In Brief

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Updated Jan 21, 2010

U.S. Department of Transportation released its Motorcoach Safety Action Plan that the agency says lays out concrete steps for improving motorcoach safety across the board. DOT says the action plan addresses major safety issues such as driver fatigue and inattention, vehicle rollover, occupant ejections and oversight of unsafe carriers. To view the plan, go to

U.S. Department of Transportation and the Federal Communications Commission launched a joint effort to evaluate technologies that may help curb distracted driving. The partnership also will include outreach efforts to educate the public about the dangers of distracting behavior while driving, including texting and talking on cell phones.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration conducted its first national drug and alcohol strike force from Sept. 8-18, during which investigators examined the drug and alcohol safety records of commercial drivers employed by bus companies, interstate passenger carriers, hazardous material transporters and longhaul trucking companies. FMCSA says 77 drivers who face civil penalties and fines no longer can operate a commercial motor vehicle. Also, 84 commercial carriers face enforcement action for violations such as using a driver that has tested positive for illegal drugs and for not instituting a drug and alcohol testing program.

U.S. Department of Transportation awarded $20.9 million to states, territories and Native American tribes to improve the nation’s response to transportation incidents involving hazardous materials. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration grants will help train first responders to react to incidents involving hazardous materials.