ADOT distracted driving campaign raises awareness

First published by ADOT.

Enforcement phase of hands-free bill begins January 1

PHOENIX – Perhaps you’ve seen the acrophobia-inducing public service announcements on TV? Maybe heard the rattlesnake’s rattle and hiss while listening to Pandora? Or saw one man distracting a one-ton bull in social media posts, all in the name of preventing distracted driving

Three months after the Arizona Department of Transportation launched its distracted driving awareness campaign “Distracted Drivers Terrify Me,” aimed at reducing the number of people engaging in distracting behaviors while driving, the public outreach effort is still going strong.

And the timing couldn’t be better.

In just a few days, the final phase of the statewide texting and driving ban will go into effect. On Jan. 1, 2021, violators of Arizona’s hands-free law (HB 2318) will become subject to civil penalties. The first violation will result in a fine between $75 and $149 and subsequent violations can be as much as $250, plus applicable surcharges.

That’s an expensive — and dangerous — text message.

“There’s no good reason to text and drive,” said ADOT Director John Halikowski. “Plenty of people think they’re excellent drivers and they can multitask behind the wheel. They’re all wrong. Frankly, people become dangerous drivers when they shift their attention from the road ahead to the tiny screen on their phone. Distracted driving must stop.”

In April 2019 Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation that banned the use of hand-held mobile devices, like cell phones and tablets, while driving a vehicle. It is illegal for drivers to talk or text on a device not engaged in hands-free mode on all roadways in Arizona.

Distracted driving causes thousands of entirely preventable crashes every year. In 2019 in Arizona, at least 10,491 drivers involved in crashes were engaged in distracted driving behavior. Traffic safety stakeholders believe this figure is actually much higher, however, because distracted driving is underreported since drivers often don’t admit to being distracted or died in the crash.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT 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.

Safety tips if you’re on the road during holidays and beyond

First published by ADOT.

As the Christmas and New Year’s weekends arrive to ring out 2020, we hope you’re combining any travel plans with a focus on health-related safety due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.I-40 Snow Photo East Flagstaff

During recent holiday seasons, ADOT has focused on safe driving recommendations for people who will be traveling on our highways. But this year we start by emphasizing this reminder: No matter the destination, don’t forget to bring and be prepared to use a mask to help stop the spread of the virus. Have you thought about taking the time now to put a spare, fresh mask or two in your vehicle?

On the highway safety side of the ledger, these reminders apply not only to the holiday season but also the winter travel season, especially if your plans will have you in the high country.

Before you hit the highway, check your vehicle for things such as correct tire pressure, engine fluid levels and the condition of your windshield wipers. Think about whether a visit to your auto maintenance shop is in order.

Get adequate rest before driving. Fatigue, like distracted driving, is a serious highway safety issue you shouldn’t ignore. The same goes for never driving if impaired by alcohol or drugs. Arrange for a designated driver or ride service if necessary. Lives are on the line. Be smart about it.

I-17 Approaching Black Canyon CityBe prepared for changing weather conditions, especially in our high country. Take time ahead of a trip to put together an emergency prep kit that you can put in the trunk or back of your vehicle. Pack things such as an extra change of clothes, blankets, drinking water, healthy snacks, a flashlight and other items that will help keep you comfortable in case you have to stop due to bad weather or an unscheduled highway closure. A fully charged cellphone also is important. ADOT has more information about an emergency kit when you visit azdot.gov/KnowSnow and look for the words “Must Haves.”

When you’re behind the wheel, you and your passengers should be using those seat belts. Don’t race to your destination. Speeding, aggressive and distracted driving are a recipe for serious crashes. If a winter storm is approaching or starting, it’s usually a good idea to let the storm pass before traveling. That way you’re giving ADOT’s snowplow operators time to improve the highways.

If you are driving behind one of our snowplows, stay at least four vehicle lengths back and try to avoid passing one of these big plows.

ADOT and its contractors cooperate in limiting full closures along state highways during the holidays. But work does continue and you should use caution when approaching or traveling through any work zones. This applies no matter what time of year you travel.

Real-time highway conditions are available on ADOT’s Arizona Traveler Information site at az511.gov, by calling 511, using the AZ 511 app and through ADOT’s Twitter feed, @ArizonaDOT(link is external). When a freeway closure or other major traffic event occurs, ADOT’s free app available at azdot.gov/ADOTalerts will send critical information directly to app users in affected areas – where possible, in advance of alternate routes.

