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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-01-033
Details
Synopsis: On January 28, 2000, about 5:56 a.m. in Glendale, California, a tractor-combination vehicle, operated by Mercury Transportation, Inc., was transporting an oil refinery condenser unit. The vehicle missed a turn in its planned route, traversed a highway-railroad grade crossing, turned around, and was attempting to retraverse the crossing when it became lodged on the railroad tracks. About 90 seconds later, northbound Metrolink commuter train 901, operated by the Southern California Regional Rail Authority, collided with the semitrailer. The engineer, conductor, and four passengers received minor injuries. Total damages were estimated to be over $2 million.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE HIGHWAY AND TRANSPORTATION OFFICIALS, AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF MOTOR VEHICLE ADMINISTRATORS, CALIFORNIA PROFESSIONAL ESCORT CAR ASSOCIATION, TEXAS PILOT CAR ASSOCIATION, UNITED SAFETY CAR ASSOCIATION, COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SAFETY ALLIANCE AND THE SPECIALIZED CARRIERS AND RIGGING ASSOCIATION: Work with the Federal Highway Administration to develop model oversize/overweight vehicle movement guidelines. The guidelines should address, at a minimum, issues such as (1) when pilot cars and police escorts are required; (2) the training, testing, and certification of pilot car operators, police officers, and truckdrivers in the movement of oversize/overweight loads; (3) the use of height poles and traffic controls; (4) how to conduct route surveys; (5) the maneuvering limitations of heavy-haul vehicles; (6) the effects of fatigue on performance; (7) the need to assess the dangers at railroad crossings, particularly for low-clearance vehicles; and (8) the need and requirements to notify the railroads before an oversize/overweight vehicle is escorted across a highway/rail grade crossing.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Exceeds Recommended Action
Mode: Highway
Location: Glendale, CA, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: HWY00FH027
Accident Reports: Collision Between Metrolink Train 901 and Mercury Transportation, Inc., Tractor- Semitrailer at Highway-Railroad Grade Crossing
Report #: HAR-01-02
Accident Date: 1/28/2000
Issue Date: 12/20/2001
Date Closed: 8/10/2010
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (Closed - Acceptable Action)
American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (Closed - Exceeds Recommended Action)
California Professional Escort Car Association (Closed - Exceeds Recommended Action)
Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (Closed - Exceeds Recommended Action)
FMCSA (Closed - Exceeds Recommended Action)
Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association (Closed - Exceeds Recommended Action)
Texas Pilot Car Association (Closed - Exceeds Recommended Action)
United Safety Car Association (Closed - Exceeds Recommended Action)
Keyword(s): Fatigue, Rail Crossing

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: California Professional Escort Car Association
Date: 7/29/2005
Response: The Safety Board has received a copy of the Pilot Car Escort Best Practices Guidelines and the Law Enforcement Escort Best Practices Guidelines prepared in response to this recommendation. These documents were prepared with input from subject matter experts representing the Association as well as specialized carriers, other pilot car escort organizations, permitting officials, Federal highway officials, State enforcement officers, training specialists, and many other government and industry entities. Thank you for your participation in this effort. The Board notes that the documents address all eight elements of the recommendation, including the need for escorts; training, testing, and certification needs; height poles and traffic controls; route surveys; maneuvering limitations; fatigue issues; railroad crossings; and highway-rail grade crossings. Again, the documents also address other important factors to consider for an oversize/overweight movement including maintaining a list of contacts, contingency plans, and communication needs. We also believe that the checklist contained in the Law Enforcement Best Practices Guidelines will prove to be particularly useful for oversize/overweight vehicle movements. As the completed guidelines exceed the expectations of the Board in issuing this recommendation, Safety Recommendation H-01-33 is classified CLOSED -- EXCEEDS RECOMMENDED ACTION.

