Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

FMCSA to study sexual assault and harassment in trucking

female-truck-driver.jpg
Photo: kali9/iStockphoto

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration wants input from truckers as it shapes a study to analyze how common sexual assault and harassment are in the trucking industry.

A Feb. 8 Request for Information states that FMCSA is acting on recommendations of its Women of Trucking Advisory Board “to better understand problems” of sexual assault and sexual harassment, or SASH.

Through the study, the agency seeks to understand possible regulatory or policy actions to improve driver safety and mitigate incidents of sexual assault and harassment. FMCSA further looks to collaborate with industry partners on outreach efforts to boost driver safety through SASH prevention.

FMCSA is seeking to expand on a 2022 study that found harassment and crime against female and minority male truck drivers was “prevalent.”

According to the study, “women truck drivers are particularly vulnerable to crimes that are sexual in nature and are more likely to experience harassment from another truck driver or from trainers,” FMCSA says. The agency also found that crimes against female drivers are more likely to happen at night.

Although female truck drivers reported harassment incidents more often than their male counterparts, FMCSA said “most respondents said that they did not think reporting harassment would make a difference.”

Comments are due March 11.


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

FMCSA seeking more input on how it decides if motor carriers are safe

Washington — As the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration considers revising how it determines if truck and bus companies are fit to operate safely, the agency is asking for feedback on research that could impact its decision.

FMCSA is looking for input on six studies. Topics include:

  • In-vehicle monitoring systems
  • The association between crashes and safety-critical events
  • The impact of federal compliance reviews on reducing crashes
  • The effectiveness of forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking systems on front-to-rear crash rates

Comments are due Feb. 12.

FMCSA determines whether motor carriers are able to operate safely by using existing motor carrier data and data collected during compliance reviews. This forms a three-tiered rating system of satisfactory, conditional or unsatisfactory.

The agency accepted comment through Nov. 29 on a possible new methodology for making this determination, considering input on:

  • Available science or technical information to analyze regulatory alternatives for determining carrier fitness
  • Current agency safety fitness determination regulations, including feedback on the process and impacts
  • Available data and costs for regulatory alternatives reasonably likely to be considered

In 2017, FMCSA withdrew a proposed rule that would have changed the SFD process for motor carriers.


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

Should states be allowed to make their own rules for truckers’ meal and rest breaks?

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is asking for comments on petitions seeking to restore California’s and Washington state’s rules on meal and rest breaks for commercial truck and bus drivers.

The agency had preempted both states’ rules, which gave drivers at least 30 minutes of off-duty mealtime for every five hours of work and a 10-minute rest period for every four hours of work for drivers transporting property.

FMCSA requests input on:

  • Whether – and to what extent – enforcement of a state’s meal and rest break laws with respect to intrastate property-carrying and passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers has impacted the health and safety of drivers.
  • Whether enforcement of state meal and rest break laws as applied to interstate property-carrying or passenger-carrying CMV drivers will exacerbate existing truck parking shortages and result in more trucks parking on the side of the road, and whether any such effect will burden interstate commerce or create additional dangers to drivers and the public.
  • Whether enforcement of a state’s meal and rest break laws as applied to interstate property-carrying or passenger-carrying CMV drivers will dissuade carriers from operating in that state.
  • Whether enforcement of a state’s meal and rest break laws as applied to interstate property-carrying or passenger-carrying CMV drivers will weaken or otherwise impact the resiliency of the national supply chain.

In December 2018, FMCSA preempted California’s rules for property-carrying CMV drivers who are subject to hours-of-service regulations. The agency said the rules were incompatible with current federal HOS regulations and caused “a disruption in interstate commerce.” A little more than a year later, FMCSA granted a similar preemption petition for passenger-carrying CMV drivers in the state.

In November 2020, FMCSA granted a petition to preempt Washington state’s meal and rest break rules for property-carrying CMV drivers, determining that federal HOS regulations supersede the state’s rules.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Truck Safety Coalition, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, Parents Against Tired Truckers, and William B. Trescott have petitioned FMCSA to reverse those decisions.

The American Trucking Associations, the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association, the American Bus Association, and the Washington Trucking Associations submitted the original petitions for FMCSA preemption.

Comments are due Feb. 26.


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

Survey outlines trucking industry’s commitment to safety

Photo-Missouri-DOT

Washington — The trucking industry remains committed to maintaining and improving safety – and has the receipts to prove it.

