NPTC National Safety Conference features top speakers, topics

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An all-star lineup featuring some of the nation’s top safety practitioners has been confirmed for fifth annual National Safety Conference, sponsored by the National Private Truck Council, set for Sept. 13-14 at the Holiday Inn Arlington in Arlington, Va., just outside of Washington, D.C.

“This year’s program, put together by a team led by Charlie Rottmund, NTPC’s safety and compliance director, has a new lineup of fresh topics and outstanding presenters, and represents a truly innovative approach to looking a safety from a private fleet perspective,” says Greg Whisenant, CTP, chair of NPTC’s Safety Committee and transportation safety manager for Shaw Industries.

The opening session kicks off with NPTC General Counsel Rick Schweitzer giving an insider’s view of truck sizes and weights, congestion and toll roads, and their related impact on safety. Jim Noble of Zurich Services Corp. follows with an analysis of how the NPTC Best Practices Safety Guide can improve a company’s overall safety profile.

How does driving history predict future crashes? Dan Murray of the American Transportation Research Institute will offer insights into this question based on the latest research. Next, Jay Sterrett of Mohawk Industries looks at how analyzing accident data can lead to better safety strategies.

What about safety in recruiting, hiring and training from a driver’s perspective? Two NPTC Driver Hall of Fame inductees, James Tolly, who retired from NCI Building Systems, and Ernest Woodruff of Smithfield Transportation will offer their comments, as will fleet managers Melanie Lee of Smithfield Transportation and Larry Dean, CTP, of NCI Building Systems.

Following next is a presentation from a FMCSA field inspector, Michael Fox, on the subject of safety issues affecting private fleets. The day ends with a sponsored networking reception.

The second day begins with the traditional “rise and shine for safety” roundtable discussions that have been popular with attendees. A panel follows on the subject of “Safety Technology Review” – looking at active safety devices from a cost/benefit perspective. Panelists include Amy Houser, FMCSA; Alan Korn, Meritor Wabco; William J. Patrolia, Iteris; Kevin Romanchok, Bendix-Commercial Vehicle Systems; and Rick Youngblood, Eaton-Vorad.

For the first time, the program will feature a speaker on defensive driving training. The presenter is Leesa Mansen of Smith Systems Driver Improvement Institute.

Finally, concluding the conference will be “Driver Wellness Programs” by Dr Timothy Lee, MD, medical director of Sentara OBICI Occupational Health Services, describing how private fleets can improve their safety by encouraging drivers to invest in healthy lifestyles.

“This exciting lineup of speakers brings a lot of take-away value for attendees,” says Whisenant. “Our National Safety Conference this year is a ‘must-attend’ event.” For more information about the National Safety Conference, visit NPTC’s website at