Remember to focus on safety. We’ll want to see you in 2021. Happy Holidays.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT 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.

ADOT moving to fully-cashless permitting system for commercial trucks will help keep commerce flowing more efficiently

First published by ADOT.
Cashless paymentPHOENIX – When commercial truckers purchase their permits for driving through Arizona online ahead of time or use a cashless method at the port of entry, they spend less time making payments and get on their way faster.

That’s one reason the Arizona Department of Transportation successfully implemented a pilot program to move to a fully-cashless permitting system. Now, after working with trucking companies that pay with cash to ensure they have enough time to convert to a cashless system, ADOT’s ports of entry intend to go fully cashless on Jan. 1, 2021.

The move to end the acceptance of cash and checks at ports of entry also supports recommendations by the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention to curb the spread of COVID-19 through the exchange of currency.

ADOT’s truck permitting systems, ePro and Transport, have cashless features and nearly 80% of truckers getting permits use those features. But in order to help trucks move through the ports more efficiently, ADOT’s Enforcement and Compliance Division began to encourage the other 20% of truckers to pay for permits online using Apple Pay, Android Pay or credit card.

“We have been getting a feel from the trucking industry on how much they would support this change and the feedback has been positive,” said Lt. Jason Sloan, team lead for implementing the change. “This improvement will help eliminate waste and maximize resources available at ports of entry to process commercial traffic faster.”

The move also allows more officers to be available for enforcement duties instead of having one or more of them make a long drive from a remote port of entry to a financial institution to deposit the cash and checks collected.

This change is one more way ADOT’s continuous improvement process is making more efficient use of time, resources and taxpayer dollars. It will also be implemented at VIN inspection stations around the state.

ADOT is also developing a new commercial permitting system that will support the move to cashless and touchless that is expected to be operational by the end of next year.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT 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.

DOT COVID-19 Drug & Alcohol Testing Statement of Enforcement Discretion for Substance Abuse Professionals and Service Agents

First published by USDOT.

April 4, 2020; updated June 17, 2020; updated September 22, 2020; updated December 09, 2020

On March 23, 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance (ODAPC) provided guidance about the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency on DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements for employers, employees, and service agents.  On April 4, 2020, ODAPC provided supplemental information specific to performing remote evaluations by Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP) and the re-qualification timelines for collectors, Medical Review Officers (MRO), Screening Test Technicians (STT) and Breath Alcohol Technicians (BAT), and SAPs.  As published on April 4, 2020, this statement was effective through June 30, 2020.  On June 17, 2020 the guidance was extended to September 30, 2020 and on September 22, 2020 to December 31, 2020.  As of December 09, 2020, ODAPC has extended the statement and it continues to be effective through June 30, 2021.

SAP Assessments and Evaluations

Under 49 CFR §§ 40. 291, 40.293, and 40.301, the SAP must conduct a face-to-face assessment and evaluation of an employee who has violated DOT drug and alcohol regulations.  DOT has always maintained that the “face-to-face” assessment and evaluation must be done “in person” and is essential to the SAP process.  ODAPC recognizes that conducting face-to-face assessments and evaluations during the COVID-19 public health emergency may not be possible or advisable for certain individuals. ODAPC will allow SAPs to conduct a remote “face-to-face” evaluation and assessment while this policy is in effect.

The flexibility to conduct remote assessments and evaluations is voluntary, and SAPs may continue to conduct in-person face-to-face assessments and evaluations as appropriate.  ODAPC recommends that, when a SAP conducts assessments and evaluations remotely, the format of the assessment be documented in the final report for reference.

ODAPC realizes that performing evaluations remotely may not provide as much information to the SAP as a face-to-face evaluation would, but believes remote evaluations are preferable to not performing the evaluations at all.  While ODAPC will not prescribe the exact manner in which the remote evaluations should be conducted, SAPs who choose to conduct initial assessments and evaluations and follow up evaluations remotely should consider the following parameters:

  1. The technology you use should permit a real-time two-way audio and visual communication and interaction between you and the employee.
  2. You should determine if the quality of the technology (e.g., speed of the internet connection, clarity of the display, application being used, etc.) is sufficient for you to gather all the visual (e.g., non-verbal physical cues) and audible information you would normally observe in an in-person face-to-face interaction.
  3. You may only utilize the technology if your State-issued license authorizes you to do so and within the parameters of that authority.

ODAPC will not consider an evaluation or assessment performed remotely as an act of serious non-compliance for purposes of starting a public interest exclusion proceeding against the service agent while this statement of enforcement discretion is in effect. 