Recently released data from the American Trucking Associations’ Safety Spend Survey shows that, in 2022, the industry invested an estimated $14 billion in technology, training and “other expenditures” to boost highway safety. That’s an increase of more than 40% from the most recent survey conducted in 2015.

ATA polled motor carriers with fleets of all sizes. Respondents represented nearly 160,000 trucks and 170,000 drivers, an association press release states. Fleets’ investments were organized under five categories: onboard safety technology, training, incentives, safety-related maintenance and compliance costs.

“The trucking industry’s highest commitment is to keep our roads, drivers and the entire motoring public safe,” ATA President and CEO Chris Spear said. “This report clearly demonstrates that safety isn’t just a slogan for our industry, it is our mission. While others talk about their commitment to safety, the trucking industry is doing the work and investing in lifesaving technology and training every day.”


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

Speed-limiter proposal hot topic of House hearing

Robin Hutcheson
Photo: National Association of City Transportation Officials

Washington — Members of the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee veered from the focus of a recent hearing by challenging legislation that would require speed-limiting devices on heavy trucks.

During the Dec. 13 hearing on implementing provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Job Act, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration head Robin Hutcheson fielded heavy questioning about the agency’s May 2022 advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

The ANPRM, however, isn’t part of the law.

“We share your commitment to drivers and certainly their safety and the safety of everybody who travels,” Hutcheson said in response to critical remarks on the ANPRM from Rep. Eric Burlison (R-MO). “We are underway in a process of rulemaking; however, we have not yet issued any notice of proposed rulemaking.”

Burlison interjected: “Well, I would encourage you to not implement that rule. I think you would have an outcry from [the trucking] community.”

The Department of Transportation’s Fall 2023 regulatory agenda lists December as a target date for publication of a second proposed rule.

In May 2022, FMCSA introduced an ANPRM that would mandate the installation of speed limiters on trucks, buses and multipurpose passenger vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds. The advance proposal expanded on a 2016 joint proposal from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and FMCSA. The latter is the lone agency listed on the ANPRM, which doesn’t suggest a top speed. The 2016 proposal specified capping speeds at 60, 65 or 68 mph.

FMCSA received nearly 16,000 comments on its updated advance proposal, which requested feedback from stakeholders on prompts including:

  • What percentage of the commercial motor vehicle fleet uses speed-limiting devices?
  • If in use, at what maximum speed are the devices generally set?
  • What training or skill sets are needed for motor carriers’ maintenance personnel to adjust or program electronic engine control units to set speed limits?

During the hearing, Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) advised Hutcheson to “listen to the truckers” who believe the measure regulates them too strictly. “I think they would know better than the bureaucrats and, specifically, Congress on this.”

Said Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ): “Nobody’s asked for this. This is another creation of big government, in my opinion.”


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

FMCSA Warning: Drivers Who Drug-Test Positive Will Lose CDLs

Final Rule Goes Into Effect in Late 2024
drug test form

A substance abuse professional will evaluate when a driver has successfully completed his or her eligibility to be retested. (Thinkstock)

Federal trucking regulators have issued a warning that late next year truck drivers who test positive for drug use will not only be placed on prohibited driving status, but will lose their commercial driver licenses and not be issued learning permits until they complete the federal return-to-work process.

“A driver with a drug-and-alcohol program violation is prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, including operating CMVs, for any DOT-regulated employer until the return-to-duty process is complete,” said a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration notice on Nov. 28. “By November 18, 2024, as part of new federal regulations, drivers with a ‘prohibited’ status in the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will lose or be denied their state-issued commercial driving privileges.”

FMCSA’s final rule was issued in October 2021, but the message went out this week to remind drivers that positive drug tests will require state driver licensing agencies to take action when the drug test failures are posted in the Clearinghouse, said an agency spokeswoman.

“A CDL license will remain prohibited until FMCSA has received notification that the driver has satisfied and completed the return-to-duty process,” the spokeswoman said. “Subsequently, FMCSA removes the violation from the Clearinghouse.”

The final rule said it will help keep unsafe drivers off the road by increasing compliance with the CMV driving prohibition.

A driver’s employer is required to provide a driver a list of DOT-qualified substance abuse professionals for education and treatment. Drivers can then select their SAP based on their own research. The SAP will then evaluate when a driver has successfully completed his or her eligibility to be retested.

