August 3, 2015:  MCM Weekly Newsletter

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Sept 8    Board of Directors Meeting
              Salon A - Hilton Garden Inn, Missoula
              1:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Sept 8     Safety Council Meeting
               Salon A - Hilton Garden Inn, Missoula
               3:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Sept 9-10      76th Annual MCM Convention
                      Hilton Garden Inn, Missoula

Sept 16           Driver Appreciation Day 
Convention Registration Materials Now Available

Register today for Motor Carriers of Montana's 76th Annual Convention.  Convention dates are
September 8 - 10, 2015
at the Hilton Garden Inn in Missoula. 
Motorcycle Traffic to Increase for Sturgis

Motorcycles are a common sight during summer months, but the number of riders, and especially groups of riders, is expected to increase during travel to the popular motorcycle rally in the Black Hills of South Dakota in early August. Motorists and riders need to be alert and patient while sharing the road, according to ABATE (American Bikers Aiming Toward Education), the lead organization for the North Dakota motorcycle community, and the NDDOT (North Dakota Department of Transportation).

"The situation is potentially dangerous for everyone when large groups of motorcycles are on the road," said Lonnie Bertsch, executive director for ABATE. "Nationally, eight out of ten motorcycle crashes result in injury or death," Bertsch said.

The standard routes for bikers heading to Sturgis through North Dakota tend to be highways and Interstates, but motorcyclists are also known to take scenic byways. Two-lane highways are often the preferred routes for riders, according to Bertsch. He offers tips for motorists who encounter groups of riders and want to pass safely.

 "The recommendation, when passing groups of ten or fewer riders, is to try and pass them all at once," said Bertsch. "Be patient and wait for the time when you can safely pass. Use your turn signal and carefully enter the passing lane to go by."

"For their part, riders in groups should position themselves to enable safe passing maneuvers. The important things for both riders and drivers are to always signal your intent and be considerate of the other vehicle," said Bertsch.

The Motorist Code for sharing the road with motorcycles:

  •         Always signal, check mirrors and check blind spots
  •         Don't try to squeeze in between motorcyclists traveling in a group; give them a chance to create an opening or wait until you can pass all of them
  •         Be patient and alert - take an extra moment after a larger vehicle passes before beginning to turn
  •         Keep at least a 3- to 4-second following distance from a motorcycle
  •         Vehicle drivers should be careful not to kick up debris or gravel or spray washer fluid
  •         Allow a motorcycle the full width of the lane; don't encroach on the rider's lane

The Rider Code for sharing the road with motorists:

  •         Stand out. Ensure that all drivers will see you
  •         Always look twice before turning into traffic
  •         Anticipate hazards that you may encounter
  •         Use turn signals
  •         Be aware of riding in blind spots
  •         Be vigilant when changing lanes

ABATE's mission is to promote motorcycle safety and awareness to the motorcycle riding community in North Dakota. While the NDDOT's mission is to safely move people and goods. ABATE and the NDDOT work together to promote rider training classes through the North Dakota Motorcycle Safety Program.


Learn more about public awareness for motorcycle safety at

ATA:  FMCSA Spin Out of Control

Today, American Trucking Associations chided the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for ignoring the bulk of the Government Accountability Office's report on the agency's 2013 hours-of-service changes, choosing instead to cherry pick a handful of points in a desperate effort to influence lawmakers.


"It is unfortunate that rather than present an accurate and balanced characterization of the GAO report, FMCSA is once again living in Spin City said ATA Executive Vice President Dave Osiecki.


FMCSA cherry-picked four findings in a press release, claiming the GAO study found:

  • Fewer fatal crashes
  • Fewer drivers working the maximum schedules
  • Lower risk of driver fatigue
  • No increase in crashes during the 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. morning rush hour 

However, the full GAO report said: 

  • On crashes including on FMCSA's "fewer fatal crashes" from its press release - GAO says "Without additional data over a longer period of time, we are unable to robustly determine whether the HOS rule had an impact on crashes" (see Appendix VII, page 115);
  • On FMCSA's "fewer drivers working the maximum schedules" comment - GAO says "Findings are not representative of the motor carrier industry and are not generalizable." (see Table 2, page 26);
  • On FMCSA's "lower risk of driver fatigue" - "We found the field study's sample size was insufficient to estimate statistically significant differences in the primary fatigue measure-the PVT-for each of these industry segments and times." (see Appendix II, page 58); and
  • "Fatigue analysis is based on simulated schedules, is not representative of the motor carrier industry, and is not generalizable" (see Table 2, page 26) and
  • "While we agree that evidence generally supports that fatigue and crash risk are related, we are uncertain how fatigue differences of the size reported in the field study would be associated with crash risk. Thus, the safety implications and policy importance of the study's estimated effects on fatigue may be overstated." 

