Picture of Truck TRB Committee on Truck and Bus Safety (ANB70) Skip Navigation Picture of Bus

2008 Mid-Year Meeting Minutes

Truck and Bus Safety Research Committee - ANB70
Mid-Year Meeting, Oct. 27, 2008
Keck Center, Room 101
9:00 am - 3:00 pm


  • Joel Ticatch, Chair
  • Andy Schaudt, Secretary
  • Richard Pain, TRB Staff Liaison
  • Ron Knipling
  • Rebecca Brewster
  • Gene Bergoffen
  • Pierre Thiffault
  • Gerald Krueger
  • Deborah Freund
  • Gerald Donaldson
  • Mike Griffith
  • Ed Miller
  • Steve Keppler
  • Duane Perrin
  • Courtney Stevenson

Others in Attendance:

  • Laura Fraade-Blanar

Opening Discussion

At 9:10 am, Joel Ticatch called the meeting to order, welcomed members, and opened the floor for self-introductions. Many handouts were passed around the table. These handouts included meeting minutes from January's annual meeting, program of committee sponsored activities at the upcoming TRB conference, an updated member roster, a research problem statement format handout, and an agenda for the meeting. A point was brought up that one major point on the agenda is to discuss the committee's involvement in identifying problem statements for future research. TRB established a research needs database, and we are tasked with helping to populate that database.

Duane Perrin and Courtney Stevenson both requested that their email addresses be updated (see below):


2008 Paper Submissions

TRB Paper submissions were discussed, in which Joel stated that the committee received 23 papers for review this year. This was a significant increase from previous years. The consensus of the committee was that the appropriate quality range was reached this year. This was probably due to the increase in number of submissions. A significant number of them will be presented in poster sessions.

In general, members did a great job on the paper reviews. Efforts were made to assign a minimum of four reviewers to each paper. Because some reviewers could not complete their assignments consistent with the deadlines, there were a couple of instances where papers were reviewed by three or less reviewers, which was not ideal. In some cases, Friends of the Committee were involved in the reviews as well. Joel handled the review assignments based on areas of expertise. Comments were then sent to the authors. The authors' final submissions are due back on November 15. Those papers that are candidates for publication will need to be examined again by reviewers.

Rick Pain will make sure and put similar research submissions with each other in a poster session, so that these research authors are knowledgeable about each other's research. A suggestion was made that contacting these authors who have similar research to come to the annual meeting and discuss this as an area of interest.

ANB70 Committee Website

The website was the next topic of discussion brought to the committee. Joel mentioned that Brenda Lantz could not attend the meeting, so Andy Schaudt led the discussion. Andy suggested a plan of action to implement updates to the website that were suggested by the committee members at the annual meeting. These points are described below:

  1. Andy Schaudt will generate a list of potential links to post on the website and have Joel Ticatch review it. After it has been finalized, this list will be delivered to Brenda Lantz who will oversee it's insertion to the site.
  2. The link to the Circular will be posted on the "Links" page as well as on the "Home" page.
  3. A calendar of annual events (in bulleted form) will be posted at the beginning of each year containing the major dates, locations, and links to any website if available. Andy Schaudt will also send out an email to members every 2 months requesting any additional/new events that should be added.
  4. Newly published post-research reports or references will be posted on the Links page near the top that members feel vital to the truck and bus safety theme. Once again, Andy Schaudt will send out an email request at the same time as the event request described above.
  5. Agendas are currently being posted on the "Meetings" page with the minutes. This will continue.
  6. \
  7. Meeting Minutes are currently being posted on the "Meetings" page. This will continue.
  8. The content from the "About Committee" page will be transferred to the "Home" page. The old "About Committee" page will be changed to a "Commercial Motor Vehicle Tutorial" page which content will be appropriately obtained from the Circular, upon the member's approval.

A suggestion was made that the Trucking Industry committee might have some content to add to the tutorial page. Andy Schaudt will follow up on this idea.

At the end of this discussion, Rebecca Brewster suggested that the committee should consider a new Young-Member since Andy has been aged out. A suggestion was made to get a solicitation for more young-members from the members here or at the annual meeting? Young members have proven to be very helpful in the committee and keeping these positions filled is important. Rick stated that TRB does encourage mentoring and young members. Ron Knipling suggested the possibility of reducing the international member openings, and adding an extra young-member position to the committee.

TRB Staff Report

Rick Pain reported on news from the TRB side. Although the economy is in a slump, it seems that paper submissions have increased at TRB. The research community is still consistently pumping out research. TRB is looking good this year. Committees are equally as active. State DOTs are in lock down for spending for travel, so their attendance will probably be lower at this year's conference. That is the sector of biggest change. Rick stated that 20-25% of papers are from Asian countries, so a huge increase in that area. That is where the largest number of rejections came from though also. Rick estimated that a higher number of Asian and international visitors will attend this year. The freight cooperative research program is in full movement right now, and all the contracts have been initiated. Rick mentioned that a lot of the research coming from the international realm is on crash modeling, but using standard techniques, not new methods. Jerry Krueger mentioned that that he favors on the side of encouraging further dialogue and exchange with the Chinese outreach for collaboration in research.

