CVSA President Capt. Christopher Turner Presents Testimony at House Subcommittee Hearing

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May 24, 2018

CVSA President Capt. Christopher Turner testifies before the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.

On May 22, 2018, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) President Capt. Christopher Turner with the Kansas Highway Patrol testified at the U.S. House of Representatives Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s Subcommittee on Highways and Transit hearing titled “FAST Act Implementation: Motor Carrier Provisions.”

Chairman Sam Graves (R-MO) convened the hearing to receive feedback, views and information from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), law enforcement and other motor carrier stakeholders regarding the implementation of various motor carrier provisions passed in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act.

Passed in 2015, the FAST Act is a funding and authorization bill that governs U.S. federal surface transportation spending. Its intent is to provide long-term funding certainty for highway and motor vehicle safety, public transportation, motor carrier safety, hazardous materials safety, and transportation research, technology and statistics programs.

The hearing started with testimony from FMCSA Administrator Raymond Martinez who addressed this subcommittee for the first time as the agency’s administrator. Administrator Martinez discussed FMCSA’s plans and goals, and answered questions from the members of the subcommittee.

During the second half of the hearing, in addition to CVSA, the subcommittee also heard testimony from representatives of the school bus industry, livestock industry and truck safety advocacy community.

Capt. Turner’s testimony focused on the need for clear and efficient regulations and a more effective rulemaking process. He stressed that the history of delays in official issuance of rules and regulations has created challenges, conflicts and discrepancies. In addition, Capt. Turner discussed the challenges faced by the enforcement community regarding inconsistencies in federal motor carrier safety regulations caused by exceptions, exemptions and waivers and the continued need for international harmonization.

CVSA is generally opposed to the inclusion of exemptions in legislation. The Alliance recognizes that there may be instances when exemptions are appropriate and do not compromise safety; however, overall, CVSA believes exemptions have the potential to undermine safety and complicate enforcement.

“It is critical to both the enforcement community and the motor carrier industry that federal motor carrier safety regulations are clear, effective and enforceable,” said Capt. Turner. “No matter where you stand on the role of government in regulation, we should all be able to agree that maintaining the regulations, keeping them current and clear, is a necessary and important function.”

Capt. Turner added, “When the regulations lack clarity, it reduces their effectiveness, creating confusion and inconsistencies in enforcement, which in turn leads to unnecessary conflict between enforcement and industry.”

In CVSA’s written testimony, the Alliance stated that, “clarity, consistency, uniformity and enforceability are the cornerstones of an effective regulatory framework. Confusion and inconsistencies create more work for the enforcement community and the transportation industry. Inconsistencies and exceptions within the regulations require more training and create more opportunities for mistakes, which in turn require additional resources to correct.”

In addition, while recognizing that FMCSA needs the resources, technical staff, authority and time to meet the agency’s core responsibilities, Capt. Turner noted a near standstill of regulatory activity by the agency, with a growing backlog of rulemakings and petitions, and called upon FMCSA to work to advance its regulatory progress and meet its key requirements, such as finalizing a new Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) grant formula and improving the agency’s aging IT and data systems.

Other witnesses who presented testimony included:

  • Honorable Ray Martinez, Administrator, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration
  • Dale Krapf, Chairman, Krapf Transportation
  • Mike VanMaanen, Owner, Eastern Missouri Commission Company; on behalf of Livestock Marketing Association
  • Jennifer Tierney, Board Member, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways; on behalf of Truck Safety Coalition

During their testimonies and the subsequent questions from committee members, a few topics were common: implementation of the electronic logging device requirement, hours-of-service regulations, progress of the provision of the FAST act to encourage military veterans to enter the commercial motor vehicle (CMV) industry, autonomous vehicle technology, the growing shortage of qualified CMV operators, the merit of an automatic emergency brake mandate, underride protection and potential modifications to the minimum operator training standards.

Read CVSA’s written testimony and view an archived video recording of the May 22, 2018, “FAST Act Implementation: Motor Carrier Provisions” hearing.

CVSA Brake Safety Symposium Brings Together Experts to Reduce Roadway Crashes through Commercial Motor Vehicle Brake Safety Education

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May 17, 2018

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) held a two-day Brake Safety Symposium, its first since 2006, in Schaumburg, Illinois, May 15-16, 2018. The symposium provided attendees with information, education and training related to commercial motor vehicle brake technologies, regulations, inspection procedures, tools and maintenance concepts.