“To remain in a ‘not prohibited’ status, your employer must complete the follow-up testing plan with you as specified by the SAP, which must include a minimum of six unannounced follow-up tests in the first 12 months of returning to performing safety-sensitive functions,” according to FMCSA. “If you are an owner-operator, your designated consortium/third-party administrator must complete your follow-up testing plan.”

FMCSA says the Clearinghouse is having the intended effect of taking large numbers of drivers caught using drugs off the highways. However, a persistent concern is that large numbers of drivers remain in prohibited driving status after failing their drug tests, suggesting that many have been leaving the profession rather than enroll in the return-to-duty program.

Since the Clearinghouse was opened in January 2020, there have been 224,000 positive drug and alcohol tests recorded, the majority for positive marijuana drug tests.

As of the end of September, 149,374 drivers remained in prohibited status, with 113,639 not yet starting the return-to-work program.

Despite a recent illuminating research report by the American Transportation Research Institute that focused on driver marijuana test failures, FMCSA said it has no research of its own yet to explain why the large majority of drivers who test positive for at least one of the 14 substances tested appear to be moving to what they view as greener pastures — maybe even for less money.

ATRI notes that marijuana is a unique problem. While it is legal in many states, truck drivers cannot use marijuana at all. There is zero tolerance. Smoking a joint can cause a driver to fail his or her drug test.

The ATRI study concluded: “Data confirms that most [drivers] have not completed the return-to-work process and instead opted to remain outside of the interstate trucking industry.”

In a recent statement, FMCSA noted that in calendar years 2021 and 2022, more than 1 million new CDL driver records were added to the Commercial Driver’s License Information System by states — a “robust indicator of new drivers entering the industry. Therefore, we believe FMCSA’s drug and alcohol program is improving safety by directly holding individual drivers accountable for drug and alcohol violations and completing the RTD requirements.”


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 Transport Topic

Trucking industry’s top concerns include safe parking and driver distraction

truck-stop.jpg
Photo: Bim/iStockphoto

Austin, TX — Multiple safety-related issues are spotlighted in the American Transportation Research Institute’s annual list of top trucking industry concerns.

ATRI – the research arm of the American Trucking Associations – surveyed more than 4,000 trucking industry stakeholders, including drivers, motor carriers, suppliers, driver trainers and law enforcement.

A lack of safe places for truckers to park ranks second on the list, while driver distraction is seventh – returning to the top 10 for the first time since 2018. Driver detention/delay at customer facilities is ninth.

“Thankfully, ATRI’s analysis doesn’t just tell us what the issues are, it spells out a number of data-driven strategies that the industry can pursue to address them,” ATA Chair Dan Van Alstine said in a press release.

For safe truck parking, ranking behind only the economy, the top proposed solutions from respondents in order:

  • Advocate for a dedicated federal funding program to increase truck parking capacity at freight-central locations.
  • Encourage local and regional governments to reduce the regulatory burdens limiting the construction and expansion of truck parking facilities.
  • Research the relationship between truck parking availability and highway safety.

Fuel prices and a shortage of drivers, the leading industry concerns in 2022, fell to third and fourth, respectively. Making its first appearance in the top 10, zero-emission vehicles came in at No. 10.


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

ATRI Commences Research on Challenges Faced by Women Truck Drivers

ATRI Commences Research on Challenges Faced by Women Truck DriversWashington, DC – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) is initiating research on the challenges facing women truck drivers as well as barriers that discourage women from considering a career as a truck driver.  The comprehensive study will also identify strategies for overcoming industry issues faced by women.  Previous ATRI research has confirmed that women make up only 8.1 percent of all U.S. truck drivers, and only 2.7 percent of over-the-road truck drivers.  In response, the ATRI Research Advisory Committee prioritized this new women-focused research initiative at its 2023 Annual Meeting.

Key components of the research will include:

  • National surveys and focus groups with women who are veteran truck drivers, new entrants, and women who are former truck drivers.  In addition, the researchers will engage different groups of women to identify both issues and motivators for women considering careers in trucking.
  • Recognizing that certain fleets have substantially more women drivers than typical fleets, motor carriers will be surveyed and interviewed to identify best practices in recruiting and retaining women truck drivers.  Additional outreach will focus on women executives at motor carriers in order to understand issues and opportunities beyond truck driving.
  • Collaborating with truck driver training schools to identify recruitment and training issues unique to women.

