CVSA Releases Results from 2022 Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative

First published by CVSA

DOT's Counter-Trafficking Initiative

Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation

This year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) launched its new annual three-day Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative. All three of the Alliance’s member countries – Canada, Mexico and the U.S. – participated in this awareness and outreach effort to educate commercial motor vehicle drivers, motor carriers, law enforcement officers and the general public about human trafficking.

Taking into consideration each country’s existing human trafficking awareness dates, CVSA’s Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative was set for different dates in each country. In the U.S., the three-day initiative took place Jan. 11-13. In Canada, it took place Feb. 22-24. And in Mexico, it was March 15-17.

CVSA jurisdictions recorded human trafficking awareness and outreach data and submitted that data to the Alliance. For the 2022 North America-wide Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative:

  • 35 jurisdictions participated.
  • 2,460 individual law enforcement officers/troopers/inspectors participated.
  • There were 163 reported events (possible indicators of human trafficking or documented cases).
  • 13,274 wallet cards were distributed.
  • 6,355 window decals were distributed.
  • 1,818 presentations were delivered.
  • There were 640 media contacts.

The United Nations defines human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of people through force, fraud or deception with the aim of exploiting them for profit. Men, women and children of all ages and from all backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world, including North America. Human traffickers often use violence or fraudulent employment agencies and fake promises of education and job opportunities to trick and coerce their victims.

After a successful launch year and input from jurisdictions during the CVSA Human Trafficking Prevention program committee meeting at the CVSA Workshop, the CVSA Board of Directors voted to extend the initiative from three days to five days next year. Next year’s Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative is scheduled for Jan. 9-13, 2023, in the U.S.; Feb. 20-24, 2023, in Canada; and March 13-17, 2023, in Mexico.

“The fight to end human trafficking does not end now that the three-day Human Trafficking Awareness Initiative has concluded,” said CVSA President Capt. John Broers with the South Dakota Highway Patrol. “We remain fully committed to educating the public, every day of the year, about the crime of human trafficking, the signs to look for and what to do if you suspect someone is being trafficked. Our ultimate goal is to eradicate human trafficking entirely.”

Truckers Against Trucking (TAT) collaborated with CVSA on the launch of the human trafficking education and awareness campaign. Training materials were developed and available for industry and law enforcement use. In addition, CVSA worked with TAT to provide an online order form for jurisdiction members to order TAT wallet cards and/or window decals, which are now available year-round.

To find out what your local jurisdiction is doing to increase human trafficking awareness throughout the year, contact the agency/department responsible for overseeing commercial motor vehicle safety within your state, province or territory.


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Lawmakers push DOT to update female crash test dummies

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication
crash-test-dummies.jpg

Photo: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

Washington — Concerned by what it calls “an often-overlooked inequity in the area of vehicle safety,” a coalition of House members is asking the Department of Transportation to require the use of “accurate, up-to-date” female crash test dummies in vehicle safety testing.

Rep. Brenda Lawrence (D-MI) and 65 other lawmakers sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. In it, they urge DOT to protect female drivers by directing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to use test dummies that are more representative of the average woman in the United States as part of NHTSA’s New Car Assessment Program and in determining Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

The lawmakers cite recent research and NHTSA statistics showing that females make up more than half of licensed drivers nationwide. In 2019, 10,420 females died in motor vehicle-related crashes and a million more were injured.

Separate studies also show that buckled-up females are 73% more likely to be severely injured in frontal crashes and, overall, are 17% more likely to die in a crash.

These statistics “are in part attributable to the absence of (more accurate) female crash test dummies in the current crash test system,” the letter states. New requirements “would advance gender equity in auto safety regulations and save lives.”

NHTSA’s current female crash test dummies represent the fifth percentile of women in the 1970s, measuring 4 feet, 11 inches tall and weighing 108 pounds. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says today’s average U.S. woman stands 5 feet, 3.5 inches tall and weighs 170.8 pounds.

Stanford University researchers say the dummies “are only scaled-down versions of the standard, mid-sized male” and fail to accurately reflect female geometry, muscle and ligament strength, spinal alignment, and dynamic responses to trauma.

The lawmakers also want female and male dummies used for testing in both driver and passenger seats. According to a press release from Lawrence’s office, the New Car Assessment Program’s five-star safety ratings don’t mandate testing for a female, driver’s-side dummy.

VERITY (Vehicle Equity Rules in Transportation) NOW, an advocacy group, is leading a campaign that encourages stakeholders to tweet at Buttigieg and call for action. “It is simply unacceptable that women suffer because NHTSA’s five-star safety rating program is still based on a 1970s stereotype that women don’t drive, ” VERITY NOW Co-Chair Susan Molinari said in the release.