FMCSA Update

The next point of order in the meeting was to hear from the two FMCSA delegates. The first to report was Mike Griffith. Mike highlighted some key research projects currently under way at FMCSA:

  1. Newsletter - "Insights" is a newsletter that people thought might be useful so Mike implemented it. He handed out the most recent newsletter during the meeting. The new FMCSA driving tips website was mentioned, which will soon be accessible from the FMCSA website. A schedule on new webinars is posted in this newsletter also.
  2. A second handout was passed around by Mike titled "Technology Corridor News", which described the establishment of a technology corridor in Tennessee. The truck traffic is enormous in this area (40% approximately). Over the next several years, this will be used to test many technologies. Also an article on Wireless Roadside Inspection studies is included.
    Jerry Donaldson stated that the CMV PBBT inspections research is very interesting. He asked what the conjunction of data from this study is with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 121 compliance. FMCSA published a set of performance standards (specifications) for these, and allows 2 types to be used and purchased, and also that it was a tremendously valuable tool in determining stoppability of a CMV. Jerry was concerned about the fact that these systems do not match up with these compliance requirements. He wondered why this is disjoined. Gene Bergoffen said this will stay disjoined because FMCSA may not be able to do a test sufficient enough to finalize this.
  3. FMCSA is going to kickoff a new research study in relation to speed limiters. One is an extensive literature review (update) internationally; the next phase will be new original research.
  4. There will be an RFP coming out soon investigating rigorous evaluations of systems such as onboard safety systems, forward collision warning systems, mitigation systems, stability control systems, etc.
  5. SmartPark information for truckers. There is a shortage of parking as we all know. If we can convey where the best parking is available, that will improve safety, carrier efficiency, and highway congestion.
  6. Mike handed out a crash statistic comparison that can also be found at the website.

The next FMCSA delegate to report was Deborah Freund from the office of policy. An overview of her report is below:

  1. FMCSA's Office of Policy has had an extraordinarily busy year, with 18 USDOT-Significant Rulemakings in progress. As of October 27, 2008, 5 (Medical Certification as part of Commercial Drivers License, National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners, New Entrant Safety Assurance Process, Requirements for Intermodal Equipment Providers and Drivers Operating Intermodal Equipment, and Hours of Service of Drivers) were under review at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB). One (Electronic On-Board Recorders for Hours of Service) is under review in the Office of the Secretary of Transportation (OST). Four more (Unified Registration System, Certification of Safety Auditors, Railroad Highway Grade Crossing Safety, and Motor Carrier Safety Fitness Determination) are expected to be submitted to OST in the near future. OST posts a status report on significant rulemakings at http://regs.dot.gov. It is updated monthly. This link will take you directly to FMCSA's report for October 2008: http://regs.dot.gov/rulemakings/200810/fmcsa.htm.
  2. FMCSA's home page, www.fmcsa.dot.gov, includes current and historical information on rulemaking actions. This link takes you directly to Notices of Proposed Rulemaking published in the last year: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/rulemakings/rule-programs/new-rulemakings.asp?cat=proposed
  3. The CSA 2010 initiative, a major effort to improve the effectiveness of FMCSA's compliance and enforcement programs, is moving forward. Three State pilot projects are underway. The agency has held several listening sessions, most recently on October 16, 2008. More information on CSA 2010 is available at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/csa2010/home.htm.
  4. Regarding safety outreach: between October 2006 and last month, FMCSA distributed more than 500,000 copies of the Highway-Rail Grade Crossing Visor Card, "7 Steps for Safety." Although it may be early to detect trends, a drop was noted between 2006 and 2007 in the total numbers of accidents/incidents at public and private crossings, and a reduction in deaths and injuries from accidents/incidents where a truck or tractor-trailer was stopped on a public or a private crossing. FMCSA continues to work with its USDOT colleagues in FHWA and FRA as well as with Operation Lifesaver International to get this safety message to the motor carrier community.
  5. Because of the growing concern about proper use of automatic brake adjusters, FMCSA worked with an industry association, the Heavy Duty Brake Manufacturers Council and the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, to develop an illustrated instruction "checklist" card for use by drivers and technicians. FMCSA has distributed over 26,000 of these cards to brake system suppliers, motor carriers, insurance providers, and drivers - 20,000 of the cards were distributed through the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance during the Brake Safety Week activity in September 2008.


Commerical Truck & Bus Safety Synthesis Program (CTBSSP)

The synthesis reports generated under this program summarize research and state-of-the-practice activities in specific topical areas. They involve literature searches, surveys, meta-analyses, etc. There are approximately 15 synthesis reports currently available on the TRB website. There are additional reports in various stages of finalization. One recently completed report is on speed limiters. Jerry Krueger is preparing a report on substance use, exclusive of alcohol. ATRI is doing one on drug testing approaches across modes. There is a school bus synthesis report being prepared by VTTI. And the last one under John Brock has to do with safety effects of older drivers and is close to draft final. The deadline for submission of suggested synthesis topics is February 1.

Jerry Donaldson observed that when we discuss driver behavior, we tend to think in terms of truck drivers, not bus and motorcoach drivers. The differences in behavior can be significant. FMCSA is performing a bus crash causation study.