Recent studies underscore the need for the symposium and its critical importance:

  • Results from last year’s Brake Safety Day found that 14 percent of all inspections conducted during that one-day brake safety initiative resulted in a commercial motor vehicle being placed out of service for brake-related violations.
  • Out-of-adjustment brakes and brake-system violations combine to represent half of all out-of-service violations issued for commercial motor vehicles on the road.
  • The Federal Motor Carrier Administration’s 2006 Large Truck Crash Causation Study indicated that brakes were a factor in 29 percent of all the crashes investigated.

The goal of the symposium was to educate drivers, mechanics, owner-operators, safety managers/directors, CVSA-certified commercial motor vehicle safety inspectors and others on the importance of proper brake inspection, proactive maintenance and safe operations with the ultimate goal of reducing the number of roadway crashes caused by braking systems on commercial motor vehicles.

Toward this goal, the symposium brought together the industry’s foremost experts and educational resources on commercial motor vehicle brake safety to give operators, maintenance personnel, regulators, law enforcement and safety agencies the tools they need to improve commercial motor vehicle braking system maintenance, operation and regulatory compliance.

  • Attendees learned how manufacturing standards, motor carrier regulations, inspection procedures and the out-of-service criteria all function to help ensure safe and reliable brake system performance in North America.
  • Participants were taught the basics of the S-cam drum, hydraulic and air disc foundation brakes, as well as antilock braking systems, electronic stability control and other brake-related safety technologies.
  • Attendees learned about the key functions of long stroke chambers, brake stroke indicators and automatic brake adjusters, and why we use these technologies.
  • Brake system aspects of the North American Standard Level I Inspection Procedure were explored, along with the use of performance-based brake testers (PBBTs) to measure braking performance and infrared thermal image screening as an inspection tool.

The second day of the symposium featured a panel of experts who explored common brake system issues, including common violations found during roadside inspections as well as common maintenance repairs. Speakers also explored repair and preventative maintenance, connected truck telematics and other technologies.

“The Brake Safety Symposium brought together vehicle and component manufacturers, carriers, fleet managers, technicians, law enforcement, crash investigators, regulators, academics, drivers and driver trainers in a multi-disciplinary forum to gain knowledge and develop strategies to bring about brake safety improvements,” said CVSA Executive Director Collin Mooney. “Every session that was held at the symposium was offered with the goal of improving safe commercial motor vehicle operations by expanding the participants’ knowledge and understanding of brake systems, technologies and regulations.”

CVSA Updates Inspection Procedures, Operational Policies and Inspection Bulletins

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May 3, 2018

On April 12, 2018, at the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) Workshop in Portland, Oregon, the CVSA Board of Directors voted to update several inspection procedures and operational policies. In addition, one Inspection Bulletin was amended and a new one was created.

The Hand-Held and Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) Inspection Bulletin was amended and a new Inspection Bulletin on Motorcoach Monocoque Frame/Suspension Inspections was created.

The following inspection procedures were amended:

  • North American Standard Level I Inspection Procedure
  • North American Standard Level II Inspection Procedure
  • North American Standard Level III Inspection Procedure
  • North American Standard Level I/II/V Passenger Carrier Vehicle Inspection Procedure
  • North American Standard Cargo Tank and Other Bulk Packaging Inspection Procedure
  • North American Standard Hazardous Materials/Dangerous Goods Inspection Procedure

The following operational policies were updated:

  • Operational Policy 4 – Inspector Training and Certification
  • Operational Policy 5 – Inspection/CVSA Decal
  • Operational Policy 15 – Inspection and Regulatory Guidance

The board also approved the creation of three petitions to be sent to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regarding amending 393.130, Interpretation 3 (accessory equipment), updating 393.104 and 393.108 to include National Association of Chain Manufacturers (NACM) tables for removeable hooks, and adding rear impact guards and rear end protection to Appendix G.

In addition, six North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria updates and one North American Standard Level VI Out-of-Service Criteria update were approved by the board, which will be sent to ballot in the fall. The updates were related to:

  • Cargo Securement (Headings)
  • Driver’s Seat Addition
  • Driveline/Driveshaft Updates
  • Exhaust System (Headings)
  • Frames (Note)
  • Steering Systems (Tie Rods and Drag Links)
  • TRUPACT-II (Level VI Out-of-Service Criteria)

All inspection procedures and operational policies are accessible by CVSA members through the online CVSA member portal.

