Login changes coming for users of DOT’s drug-testing database

Photo: shotbydave/iStockphoto

Washington — The Department of Transportation is changing how users access the Drug and Alcohol Testing Management Information System.

Starting Jan. 1, employers required to submit annual drug/alcohol testing information will need to set up a free Login.gov account. Login.gov uses authentication methods, such as text or voice messages, to safeguard account access.

If an employer already has an account, they can simply sign into the MIS website. Employers who don’t have an account will receive an email or letter from DOT with a 32-digit code to enter on the MIS website.

“Then employers will be directed to the Login.gov webpage to create an account and verify their email address.” DOT says. “After Login.gov has verified your email address, employers will be asked to create a Login.gov password and to choose at least one authentication method (such as a one-time code that is sent to your phone).”

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Biden-Harris Administration Announces New Climate and Transportation Research Funding

The first-of-its-kind Department of Transportation (DOT) Climate and Transportation Research Initiative will support efforts to address climate change and transportation challenges

WASHINGTON Today, U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced a funding opportunity to establish the U.S. DOT Climate and Transportation Research Initiative funded at $2.5 million for the first year. This funding supports a partnership between U.S. DOT and a university or other eligible organizations to conduct research advancing solutions to the Nation’s climate and transportation challenges.

“In the past few months alone, Americans from Vermont to Hawaii have faced the devastating impact of so-called ‘once-in-a-century’ disasters that are now becoming more frequent, more deadly, and more destructive to our economy than ever,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “As we face the profound and urgent threat of the climate crisis, we need cleaner transportation systems, and this investment will help deliver that by harnessing research and technology to find new solutions.”

The Climate and Transportation Research Center will advance research and technologies to support the Nation’s clean energy goals, strengthen the resilience of the Nation’s transportation infrastructure, and address environmental impacts created by the transportation system.

“When it comes to climate change and transportation, research and technology have a lot to bring to the table,” said Dr. Robert C. Hampshire, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology and Chief Science Officer. “This unprecedented funding opportunity will help us advance climate solutions for the entire transportation sector.”

The funding opportunity will fund a university or nonprofit and at least one partner organization for $2.5 million in year one, and up to $2.5 million in years two and three, subject to availability of funds. The partnership can be renewed for a total of five-years, totaling $12.5 million, subject to availability of funds.

An informational webinar on the U.S. DOT Climate and Transportation Research Initiative will be held on October 27, 2:30-4 pm Eastern Time. Register here.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Original article published by USDOT

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces New Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is recognizing World Day Against Trafficking in Persons with several actions to raise awareness and prevent human trafficking, including new collaboration among transportation sector leaders and recognition of innovation at the state and local level.

Human Trafficking

“Transportation workers and the traveling public have a key role to play in the fight against trafficking – which is why it’s so important for everyone to recognize the signs and be prepared to report it,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg.

Everyone can learn more about the signs of human trafficking and share the National Human Trafficking Hotline (1-888-373-7888) — an important resource to report a tip or ask for help.

Secretary Buttigieg announced the appointment of 15 members of the DOT Advisory Committee on Human Trafficking, which includes a cross-section of stakeholders from both industry and labor, including representatives from the aviation, bus, law enforcement, maritime, port, rail, and trucking sectors. Committee members also include lived experience experts and representatives of trafficking advocacy organizations and law enforcement. The Committee will develop a report with recommendations for countering human trafficking, and an assessment of best practices by transportation stakeholders and human trafficking violations involving commercial motor vehicles.

Secretary Buttigieg also announced the winner and runners up of the Department’s 2023 Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award, which incentivizes innovative and shareable solutions to combat human trafficking in the transportation industry.

  • 1st Place: Businesses Ending Slavery and Trafficking and the American Association of Port Authorities for their “Awareness Campaign to Help Prevent Human Trafficking in the Maritime Industry” proposal. It will conduct the first national, multilingual counter-trafficking public awareness campaign to raise awareness among port authority employees and seafarers.
  • 2nd Place: Houston Airports for its “Together We Will #EndHumanTrafficking” proposal to build on its comprehensive approach to combating human trafficking.  Their counter-trafficking proposal includes expanding community awareness ahead of major travel periods and holidays, expanding employee training to comprise human trafficking survivor voices, and providing financial support to local advocacy groups.
  • 3rd Place: Two Bowling Green State University faculty members for their “Higher Education on the Awareness Highway to End Human Trafficking” proposal to develop a counter-trafficking awareness toolkit. The proposed toolkit will serve as a resource guide for college and university faculty to create survivor-informed and evidence-based community impact projects for their students at transportation sites including transit, airports, trains, and highway rest areas.