Re-qualification Timelines for Certain Service Agents

Under 49 CFR §§ 40.33(e), 40.121(d), 40.213(e), and 40.281(d), collectors, MROs, STT/BATs, and SAPs are required to maintain their DOT required qualifications to continue to act as service agents in the DOT drug and alcohol testing program.  Specifically, collectors and STT/BATs must complete refresher training every five years, MROs must complete requalification training every five years, and SAPs must complete 12 professional development hours every three years.

DOT realizes that during the COVID-19 public health emergency, these service agents may find it difficult to find the necessary resources (e.g., exam location or personnel to conduct mock collections, etc.) to meet their re-qualification requirements. If a service agent is unable to meet their re-qualification due date while this statement of enforcement discretion is in effect, DOT will not consider it a non-compliance for purposes of starting a public interest exclusion proceeding against the service agent.  DOT is providing this flexibility for service agents who cannot meet their re-qualification requirements by their respective due dates due to restrictions imposed by Federal, State and local authorities, and health agencies related to the COVID-19 public health emergency (e.g., facility closures, State or locally imposed quarantine requirements, or other impediments).  DOT will consider these service agents qualified per Part 40 to continue providing the Part 40 required services while this policy is in effect.

DOT_Statement_of_Enforcement_Discretion_SAPs_and_Service_Agents_12092020.pdf


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT 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.

Tips for Roadside Inspections

Roadside Inspection Card.

First published by J.J. Keller.

During a Roadside Inspection, many situations may arise in which officers have questions. Below are some scenarios and some talking points drivers can use in these situations. Above this article is a button for the Roadside Inspection Card which contains information on how to perform data transfers or use the display method for a roadside within the application.  This card is an in-cab requirement and should be with the driver at all times in the vehicle.

Missing Data in the Officer’s View of the Logs

Politely ask the officer to check the display in the roadside mode of the Encompass® ELD application to verify the data is actually missing. The data may be missing from the transferred data due to power down/power up timing compared to the entry time, but visible in the display (the missing data is in the device, it just wasn’t bundled with the data sent to e-rods due to the power down/power up timing).

  • Note: If the data is not in the transferred data and is also not in the display, it is missing and it is a violation.

Missing VIN

Politely mention to the officer that VIN is only required if the device is able to access it on the vehicle’s database (since it is not appearing in the ELD records, it was not available).

Missing Engine Hours/Miles

Politely point out to the officer that these entries are not required if the duty change took place away from the vehicle or the duty change took place when the vehicle was powered down.

Politely ask the officer to check the display as there are times it does not come through to the transferred data due to the power down/power up timing.

Location Does Not Match GIS Formatting

Politely point out that drivers are allowed to manually enter locations if the device cannot automatically determine the location.

The Officer is Unable to Receive Data

Determine if there is cellular/data connectivity.  If not, point this out to the officer and attempt to establish connectivity.

Politely ask the officer if he/she has connectivity and to verify that e-rods is functioning.

Politely ask the officer to check the display method in the roadside mode to verify all required data is present and to determine any missing data may have stopped e-rods from allowing the transfer to take place.

The Officer is Talking About Placing the Driver Out-of-Service Due to the Data Not Transferring

Politely point out to the officer that under the North American Out-of-Service Criteria, the only time a driver is to be put out of service due to the data not transferring is if the driver ALSO cannot provide the display to the officer. As long as the driver can present the display in the roadside mode, the officer should not place the driver out of service if a transfer is not successful.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT 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.

Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation

Put the Brakes on Human Trafficking

First published by U.S. Department of Transportation.

You are invited to participate in the “Combating Human Trafficking in Transportation” virtual event hosted by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on
December 8, 2020 from 2:00pm-4:00pm.

Nearly 25 million people across the globe are victims of modern slavery, and human traffickers utilize America’s roadways, railways, airways, and waterways to facilitate the trafficking of their victims. Transportation leaders have an opportunity to amplify counter-trafficking efforts to combat this heinous crime.

This virtual event will feature remarks by Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao and highlight counter-trafficking initiatives across the transportation sector through leadership, funding, partnerships, policies and protocols, training and awareness, data and information-sharing, and victim and survivor support. Three panels comprised of multimodal Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking stakeholders will spotlight efforts by State and local entities, the private sector, and non-governmental organizations.

In addition to participating on December 8th, public and private stakeholders across all modes of transportation are invited to join DOT’s Transportation Leaders Against Human Trafficking initiative by signing the pledge to combat human trafficking in the transportation sector. The pledge and other information are available at
https://www.transportation.gov/stophumantrafficking.

