Faxed: 3 pages to list below
|December 17, 2007|
Honorable Frank R. Lautenberg, Chair
Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation
and Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security
324 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
on Federal Truck Driver Hours-of-Service
Dear Senator Lautenberg:
In light of
rescheduling of the previous two hearing dates, which I had made arrangements
to attend, I am communicating my concerns via this document.
The purpose of this letter is to provide you with some
information regarding the lack of education by
the FMCSA of commercial truck
drivers concerning the various versions of the hours-of-service (HOS)
regulation in effect since January 2004. This information was obtained through a survey conducted by the United
Safety Alliance, Inc., d.b.a. Ol' Blue,
an organization that is trusted by thousands of truckers throughout the nation.
United Safety Alliance, Inc. is a non-profit charitable
organization transacting business under the name "Ol' Blue,
." Ol' Blue,
founded in 1986 and is dedicated toward educating the public on highway safety
and improving relations between commercial drivers, law enforcement and the
public. Ol' Blue,
conducts various educational programs including radio programs, Internet
programs, a monthly magazine column, simulated truck inspections and logbook
seminars at trucking trade shows. Our
school program "Big Wheels, Little Kids" involves educating children
about safety around large vehicles.
The affairs of Ol' Blue,
managed by our volunteer Board of Directors. Our seven (7) directors are individuals from the trucking industry,
retired law enforcement, trucking media and education. I serve as a president of the organization at
the pleasure of our Board of Directors of which I am also a member.
funded through cash and in-kind donations from the public. Receiving
no federal, or state funding.
Beginning on August 15, 2006 and terminating on October 31, 2006, Ol' Blue,
conducting an on-line survey of 1,094 CDL drivers. This
survey was designed by Crump and Associates as a public service for Ol' Blue,
, who states that sampling of more than 1,000 drivers,
provides a more than adequate sampling to quantify the survey as valid. The identities of the survey
participants were anonymous. Ol' Blue,
USA conducted the survey because of the feedback we were receiving from
listeners on our radio program and from Internet correspondence indicating that
there was widespread misunderstanding of the hours-of-service rule, not only
among drivers, but also among management. We wanted to confirm this information through our survey and concentrate
on what was lacking in the way of HOS education.
This survey was used as
source material for many trucking publications, and was never challenged as to
the results, not even by FMCSA, who responded to a publication that the data
was being evaluated.
of Survey Results.
The results of the HOS survey conducted by Ol' Blue,
indicated the following:
• 67.5 percent of participants said the Hours-of-Service
regulations were difficult to understand and easy to violate accidentally.
• 48.7 percent of participants said that they needed more
training about Hours of Service regulations in plain language.
• 54.9 percent of participants said they thought they
understood the Hours of Service regulations, but still have some difficulties.
• 62.7 percent of participants said they needed to know
where to find honest answers about Hours of Service regulations.
• 51.1 percent of participants said that the people they
work for expect them to violate Hours-of-Service regulations as part
of their job.
The Ol' Blue, USA 2006 HOS driver Survey can be found at http://www.olblueusa.org/survey/
Vehicle Safety Association (CVSA) Roadcheck 2007.
The CVSA is an organization consisting of representatives
from commercial vehicle enforcement and the trucking industry. Law enforcement members of CVSA conduct an
annual "Roadcheck" in June, the purpose of which is to inspect
commercial vehicles and commercial vehicle operators to determine compliance
with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) found that for the second straight
year, the number of drivers placed out of service increased from 5.6 percent in
2006 to 6.2 percent in 2007. This is the highest Roadcheck driver out of
service rate since 1999. The bulk of the drivers placed out of
service (65.9 percent of the total) were done so for hours-of-service
violations. This compares with 57.1 percent in 2006. Falsification of
records of duty status was second in line, comprising 11.4 percent of the total
– 12.4 percent was the 2006 number.
Hours-of-Service out of service violations continues its upward
trend, with 4.9 percent of all inspections resulting
in a driver being placed out of service for hours-of-service, up from 4.5
percent last year, 3.5 percent in 2005 and 3.4 percent in 2004.
2007 results can be found at http://www.cvsa.org/latestnews/cvsa_latestnews.cfm#jun29
6. Oregon’s DOT Inspections in July 2007 Put Nearly 300 Drivers Out of
In July 2007,
checked driver’s logbooks and qualifications to make sure they were complying
with federal and state regulations. Preliminary results indicated that more than 1,200 inspections were
completed at seven sites. About one quarter (25%) of the inspections resulted
in a driver being placed out of service. The national driver out-of-service rate is 7 percent. Final results
will be posted on the agency’s Web site, www.oregon.gov/ODOT/MCT/ .
See also the article in The Trucker that can be
found at The Trucker
7. FMCSA’s Hours-of-Service of
Drivers Interim Final Rule.
takes no position on what the
interim or final hours-of-service regulation should be. However, it is our organization's position
that education of drivers by the FMCSA and by the motor carrier industry is
woefully lacking. This is evidenced by
the results of our HOS survey. I urge
you to support measures that would provide for greater education of truck
drivers on the hours-of-service regulation. As the FMCSA noted in its decision promulgating of the Interim Final
Rule "Uncertainty is the enemy
of enforcement and compliance; it can only impair highway safety." See page 8, Notice of Interim Final Rule.
Very truly yours,
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