ATA seeks improved hazmat rules

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Updated Jan 13, 2010

Redundant background checks costly, Congress told

Congress should eliminate redundant rules and ensure uniformity across jurisdictions in the regulation of transportation of hazardous materials, Con-way Freight Vice President of Safety Robert Petrancosta told a House committee. Testifying for the American Trucking Associations, Petrancosta told the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Railroads, Pipelines and Hazardous Materials that there is room for improvement in hazardous materials regulation.

ATA’s testimony highlighted several key issues it believes Congress should address as it considers the reauthorization of the federal hazardous material transportation law:
·Eliminating duplicative and redundant security background checks;
·Improving state hazardous material permitting systems;
·Ensuring equitable enforcement of the hazardous material regulations;
·Enhancing safety by increasing the U.S. Department of Transportation’s preemption authority;
·Resolving jurisdictional issues concerning USDOT and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the regulation of hazardous material handling; and

“While maintaining the highest standards for the safe and secure transport of hazmat material, taking these steps to reduce redundant regulation will help support scarce government resources and reduce costs associated with hauling hazmat material,” Petrancosta said.

ATA publishes safety book
The American Trucking Associations released Safety for the Long Haul, a comprehensive text on large truck safety written for safety managers, fleet managers and executives, government and industry officials and other transportation safety professionals. Written by Dr. Ron Knipling, the book encompasses more than 100 specific topics related to large truck crash risk, causation, countermeasures, safety management and safety policy.

“Safety for the Long Haul helps build an understanding of truck safety by placing it in the greater context of road safety,” Knipling says. “The book identifies high-risk road and traffic situations, and profiles causes and countermeasures for eight specific important truck crash types, including road departure, rear-end, and lane change/merge crashes.”
Safety for the Long Haul can be purchased at or by calling 866-821-3468.

Preventable or not: Doe finds himself in Harm’s way
At 2 a.m., John Doe was rolling northward on two-lane Ferndock Freeway with a lumber-laden flatbed in tow and a super-size bag of Spicy Ranch Doritos riding shotgun. A misty rain was falling through the fog, and Channel 19 remained silent. Doe yawned as he noted a “Construction Ahead” sign and reduced his speed to 50 mph from the posted double-nickel limit.

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While the highway appeared devoid of traffic, it was black as pitch