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2008 Meeting Minutes

Truck and Bus Safety Research Committee - ANB70
Annual Meeting, Jan. 16, 2008
Marriot Wardman-Park, Virginia C
8:00 - 11:00 am EST

Attendance:

  • Joel Ticatch, Chair
  • Andy Schaudt, Secretary
  • Richard Pain, TRB Staff Liaison
  • Anne McCartt
  • Pierre Thiffault
  • Roger Clarke
  • John Brock
  • Gerald Krueger
  • Deborah Freund
  • Brenda Lantz
  • John Siebert
  • Gerald Donaldson
  • Mike Griffith
  • Michael Belzer
  • Ed Miller
  • Steve Keppler
  • Duane Perrin
  • Bob Scopatz
  • David Melton
  • Courtney Stevenson

Others in Attendance:

  • Karl Sieber
  • Linda Sharpe
  • Milan Milivojeuc
  • Charlie Vits
  • Steve Johnson
  • Dan Murray
  • Timothy Brown
  • Alrik Svenson
  • Frank Barickman
  • Joe Foster
  • Jane Stutts
  • Derek Sweet
  • Douglas Wiegand
  • Jeffrey Hickman
  • Todd Trego
  • Racquel Pickett
  • Velma Whittle
  • Larry Decina
  • Suren Chen
  • Jennifer Beaupre
  • Julie Perrot
  • Koustantin Sizov
  • Oliver Page
  • Jerry Wekezer
  • Terecia Wilson
  • Steve Vaughn
  • Bill Knee
  • William McDonald
  • David Potts
  • Martin Walker

Opening Discussion

At 8:00 am, Joel Ticatch called the meeting to order, welcomed members and guests, and opened the floor for self-introductions. Joel explained that although the meeting agenda indicated a 12:00pm adjournment, the meeting would actually adjourn at 11:00 am so the first official meeting of the Commercial Driver Health, Wellness, and Safety Subcommittee could meet in the room from 11:15 am till 12:00 pm.

A sign in sheet was passed around, as well as a roster containing member specialty areas. Joel suggested members update their specialty areas on this roster. Also, the website will be going under some updates and Brenda Lantz, with the help of Andy Schaudt, will be coordinating this effort. Joel also mentioned that Andy Schaudt was recently appointed as the new Secretary to the committee as Bill Mahorney could no longer continue in the position. Joel also explained that due to some members and guests having to leave early, he might jump around on the agenda in order for people to give presentations.

Donna Vlasak spoke for a few minutes on her role as the TRB Synthesis officer. She mentioned that a new synthesis on Speed Limiters will be coming out in the spring. Also, that the oversight committee met, and 4 new syntheses were selected to move forward with. These new topics are below:

  • MC-18 - Older Drivers-Do They Post A Safety Risk
  • MC-19 - Chemical Substance Effects on Driving/Performance: Stimulants, Hypnotics, and Nutritional Aids
  • MC-20 - Operator Drug and Alcohol Testing Across Modes
  • MC-21 - Special Safety Concerns of School Bus Drivers

Mid-Year Meeting

The next point of order was a quick description of highlights from the mid-year meeting which was held on October 22, 2007 at the Keck Center of the National Academies. Joel explained that the committee rotation process recently completed its first rotation cycle. Some new committee directions discussed at the mid-year meeting included a new commercial driver health, wellness, and safety subcommittee, and a new taskforce on motor coach safety. Joel mentioned that the circular was finished, which highlights 8 main areas of truck and bus safety research. This circular can be accessed on the TRB website by navigating through the following steps; i) go to Publications, ii) select Series, iii) under the Browse by Series category, select Circulars, iv) select View Recent E-Circulars, v) and finally select #117.

Annual Paper Review

TRB Paper submissions were discussed, specifically the concern of the recent quality. The mid-year meeting discussions categorized these deficiencies into 4 categories:

  1. Poorly written; submitted un-edited
  2. Incomplete review of literature
  3. Improper data analysis & use of statistics
  4. "So What" studies

Bob Scopatz stated that because of the release of the LTCCS, our committee is most affected by researchers failing to use case weights. We need to spread the word to watch out for this issue. Anne McCartt mentioned that using databases with missing data is also dangerous. She also pointed out that Crash Risk is not cause or fault. Deborah Freund mentioned that the committee might consider investigation solutions to remedy this, such as a disclaimer on the LTCCS. Bob agreed some type of disclaimer would be helpful with some possible instruction and examples of how to infer and use reason code. Mike Griffith said he would bring these comments back to his office, he also mentioned that the use of the TRB statistics committee could be quite beneficial. Joel suggested the use of directed calls for papers to increase the quality.

