The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is pursuing a three-pronged strategy to truck safety as it tries to drive truck accident fatalities lower.
The three parts of that strategy are the Compliance, Safety and Accountability or CSA program, truck driver hours of service reform, and electronic logging.
Together, they add up to the biggest change in the truck safety arena in decades.
"It's all about the driver," FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro said in an interview at a Feb. 17 listening session on the agency's proposed driver hours of service rules.
"It comes down to how the driver behaves and how well the company is supporting that driver's focus on safety," she said. "It's a whole network of interlocking pieces that impact how the driver behaves," and that includes car drivers, Ferro said.
CSA, the proposed HOS rule and a proposal that would require truckers to use electronic onboard recorders are the interlocking pieces of FMCSA's overall safety strategy, which focuses squarely on driver behavior, she said.
The HOS rules, however many hours they finally include, will be a yardstick, while the EOBR mandate and CSA will monitor, substantiate and enforce compliance.
Although fatalities in crashes involving large trucks dropped 36 percent from 2005 to 2009, the FMCSA's mandate is to reduce those fatalities even further, she said.
"We owe it to the public to establish strong safety performance measures," Ferro said. "We're working toward a continued dramatic reduction in fatal crashes."
-- Contact William B. Cassidy at firstname.lastname@example.org.