A California company is partnering with Virginia Tech to study the effect of fatigue on truckers who pass through Boron and Victorville.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration commissioned SmartDrive and the university to conduct the $2.5 million test. Researchers will use dashboard cameras to record footage of both the driver and the road; the study will also use electronic wristbands that measure and record the amount of sleep that truckers get. The study group is composed of 200 interstate truckers who have irregular sleeping schedules.
Institute director Richard Hanowski plans to begin the study as soon as drivers are recruited.
Noncompliance in an area of the Safety Measurement System ratings, which includes hours of operations, will trigger a response from the FMCSA. The agency uses something of a secret points system, which is good news and bad news.
The good news is that there is a great deal of flexibility. In California, action against a drivers’ license can be minimized, but probably not eliminated, once the driver attains a certain number of points. But the federal system is a bit more subjective, which gives an attorney more room to operate.
The bad news is that it is very difficult to be proactive, and most drivers do not know that there is an action pending against them until they receive a letter in the mail. These actions are:
- Warning letter,
- Heightened roadside inspections,
- Offsite investigation,
- Cooperative safety plan,
- Onsite investigation, and
- Notice of claim.
Under the Administrative Procedures Act, anything other than a warning letter requires notice and hearing.
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