ANB70 Committee Website

The website was the next topic of discussion brought to the committee. Brenda Lantz is heading the effort in updating the website, and Andy Schaudt will help with the effort as well. Brenda sent out an email requesting ideas. Steve Keppler suggested the following additions:

  1. Links Page
  2. Posting the Circular
  3. Calendar of events
  4. Post research reports or references
  5. Agendas
  6. Minutes
  7. Introduction to CMVs tutorial

Bob suggested possibly changing the Home Page to the About the Committee page. Joel also suggested the addition of links to specific syntheses might be nice.

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. Risk Factors Case Study - A study looking at drivers with no crashes versus drivers with lots of crashes and assessing the differences (exposure taken into account).
  2. Drowsy Warning System
  3. Onboard Monitoring Project
  4. Bus Fires
  5. Safety performance analysis of Agriculture and Farmers
  6. Evasion detection system

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

  • Rulemakings: In 2007, published 5 final rules, 1 interim final rule, 3 NPRMs, and withdrew 1 SNPRM. Details are on www.fmcsa.dot.gov, click on "Rules and Regulations."
  • There are 19 DOT-significant rulemakings underway. See regs.dot.gov for details.
  • HOS of Drivers: IFR published 12/17/2007, comment period ends 02/15/2008.
  • Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level CMV Operations: Would require use of a specific curriculum and a minimum number of hours of classroom instruction and behind-the-wheel training for persons who must hold a commercial driver's license to operate commercial motor vehicles. NPRM published 12/26/2007; comment period ends 03/26/2008.
  • Med. Cert. In CDL: Incorporating the current medical certification status information into the State-administered CDL Information System driver record. Would require those drivers who are required by Federal regulations to obtain a medical certificate to provide proof of that medical certification in order to obtain or retain a CDL. FR under development; projected publication 2Q-2008.
  • National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners: Training, testing and certification standards for medical examiners responsible for certifying that interstate CMV drivers meet established physical qualifications standards; provide a database (or National Registry) of medical examiners who meet the prescribed standards; and require medical examiners to transmit electronically to FMCSA the name of the driver and a numerical identifier for each driver that is examined. NPRM publication projected 2Q-2008.
  • Intermodal Equipment (Container Chassis) Requirements: This rulemaking addresses identification of IME providers (IEPs); requires IEPs to establish a systematic inspection, repair, and maintenance programs to ensure the safe operating condition of each chassis offered for transportation; and provide methods for responding to driver and motor carrier complaints about the condition of intermodal container chassis. NPRM published 12/2006, FR publication projected 3Q-2008.
  • New Entrant Safety Assurance Process: New Entrant Safety Assurance Process by raising the standard of compliance for passing the new entrant safety audit. It also would make clarifying changes to some of the existing new entrant regulations. The rule also proposes a separate application procedure and safety oversight system for non-North America-domiciled motor carriers. Projected publication of FR in 2Q-2008.
  • EOBRs for HOS Compliance: NPRM proposed new performance standards for EOBRs, use of EOBRs as remedial directive for certain non-compliant carriers. NPRM published 1/18/2007; projecting publication of FR in 3Q-2008.
  • CSA 2010: Would revise 49 CFR Part 385, Safety Fitness Procedures. Currently, the safety fitness rating of a motor carrier is determined based on the results of a very labor intensive compliance review conducted at the carrier's place of business - and, aside from roadside inspections and new audits, the CR is the Agency's primary intervention. Under CSA 2010, FMCSA would propose to implement a broader array of progressive interventions and to establish safety fitness determinations based on safety data consisting of crashes, inspections, and violation history. NPRM publication projected 2Q-2008.
  • Medical Review Board: Established in 2006. The 5 Members are all distinguished and scholarly practicing physicians. The MRB will provide information, advice, and recommendations to the Secretary of Transportation and the FMCSA Administrator on the development and implementation of science-based physical qualification standards.
  • The MRB's meetings have focused on diabetes, Schedule II drugs, cardiovascular disease, and seizure disorders. The next meeting, to be held late this month, will focus on seizure disorders and sleep disorders. For more information: www.mrb.fmcsa.dot.gov
  • The FMCSA Strategic Plan 2006-2011 was published in late October. It is available online - type "strategic plan" into the search box on the FMCSA home page.
  • Other activities: Increasing outreach efforts.
    • Highway-rail grade xing safety site went live 3/20/07. Safety guidance (including "visor card" in English, French, Spanish); regulations, links to other resource. Have distributed over 300,000 cards to date.
    • Brake adjustment card developed with assistance from HDBMC and ICBC. Plan to distribute through brake suppliers' seminars, other educational venues. Suggestions welcome.
    • Driver Safety Initiative: Completed Literature Review on Driver Recruitment, Retention, and Training. Document is awaiting publication clearance.
    • Sensors Studies: Final reports for 6 completed tasks (brakes, tires (2), dynamic alignment, J1939 network, vehicle and event data recording) are web-posted. Two tasks are underway: brake-&-tire mini-FOT field data collection is complete; and advanced brake technologies assessment is in progress. Both will be completed this year.
  • And, in the interest of information exchange, the 2007 Buckendale Lecture, Foundations of Commercial Vehicle Safety: Laws, Regulations, and Standards, is available from SAE International and will be available from the author in May 2008.