 

REGISTER NOW


McCraren Compliance offers many opportunities in safety training to help circumvent accidents. Please take a moment to visit our calendar of classes to see what we can do to help your safety measures from training to consulting.

Technology could ‘greatly reduce’ rear-end crashes involving large trucks: IIHS study

See the source image

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Arlington, VA — Installing crash prevention technologies on the front of large commercial trucks may reduce, by more than 40%, crashes in which those trucks rear-end another vehicle, according to a recent report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

IIHS Director of Statistical Services Eric Teoh analyzed data from about 2,000 crashes involving large trucks that occurred from 2017 to 2019. He found that forward-collision warning systems reduced rear-end crashes by 44%, while automatic emergency braking systems reduced the crashes by 41%. Additionally, these technologies were found to reduce overall crashes by 22% and 12%, respectively.

Front crash prevention systems employ cameras, radar or other sensors to monitor roadways, while AEB systems automatically engage brakes to prevent or mitigate collisions.

According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 4,415 fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in 2018 – a 52.6% increase from the 2,893 recorded in 2009.

“This study provides evidence that forward-collision warning and AEB greatly reduce crash risk for tractor-trailers and other large trucks,” Teoh said in a Sept. 3 press release. “That’s important information for trucking companies and drivers who are weighing the costs and benefits of these options on their next vehicles.”


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT 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.

CVSA Releases New Video on the Future of Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) released a new stop-motion video envisioning the future of commercial motor vehicle safety technology, inspections and enforcement. This four-minute video takes the viewer to a future – near and far – that’s safer for all road users. The future of commercial motor vehicle safety includes important advancements such as:

  • Vehicle-to-everything applications, including vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, vehicle-to-pedestrian and vehicle-to-enforcement technologies
  • Alerts to drivers regarding inclement weather, crashes, closed roadways, bridge height restrictions, construction, road conditions, etc.
  • Lane centering, lane keeping, automatic emergency braking and controlled driver steering
  • North American Standard Level VIII Electronic Inspections and universal electronic identification
  • Vehicles equipped with automated driving systems
  • Vehicle, driver and pedestrian monitoring technologies with cameras, sensors and radars inside and outside of the vehicle

Universal deployment of these critical safety technologies would revolutionize commercial motor vehicle roadside enforcement, monitoring and inspections, exponentially growing the North American Standard Inspection Program and drastically improving roadway safety.

The “Welcome to the Future of Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement” video provides a clear and easy-to-understand visual presentation of today’s challenges and the solutions to those challenges, such as the deployment of proven safety technologies that improve transportation safety and prevent crashes. In addition, implementing the safety technologies referenced in the video will enable law enforcement officials to better identify and prioritize unsafe commercial motor vehicles and drivers for intervention, taking unfit vehicles and operators off the roads, while making roadside inspections and enforcement more efficient and reducing impacts on the movement of goods.

This public video is meant to be shared with lawmakers, regulators, safety advocates, motor carriers, drivers, researchers, vehicle safety technology developers and vendors, the law enforcement community and anyone else interested in learning about commercial motor vehicle safety and CVSA’s efforts to improve roadway, driver and vehicle safety.


 

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT 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.

DOT COVID-19 Drug & Alcohol Testing Statement of Enforcement Discretion for Substance Abuse Professionals and Service Agents

April 4, 2020; updated June 17, 2020; updated September 22, 2020

On March 23, 2020, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance (ODAPC) provided guidance about the impact of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) public health emergency on DOT drug and alcohol testing requirements for employers, employees, and service agents.  On April 4, 2020, ODAPC provided supplemental information specific to performing remote evaluations by Substance Abuse Professionals (SAP) and the re-qualification timelines for collectors, Medical Review Officers (MRO), Screening Test Technicians (STT) and Breath Alcohol Technicians (BAT), and SAPs.  As published on April 4, 2020, this statement was effective through June 30, 2020.  On June 17, 2020 the guidance was extended to September 30, 2020.  As of September 22, 2020, ODAPC has extended the statement and it continues to be effective through December 31, 2020.

SAP Assessments and Evaluations

Under 49 CFR §§ 40. 291, 40.293, and 40.301, the SAP must conduct a face-to-face assessment and evaluation of an employee who has violated DOT drug and alcohol regulations.  DOT has always maintained that the “face-to-face” assessment and evaluation must be done “in person” and is essential to the SAP process.  ODAPC recognizes that conducting face-to-face assessments and evaluations during the COVID-19 public health emergency may not be possible or advisable for certain individuals. ODAPC will allow SAPs to conduct a remote “face-to-face” evaluation and assessment while this policy is in effect.

