With the always heightening safety concerns in the transportation sector, The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has decided to double the minimum rate for random drug tests of truck drivers. This announcement came just prior to the launch of the heavily anticipated drug and alcohol clearinghouse. The minimum rate for random drug testing will rise from 25% to 50% annually starting January 1, 2020. The rate requirement for alcohol testing will remain untouched at 10%. The drug and alcohol clearinghouse is a central database to house all positive test results and test refusals.
A bill seeking to improve pipeline safety and reduce emissions concerning climate change was introduced to the House of Representatives on November 15, 2019. The Safe, Accountable, Fair, and Environmentally Responsible (SAFER) Pipelines Act of 2019 was introduced by representative Peter DeFazio (Democrat, Chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee) and Frank Pallone (Democrat, Chairman of The House Energy and Commerce Committee). Current federal regulations are supposed to enforce safety in our environment and the public. DeFazio claims that the current legislation is, “woefully outdated”, he adds, “In 2018 alone there were 636 pipeline incidents that left eight people dead and injured another 90, including the horrific incident that occurred in Merrimack Valley Massachusetts.” The National Safety Transportation Board recently declared the cause of the Merrimack explosion resulted from inadequate management and poor oversight from Columbia Gas of Massachusetts.
Next week Pittsburgh Pennsylvania welcomes the National Truck Driving Championships (NTDC). The competition is each year by the American Trucking Association (ATA) and is slated to take place 8/14-8/17 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. As stated by the ATA, this long standing competition “has a long history – dating back to 1937 when it was known as the National Truck Roadeo”.
Where would somebody look to decide what steps can be taken to increase driver safety? Is it technology that needs to be advanced in order to prevent the number of accidents? Or is it looking at the data and facts of how many truck involved accidents have occurred on our roadways? Perhaps there is a correlation between the two.