Continue reading “U.S. Department of Transportation Announces New Efforts to Combat Human Trafficking”

ADOT’s Safety Message Contest returns

Public can submit entries through July 25

Safety MessagePHOENIX – Have you ever traveled past one of the unconventional traffic safety messages that the Arizona Department of Transportation displays on overhead message boards and thought, “Hey, I can do that!”?

Well, your time to shine is here! ADOT’s eagerly anticipated Safety Message Contest returns for its seventh year, and we’re inviting Arizonans to submit their most creative and engaging traffic safety messages. You can submit entries through Tuesday, July 25, at azdot.gov/SignContest.

The contest gives Arizonans the opportunity to see their clever safety messages displayed on Dynamic Message Signs statewide, encouraging drivers to make better decisions behind the wheel.

“Safety is a priority at ADOT; nothing is more important,” ADOT Director Jennifer Toth said. “We want these messages to spark conversations about safe driving. Real change happens when drivers prioritize safety and choose not to drive recklessly, distracted or impaired.”

When creating a message – there’s no limit to the number of entries you can submit – follow these guidelines:

  • The message must relate to traffic safety.

  • Signs accommodate three lines, 18 characters per line.

  • #Hashtags, phone numbers and website addresses are not allowed.

  • No emojis.

ADOT will select at least 10 finalists, then the public will decide the winners. The two messages that receive the most votes will appear on overhead message boards along Arizona’s highways.

ADOT displays quirky traffic safety messages as part of an effort to encourage drivers to change their actions behind the wheel. We all need a reminder about safe driving because, according to national crash data, more than 90 percent of vehicle crashes are caused by driver decisions, such as drivers choosing to speed and to drive aggressively, distracted or impaired. According to crash data, 1,180 people were killed in traffic collisions on Arizona’s roads in 2021.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Original article published by ADOT

USDOT Proposes Requirements for Real-time Hazmat Information for Firefighters and First Responders to Improve Freight Rail Safety

Original article published by USDOT

Photo: National Transportation Safety Board

Proposal Adds to Several Actions USDOT Has Taken to Improve Freight Rail Safety

WASHINGTON –The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) today announced it is proposing a new rule aimed at improving public safety and preventing environmental impacts by strengthening requirements governing railroads’ provision of hazardous materials information to responders during a hazmat incident. The proposal would require railroads to always maintain — and update in real-time — accurate, electronic information about rail hazmat shipments in a train consist that would be accessible to authorized emergency response personnel. Railroads would also be required to proactively “push” that information to authorized local first response personnel as soon as the railroad is aware of an accident involving any hazardous materials.

“When railroads transport hazardous materials, they must do so safely and responsibly,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Our proposal would improve rail safety and help protect communities across the country by requiring railroads to maintain detailed, real-time information about trains carrying hazardous materials.”

“On-demand access to key information about hazmat shipments coupled with proactive information sharing will enable first responders to better prepare for the risks present at the scene of an incident BEFORE they arrive on scene,” said PHMSA Deputy Administrator Tristan Brown. “This will improve safety for firefighters and first responders, and the communities they so courageously serve.”

“Fire fighters are often first to show up at many emergencies, including train derailments and HazMat incidents. Accurate, up-to-date information about train contents is critical to keep first responders and the communities they serve safe. The IAFF strongly supports the Department of Transportation’s new rule that would give fire fighters real-time data allowing for safer responses. We applaud the DOT for prioritizing fire fighter and public safety,” according to Edward A. Kelly, General President, International Association of Fire Fighters.

PHMSA and the Federal Railroad Administration  (FRA) have taken several additional actions to improve freight rail safety. That includes making more than $25 million in funding available to help train first responders and strengthen safety programs and issuing safety advisories to railroad companies about replacing tank car covers and urging a faster transition from DOT-111s to DOT 117s rail cars.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) would require all railroads to generate, in hard copy and electronic versions, real-time train consist information for shipments containing hazardous materials. Required information would include the quantity and position of the shipment on the train, the shipment’s origin and destination, and a designated emergency point of contact at the railroad.

