Trucking News - Work Zone Awareness & a New Mandate

Go slow: It’s National Work Zone Awareness Week

When it comes to highway construction, the price of progress includes flaggers and cones, narrower lanes, sudden stops, frustrating delays, shifting traffic patterns, uneven road surfaces and more risk.

This week is National Work Zone Awareness Week, a time to bring attention to the critical issue of safety in and around work zones. Commercial vehicles are overrepresented in fatal work zone crashes, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has an entire campaign for with tips that dispatchers and drivers can use to navigate these areas safely and efficiently. Among them:

  1. Know before you go. A little research into your route can go a long way. Drivers and dispatchers can work together to plan ahead, make adjustments and possibly avoid work zones altogether.
  2. Expect changes. The size and scope of work zones can change quickly. Expect new traffic patterns and stay alert for workers, signs, cones, barrels and flaggers even when a work zone is on your regular route.
  3. Slow down. In 2019, nearly one quarter of all fatal work zone crashes involved rear-end collisions. Speed was a contributing factor in more than 31 percent of fatal work zone crashes. Leave extra following distance between vehicles, obey posted work zone speed limits and be alert for sudden stops.
  4. Watch for workers. Give road workers and flaggers extra room and move slowly and predictably when you must maneuver around them.

Visit the FHWA Work Zone Management website and the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse for more resources and training ideas.

TMC takes a closer look at camera monitor systems

Growing interest in camera-based mirror systems has prompted the Technology & Maintenance Council of American Trucking Associations to use its Cab & Controls Study Group to develop ways to help fleets understand how the technology would best fit into the truck cab environment.

The Cab & Controls Study Group is a committee of maintenance managers and equipment suppliers that develops recommended practices for maintaining systems that improve ergonomics, safety and comfort for drivers.

At the TMC 2021 Spring Meeting, the group said it planned to incorporate camera monitor systems (CMS) into its mandate considering that fleets are taking a long look at the technology.

In 2019, the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said that truckers can conduct on-road testing of CMS to complement conventional mirrors.

Video technology has a range of uses in the cab, including cloud-connected dashcams with front-facing and cabin-facing cameras, artificial intelligence to automatically detect hazards on the road and infrared to recognize driver distraction in the vehicle and alert the driver in real time.

Canada’s ELD deadline starts June 12. Here’s what truckers should know

Remember the ELD mandate “soft enforcement” period? It’s back, this time in Canada.

Canada’s electronic logging device rules take effect on June 12, 2021, when motor carriers need to install certified ELDs in their commercial motor vehicles.

However, the mandate won’t be fully enforced until June 2022, a grace period intended to help fleets, drivers and enforcement officials become familiar with new equipment and procedures.

“The sooner you act and get involved in the process and start installing technology, the smoother the transition will be,” says Geoff Wood, senior vice-president at the Canadian Trucking Alliance.

One key difference between the U.S. and Canadian regulations is that the Canadian mandate requires carriers and drivers to use an ELD that has been tested and certified by an accredited certification body. In the U.S, ELDs are certified by the manufacturer.

For the driver, an ELD in Canada will be like the day-to-day experience using a system in the U.S. or what current ELD users in Canada are already accustomed to. Other changes for Canada exist within the development of the back-end software.

Transport Canada has more information about the country’s ELD regulations. Transflo’s ELD solution is from Geotab, which is based in Canada. For more information or to request a demo, visit https://transflo.com/telematics-elds/.

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