Subcommittee Presentations

Driver Training Joint Subcommittee - John Brock gave an update on the Driver Training Joint Subcommittee. Currently there are 26 members that all attended the Driver Training subcommittee meeting. They represented research centers, commercial driver training organizations, unions, commercial truck and bus companies and young driver training facilities. Dr. Rick Blunt, from the Defense Advanced Distributed Learning Laboratory, spoke on advanced instructional technologies and also on the SCORM program. The SCORM program will eventually allow the sharing of content across various users much as Napster once allowed the sharing of music. A second speaker was Tom Yager, the Chief of the Driver and Carrier Operations Division of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Tom reviewed the FMCSA's recently promulgated proposed rule on the training of commercial drivers. Comments are being accepted on the proposed rule until March 25th, 2008. The subcommittee and the whole committee will need to see how we might support the FMCSA as the rulemaking process goes forward.

Motorcoach Safety Organizational Working Group - Gerald Donaldson reported that there were 12 in attendance at an inaugural task force meeting on the issue of bus and motorcoach safety. There were many scoping sessions, all contained excellent communication. There was a little dissent on whether motorcoach safety, in particular, was a problem, but overall there was agreement that for a variety of passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicles, there were safety problems that needed to be addressed.

Driver Health and Wellness Subcommittee - Gerald Krueger is the acting co-chair for the subcommittee meeting at 11:15 am immediately following this meeting. The focus of the subcommittee will be to start with the chapter from the Circular. The other areas in which the subcommittee will draw information and focus from are the Synthesis #15, the published proceedings from the conference in Detroit, the NIOSH survey/study which is currently being designed, and NORA which was spearheaded by NIOSH.

Joel opened up the floor to friends and members to discuss any areas in which a subcommittee might be useful. A discussion involving Data was discussed fairly heavily. Bob indicated how critical data is, especially the correct use of it in our research. There should be a stronger focus on exposure. Mike Griffith agreed and mentioned that FMCSA has been working on it as SAFETLU requires it. Ron agreed with Bob that exposure is really important. This discussion led to setting up a Data Working Group and Bob agreed to run the group.

Staff Report

Rick Pain spoke next to discuss TRB news. The database went live in September, so TRB is interested in Research Needs. As committee members, please come up with Research Needs and go ahead and look way out if you want, there are no constraints. Also, webinars are becoming more prevalent, so try using them. Staff of TRB can help you set them up, just get a topic and some presenters and we can work with you. Jane Stutts also spoke about strategic planning for the future, and mentioned that the TRB 2009 "Spotlight" topic will focus on energy conservation, climate change type of theme and all committees are encouraged to keep this in mind in our 2009 activities and deliberations.

Brenda Lantz mentioned that the Circular would be an ideal place to get research needs from. Joel agreed and announced that it would be helpful if someone would volunteer to organize this effort. He will send out a request via email.

BREAK TAKEN @ 10:10am

Presentations

  1. Dave Melton, Liberty Mutual Research Institute, presented on the falls from vehicles problem within the trucking industry. Driver injuries resulting from falls while entering or exiting vehicles have been a significant disabling injury problem for many years. Very little research has looked at this problem. The purpose of the discussion was to impress upon the Committee the need to add slips and falls from vehicles as a potential ANB70 Synthesis topic. Used with permission from Schneider National, Dave showed data describing the extent of the problem within Schneider. During the period 1/1/2003 to 11/30/2007, there were 1041 slips / falls from Schneider vehicles at a cost of $20,716,755. Several committee members commented that the overall problem of driver occupational injury is serious and should be addressed.
  2. Oliver Page, Ph.D. gave a presentation on the Buses Involved in Fatal Accidents (BIFA) survey/dataset. BIFA was established in 1999 and provides the most reliable and detailed information on all buses involved in fatal traffic accidents in the United States. The presentation highlighted how BIFA supplements the FARS dataset to identify transportation safety issues unique to buses/motor coaches. Several challenges were also identified, such as the need for timely and accurate reporting of all fatal accidents involving buses/motorcoaches and the required cooperation between all stakeholders involved in traffic crash reporting. Through increasing awareness of BIFA to transportation stakeholders it is anticipated that there will be a greater application of its usefulness in current and future transportation safety research projects.

Announcements

Ron Knipling is currently writing a book sponsored by the ATA titled "Large Truck Crash Risk, Causation, and Prevention". He described it to be similar to an entry level college textbook. He invites anybody to send him ideas for the book, photographs, figures, or anything else that might be useful.

Pierre Thiffault announced that back in Canada he has started a Human Factors Task Force related to Truck and Bus Safety. The goal is coordinate new research ideas and develop a consistent strategy in improving the roadways. He welcomes any ideas from Committee Members.

Adjournment @ 11:00am

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

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