Research Analyst Abbigail Huffman, who will lead the multi-faceted research for ATRI, invites industry stakeholders who would like to be involved in the research to contact her at AHuffman@trucking.org

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501c3 not-for-profit research organization.  It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system.


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 ATRI

Safe parking one focus of $80 million in FMCSA grants

Trucks line up at a Port of Los Angeles gate. (photo courtesy of the Port of Los Angeles)

Washington — Improving truckers’ access to safe parking is one of the initiatives being funded by more than $80 million in high priority grants from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The grant program provides funding for activities and projects aimed at strengthening trucking safety by way of the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program, as well as innovative technology, research and other projects. State and local governments, Native American tribes, political jurisdictions, nonprofit organizations, and institutions of higher education are among the groups eligible for funding.

The grant initiatives include a 65% increase in funding from last year for truck parking projects, as well as providing dynamic message signage – intended to help truck drivers locate open parking spaces in rest areas – along highways in Delaware, Indiana and Kentucky.

Other projects awarded grants include:

  • Research to support automated, location-based driver alerts via electronic logging devices that inform drivers of upcoming work zones
  • Enhancement of electronic screening technologies to detect vehicle violations, including automated license plate readers, U.S. Department of Transportation number readers, tire monitoring system, and hazardous material placard readers

“We depend on truck drivers every day, and we have a national responsibility to support their safety and job quality,” Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said in a press release. “Today, we are proud to deliver new funding that will improve safety on our nation’s roads.”


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 More Than $80 Million in Grants to Improve Highway Safety, Including Better Access to Truck Parking

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced more than $80 million in grant awards from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This historic funding will help reduce the frequency and severity of commercial motor vehicle crashes on our nation’s roadways and support truck drivers by expanding access to truck parking, investing in critical technology, improving safety in work zones, rural areas and high crash corridors, and more. Grant recipients include states, local governments, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions across the country.

The High Priority grants include a 65% increase in funding for truck parking projects over last year and enhance critical efforts to support truck drivers and improve safety such as:

  • Expand access to truck parking by helping truck drivers locate available rest area truck parking spaces in real time via dynamic message signs along highways in Kentucky, Delaware, and Indiana.
  • Research to support automated, location-based driver alerts via electronic logging devices that inform drivers of upcoming work zones — improving safety for both the drivers and the workers.
  • Enhancement of electronic screening technologies to detect vehicle violations (such as automated license plate readers, USDOT number readers, tire monitoring system, and hazardous materials placard readers).
  • Outreach and education to combat human trafficking, an effort in which truck drivers can play a key role given their time and attention on the road.

“We depend on truck drivers every day, and we have a national responsibility to support their safety and job quality,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Today, we are proud to deliver new funding that will improve safety on our nation’s roads.”

“President Biden’s historic investment through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law helps improve commercial motor vehicle safety on our roadways both at the national and local levels,” said FMCSA Administrator Robin Hutcheson. “Our grantees will dedicate these investments to innovative technology, research, and other projects that will positively impact CMV safety and move us towards the National Roadway Safety Strategy’s goal of zero deaths on our nation’s roadways.”

This builds on the Biden-Administration’s continued investment in truck parking and safety on our nation’s roadways, which includes over $80 million invested in new truck parking spaces across the country.

  • Caldwell County, Texas: $22.9 million RAISE grant to design and construct a truck parking plaza that improves safety and convenience for truck drivers. Plaza will include short- and long-term spaces with lighting, fencing, restroom and shower facilities, with 24-hour monitored security.
  • Caldwell Parish, Louisiana: $10.5 million RAISE grant to buy land and build a Truck Parking facility near the port and a highway for 50 commercial trucks, 100 cars, and EV charging stations that are designed to provide auxiliary power units to power a truck cab’s heating and cooling, without having to run the engine while also recharging trucks. There will also be a system to find parking spaces in real-time.
  • On I-4 Between Tampa and Orlando: $15 million INFRA grant for a new truck parking facility with approximately 120 spaces, electric charging stations, and pedestrian infrastructure to access nearby commercial amenities.
  • Near Memphis, Tennessee: $22 million INFRA grant adds 125 truck parking spaces at a spot along I-40—a critical freight corridor. Project will also upgrade adjacent bridge structures.

All HP grant applications undergo a series of reviews before award selection. Please visit FMCSA’s grant program page for additional information on the discretionary application announcement, review, and approval process.


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 FMCSA