All Inspection Bulletins are public documents available on the CVSA website. CVSA asks all certified roadside inspectors to visit the Inspection Bulletins section of the CVSA website to download the latest versions of the Inspection Bulletins. We want to ensure all inspectors are conducting roadside inspections using the most up-to-date version of each bulletin. The CVSA website will always contain the current version of each Inspection Bulletin which should be in use by all CVSA-certified roadside enforcement personnel.

CVSA Offers New Roadside Inspection Training Courses for Industry

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May 2, 2018

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is proud to announce that it is offering roadside inspection training courses to members of the motor carrier industry. This is the first time that CVSA has offered an industry version of its roadside inspection training courses.

The courses are intended to provide industry with the necessary training to better understand the roadside regulatory requirements. The goal of the training is to provide each student with the tools and knowledge to achieve compliance with the roadside safety regulations and a better understanding of the relationship between regulatory violations and out-of-service conditions.

CVSA is offering two separate weeklong courses – one on roadside inspection driver requirements; the other on vehicle requirements.

Industry Roadside Inspection Course – Driver Requirements will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah, on June 11-15, 2018. Offered exclusively to industry members, the focus of the training will be on regulatory driver-related roadside requirements and out-of-service conditions. The course includes information on regulatory definitions, intrastate vs. interstate operations, CDL and driver qualification requirements, hazardous materials, hours-of-service rules, annual inspections on commercial motor vehicles and the DataQs filing process.

Industry Roadside Inspection Course – Vehicle Requirements will take place in Salt Lake City, Utah, on July 16-20, 2018. The training will focus on regulatory vehicle-related roadside requirements and out-of-service conditions, including regulatory requirements of 49 CFR 393, 396 and Appendix G. The course is designed to thoroughly explain the regulations, North American Level I Inspection Procedure and Out-of-Service Criteria as it relates to the vehicle components of a commercial motor vehicle.

“Our industry members have been asking for training on the CVSA Roadside Inspection Program for a long time and we’re now finally able to offer that valuable training,” said CVSA Director of Roadside Inspection Program Kerri Wirachowsky. “This is essentially the same training our inspectors receive, adjusted for industry.”

The target audience is motor carriers, owner-operators, commercial motor vehicle drivers, technicians, fleet managers, vendors, etc. Interested individuals do not need to be members of CVSA to register. Both of the training courses are open to members and non-members. The cost is $995 for Class III Associate Members or $1,195 for non-members for each five-day course. There’s a class size limit of 25, so register soon before all of the slots fill up. The deadline to register for the driver course is Friday, May 25, 2018. The deadline to register for the vehicle course is Friday, June 29, 2018.

For more information, contact CVSA Director of Roadside Inspection Program Kerri Wirachowsky at kerriw@cvsa.org.

Road to Zero Coalition Shares Its Vision for Eliminating Roadway Deaths by 2050

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April 30, 2018

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is proud to be a member of the Road to Zero Steering Group, which was integral in the creation of the Road to Zero Coalition’s recently released comprehensive report explicitly laying out strategies for ending all roadway deaths in the United States by 2050. It is the first time in the nation’s history that so many organizations – more than 650 and growing – have collaborated to put forth a comprehensive plan to address motor vehicle fatalities, which have increased after years of decline.

In the report, the coalition identified three main initiatives to reduce roadway fatalities:

  • Double down on what works through proven, evidence-based strategies.
  • Advance life-saving technology, both in vehicles and infrastructure.
  • Promote safety. When behind the wheel, drivers should be operating in the safest manner possible.

The report, “A Road to Zero: A vision for achieving zero roadway deaths by 2050,” was released in the midst of national discussions about motor vehicle safety issues, such as fully automated vehicles, updating infrastructure, distracted driving, and impaired and drugged driving.

“As an organization committed to transportation safety, CVSA is proud to be among the more than 650 organizations who are members of the Road to Zero Coalition,” said CVSA President Capt. Christopher Turner with the Kansas Highway Patrol. “We know that reducing traffic deaths to zero by 2050 is an ambitious goal but it is a goal that is not only attainable, it’s the only number we should be striving to reach.”

