A solid safety record

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House Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman Jim Oberstar (D-Minn.) asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to adopt a policy of levying maximum fines against carriers that repeatedly violate safety regulations. A recent Government Accountability Office report concluded that FMCSA should levy maximum fines more often. Oberstar asked FMCSA chief John Hill to outline within 30 days his specific plans to levy maximum fines on high-risk carriers.

Connecticut’s trucking industry endorsed a state transportation plan to build a runaway-truck ramp on Avon Mountain following a second truck crash in as many years. The state is looking for permanent truck safety improvements on the Avon side of Route 44, the site of 190 accidents and 99 injuries between 1999 and 2004.

Tennessee law enforcement officials announced a crackdown on truck speed limits, especially in the Nashville metropolitan area. The increased enforcement comes on the heels of 14 tractor-trailer rollover accidents, 13 of which were believed to be a result of
excessive speeds.

UPS inducted 785 drivers into its Circle of Honor, raising the total number of active drivers who have steered clear of accidents for at least 25 years to 4,451. Of the Circle of Honor members, 137 have been accident-free for 35 or more years, with six of those having driven more than 40 years without an accident.

The American Trucking Associations has honored Peter Dannecker, director of loss prevention for A. Duie Pyle Companies, with its 2007 National Safety Director Award. The announcement came at the ATA Safety & Loss Prevention Management Council’s Fall Conference in Pittsburgh.

Dannecker is responsible for his company’s safety programs governing almost 2,000 employees, 14 terminals and six warehouses throughout the Northeast. He was selected by a committee that included past award winners, representatives of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and law enforcement professionals.

Under Dannecker’s leadership, A. Duie Pyle Companies reduced its preventable accident rate by 49 percent from 2000 to 2006. In addition, the carrier’s safety program has earned safety awards from the New York State Motor Truck Association, the New Jersey Motor Truck Association and the Pennsylvania Motor Truck Association, as well as the ATA President’s Trophy in 2005.

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S&LPMC also announced the 2007 ATA award winners. The ATA National Truck & Industrial Safety Contests are the only two national safety programs that recognize the safety accomplishments of motor carriers across the United States by operation type and size. Carriers are judged on their safety records relative to others within their classes of competition. Safety records are determined from the carriers’ vehicle accident rates or lost workday case rates.

From the winners of those contests, three companies are chosen to receive the ATA President’s Trophy, which honors each carrier’s superior safety record, outstanding commitment to industrywide safety and extensive promotion of safety among all highway users.

2007 ATA President’s Trophy – Sponsored by Great West Casualty Co.
· Large fleet winner (more than 100 million miles annually): Con-way Freight, Ann Arbor, Mich.

· Mid-size fleet winner (between 25-100 million miles annually): Pitt Ohio Express, Pittsburgh

· Small fleet winner (under 25 million miles annually): Williams NationaLease Ltd., Normal, Ill.

ATA National Driver of the Year – sponsored by Custard Insurance Adjusters Inc.
· William Gray Jr., UPS Freight, Cumberland, Md.

ATA National Safety Director Award – sponsored by Rand McNally Commercial Transportation
· Peter Dannecker, A. Duie Pyle Companies, West Chester, Pa.

Excellence in Safety Award – sponsored by Great West Casualty Co.
· North Carolina Trucking Association

Excellence in Human Resource Management – sponsored by DGB Benefit Solutions
· Schneider National, Green Bay, Wis.

ATA S&LPMC Leadership Award
· Phillip P. Warren, UPS Freight, Richmond, Va.

Preventable or not: Doe feeling low on High Plains
Driving a tractor-trailer across the flat terrain of western Kansas was dreadfully dull to many of John Doe’s trucker buddies. But compared to his nightmarish trek through downtown Denver a few hours back, Doe found it restful – despite a steady morning rain that rendered the divided four-lane highway a little slick.

To ward off boredom, Doe was involved in a philosophical Channel 19 chat about the hours-of-service court battle with fellow trucker Ralph “Dr. Flatbed” Richards, whose steel-laden namesake was at least 600 feet ahead in the same outside eastbound lane. Like Doe, Richards was driving slightly below the posted speed limit because of the inclement weather.

Suddenly, Doe’s attention was drawn