The proposal responds to congressional mandates in the FAST Act, National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recommendation providing electronic train consist information to emergency officials and personnel that respond to hazmat incidents for railroads, as well as lessons learned from firefighters responding to the February 2023 Norfolk Southern derailment in East Palestine, OH. Consistent with the broad scope of the NTSB recommendation, PHMSA’s proposal goes beyond the FAST Act mandate that had been limited to Class 1 railroads and extends these new proposed requirements to all railroad classes and requires proactive notification to local first responders in the case of an accident or an incident involving a release or suspected release of a hazardous material.

The proposed rule has been transmitted to the Federal Register.  A publication date will be provided when it becomes available along with an opportunity to provide public comment.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

ELD, speed limiter, Clearinghouse rules all advancing

Original article published by J.J. Keller 
ELD, speed limiter, Clearinghouse rules all advancing
Photo: DOT

16 rules slated for June publication, DOT agenda shows

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) is advancing dozens of new regulations, many of which will have a major impact on motor carriers and their drivers.

The latest DOT rulemaking agenda, released on June 14, 2023, describes numerous pending actions from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and other DOT agencies.

The FMCSA is slated to publish a whopping 15 rulemaking proposals in June 2023 alone. Among the rules expected to advance this year are those that would:

  • Require speed limiters for heavy trucks,
  • Update the cargo securement rules,
  • Make a variety of enhancements to the rules for electronic logging devices and the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse,
  • Alter the safety-rating process,
  • Ease rules for stopping at railroad crossings,
  • Require a proficiency exam for new motor carriers,
  • Add an appeals process for drivers accused of refusing a drug or alcohol test, and
  • Add exemption for the transportation of passengers for recreational activities.

Most upcoming rules are in the “proposal” stage, which means motor carriers and the public will have an opportunity to review and comment on the changes before they’re finalized.

The DOT updates its rulemaking roadmap twice yearly. The forecast is not set in stone; proposed changes often encounter delays and take years to finalize.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Original article published by J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

DOT drug testing program to include oral fluid testing

Original article published by USDOT

This final rule amends the U.S. Department of Transportation’s regulated industry drug testing program to include oral fluid testing.  This additional methodology for drug testing will give employers a choice that will help combat employee cheating on urine drug tests and provide a less intrusive means of achieving the safety goals of the program.

In order for an employer to implement oral fluid testing under the Department’s regulation, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will need to certify at least two laboratories for oral fluid testing, which has not yet been done.

The final rule includes other provisions to update the Department’s regulation and to harmonize, as needed, with the Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs using Oral Fluid established by HHS.

In addition, this rule amends the FAA, FMCSA, FRA and FTA regulations to ensure consistency within the Department of Transportation and by removing or adjusting references to the word “urine” and /or add references to oral fluid, as well as, removing or amending some definitions for conformity and to make other miscellaneous technical changes or corrections.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $1 Billion for Local Communities to Improve Roadway Safety

Original article published by DOT

More than 500 communities received funding for planning and projects from first round of grants announced in February; second round of funding encourages applicants to submit proposals that include demonstration projects that can be built quickly from temporary materials 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has opened the process for cities, towns, counties, Tribal governments and Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPO) to apply directly for a total of $1.177 billion to fund local projects that improve roadway safety.

The funds are from the competitive grant program, Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A), which was created in President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to help communities both plan and carry out projects that help reduce the number of deaths and serious injuries on our highways, streets, and roads. Funding can be targeted toward known high-crash areas, which are easier than ever to identify thanks to an interactive tool created by DOT. Locally driven solutions can include everything from improving sidewalks and adding high-visibility crosswalks, to reconfiguring intersections.

“The crisis of traffic deaths on our nation’s roadways demands urgent and sustained action by us all,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “With our Safe Streets and Roads for All program, we are helping communities across the country save lives by making their roads safer.”

Launching and administering the SS4A grant program is a major element to DOT’s National Roadway Safety Strategy, launched in 2022 to address the high number of traffic deaths happening across the country.