In the short term, the report stresses enforcing and strengthening current traffic safety laws, providing new resources for traffic safety researchers, and supporting those who design and build roads and vehicles.

The report is supportive of the move to automated vehicle technologies. The coalition proposes accelerating the benefits of new technologies by creating partnerships between public safety and health groups and industry professionals. The report also acknowledges that, despite public perception, widespread use of fully autonomous vehicles are still decades away.

The report also encourages the United States to prioritize safety by adopting a “Safe Systems” approach, which has been crucial to the Vision Zero movement started in the 1990s in Sweden. “Safe Systems” accepts that humans will make mistakes and allows for this error through engineering advancements and roadway design to eliminate fatal crashes.

Over the past two years, the coalition has met to discuss challenges to achieve the shared vision of zero roadway fatalities, as well as methods and technologies that have been effective in reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities, and how to incorporate those recommendations into one comprehensive vision document.

On March 20, 2018, the Road to Zero Coalition held a meeting focused on commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). Speakers included T. Bella Dinh-Zarr of the National Transportation Safety Board, Heidi King who serves as deputy administrator at the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration and has been nominated to be the agency’s administrator, and Administrator Raymond Martinez of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

In addition, CVSA President Capt. Christopher of the Kansas Highway Patrol participated in a panel designed to highlight the three themes in the report. Capt. Turner’s presentation focused on enforcement practices that have proven effective in combating dangerous driving behaviors, both with CMV drivers and drivers in personal vehicles operating around those CMVs. His message was simple and straightforward and echoes a key component of the Road to Zero report – focused, highly visible enforcement and education campaigns work and a renewed focus on driver behavior will save lives.  

Click here to watch the webcast of the March 20 coalition meeting, view the meeting agenda and download the presentations.

CVSA Returns to Portland, the Birthplace of the Alliance, for its 2018 CVSA Workshop

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April 12, 2018

On Feb. 27, 1980, the first meeting of the four jurisdictions – California, Idaho, Oregon and Washington – that would start the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) met in Portland, Oregon. Thirty-eight years later, CVSA returned to Portland, the birthplace of the Alliance, for its 2018 CVSA Workshop.

More than 500 enforcement personnel, government officials and industry representatives attended the CVSA Workshop, April 8-12, 2018. At the CVSA Workshop, transportation safety stakeholders worked together to improve commercial motor vehicle and driver safety, regulatory compliance and enforcement throughout North America.

Participants collaborated at the CVSA Workshop to affect meaningful changes to the overall culture of transportation safety. They attended various membership, region, committee and program meetings aimed at the ongoing progression of CVSA’s mission to improve uniformity in commercial motor vehicle safety and enforcement by sharing and receiving information, developing best practices, and enhancing roadside inspection program activities and services.

The CVSA Workshop featured these informative and collaborative sessions:

  • The new Crash Data and Investigation Standards Committee met for the first time to identify and set commercial motor vehicle crash reduction efforts, post-crash analysis and training, and crash data quality and standardization objectives and goals.
  • Truckers Against Trafficking held an educational session to further stoke collaboration between the commercial motor vehicle enforcement community and members of the truck and bus industries in an effort to close loopholes to traffickers.
  • An educational session for motor carriers answered frequently asked DataQ questions and provided detailed instructions on how to submit a quality Request for Data Review.
  • At the North American Cargo Securement Harmonization Public Forum, attendees discussed cargo securement regulatory issues and differences; identified inconsistencies in the application of cargo securement enforcement policies; reviewed reports on research findings and securement equipment; and examined new technologies related to cargo securement.
  • The International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA) and the International Registration Plan (IRP) education session featured updates on both programs and interactive discussions.

During the general session, CVSA presented Herschel Evans of Holland with the 2018 International Driver Excellence Award (IDEA). IDEA is CVSA’s industry-wide driver excellence award program. Evans was selected for the award based on his 30 years and more than 3 million miles of safe and crash-free driving, his long-term commitment to the trucking industry, his numerous charitable endeavors and his dedication to projecting a positive image of the truck driving community.

The general session was also the first time new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Administrator Raymond Martinez addressed the CVSA membership. He was invited to speak at the CVSA Workshop and took that time to introduce himself to the membership and reinforce that under his watch, the agency will continue its positive partnership with CVSA as we all work together toward our common goal of saving lives. He also took time to talk about the ELD mandate and FMCSA’s plans for addressing new developing technologies and fixing the country’s infrastructure.

