Security group tells DOT to mandate velocity limiters, computerized braking methods, sleep apnea screenings for trucking after hazmat spills

A significant freeway security advocacy group is asking U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg to crack down on the trucking {industry} following hazmat spills, together with the railroad derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.

In a March 14 letter to Buttigieg, the Truck Security Coalition (TSC) demanded motion from the U.S. Division of Transportation (DOT) following current hazmat spills together with the one attributable to a prepare derailment in East Palestine and one other that occurred in February in Tucson, Arizona. Within the Tuscon crash, a semi hauling nitric acid in liquid kind rolled on eastbound I-10, killing the truck driver and forcing officers to subject a shelter-in-place order.

“It’s previous time to subject important and overdue truck security requirements that can stop hazmat crashes, save lives, defend communities, and put public security forward of company income,” the TSC wrote.

The TSC particularly known as for speedy DOT motion on various trucking issues of safety. See beneath for the group’s record of advisable motion for DOT as specified by the letter to Buttigieg:

Require Computerized Emergency Braking on All Business Motor Automobiles.

The Infrastructure Funding and Jobs Act (IIJA) (Pub. L. 117–58), enacted in 2021, mandated rulemaking for computerized emergency braking (AEB) in business motor automobiles (CMVs) topic to 49 C.F.R. 571.136. As way back as 2015, security teams petitioned the Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA) to subject an ordinary requiring AEB on CMVs. Moreover, analysis by the Insurance coverage Institute for Freeway Security has discovered that AEB and ahead collision warning may eradicate greater than two out of 5 giant truck rear-end collision crashes.7 The European Union has required AEB on practically all heavy vans since 2013.8 AEB is a widely known, well-researched, and well-performing know-how to forestall truck crashes. We urge you to maneuver expeditiously to subject a complete AEB normal that mandates this know-how on all new vans and ensures that DOT meets the statutory deadline of November 2023.

Mandate Pace Limiters on All Business Motor Automobiles.

Pace kills. The protection advantages of controlling the velocity of a CMV are incontrovertible. In 2016, FMCSA proposed its first velocity limiter rule however has but to subject a ultimate normal. For a lot too lengthy the FMCSA has taken a laissez-faire strategy to speed-limiters that has, by FMCSA’s personal calculations, value hundreds of lives. Research have concluded that vans utilizing velocity limiters have been concerned in half as many high-speed collisions as these not utilizing velocity limiters. Pace is commonly a causal think about rollover crashes. Pace limiters, set no greater than 60 mph, should be required by DOT on all CMVs instantly. Already, velocity limiting methods are required all through world together with in Canada, the UK and Australia.

Fatigue is a Main Downside within the Trucking Business. The Hours-of-Service Rule Must be Reformed and Restored & Obstructive Sleep Apnea Rulemaking Have to be Reinstituted.

In 2011, FMCSA issued a hours-of-service (HOS) rule, supported by 80 research and financial evaluation supposed to avoid wasting the lives of truck drivers and people of passenger automobiles from fatigued truck drivers. Following a lawsuit introduced by trucking pursuits, FMCSA rolled again a number of key provisions, prompting Nationwide Transportation Security Board (NTSB) Member Bruce Landsberg to conclude that the amended rule places everybody on the street “at elevated danger.”Moreover, working on a brief haul exemption (which permits a most obligation interval of 14 hours with no logs books, when working inside 150 air miles of normal reporting location) elevated crash danger by 383 p.c. We urge you to revive the 2011 rule instantly and require a 30-minute relaxation break after eight hours of driving that doesn’t permit non-driving work. Moreover, DOT ought to reinstitute the rulemaking requiring screening and remedy of security delicate personnel for obstructive sleep apnea, one thing DOT already requires of air pilots.

New Entrant Service Proficiency Examination is Important.

Congress has twice directed FMCSA to develop a information examination for brand new motor carriers, initially in 1999 and once more in 2012.17 Years later, new motor carriers nonetheless would not have to show to FMCSA that they know something concerning the federal security requirements to take part in interstate commerce. That is additionally true for carriers looking for to haul hazardous supplies, which is terrifying. New carriers want solely signal a kind stating that they’re conversant in FMCSA security necessities.18 As well as, entry-level drivers who’re studying to correctly transport hazardous supplies will not be required to build up a minimal variety of behind-the-wheel (BTW) coaching hours.19 That is unacceptable. It’s time to instantly full the New Entrant Service Proficiency Examination rulemaking.

Anti-Security Trucking Laws within the 118th Congress Will Make Our Nation’s Harmful Roadways Even Deadlier.

Present industry-led legislative proposals search extra security rollbacks that additional endanger all roadway customers and should be stopped. They embody: Ceasing Age-Primarily based (CAB) Trucking Restrictions Act (H.R. 267) and the Safer Highways and Elevated Efficiency for Interstate Trucking (SHIP IT) Act (H.R. 471). Moreover, we stay against the teenager trucker pilot program mandated by the IIJA and proceed to name for stringent oversight.

“The East Palestine prepare crash has revealed harmful and lethal deficiencies within the rail transportation of hazardous supplies. Perilous deficiencies are additionally ubiquitous within the truck transportation of hazardous supplies. There are not any defensible excuses for additional delays when public security is clearly in danger. We urge you to behave now on mandating these crucial and overdue security enhancements,” TSC concluded.

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