Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020:
More than 15k trucks, drivers sidelined during Roadcheck blitz
More than 15,000 trucks and drivers were placed out-of-service during the annual International Roadcheck inspection blitz in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.
The 72-hour enforcement spree, headed up by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, was held Sept. 9-11. In total, 50,151 inspections were conducted across North America.
The top five vehicle OOS violations during the blitz were brake system (3,163 violations), tires (2,326), lights (1,650), cargo securement (1,586), and brake adjustment (1,567). The total number of out-of-service vehicle violations from Canada, Mexico and the U.S. combined was 12,254.
Each year, inspectors key in on a specific area of violations, and the 2020 focus was driver requirements. The top five driver OOS violations were hours of service (1,128 violations); moving violations, cell phone use, etc. (709); wrong class license (687); false logs (455); and suspended license (141). The total number of driver out-of-service violations was 3,247.
Inspectors also checked seat belt usage during International Roadcheck. A total of 768 seatbelt violations were issued – seven in Canada, eight in Mexico and 753 in the U.S.
In the U.S., inspectors also found 173 out-of-service hazmat violations, including loading, shipping papers, placards and markings.
The next International Roadcheck is scheduled for May 4-6, 2021.
FMCSA to allow third-party CDL skills instructors to train, administer skills test to same individuals
The process to obtain a commercial driver’s license will soon be more streamlined, as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will allow states to permit a third-party skills test examiner to administer the CDL skills test to applicants the examiner also trained.
The final rule will be published in the Federal Register in the coming days, and it will take effect 60 days after publication.
Currently, federal rules prohibit a third-party CDL skills instructor who is also authorized by the state to administer the CDL skills test from performing both the instruction and the testing for the same CDL applicant. The new rule will eliminate that restriction and allow states, at their discretion, to allow third-party skills trainers to also conduct skills testing for the same individual.
FMCSA says the rule is designed to lessen testing delays and “eliminate needless inconvenience and expense to the CDL applicant” without compromising safety.
“Under Secretary Chao’s leadership, the Trump Administration has continued to examine ways to provide common-sense regulatory reform and help individuals seeking to enter the commercial driver industry,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Wiley Deck. “This new rule will provide states more flexibility during the ongoing public health emergency to test CDL applicants and allow more drivers to safely enter the industry.”
Trucker gets Highway Angel wings after helping young boy find parent
An Indiana-based trucker has been named a Highway Angel by the Truckload Carriers Association of helping a lost child find his parent.
Phil Cicero, an ABF Freight driver, had driven into Nashville from Chicago on the morning of July 30. After leaving his truck at the ABF Freight terminal, he was checking into a hotel for a scheduled rest when a young boy ran post him from the elevator area. It was around 8:30 a.m., and the boy, who Cicero believes was about 2 years old, was only wearing his underwear.
“He ran straight outside and stood by the shuttle van for a moment,” Cicero said.
He noticed that there wasn’t anyone around who seemed to know the child. Cicero left his things at the counter and went to see where the boy was going.
“He took off at a dead run,” Cicero said. “He was heading straight to the entrance of the hotel where cars exit and enter.”
Cicero walked quickly behind the boy but decided he better run to catch up to him, and he scooped him up and brought him back to the hotel. He took the boy to the manager’s office, but the boy was too young to provide them with any information as to where he might belong.
“We went back out to the lobby and gave him some water and chips. He wasn’t crying and was seemingly content,” Cicero said. “The manager called the police and they arrived within what seemed to be minutes.”
Cicero and the police thought there may be a parent or family upstairs and chalked it up to a miscommunication. Eventually a father figure came down along with a sibling to claim the young child. Cicero is thankful things turned out well.
TCA presented Cicero with a certificate, patch, lapel pin and truck decals for his willingness to help. ABF Freight also received a certificate acknowledging their driver as a Highway Angel. EpicVue sponsors the TCA Highway Angel program.