January 25, 2016:  MCM Weekly Newsletter

Our Sponsors





Feb 8 - 10
SafetyFest Missoula
Hilton Garden Inn

Feb 10
Billings Chapter Safety Meeting
11:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Location, Speaker & Topic TBA

Feb 18
Missoula Chapter Safety Meeting
Perkins Restaurant, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Speaker & Topic TBA
Topic:  Changes in the manufacturing of the newer KW trucks coming down the pike. 
Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration Adopts 96 Special Permits into the Haz-mat Regulations
On January 21, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration published a final rule adopting 96 of the most commonly used special permits into the Hazardous Materials Regulations. PHMSA issues a special permit to allow transportation of a hazardous material that does not comply with the HMRs, but that has been demonstrated to be safe. To use a special permit, a carrier or shipper must either demonstrate that the proposed deviation from the regulations is safe. Today's rulemaking means that anyone registered to transport hazmat will be able to transport the goods previously covered by the special permits. Carriers that currently transport goods under these special permits will see no operational changes, but will no longer be required to carry copies of the special permits with their loads. Other carriers may be asked to begin carrying these loads. Under the 2012 highway bill, PHMSA is now required to perform a rulemaking incorporating special permits into the HMRs annually. For more information or to nominate a special permit for inclusion in the HMRs, contact Boyd Stephenson at bstephenson@trucking.org.
Federal Regulations to Toughen Truck Safety Rules
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration would be able to declare a carrier unfit based on roadside vehicle inspections rather than going through an audit process

Federal highway safety regulators are proposing new rules that would make it easier to find potentially unsafe trucking companies and order them off the road.
Under a plan the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, released Friday, trucking companies could be declared unfit based on highway inspections of trucks rather than going through a longer and more complicated process that audits a company's operations.

The agency, a part of the Transportation Department, now has the authority to shut down a trucking company if auditors find unacceptable rates of violations such as exceeding permitted driving hours or failing to make required vehicle repairs.

Currently only carriers who underwent audits would receive a formal rating and be subject to suspension. But because investigations can take several days, officials were able to investigate 15,000 carriers a year of a total of 550,000 operating trucking companies. Highway violations, recorded at truck-stop inspections and along on the road, were used only to flag carriers that should be targeted for audits.

The new rule, which would enable the FMCSA to rate carriers based on highway violations alone, would enable the agency to assess 75,000 carriers a month. The FMCSA estimates fewer than 300 carriers would be declared unfit each year solely as a result of on-road safety violations.
"Using all available information to achieve more timely assessments will allow us to better identify unsafe companies and get them off the road," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

The American Trucking Associations, the largest trade group representing trucking carriers, said it recognizes the need for the FMCSA to increase its ability to rate trucking carriers, said Rob Abbott, vice president of safety policy. But the organization disagrees that using roadside inspection data is the right way to do so, in part because it believes violations recorded from roadside inspections don't necessarily predict which carriers have a higher risk of crashes.

"There is general agreement that the current method for assigning safety ratings is in need of updating. It was developed and implemented in the '80s and is based in large part on records kept at a motor carrier's place of business, not actual safety performance," he said. "That said, we are concerned about using the FMCSA's safety management data."

The FMCSA said in a statement Friday that its analysis shows that carriers identified through on-road safety data "have crash rates of almost four times the national average."
"This update to our methodology will help the agency focus on carriers with a higher crash risk," said Scott Darling, FMCSA's acting administrator.

The agency said the rule will be open for public comments once it is published in the Federal Register, likely in the coming days.
January Driver of the Month Nominations
We are now accepting driver of the month applications for January 2016. An application is attached, and you may also download an application from our webpage at www.mttrucking.org on our Home Page under the Driver of the Month tab.
All applications must be in by Friday, January 29 at 8:00 a.m.
SafetyFestMT: Missoula 2016
February 8 - 12 2016
Hilton Garden Inn Missoula

3720 North Reserve St.
Missoula, MT 59808

Don't miss this opportunity to take advantage of the fantastic line up of FREE classes available at the Missoula 2016 SafetyFestMT.
To register as an exhibitor please use the contact information below.  Spaces are limited so don't wait!
Please contact:
Casey Kyler-West at 406.444.5267 or ckylerwest@mt.gov 
Thank you for your support of SafetyFestMT!