Also of importance, Capt. John Broers with the South Dakota Highway Patrol was nominated for the international leadership position of CVSA secretary.

The secretary election will take place in September at the CVSA Annual Conference and Exhibition in Kansas City, Missouri.

“Industry, government and enforcement member participation at the workshop fosters a well-rounded representation of the many perspectives necessary to work toward addressing issues and finding solutions in transportation safety,” said CVSA Executive Director Collin Mooney. “The board meetings and all committee and program meetings at the workshop are open to all attendees, encouraging a transparent collaborative setting for discussion, progress and improvement. The workshop is an open and inclusive collective endeavor where we work together toward the pursuit of safe transportation on our roadways.”

Next year’s CVSA Workshop is scheduled for March 31-April 4, 2019, in St. Louis, Missouri.

Enforcement Personnel on the Lookout for Unsafe Commercial and Passenger Vehicle Drivers During Operation Safe Driver Week, July 15-21

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April 9, 2018

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) Operation Safe Driver Week will take place July 15-21, 2018. Traffic safety personnel will be on the lookout for unsafe driving behaviors by commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers and passenger vehicle drivers as we work toward zero deaths on our roadways.

Unsafe driver behaviors by CMV drivers and passenger vehicle drivers continue to be the leading cause of crashes. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) “Large Truck Crash Causation Study” cites driver behavior as the critical reason for more than 88 percent of large truck crashes and 93 percent of passenger vehicle crashes.

Examples of dangerous driver behaviors that enforcement personnel will be tracking throughout Operation Safe Driver Week are speeding, distracted driving, texting, failure to use a seatbelt while operating a CMV or in a passenger vehicle, following too closely, improper lane change, failure to obey traffic control devices, etc.

CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Program was created to help to reduce the number of crashes, deaths and injuries involving large trucks, buses and passenger vehicles due to unsafe driving behaviors. During Operation Safe Driver Week, there will be increased CMV and passenger vehicle traffic enforcement.

Operation Safe Driver Week is sponsored by CVSA, in partnership with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and with support from industry and transportation safety organizations, and aims to help improve the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner – either in or around CMVs – through educational and traffic enforcement strategies to address individuals exhibiting high-risk driving behaviors.

To find out about Operation Safe Driver Week enforcement events going on in your area, contact the agency/department responsible for overseeing CMV safety within your jurisdiction.

Drivers Operating a CMV Without an ELD Will Be Placed Out of Service

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April 1, 2018

Starting April 1, 2018, property-carrying commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers operating their vehicle without a required registered electronic logging device (ELD) or a grandfathered automatic on-board recording device (AOBRD) will be placed out of service for 10 hours; passenger-carrying CMV drivers will be placed out of service for 8 hours.

Violations will be recorded on a roadside inspection report and the driver may be cited (e.g., issued a violation ticket or a civil penalty) for failing to have a required electronic record of duty status.

After 8 or 10 hours out of service, the driver may continue to their final destination, provided the driver has accurately documented their hours-of-service requirements using a paper record of duty status (e.g., log book, daily log or log) and has a copy of the inspection report and/or citation.

If the driver is stopped again before reaching his/her final destination, the driver must provide the safety official with a copy of the inspection report and evidence (e.g., bill of lading) proving that he/she is still on the continuation of the original trip.

After reaching their final destination, if the driver is re-dispatched again without obtaining a compliant ELD, he/she will again be subject to the out-of-service process outlined above, unless the driver is traveling back to the principle place of business or terminal empty to obtain an ELD.

All ELD violations will be counted against a motor carrier’s Safety Measurement System (SMS) score, which will drive selection for investigation within the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program. FMCSA will determine appropriate action against non-compliant motor carriers.

Please note that motor carriers that installed and used an AOBRD prior to Dec. 18, 2017, may install and use additional ELD-capable devices with complaint AOBRD software after Dec. 18, 2017. These AOBRDs may be used until Dec. 16, 2019, and must meet the requirements of 49 CFR 395.15.

The ELD footnotes 11-14 in Part I of the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria are now in effect, which means that drivers operating CMVs with violations related to ELD compliance in those footnotes will be placed out of service for 8 or 10 hours, then permitted to continue, as outlined above.

Remember, the ELD mandate does not change the underlying hours-of-service requirements.