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Safe truck parking: FMCSA’s Hutcheson says federal agencies will team up to ease shortage

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

trucks-rest-area.jpg

Photo: Missouri Department of Transportation

Louisville, KY — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is “really feeling the urgency” to address a national shortage of safe parking spots for truckers who need to comply with federally mandated rest breaks, acting agency administrator Robin Hutcheson said March 24 during a media roundtable at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

report published on the same day in the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s Land Line magazine notes that Hutcheson called the issue “one of the top two or three” FMCSA hears about, adding that the message has “gone to the top of the U.S. government.”

Federal hours-of-service regulations require truck drivers to park and rest after being on duty for long periods. In a letter sent to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Feb. 18, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear and OOIDA President and CEO Todd Spencer call on the Department of Transportation to prioritize funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to address the issue.

“We know we need to work on this,” Hutcheson said during the roundtable, according to the report. “We know this needs to be addressed. We hear over and over again, ‘I would be a safer driver if I had a place to rest.’ That’s up to us to make sure we’re focusing on that and doing everything we can.”

She added that FMCSA will collaborate with the Federal Highway Administration to remedy the issue. She identified as first steps examining available funding for additional truck parking and ensuring state freight plans include truck parking needs.

During a March 2 hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Buttigieg testified that DOT is “very concerned” about the lack of truck parking, calling it an issue of convenience, safety and emissions. He suggested state DOTs might consider pursuing funding for truck parking from the:

In another update from the roundtable, reported March 28 by Overdrive magazine, Hutcheson said an apprenticeship pilot program that would allow commercial motor vehicle drivers younger than 21 to drive trucks across state lines won’t begin “until late summer, at the earliest.”

Hutcheson said the program, established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, needs a more secure “data collection methodology” before it can be implemented.


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DOT proposes oral fluid drug testing as an alternative method

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Washington — The Department of Transportation has issued a proposed rule that would revise industry drug testing protocol by adding oral fluid testing as an alternative to urine testing for commercial motor vehicle operators and other safety-sensitive transportation workers.

In a notice published in the Feb. 28 Federal Register, DOT claims the proposal “will give employers a choice that will help combat employee cheating on urine drug tests and provide a more economical, less intrusive means of achieving the safety goals” of the transportation industry’s drug and alcohol testing program.

The proposed rule stems from a Department of Health and Human Services final rule allowing federal agencies to collect and test oral fluid specimens as part of their drug testing programs. Under the rule, effective Jan. 1, 2020, agencies must initiate individual rulemaking to begin the process of allowing oral fluid testing as an option.

“The advantage of every oral fluid collection is that it will be directly observed, as opposed to most urine collections, which are unobserved,” DOT states. “While directly observed urine specimen collections have long been the most effective method for preventing individuals from cheating on their drug tests by substituting or adulterating their specimens, directly observed urine collection may only be done in certain circumstances due to employee privacy concerns. Unlike directly observed urine collections, an oral fluid collection is much less intrusive on the tested employee’s privacy.”

The agency adds that it is not proposing to eliminate urine drug testing.

HHS is still considering amendments to proposed guidelines – issued in September 2020 – concerning the use of hair samples as a method for drug testing federal employees and safety-sensitive employees in federally regulated industries, the notice states.

Comments on the proposed rule are due March 30.


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CVSA Supports the U.S. DOT’s National Roadway Safety Strategy

First published by CVSA

Photo: CVSA

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has announced the launch of its National Roadway Safety Strategy (NRSS) to address the crisis on our nation’s roadways. Almost 95% of our nation’s transportation deaths occur on our roadways and they are on the rise.

“Those lost are our family members, our friends, our colleagues, our neighbors,” said Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Americans deserve to travel safely in their communities. Humans make mistakes and as good stewards of the transportation system, we should have in place the safeguards to prevent those mistakes from being fatal. Zero is the only acceptable number of deaths and serious injuries on our roadways.”

The NRSS incorporates the principles of an integrated Safe System approach with the goal of eliminating fatalities and injuries on our highways, roads and streets. The Safe System approach requires supporting a safety culture that places safety first and foremost in road system investment decisions. There are six principles that form the basis of the Safe System approach: deaths and serious injuries are unacceptable, humans make mistakes, humans are vulnerable, responsibility is shared, safety is proactive, and redundancy is crucial.

“The membership of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is comprised of commercial motor vehicle safety inspectors and officials and motor carrier industry representatives who are dedicated to transportation safety,” said CVSA Executive Director Collin Mooney. “Our membership is committed to supporting the U.S. DOT in its commitment to zero fatalities on our roadways through the implementation of identified safety priorities and the Safe System approach.”

