McMurray to lead FMCSA’s safety efforts

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Professional Truck Driver Institute has certified driver training curricula at six institutions: Bates Technical College, Tacoma, Wash.; Southern Missouri Truck Driving School, Malden, Mo.; John Wood Community College, Quincy, Ill.; Iowa Central Community College, Fort Dodge, Iowa; and Swift Driving Academies in San Antonio, Texas, and Richmond, Va.

Following a report in the Dallas Morning News regarding lack of enforcement and poor signage, the city’s first assistant city manager and two City Council members have said they will pursue stepped-up enforcement of a 28-year-old ban on hazardous-material haulers using the downtown freeway system. The newspaper reported that the ban is widely ignored by truckers hauling gasoline and other hazardous cargo.

American Trucking Associations’ Highway Watch program announced a collaboration with Inside the Outdoors, a TV network available to truck drivers inside their cabs. Inside the Outdoors will assist Highway Watch in its efforts to enlist truck drivers by featuring training and recruitment information during its daily broadcasts, which are carried by TEN, the Truckers’ Entertainment Network and offered by IdleAire at truck stops.

Sitton Motor Lines received the Missouri Statewide Highway Safety Leadership Award in recognition of the Joplin Mo.-based company’s dedication to “Share the Road,” a public safety education program that focuses on the consequences of inattentive and impaired driving. The award was presented as part of the first Highway Safety Awards at the Blueprint for Safer Roadways Conference in St. Louis.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Mary Peters announced last month that Rose McMurray has been appointed chief safety officer and assistant administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. McMurray has been FMCSA’s associate administrator for policy and program development since 2003.

McMurray has more than 30 years of experience at the U.S. Department of Transportation, serving in a variety of associate administrator and other senior leadership roles in several operating administrations, including the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration; the Federal Highway Administration, when that agency was responsible for commercial motor vehicle safety; and the former Research and Special Programs Administration, where she served as acting administrator for one year.

“Rose has dedicated her entire career to transportation safety,” Peters says. “Her numerous highway safety positions and solid results bring an impressive safety background to her new appointment. She has the experience we need to succeed in our effort to reduce crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses.”

Appointed to The Senior Executive Service in 1989, McMurray has been recognized with numerous honors throughout her career, including the Senior Executive Service Presidential Rank Award, the Secretary of Transportation’s Meritorious Achievement Award, and the Secretary’s Gold Medal for Leading DOT Efforts during the Midwest Floods. She has served on the board of advisers for the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, and for the second time in her career, she is a member of the board of advisers for the National Safety Council. From 1999 to 2004, McMurray was a U.S. delegate to the United Nations’ Working Party on Road Traffic Safety, based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Preventable or not: Doe goes post-al
John Doe – who was moseying down the interstate on a crisp, clear February morning – was thoroughly enjoying his drive, just like he had every day since the new year began. “Who wouldn’t love making long hauls in this brand new, spiffy, decked-out 2006 tractor?” Doe asked himself. His company, which had bought a dozen new ’06 trucks to avoid the more expensive 2007 models, had rewarded its veteran drivers with the new rides. “All I need now is one of them new Blu-ray Disc players in my bunk, and I’d have it made,” he thought to himself.

But Doe knew his day wouldn’t be all bliss, because he was scheduled to make one of his least favorite deliveries. Jacking a semi-trailer into the DIY Hardware dock was always extra tricky and hazardous, thanks to a forest of orange-tipped, concrete posts called “traffic control devices” by store manager Yechs Schmen. Since Doe’s suggestions to Schmen about moving the posts had fallen on deaf ears, today’s delivery was destined to leave a lasting impression