Illinois drivers who are concerned about road safety may be interested to learn that over 9,500 inspections took place during Brake Safety Day in North America. Almost 2,000 trucks were placed out of commission due to violations during the unannounced event.
Five months after it was supposed to take effect, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's rule about national standards for drivers is now law. The rule was delayed because of Trump administration-ordered regulatory reviews. However, although it took effect on June 5, there are almost three years before it must be followed. The rule will apply to drivers in Illinois and throughout the country who receive a commercial driver's license on or after Feb. 7, 2020.
Before International Roadcheck draws to a close on June 8, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance enforcement inspectors are expected to have checked an average of 15 commercial vehicles per minute over a 72-hour span for possible safety violations. The inspection event takes place each year on roadways in Illinois and throughout the United States and Canada. In 2016, 9,080 trucks and 1,436 drivers were placed out of service during the CVSA inspection.
Illinois residents might be interested in news about expected changes in the trucking industry. In an effort to find more effective methods for drug testing of drivers, five senators are pressuring the Department of Health and Human Services to issue official guidelines for using hair instead of urine for drug testing. Their concern, the senators explained, is that the lack of guidelines has prevented the Department of Transportation from issuing approval of this drug testing method for the trucking industry.
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has conducted what it says are the first tests designed to evaluate the safety benefits of side-mounted underride guards. Federal lawmakers are considering regulations that would make the fitting of rear-mounted underride guards to semi-tractor trailers in Illinois and around the country mandatory, but the IIHS says that side-mounted underride guards could also save lives and should be required as well.
Truck drivers face many risks while traveling on Illinois highways, and fatal crashes involving commercial vehicles weighing in excess of 10,000 pounds have increased according to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The agency's 2015 report showed that 8 percent more trucks were involved in deadly wrecks compared to the previous year.
Between June 6-8, according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, the International Roadcheck inspection blitz will be looking at commercial trucks from Illinois and throughout the country with a focus on cargo securement. These will be North American Standard Level I inspections. These are the most thorough inspections available, and they examine both the truck and the driver. While cargo securement is already a part of them, the hope is that the additional emphasis will bring truck drivers' attention to its importance.
Technology companies are working hard to make autonomous trucking viable. If successful, trucks traveling the highways of Illinois might be operated by truckers based at home or in an operations center. The co-founder of one such company, Starsky Robotics hopes to improve working conditions for truckers and allow them to enjoy more time at home.
Illinois residents who drive a truck for a living or who know someone who does might be interested in a study that showed how the risk of accidents quadruples for commercial truck drivers who have three or more health issues, compared with healthier ones. The study was conducted at the University of Utah School Of Medicine.
Illinois drivers may be interested in learning that a truck driver training rule that was set to go into effect on Feb. 6 was delayed by the Trump administration. The agency responsible for implementing the rule has postponed its effective date until March 21 so that it could be reviewed, potentially delaying it even further.