Some of the priorities identified in the NRSS specific to the commercial motor vehicle enforcement and motor carrier industry communities include:

  • Implementation of the October 2021 final rule that requires state driver’s licensing agencies to access and use information obtained through the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and take licensing actions against commercial motor vehicle drivers who have drug or alcohol violations in the system and are not cleared to return to duty
  • Improved accuracy of commercial driver’s license (CDL) driver records and the identification of additional opportunities to use these more accurate records to take unsafe commercial motor vehicle drivers off the road more expeditiously
  • Increased highly visible commercial motor vehicle traffic enforcement targeting risky driving behaviors, especially speeding; the department identified speed enforcement, deployed equitably and applied appropriately to roads with the greatest risk of harm due to speeding, as a tactic that may provide significant safety benefits and save lives
  • The continued commitment to identifying high-risk companies and operators of commercial motor vehicles using a data-driven and performance-based approach, including roadside commercial motor vehicle safety inspections

The department’s renewed commitment to roadway safety encompasses priority actions in five categories: safer people, safer roads, safer vehicles, safer speeds and post-crash care. The recent passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides substantial resources and tools to improve safety and save lives and is a prime opportunity to leverage the NRSS.

“As we embark on this reinvigorated effort, we are relying on our partners to also identify and commit to near-term actions that will help make our collective efforts to reach zero a reality,” added Transportation Secretary Buttigieg.

“On behalf of the Alliance, I’d like to thank Transportation Secretary Buttigieg and the U.S. Department of Transportation for their leadership and action in this undertaking,” said Mooney. “We look forward to working together toward our shared vision of zero roadway deaths.”


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Robin Hutcheson Announced as Deputy Administrator of the FMCSA

First published by FMCSA

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced that Robin Hutcheson will become the Deputy Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. As Deputy Administrator, Ms. Hutcheson will serve as the Acting Administrator.

Since January 2021, Ms. Hutcheson has served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Safety Policy for the U.S. Department of Transportation in the Biden-Harris Administration. In this role she led safety policy for the Department, and coordinated other critical efforts, including COVID-19 response and recovery. She was instrumental in the development of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, especially the new Safe Streets and Roads for All program.

Prior to being appointed to the Biden-Harris Administration, she was the Director of Public Works for the City of Minneapolis overseeing a team of 1,100 people across nine divisions including drinking water, surface waters and sewers, solid waste and recycling, fleet management, and all transportation functions.

Prior to her appointment in Minneapolis, she served as the Transportation Director for Salt Lake City, UT, working to improve all modes of transportation.  Robin also has served as a consultant specializing in transportation and transit and has worked throughout the western United States, in London and France, and for the European Union Commission on Sustainability.

Robin served for seven years on the Board of Directors for the National Association of City Transportation Officials (NACTO), most recently serving as its President.

The former Deputy Administrator, Meera Joshi departed this role in January to serve as the Deputy Mayor for Operations for New York City.


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DOT Physical Form Expiration Date

First published by NDASA

Keep Using the DOT Medical Exam Forms Expiring Today

The date found on the top right corner of the following forms indicate the date of expiration is today, November 30th, 2021

This is the date of expiration for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved information collection 2126-0006.

FMCSA is in the process of submitting the information collection renewal request for approval. Please continue to use the forms that are currently posted on the FMCSA website.

Once the information collection renewal has been approved, new versions of the Medical Examination Report Form, MCSA-5875, Medical Examiner’s Certificate, MCSA-5876, and Insulin-Treated Diabetes Mellitus Assessment Form, MCSA-5870 will be posted on the FMCSA website indicating the forms have been renewed.

View the current form here: FMCSA Form MCSA-5875 (dot.gov)


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New DOT Drug Testing CCF Form Required

First published by DOT

The Revised Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form

must be used beginning August 30th, 2021[1]

Important Dates

We will conform to the dates HHS has instructed its certified laboratories to use as follows:

August 29, 2021 – Last date to use the ‘old CCF’.

August 30, 2021 – The date you must use the ‘revised CCF’.  If you use the ‘old CCF’, you must complete a Memorandum for the Record (MFR), otherwise the test will be canceled.

What happened?

On August 17, 2020, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved a revised Federal Drug Testing Custody and Control Form (CCF).  In addition, OMB authorized the use of the old form through August 29, 2021.  You can view the revised CCF here.

When using the ‘old CCF’ from September 1, 2020 through August 29, 2021, a MFR is not required.

Most of the changes adopted in the revised CCF were made to accommodate the use of oral fluid specimens for the Federal drug testing program.  Oral fluid drug testing is not authorized in DOT’s drug testing program.

What’s happening now?

As of August 30, 2021, DOT-regulated employers and their service agents [collectors, laboratories, Medical Review Officers] must use the ‘revised CCF’.

Where can an employer or a collector obtain the revised CCF?

Contact your Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)-certified laboratory to obtain the revised CCF.  A list of HHS‑certified laboratories can be found here.

