| January 03, 2006

The program also lack uniformity across states, and the number of locations and hours are insufficient. The ATA also suggested revamping the screening process to focus on hazardous materials that are true security risks.

The USA Patriot Act required threat assessments of the hazmat endorsement applicants and the 4 million U.S. CDL holders who have hazmat endorsements.
-Jill Dunn

ATA Voices Concerns Over Sleeper Berth Provision
The American Trucking Associations expressed concern over the sleeper berth provisions in the new hours-of-service rule via a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Bill Graves, ATA president and chief executive officer, wrote in an Oct. 26 letter to FMCSA Administrator Annette Sandberg that he had “serious and pervasive concerns” with the agency’s sleeper berth provision.

The association had an earlier dispute with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association after OOIDA sent a letter to carrier executives asking for support of its petition of federal officials to change the new sleeper berth provision. That letter also indicated the association believed the ATA had not battled hard enough for HOS issues.

The sleeper berth provision that existed for decades was efficient
and safe, Graves told Sandberg. “Allowing flexibility in the splitting of sleep periods for both single and team drivers affords inherent protections and provides scheduling options that are critical for driver safety,” he stated.

The ATA will gather historical and current sleeper berth data and safety and productivity metrics for team and solo drivers to provide to the agency and industry, Graves concluded.
-Jill Dunn

Oversight Group Finds Crash Data Improved
While the quality of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s truck crash data has improved, it still has a ways to go, according to the Government Accountability Office.

The GAO, the congressional investigative arm that examines public funding, issued a report Nov. 20 following a Senate request that it evaluate the FMCSA program for helping states improve truck crash data. That evaluation noted the Department of Transportation agreed with the report.

The Senate also requested the GAO address issues raised in the DOT Inspector General 2004 report on Motor Carrier Safety Status Measurement System or SafeStat. The FMCSA uses SafeStat to identify high-risk motor carriers so the agency can better focus resources in compliance reviews and enforcement action.

The OIG had noted that the quality of data being fed into the Safety Status Measurement System, or SafeStat was poor. The FMCSA has removed key data elements from the public Internet site until it improves.

In response to recommendations in that 2004 report, the agency developed the State Safety Data Quality map, considered a tool for rating states’ data quality. The GAO stated the FMCSA should develop an assessment and improvement plan for the map’s methodology and should furnish a crash specific data rating and limitations of the map on its website.

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