Safety regulations in the US haulage industry have been regarded as archaic until the recent CSA 2010 regulations came into force on 11th December 2010. Trucking by its very nature has its risks and involves a range of physical and mental challenges.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported to Congress on November 2005 on the data covering a 33 month period on large truck crashes. The analysis suggested that 87% of these crashes were linked to driver errors. It was clear that there was a pressing need for a review of the safety regulations that already existed and that these would need to be brought up to date. With this in mind and in order to increase safety related to the trucking industry, five safety rules have been recommended that every truck driver must follow.
First Rule. You need your Registration and Licensing permit to get your cargo tank number from the FMCSA in order to be properly registered. This is the Federal Government agency which has the task of keeping data on the safety of truck driving operations in the US. If you haul hazardous material there are additional registration requirement needed to comply with safety regulations.
Second Rule. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) regulates the Hours of Service (HOS) of commercial drivers in the United States. Commercial motor Vehicle (CMV) drivers must not work more than 11 cumulative hours driving in a 14-hour window. This must be followed by a rest period of at least 10 hours. In addition to this truckers employed by carriers on a day-to-day basis must not work more than 70 hours with a working period of 8 consecutive days. Drivers are also required to keep a daily logbook to keep a record of work and rest times. These records need to be presented to officials when requested.
Third Rule. The safety regulations put in place by the Federal Government are mandatory and need to be observed by truckers at all times. It is essential that you should know the trucking regulations and road safety rules to avoid breaking truck driving laws and endangering other road users.
Fourth Rule. Truckers will be aware that they will be tested for alcohol and drug abuse. (DUI). Truckers know the consequences of breaking this basic trucking regulation. They could lose their job and livelihood.
Fifth Rule. Accidents will happen on the roads. When this involves hazardous material spills truck drivers need to be fully equipped in every way to deal with the spillage. In a chaotic accident the truck driver should already know who to contact and what to do. The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) provides useful guidance regarding this aspect of truck driving.
These rules are basic common sense for the safety of everyone using the freeways. Keep them safe, keep yourself safe.