Reauthorization - Truck Size & Weight

Rick Pain mentioned truck size & weight is of great interest to the safety community. Of course, larger trucks may offer operational and energy benefits, but at what safety costs? Ed Miller also mentioned the impact of large trucks on the structural integrity of highways. A discussion of prior research on the safety fitness of longer combination vehicles ensued.

Subcommittee Activities and Reports

Driver Training Joint Subcommittee - Joel spoke on behalf of John Brock. He is putting together a report on activity for the annual meeting with a couple of presentations.

Motorcoach Safety Organizational Working Group/Task Force - Jerry Donaldson mentioned they have a meeting scheduled, and one major thing to talk about is the topic of a legislative approach to improving motorcoach safety. NHTSA, at NTSB's behest, is examining motorcoach safety. The test plan is using a couple of approaches which are not real world tests. Jerry encouraged Duane Perrin to look at the research on broken windows information. Also, Keppler reported that CVSA is organizing a bus safety summit.

Truck and Bus Operator Health and Wellness Subcommittee - Jerry Kreuger is a co-chair with Edward Hitchcock. The first meeting was held in January after the committee meeting. One thing that was mentioned was that the Circular Chapter 4 and Synthesis Report No. 15 identify key topics of likely interest to this subcommittee. Also, a NIOSH report that was published in 2007 was discussed. Karl Sieber spoke on the large NIOSH survey that was under construction. One suggestion was to make the results more generalizable, rather than just truck stop surveys. It was suggested that authors of pertinent papers be invited to participate in the January subcommittee meeting.

Truck and Bus Data Subcommittee - First meeting to be held in January at TRB. Bob Scopatz is going to lead this. We as a committee should help to design the structure of this subcommittee. Gene Bergoffen mentioned CSA2010, how is it based, and how it will likely make data more available.


Candidate Working Groups/Subcommittees

Industry self-evaluation and vehicle dynamics were 2 ideas for candidate working groups/subcommittees. A synthesis study was done looking at examples of certification, self- evaluation, and related programs. Rebecca Brewster brought up alternative compliance issues, but recognized that a tradeoff should be made (if you regulate more, than the shippers and carriers need to get some incentives). Does this topic generate enough interest to create a subcommittee? One point was made that the assumption that the carrier population do not fit on a normal distribution curve. Gene will follow up on this topic. Duane's feeling is that vehicle dynamics really need the OEMs and first tier suppliers and are SAE folks, so this might be a redundant committee. Steve Keppler brought up the issue of message prioritization and who is controlling what and when multiple systems alert the driver? Ron Knipling and Mike Griffith mentioned that the current IVBSS study is looking at that right now.

Research Needs Statements

The committee needs to work on providing new research needs statements to TRB. Joel referred to the handout Appendix D research problem statement format. We need to identify how to handle these statements. Ron Knipling mentioned that one way to start is to task each subcommittee to come up with 1 or 2 of these each. The circular was also mentioned as a good place to start. It was brought up that each member should also come up with at least 1 in their tenure on the committee. The Truck and Bus Safety Symposium generated quite a few ideas which might also be a good place to start. Subcommittees will be asked to identify research needs.

Annual Meeting

Committee sponsored activities, topics, and presentations. Joel mentioned that there has been presentations requested by Hitchcock, and one is from Allison Smiley concerning the North American Fatigue Management Program (data collection phase). Information on heavy vehicle brake safety research and field assessments can be presented by both Debbie and Steve. Andy Schaudt will also present some information on Hazardous Materials research that he is currently working on with VTTI.

Ron Knipling Update

Safety for the Long Haul. Ron Knipling presented a brief overview and prospectus for his new book, Safety for the Long Haul, to be published by ATA early next year. There will be a TRB "Meet the Author" session (593) immediately following the committee's meeting in January which will present highlights of the book.

Safety for the Long Haul is a comprehensive textbook, covering more than 100 topics in 13 chapters. It is written for carrier safety managers as well as government and industry officials.

The book surveys and interprets the literature on large truck crash risk, causation, countermeasures, prevention strategies (e.g., safety management), and related national policies.

LTCCS Combination- vs. Single-Unit Truck Comparison. Ron Knipling presented highlights from an LTCCS data mining study to compare causal and associated factors of crashes involving combination-unit trucks (tractor-semitrailers) to those of single-unit trucks. The analysis examined 44 variables relating to crash characteristics, conditions of occurrence, key causal variables, and various associated factors, including those relating to driver fatigue and Hours-of-Service (HOS). LTCCS statistics were disaggregated by truck type, and by several crash categories, including single-vehicle crashes, truck-Critical Reason (CR) multi-vehicle crashes, and other vehicle-CR multi-vehicle crashes. These crash category comparisons provided the most revealing findings. A pdf of the presentation and a similar FMCSA webinar on the study are available from Ron (rknipling@vtti.vt.edu).

Announcements & Other Business


Adjournment @ 3:00pm

Transportation Research Board Transportation Research Board
Committee on Truck and Bus Safety (ANB70)

Required Plug-ins