,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said.
Arizonans submitted more than 4,000 messages that covered a variety of traffic safety topics, including, texting and driving, impaired driving, blinker use, tailgating, seat belts, child safety seats and more. The two finalists that receive the most votes will be displayed on Dynamic Message Signs statewide.
ADOT began displaying unconventional safety messages on overhead signs in 2015 as part of an effort to encourage drivers to make better decisions behind the wheel. According to national traffic statistics, more than 90% of vehicle crashes are caused by driver decisions, including choosing to speed and to drive distracted, impaired or recklessly.
“For the past four years the safety message contest has generated tremendous engagement with the public, and it’s wonderful to see,” Halikowski added. “We want to see people thinking and talking about safe driving, and the contest helps further that effort.”
Webinars help officers continue promoting commerce during pandemic
April 27, 2020
PHOENIX – An Arizona Department of Transportation program that helps truck drivers in Mexico better understand and prepare for safety inspections at the border is using technology to provide virtual training during the current public health situation.
The goal of this training offered by ADOT’s Border Liaison Unit is reducing commercial vehicle wait times at the international border by cutting down on safety problems and other issues that truck drivers must address before leaving commercial ports of entry. That helps make Arizona’s ports more appealing places for trucks to enter the U.S.
Part of ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division, which operates commercial ports of entry, the Border Liaison Unit offered its first training by webinar recently for 30 trucking companies from the Mexican states of Sonora and Baja California. More sessions are planned.
“The webinar was a huge success,” said Officer Frank Cordova of the Border Liaison Unit. “We’re looking to make webinar-based workshops a staple of the training we provide, as it allows us to reach even further into Mexico and the U.S. to continue educating the commercial industry.”
The Border Liaison Unit saw an increase in inquiries from Mexican truckers regarding current emergency restrictions and exemptions for commercial vehicles due to COVID-19. Future sessions will cover safety training previously conducted in person such as electronic log books and critical items officers look for in inspections.
That assistance complements International Border Inspection Qualification training that ADOT has offered in person since 2016. Drivers certified through that program are able to share questions and pictures of their vehicles via WhatsApp and communicate with ADOT officers about potential safety issues before driving to the border.
Meeting this demand with a webinar helps ADOT officers and commercial truck drivers observe social distancing. Longer-term, offering virtual instruction reduces travel expenses.
“I’m very proud of this unit for finding ways to continue to work with our local and international partners in the trucking industry,” Cordova said. “Even a pandemic won’t keep us from doing the job we’re passionate about.”