Show me state hosts TSA study

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James Trombley of Alberta, Canada, won the North American Inspectors Championship, a contest representing jurisdictions in the United States, Mexico and Canada. Trombley – a Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance-certified North American Standard Level I inspector – won for his combined performances in six competition elements. Fifty-four CVSA inspectors – two from Mexico, seven from Canada and 45 from the United States – competed in the 15th annual championship, held Aug. 20-26 in Minneapolis.

Connecticut state truck inspectors reportedly issued 514 violation notices to 110 trucks pulled over as part of a weeklong crackdown on unsafe truckers. According to Gov. M. Jodi Rell’s office, 38 vehicles and 13 drivers were placed out of service, and inspectors issued fines of $23,730.

Kentucky Vehicle Enforcement Officers rode along with truck drivers for 10 days in September as part of a yearlong effort to crack down on aggressive driving on Interstate 71/75 in Boone and Kenton counties. The ride-alongs were part of a broader program called Ticketing Aggressive Cars and Trucks (TACT), which is designed to educate motorists on the importance of leaving adequate space, especially between trucks and passenger vehicles.

During CVSA’s Brake Safety Week Aug. 26-Sept. 1, inspectors and industry participants nationwide conducted enforcement and educational activities on proper commercial vehicle and automobile brake inspections, maintenance and operations.

A recent pilot program in Missouri will help the Transportation Security Administration continue to assess and improve the security status of the nation’s highway and motor carrier systems, the agency announced.

TSA conducted a 12-month Corporate Security Review (CSR) to gather information on security practices, identify threats and vulnerabilities, and promote awareness among motor carriers. In the voluntary review of security practices, TSA trained 40 Missouri Department of Transportation investigators to conduct CSR interviews, in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Department of Transportation, MoDOT and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance.

“The results will help us prepare a future baseline standard based on a better understanding of threats and vulnerabilities, risks, consequences and security action items,” says William Arrington, general manager of TSA’s Highway & Motor Carrier Programs Office. “Security is everyone’s responsibility, and through partnerships such as the Missouri pilot, collectively we can increase security awareness and reduce the risk of a possible terror attack in the motor carrier industry.”

Representatives from more than 2,000 carriers were interviewed during the pilot program. Many told TSA that the program heightened their awareness and helped them plan for security improvements.

“Motor carriers learn how to protect their businesses and the public,” says Chuck Gohring, MoDOT transportation program manager. “They also build trust with authorities so they feel more comfortable reporting irregular situations they observe.”

TSA says it is enhancing training materials and developing security-related brochures and measures, as well as standards in line with smaller carriers’ budget and time constraints. TSA is working with CVSA and FMCSA to bring additional states onboard to collect security practice data from hazmat carriers.

Firm launches driver sleep apnea program
Precision Pulmonary Diagnostics (www.precisionpulmonary.com) announced full availability of its online screening tool and sleep apnea detection and treatment program targeted toward the commercial vehicle industry. Foodservice distributor Sysco Corp. soon will begin the program, which was fine-tuned by Precision Pulmonary in cooperation with Schneider National.
According to Angela Fish, Schneider National director of benefits, post treatment for the 778 drivers who were found to have sleep apnea and treated for it, Schneider National attributes the Precision Pulmonary program for several improvements, including:

* A savings of $500 to $708 in health care costs per treated driver per month;

* A 30 percent reduction in accident frequency due to addressing driver fatigue; and

* A 1.9 times improvement in driver retention.


Preventable or not: Doe puts damper on hot date
During a crisp, clear October afternoon, tractor-trailer driver John Doe was westbound on two-lane, lightly-traveled Swinesville Road, dutifully minding the 55 mph speed limit while listening to “Truckin’ Talk” on good ol’ AM 780. “Who needs satellite radio anyway?” Doe mused to himself while happily munching on some Spicy Ranch Doritos he’d acquired at his last pit stop.

Far ahead, Doe saw an eastbound bright-blue 1987 top-down Mazda Miata convertible turn across his lane and stop in someone’s driveway. As he drove closer, Doe noted that the sports car’s arrival had motivated the young female resident of the house, Buffy Bimbotte, to rush out, gleefully greet the elderly male driver of the Miata, and immediately scoot herself into the passenger seat.

As this slice of life was unfolding before Doe’s bemused eyes, he maintained a steady 55 mph. A moment later, the Miata’s driver, Rob Indacradle, shifted into reverse and hit the gas, ending up