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NTSB CHAIRMAN TESTIFIES BEFORE CONGRESS ON THE OVERSIGHT OF MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY



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                      NTSB PRESS RELEASE

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National Transportation Safety Board

Washington, DC 20594

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 28, 2010

SB-10-13

 

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NTSB CHAIRMAN TESTIFIES BEFORE CONGRESS ON THE OVERSIGHT OF

MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY

 

 

 

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Washington, DC - National Transportation Safety Board

Chairman Deborah A. P. Hersman testified today before the

U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and

Merchant Marine Infrastructure, Safety, and Security, about

issues concerning the safety of large trucks and buses.

 

"The public deserves comprehensive and consistent oversight

of the motor carrier industry," said Chairman Hersman. "When

we load our children into our cars and get out on the

highways, we expect the trucks and buses traveling beside us

to be safely designed, carefully maintained, and expertly

operated."

 

Hersman noted that the two most important factors related to

safe motor carrier operations are the condition of the

vehicles and the performance of the drivers. Current rules

prevent the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

(FMCSA) from putting carriers out of service with an

unsatisfactory rating in only one of 6 rated factors.  They

must be unsatisfactory in 2 factors.  This means that they

could be unsatisfactory in either the vehicle or driver

areas and still be allowed to operate.  The NTSB believes

that an "unsatisfactory" in either category should be

sufficient cause to place a carrier out of service.  The

NTSB has been recommending this rule be changed since 1999.

 

During her testimony, Chairman Hersman commented on FMCSA's

plan to implement a program of oversight initiatives

entitled "Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010" ("CSA 2010").

 Describing the program as "ambitious" and "long overdue,"

Chairman Hersman expressed concern that it has milestones

that will be difficult for the FMCSA to meet.  "In the

meantime, motor carriers continue to operate with poor

management of their drivers and vehicles, which will lead to

more accidents," she said.  The FMCSA should have

implemented incremental changes to its compliance review

process while developing the more sweeping CSA 2010 program,

she noted. Chairman Hersman also addressed other areas of

motor carrier safety, including  fatigue, electronic on-

board recorders for hours of service, medically unqualified

commercial drivers, and cell phone use by commercial

drivers. 

 

 

The full text of Chairman Hersman's testimony is available

on the Board's web site at:

http://www.ntsb.gov/Speeches/hersman/daph100428.html  

 

 

 

NTSB Media Contact:  Keith Holloway, (202) 314-6100

                                         hollowk@xxxxxxxx

 

 

 

 

 

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