As an employer or collector, what should I be doing now?

As an employer or collector, monitor your existing supply of ‘old CCFs’ and coordinate the delivery of the ‘revised CCF’ with your HHS-certified laboratory.  Some laboratories may have already contacted you or provided you with information about the delivery of the ‘revised CCF’.

[1] This guidance does not have the force and effect of law and is not meant to bind the public in any way. This guidance is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law.

Last updated: Tuesday, August 10, 2021


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Spring 2021 regulatory agenda: FMCSA seeks to ‘streamline and improve’ database of drivers who fail drug, alcohol tests

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
DOT.jpg

Photo: Jane Terry

 

Washington — A proposal to “streamline and improve error-correction procedures, queries, and consent requirements” within the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is among the anticipated agency actions listed on the Department of Transportation’s regulatory agenda for Spring 2021.

Released June 11, the agenda – issued by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs twice a year – provides the status of and projected dates for all potential regulations listed in three stages: pre-rule, proposed rule and final rule. Listings marked “long term” aren’t expected to be worked on for at least six months.

The potential measure to amend clearinghouse protocol is among seven regulations listed in the proposed rule stage, with a notice for proposed rulemaking expected in February.

FMCSA fully implemented the clearinghouse in January 2020, unveiling a national online database intended to enhance road safety by providing – in real time – the names of commercial motor vehicle drivers who have failed drug and alcohol tests.

Federal regulations mandate motor carriers conduct preemployment drug testing in addition to random testing. Employees who test positive are prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, which includes operating a CMV.

As of May 1, marijuana was the most common substance found in positive tests for substance misuse among CMV drivers, having been detected in 40,053 of the 75,522 positive tests reported to the clearinghouse since Jan. 6, 2020. Cocaine (10,626) and methamphetamine (6,969) were the next most common substances identified. Multiple substances can appear in positive tests, FMCSA notes.

Among the 12 regulations FMCSA lists in the final rule stage is an item concerning the addition of rear impact guards to the list of components to be examined during mandatory annual inspections of CMVs.

Designed to prevent “underrides,” which occur when a passenger vehicle strikes the rear of a CMV and slides underneath, rear impact guards have been required on CMVs for nearly 70 years, states a notice of proposed rulemaking published in the Dec. 29 Federal Register. However, the guards are excluded from the list of components in Appendix G for required inspections, meaning a CMV can pass an annual inspection with a missing or damaged rear impact guard, according to FMCSA.

The agency also is proposing to amend labeling requirements for the guards “and to exclude road construction controlled (RCC) horizontal discharge trailers from the rear impact guard requirements,” the NPRM states.

“Including rear impact guards and rear end protection in the periodic inspection requirements in Appendix G will call additional attention to this critical safety component and help ensure that each vehicle is checked at least once a year, improving compliance and helping to prevent fatalities and injuries when rear-end collisions occur,” the NPRM states. “Furthermore, including rear impact guards and rear end protection in the periodic annual inspection standards will harmonize U.S. regulations with those in Canada and Mexico, which include rear impact guards and rear end protection as part of their annual inspection programs.”

A final rule is expected to be published in November.


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Additional Measures Taken to Help States Affected by Pipeline

First published by FMCSA.

USDOT Announces Additional Measures to Help States in Areas Affected by the Colonial Pipeline Incident

The U.S. DOT today announced additional help for States in areas affected by the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline.  The White House and DOT have determined that previous declarations of “major disaster” issued by the President within the past 120 days allow States covered by those declarations to use Interstate highways in their State to transport overweight loads of gasoline and other fuels.  Each State must continue to follow its own procedures for issuance of special permits authorizing the loads, but the added flexibility announced today lawfully permits these trucks to run on the Interstate Highway System and other Federal highways.  This flexibility is in addition to preexisting authority for States to issue special permits allowing the trucks to run on State highways.

The previous Presidential declarations created this authority for up to 120 days.  Given the declarations’ varied dates of issuance, that period will expire at different points for the affected States between now and early September.  The first State whose 120-day period will expire is Maryland, on June 4.  The last State is Virginia, on September 7.

The ten States covered are Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, New Jersey, North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia.  All these States are already covered under the separate Emergency Declaration that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued on May 9, which grants truck drivers making emergency fuel deliveries in areas affected by the pipeline disruption relief from the Federal hours of service limits and certain other safety regulations.

Consistent with 23 U.S.C. 127(i) and applicable State laws, States that are currently operating under Federal Major Disaster Declarations may issue special permits to overweight vehicles carrying divisible loads on Interstate and Defense Highways that are delivering relief supplies, including gasoline, diesel, jet fuel, and other refined petroleum products.  States may exercise this authority for 120 days from the date of the declaration of the major disaster.


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