For more information, visit FMCSA’s ELD implementation website.

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International Roadcheck Set for June 5-7 with Focus on Hours-of-Service Compliance

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March 20, 2018

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) International Roadcheck will take place June 5-7, 2018. Over that 72-hour period, commercial motor vehicle inspectors in jurisdictions throughout North America will conduct inspections of commercial motor vehicles and drivers. This year’s focus is on hours-of-service compliance.

“The top reason drivers were placed out of service during 2017 International Roadcheck was for hours-of-service violations,” said CVSA President Capt. Christopher Turner of the Kansas Highway Patrol. “Thirty-two percent of drivers who were placed out of service during last year’s three-day International Roadcheck were removed from our roadways due to violations related to hours-of-service regulations. It’s definitely an area we need to call attention to this year.”

“Although the electronic logging device (ELD) rule that went into effect on Dec. 18, 2017, does not change any of the underlying hours-of-service rules or exceptions, the ELD mandate placed a spotlight on hours-of-service compliance,” said Capt. Turner. “We thought this year would be a perfect opportunity to focus on the importance of the hours-of-service regulations.”

During International Roadcheck, inspectors will primarily conduct the North American Standard Level I Inspection, a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of both driver operating requirements and vehicle mechanical fitness.

The vehicle inspection includes checking brake systems, cargo securement, coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft components, exhaust systems, frames, fuel systems, lighting devices, steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels, rims and hubs, and windshield wipers. Additional items for buses include emergency exits, electrical cables and systems in the engine and battery compartments, and seating.

Drivers are asked to provide their operating credentials and hours-of-service documentation, and will be checked for seat belt usage. Inspectors will also be attentive to apparent alcohol and/or drug impairment.

If no critical inspection item violations are found during a Level I Inspection, a CVSA decal will be applied to the vehicle, indicating that the vehicle successfully passed a decal-eligible inspection conducted by a CVSA-certified inspector.

If an inspector does identify critical inspection item violations, he or she may render the driver or vehicle out of service if the condition meets the North American Out-of-Service Criteria. This means the driver cannot operate the vehicle until the vehicle and/or driver qualification violation(s) are corrected.

International Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world, with around 17 trucks and buses inspected, on average, every minute in Canada, the United States and Mexico during a 72-hour period. Since its inception in 1988, more than 1.5 million roadside inspections have been conducted during International Roadcheck campaigns.

International Roadcheck is a CVSA program with participation by the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada, and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).

Herschel Evans of Holland is CVSA’s 2018 International Driver Excellence Award Winner

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March 13, 2018

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is proud to announce Herschel Evans of the trucking company Holland as the winner of the 2018 International Driver Excellence Award (IDEA). Evans has driven more than 3 million miles over 30 years; 25 of those years with Holland.

“After my company nominated me, I read the impressive bios of the previous winners and I did not think I belonged in that group,” said Evans. “I feel extremely honored to be selected.”

Launched in 2015, IDEA recognizes commercial motor vehicle drivers who distinguish themselves conspicuously and beyond the normal call of duty through the achievement of safe operation and compliance carried out with evident distinction for an extended period of time.

Like many commercial motor vehicle drivers, Evans truly loves what he does. “It is never the same day twice,” he said. “There is nothing boring about driving for a living. You get to see the inner workings of many different places. All of the places that make your community run are kept running by us drivers delivering what they need. Every day has a sense of doing something that is necessary.”

“Herschel is an exceptional model for what a professional driver should be,” said Holland President Scott Ware, who nominated Evans for the award. “His unquenchable desire for great safety and his need to share his safety message make him a key participant in our organization’s safety efforts. He is committed to protecting himself and all those who share the road with him.”

In 2013, Evans became the first person from Holland to be selected by the American Trucking Associations (ATA) for the high honor of representing the trucking community as an America’s Road Team Captain. ATA’s America’s Road Team is a national public outreach program led by a specially selected group of professional truck drivers who share superior driving skills, remarkable safety records and a strong desire to spread the word about safety on the highway. America’s Road Team Captains speak at schools, with community groups, to reporters, legislators, industry and government officials about highway safety and the importance of the trucking industry.