In February, DOT announced 473 communities received Action Planning grants and 37 communities received Implementation grants from the first round of SS4A funding. With similar funding available this year, the Department encourages all interested communities to apply. The application process for SS4A is designed to be as easy as possible and increase accessibility to this program, particularly for smaller communities, Tribal governments and recipients new to Federal funding. Applicants for this cycle are encouraged to submit proposals that include the use of demonstration activities, sometime also known as “quick build” projects, as part of their Action Plans, as well as undertaking more traditional action planning and implementation activities. DOT anticipates awarding at least $250 million in demonstration activities this funding round.

Applications may come from individual communities or groups of communities and may include MPOs, counties, cities, towns, other special districts that are subdivisions of a state, certain transit agencies, federally recognized Tribal governments, and multijurisdictional groups of eligible applicants.

The Safe Streets and Roads for All Notice of Funding Opportunity can be found at  https://www.transportation.gov/grants/SS4A. Applications are due on or before July 10 at 5pm Eastern.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month: An opportunity to dialogue with employees

Original article published by J.J. Keller

Train on the dangers of multitasking while driving

April is Distracted Driving Awareness month. The annual safety campaign promotes discussion on risky driving behaviors, which cost over 3,500 people their lives in 2021.

Dialogue on distracted driving is not just for commercial drivers. Any employee who operates a fleet vehicle or a personal vehicle on behalf of your company should be trained on the dangers of distracted driving.

Keep your employees engaged during training

The topic of distracted driving has been promoted for several years. As a result, getting your employees’ attention may take some creativity, since some may have become desensitized to the message on the dangers of distracted driving.

Consider the following training tips:

  • Use real-life examples of crashes and the impact on those involved (fatality, injuries, jail time, financial ruin).
  • Have the trainees come up with a list of distractions, which forces them to think about the impact of multitasking while driving. Let them know it is more than just cell phone use. Tasks might include using a GPS, eating, drinking, and adjusting the radio, seats, mirrors, and vehicle’s temperature.
  • Illustrate how far a vehicle travels at 60 mph when performing different tasks.
  • Familiarize participants with your corporate policy on distracted driving.
  • Discuss appropriate actions to avoid multitasking while driving (pull over, adjust equipment prior to driving).

Use of technology

The use of a vehicle’s telematic data or dash cam video clip can help detect and reduce distractions.

The intent of monitoring drivers is not to punish them. It is to help prevent a serious crash. Those drivers identified as having close calls should be spoken with, coached, and/or required to take corrective action training.

This article was written by Kathy Close of J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc.

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Staying Vigilant on Drug Testing

Original article published by Transport Topics

Evidence Shows It’s Not a Time for Employers to Relax

As state laws and societal attitudes shift regarding recreational and medical marijuana use nationwide, employers in some fields are re-evaluating workplace drug testing. At the same time, however, this heightened attention on marijuana use is spurring new research into its impacts on health and safety. The emerging evidence propels an argument that employers — particularly in the transportation sector — should stay vigilant.

The history of workplace drug testing for safety-sensitive professions isn’t particularly long. More than 35 years ago, Congress and regulatory bodies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, reacted swiftly after it was found that the crew on an Amtrak train that was involved in a fatal crash — one that killed 16 and injured 174 — had tested positive for marijuana. In the aftermath, federal mandatory drug screenings for employees in safety-sensitive industries were authorized, including trucking and others regulated by DOT. About a year later, President Ronald Reagan signed the Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1988.

Over the years since, Quest Diagnostics has been reporting on drug use trends via its Drug Testing Index, and has produced a series of reports providing insight into workforce drug use based on positivity rates of de-identified laboratory tests for a range of drugs.

While there fortunately hasn’t been another deadly incident on the scale of the Amtrak crash, there are warning signs that drug misuse is as dangerous as ever. In 2021, overall results of the DTI illustrated that the rate of positive drug tests among America’s workforce has reached its highest since 2001, up more than 30% from an all-time low in 2010.

Specifically, the report revealed several notable trends, like higher rates of positivity in individuals tested after on-the-job accidents. In both the general U.S. data and federally mandated workforces, the increase in positivity rates on post-accident tests for marijuana has outpaced those in pre-employment tests.

Marijuana positivity rates have also reached a 20-year high. In the general U.S. workforce, urine tests for marijuana saw an 8.3% increase, the highest positivity rate ever reported in the DTI.