Truckers have been complaining for years about taking a bad rap on accidents. Well, there just might be a light at the end of the tunnel that brings a smile to your face. The FMCSA has announced the start of the Crash Preventability Determination Program, otherwise known as CPDP. Under this program, if you have an eligible crash that occurred on or after August 1, 2019, you may submit a Request for Data Review (RDR) with the required police accident report and other supporting documents, photos or videos through the Agency’s DataQs website.
The Safety Measurement System (SMS) has expanded the systems to cover eleven (11) types of crashes and provides examples to help you determine if your crash is eligible for submission to the CPDP, but the greatest thing is that there will now be three (3) categories – Preventable, Non-preventable and Undecided. The 11 types of accidents are: Struck in the Rear; Struck on Side at Rear; Wrong Direction; Illegal Turns; Parked or Legally Stopped; Failure of the Other Vehicle to Stop; Under the Influence; Medical Issues/Falling Asleep or Distracted driving; Cargo/Debris or Infrastructure Failure; Animal Strike; and Suicide. In order for a submission to be considered, one must include a police report, the crash must meet one of the types mentioned above, and the crash must have occurred on or after August 1, 2019.
Another good thing about this new program is that the SMS will display reviewed crashes that are non-preventable in a separate table entitled “Reviewed – Not Preventable Crashes.” In other words, crashes found “Not Preventable” will not be used when calculating the carrier’s Crash Indicator BASIC measure, which the FMCSA uses to prioritize carriers for safety intervention.
SMS will display reviewed crashes determined to be Preventable or Undecided with all other crashes with the following notations: “Reviewed – Preventable Crash” (FMCSA reviewed this crash and determined that it was Preventable), or “Undecided” (FMCSA reviewed this crash and could not make a preventability determination based on the evidence provided). The advantage to being an NTA member is that if you think you have a good case you can: 1) obtain the Crash Type Eligibility Guide; 2) obtain the Submitter Guide; 3) get the CPDP FAQs; and 4) you can request that I review your case using my previous law enforcement background.
Now, the next question one might ask is, “What exactly is a preventable accident?” The National Safety council says, “Any accident involving a vehicle which results in property damage and/or person injury, regardless of who was injured, what property was damaged, to what extent, or where it occurred, in which the driver in question failed to exercise every reasonable precaution to prevent the accident.”
This leads to the question, “What is a professional truck driver?” Every accident in which a driver is involved shall be considered preventable unless there was no action which the driver could have reasonably taken to avoid the accident and that his/her actions in no way contributed to the occurrence of the accident. The driver must drive in such a way that he/she commits no errors and controls his/her vehicle to make due allowance for the condition of the road, the weather or traffic, and so that the mistakes of other drivers do not involve him/her in any accident. This is what I was brought up on back when I was driving in the early 60s. In fact, you will find those definitions hanging in my office.
MINIMUM WAGE GOES UP DESPITE COVID-19
While some localities adjust their minimum wage on January 1 each year, others change the rate on July 1. Effective July 1, 2020, several localities throughout California will be raising their minimum wage requirements for employers. Specifically, minimum wage on July 1, 2020, will be elevated to $15 per hour for some or all employers (depending on size) in the City and/or County of Alameda, Fremont, Novato, San Leandro, Santa Rosa, Los Angeles, Malibu, Santa Monica and Pasadena. But this is not meant to be an exhaustive list, and each locality may have different rules that apply to their employers. For example, Santa Monica will require employers with 26 or more people to increase their minimum wage to $15 per hour, but only to $14.25 for employers with 25 or fewer employees.
However, do not rush to offer these increases to your employees per hour compensation just yet. Employers need to make sure that their local city ordinances do not have any other increased minimum wage requirements. For example, effective July 1, 2020, San Francisco’s minimum wage will increase to $16.07 per hour while Emeryville’s minimum wage will be increased to $16.84 per hour.
And don’t forget the poster requirement as well – the City and County’s updated Minimum Wage poster reflecting the proper minimum wage must be displayed at each workplace or job site. If you have more than one location, make sure this updated poster is hanging at each site.
TIP OF THE MONTH
For the past 59 years, as a bobtail driver, as a local city semi driver, as a local heavy-duty driver, as a head city dispatcher, as a head of safety for a consortium of four local trucking companies, and as the Safety Coordinator for the California Trucking Association, I have picked up many safety tid-bits from various organizations like the CHP, FMCSA, DOT and many others which I would like to share with everyone here regularly. This is just my way of giving back to the industry that I love.
This month’s tip is regarding the MCS-150 form. Failure to complete biennial updates to FMCSA can subject you to civil penalties of up to $1,000 per day, with a maximum penalty of $10,000. Certain for-hire carriers of passengers and freight, freight forwarders and brokers may be subject to additional civil penalties as authorized by 49 U.S.C. 14901(a). FMCSA may also deactivate the USDOT Number for any entity that fails to comply with the updating requirements. This form is important, so don’t forget to fill it out when due. Remember, trucking is simple, but so many people make it a lot harder by cutting corners. If you need help with this form or advice, call NTA at (800) 805-0040 or visit www.ntassoc.com.