The flexibility to conduct remote assessments and evaluations is voluntary, and SAPs may continue to conduct in-person face-to-face assessments and evaluations as appropriate.  ODAPC recommends that, when a SAP conducts assessments and evaluations remotely, the format of the assessment be documented in the final report for reference.

ODAPC realizes that performing evaluations remotely may not provide as much information to the SAP as a face-to-face evaluation would, but believes remote evaluations are preferable to not performing the evaluations at all.  While ODAPC will not prescribe the exact manner in which the remote evaluations should be conducted, SAPs who choose to conduct initial assessments and evaluations and follow up evaluations remotely should consider the following parameters:

  1. The technology you use should permit a real-time two-way audio and visual communication and interaction between you and the employee.
  2. You should determine if the quality of the technology (e.g., speed of the internet connection, clarity of the display, application being used, etc.) is sufficient for you to gather all the visual (e.g., non-verbal physical cues) and audible information you would normally observe in an in-person face-to-face interaction.
  3. You may only utilize the technology if your State-issued license authorizes you to do so and within the parameters of that authority.

ODAPC will not consider an evaluation or assessment performed remotely as an act of serious non-compliance for purposes of starting a public interest exclusion proceeding against the service agent while this statement of enforcement discretion is in effect. 

Re-qualification Timelines for Certain Service Agents

Under 49 CFR §§ 40.33(e), 40.121(d), 40.213(e), and 40.281(d), collectors, MROs, STT/BATs, and SAPs are required to maintain their DOT required qualifications to continue to act as service agents in the DOT drug and alcohol testing program.  Specifically, collectors and STT/BATs must complete refresher training every five years, MROs must complete requalification training every five years, and SAPs must complete 12 professional development hours every three years.

DOT realizes that during the COVID-19 public health emergency, these service agents may find it difficult to find the necessary resources (e.g., exam location or personnel to conduct mock collections, etc.) to meet their re-qualification requirements. If a service agent is unable to meet their re-qualification due date while this statement of enforcement discretion is in effect, DOT will not consider it a non-compliance for purposes of starting a public interest exclusion proceeding against the service agent.  DOT is providing this flexibility for service agents who cannot meet their re-qualification requirements by their respective due dates due to restrictions imposed by Federal, State and local authorities, and health agencies related to the COVID-19 public health emergency (e.g., facility closures, State or locally imposed quarantine requirements, or other impediments).  DOT will consider these service agents qualified per Part 40 to continue providing the Part 40 required services while this policy is in effect.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with the current DOT drug and alcohol regulations. Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free DOT/FMCSA Compliance Assessment

Speeding most cited violation during Operation Safe Driver Week


First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
Greenbelt, MD — Law enforcement officials issued more than 71,000 citations and warnings to drivers during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual Operation Safe Driver Week.

From July 12 to July 18, law enforcement officials throughout the United States and Canada were on the lookout for commercial and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in unsafe behaviors such as following too closely, not wearing a seat belt and distracted driving, while placing added emphasis on speeding, CVSA states in a Sept. 2 press release.

Citations and warnings related to speeding were most common among both groups of drivers. Commercial motor vehicle drivers received 2,339 citations and 3,423 warnings for speeding, while passenger drivers accounted for 14,378 citations and 11,456 warnings.

Rounding out the top five citations issued to CMV drivers: failure to wear a seat belt (1,003), failure to obey a traffic control device (617), texting or using a handheld phone (269), and improper lane change (122).

The next most common citations issued to passenger vehicle drivers were failure to wear a seat belt (932), possession/use/under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (452), failure to obey a traffic control device (399), and improper lane change (273).

“Although CVSA is a commercial motor vehicle safety organization, it was important that passenger vehicle drivers were also involved in this annual weeklong driver safety enforcement initiative,” CVSA President John Samis said in the release. “When commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles collide, no matter who was at fault, the results can be catastrophic, especially for the smaller and lighter passenger vehicle. Preventing crashes from happening requires every driver – commercial and personal – to be aware of how to safely share the road with other types of vehicles.”

The rate of motor vehicle-related deaths jumped 20% in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2019 – despite a 17% drop in the number of miles driven – according to preliminary estimates released Sept. 15 by the National Safety Council.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT 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