In large part, FMCSA justified its July 2013 hours of service rules not with safety benefits, but by claiming hundreds of millions of dollars in assumed health benefits.  GAO found: 

  • "There are no data available to assess the health effects of the rule."  (see Table 2, page 26) AND THAT
  • "Motor carriers and drivers reported no noticeable positive health effects from the rule." (see Table 2, page 26) 

With respect to its prior field study, GAO also said:

  • "These shortcomings leave the agency open to criticism over the integrity of the study and invite skepticism about the results." (see page 42) 
"Not only did FMCSA's field study shortcomings invite criticism," said Osiecki, "so too does the agency's attempt to spin the GAO findings. The public must have trust in its government. Unfortunately, FMCSA's continued spin does not invite that trust."

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation's freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook.Trucking Moves America Forward  

House Three-Month Funding Deal Eclipses Prospects of Advancing Key Trucking Provisions


A GOP-backed three-month funding patch for transportation programs that is advancing through the House, for which Senate Republican leaders have expressed support, would push a six-year transportation bill with several trucking provisions to the side, at least for now. On July 28, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said he would lay before the chamber the House's three-month measure. But passage of a three-month bill is at the mercy of House Democrats, whose leadership has yet to indicate if they would back the most recent patch. Earlier this month, the House voted overwhelmingly to send the Senate a five-month highway funding extension. Whichever measure the chambers choose to send to the White House, the would need to do so before July 31. That's when the authorization for highway funding expires. McConnell's announcement was an abrupt end to several long days of legislative work in the Senate, including a rare Sunday session, in which dozens of senators stressed the need for advancing a long-term highway bill. "When Congress fails to provide the necessary certainty about the way transportation funding will be allocated, states and local governments are left without the certainty they need to authorize projects or make long-term plans for transportation infrastructure. And that means that essential construction projects get deferred, necessary repairs may not get made and jobs that depend on transportation are put in jeopardy," said Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.), who is in charge of the committee on highway safe and a backer of a long-term bill. The Senate's six-year measure, the first three years of which would authorize funding, would take down from public view Compliance, Safety, Accountability scores on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's website while an independent review of the scores takes place. The bill also would pave the way for commercial drivers under 21 to operate interstate, and it would allow trucking firms to rely on hair testing for certain pre-employment screenings.

With permission ฉ Transport Topics, American Trucking Associations Inc. 


Federal State Trucking Associations

When you are a member of the Motor Carriers of Montana, you are part of a federation that includes 50 state trucking associations and industry related conferences and councils.  Altogether, these organizations make up the federation of the American Trucking Associations, which traces its origins to a meeting in Montana in 1933 between the American Highway Freight Association and the Federation Trucking Associations of America.  The Federation is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry.  For your convenience, here is a  list of association and affiliates.

Truck Driver Appreciation

TO:            MCM Members

FROM:      Barry Stang



The MCM sponsored Truck Driver Appreciation events will be held Wednesday, September 16, 2015 at the westbound and eastbound Mossmain scale between Billings and Laurel and Muralt's Truck Stop in Missoula. This annual event will provide lots of great food and prizes.


Any MCM member interested in helping with this event may do so by completing the bottom of this sheet and returning it to the MCM office. Sponsors will be recognized on a banner at each location, on a flyer presented to each truck driver, and in our monthly newsletter.

If you are interested in helping sponsor this event, please respond to our office ASAP, in order to have your name on the banners.


If you have any questions, do not hesitate to call the MCM office at 406-442-6600.


Please return this form to the MCM office by August 24, 2015 to ensure banner and newsletter placement.


You may also be contacted by the local Safety Management chapters for contributions.
They will notify MCM to make sure recognition is given.



_____ YES, I would like to help sponsor the Driver Appreciation events:

            $ ญญญญญญญญญญญญ____________

            Other (items): _________________________________________ 





________ Yes or No  


COMPANY NAME: ____________________________________  
PHONE: ____________________

COMPANY ADDRESS: _________________________________         
EMAIL:   ____________________

CONTACT: ___________________________________________

Please email to, fax to MCM at (406) 443-4281 or mail to 501 North Sanders, Suite 201, Helena, MT 59601                                                                      

ATA Management Conference