In fact, Evans considers being selected as an America’s Road Team Captain to be one of the biggest professional accomplishments of his driving career. “The opportunities and experience that I’ve gained have been immeasurable,” said Evans. “Being part of this group of professionals is hard to describe. Being mentored by the veteran Captains and now passing my knowledge on to the new Captains, I believe, has a massive impact on our industry.”

As you might expect for such an extraordinary driver, CVSA’s IDEA isn’t the only award Evans has received throughout his career. In 2012, he was honored with the Destination Green Environmental Excellence Award for his efforts toward environmental sustainability. He was also honored by ATA in 2017 with the Mike Russell Trucking Image Award, an award that recognizes individuals who are committed to promoting the advancement of the trucking industry’s positive message.

In 2006, Evans was named Rookie of the Year and won the Grand Championship at the Georgia Truck Driving Championships. He is a two-time five-axle champion (2008 and 2011) at the National Truck Driving Championships and a four-time five-axle champion (2006, 2008, 2011 and 2012) at the Georgia Truck Driving Championships. In 2012, Evans earned the distinct title of Georgia Driver of the Year at the Georgia Truck Driving Championships. In 2017, Evans earned first place in the sleeper category at the Georgia Truck Driving Championships and was part of the winning team that was presented with the 2017 Clifford Williams Award for Small Team.

Evans’ devotion to philanthropy has also spanned his professional career. Evans is the driving force behind the Safety Drive for a Cure Truck Safety and Skills Competition benefiting the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Hundreds of drivers travel from across the country to compete in the Safety Drive for a Cure, improving their safety skills while supporting advocacy and service.

Evans has also donated his time and services to the Convoy of Care, helping to deliver critical supplies to families affected by major natural disasters such as the flooding in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in August 2016, tornado victims in southern Georgia in February 2017 and the flood victims in Houston, Texas, in August 2017.

“Some drivers demonstrate their safety focus at a personal level by racking up remarkable records of collision-free driving,” said Ware. “Other drivers devote their attention to promoting safety among other drivers and the public. Herschel Evans is a ‘do-it-all’ champion of safety who does both – training trainers and dedicating most of both his business and personal time with tireless efforts to make our roads safer and help save lives.”

Evans serves as Holland’s safety advisor, driver trainer and DOT compliance leader. He is also an active member of the Holland Safety Committee and serves on the Holland Safety Review and Editing Board. He is a member of the YRC Accident Review Board and a volunteer for the Mid-Atlantic Professional Truck Drivers Association. And on top of all of that, Evans also routinely holds ATA practice sessions on his own time, providing the materials at his own expense.

“Herschel’s motivation is not simply to provide himself with the opportunity to practice but to increase safety awareness and promote a positive image for all professional drivers,” said former Atlanta Terminal Manager Lyle Metcalf.

A perfect example of Evans’ commitment to the safety of all drivers was when he put together the “Battle of the Borders” which allowed Holland and YRC Freight employees to practice together for the state truck driving competition. “Herschel spearheaded the event,” said Tim Coffey, safety manager for YRC Freight. “He really put a lot of hard work and dedication into making the event very successful in its first outing.”

“There is no doubt that Herschel is a great driver but what sets him apart is his willingness to organize activities and help others. It is that willingness that has made him a great resource for the Holland safety department,” said Holland’s former Manager of Safety Chris Ashford. “In my opinion, he is our driver of the year every year.”

With decades of driving experience and millions of crash-free miles driven safely on the road, Evans knows exactly what to do to ensure he is operating safely. “When I talk to young drivers, I always tell them that space and time are your two best friends on the road. You need space to maneuver and time to decide and react. Lots of crashes could be prevented just by drivers giving themselves more space and time.”

“One day at a time. One mile at a time. You can never be in such a hurry that you take chances. Taking chances has such a small benefit for the enormous risk. It just simply isn’t worth it.”

Evans will be presented with his award on April 9, 2018, at the CVSA Workshop in Portland, Oregon.

CVSA established IDEA to recognize and officially acknowledge the exceptional careers of professional commercial motor vehicle drivers and their commitment to public safety. As a company dedicated to creating a safer, stronger future, AIG joined with CVSA to sponsor the Alliance’s 2018 International Driver Excellence Award.

When he’s not on the road, Herschel and his wife Hollie like to travel around the country and see new places. “I also enjoy hunting and competition shooting of varied types,” Herschel added. “And I compete in archery and handgun events.”

The 2019 IDEA nomination form will be posted in the fall of 2018.