From: NTSB
To: California Professional Escort Car Association
Date: 4/3/2002
Response: The Safety Board is also aware through staff contact that the Professional Escort Car Association is committed to moving forward and implementing the Board's recommendations. The Board further understands that a committee within the Professional Escort Car Association has been established to address the specific issues of the Glendale, California, accident. We appreciate your commitment to addressing these important issues. Pending further response, Safety Recommendations H-01-32 and -33 are classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE. Thank you for your positive response. I look forward to receiving progress reports from you regarding your activities related to the above recommendations.

From: California Professional Escort Car Association
To: NTSB
Date: 1/25/2002
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 01/29/2002 5:07:41 PM MC# 2020094 - From Barbara Payne, Professional Escort Car Association: A committee has been formed within our organization to address the issues brought to our attention as the result of the Highway Accident Report, Glendale, California. Gary Van Etten has attended two of our meetings within the past six months to explain what is expected of our organization. I will keep you apprised of our progress as we address the eight issues. My hope is to have something concrete to present to Michele McMurtry and Gary Van Etten at the SC & RA Oversize/Overweight Symposium the first week in March.

From: NTSB
To: American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
Date: 8/10/2010
Response: The NTSB is pleased that AAMVA obtained and posted on its website the best practices guidelines developed by the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance in cooperation with the FHWA and will post the Pilot Car Escort Training Manual once it receives a copy of that document. Although AAMVA did not work directly with the FHWA as recommended, the intent of the recommendation has been met. Accordingly, Safety Recommendation H-01-33 is classified CLOSED – ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
To: NTSB
Date: 5/6/2010
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 5/20/2010 12:13:51 PM MC# 2100175 - From Neil D. Schuster, President and CEO: Thank you for your March 19, 2010 correspondence regarding Safety Recommendations H 01-32 and H-01-33. AS noted in your correspondence, the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association (SCRA) and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) worked closely with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to develop three resource guides, titled Pilot Car Escort Best Practices Guidelines, Law Enforcement Escort Best Practices Guidelines, and Pilot Car Escort Training Manual . The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) has obtained the best practices guidelines documents which will be posted on our website for use by our members. We have also reached out to FHWA and CVSA to obtain the Pilot Car Escort Training Manual. Once received, this manual will also be posted to the website. AAMVA thanks the NTSB for its recommendations and continued work in furthering roadway safety. We look forward to working with the Board in the future and welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively in advancing national safety priorities.

From: NTSB
To: American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
Date: 3/19/2010
Response: Although AAMVA’s sole response to these recommendations provided no information regarding actions it has taken to address them, we are aware that the FHWA worked with the Specialized Carriers & Rigging Association, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, and many other entities, including federal, regional, and state agencies, to produce three excellent resource guides, titled Pilot Car Escort Best Practices Guidelines, Law Enforcement Escort Best Practices Guidelines, and Pilot Car Escort Training Manual. Nevertheless, Safety Recommendations H-01-32 and -33 are classified CLOSED -- UNACCEPTABLE ACTION, because AAMVA did not respond to the recommendation for 8 years and did not work with FHWA as requested. Although we are closing these recommendations, we urge AAMVA to distribute information on the published guides to its member organizations. Copies of these documents are available from the FHWA’s website at .

From: American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
To: NTSB
Date: 4/9/2009
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 4/24/2009 1:48:34 PM MC# 2090258: - From Neil D. Schuster, President and CEO: AAMVA agrees that there needs to be some sort of uniform formal training for personnel involved in escorting large oversize commercial loads on the highway and those aspects of CDL training criteria that would fit into required training for pilot or escort drivers would be of benefit for these drivers. AAMVA believes collaboration with FHWA and other related organizations (ie, the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association) to develop a best practice or requirements analysis of what type of training should be required in a model pilot/escort car program should include all the recommendations that NTSB makes in the report, including: - How to conduct route surveys - The maneuvering limitations of heavy-haul vehicles - The effects of fatigue on performance - The need to assess the dangers at railroad crossings, particularly with low clearance vehicles - The need and requirements to notify the railroads before an oversize/overweight vehicle is escorted across a highway/rail grade crossing - Uniform education and testing requirements AAMVA suggests the formation of a working group with all interested parties to address the issues outlined in this letter.

From: NTSB
To: American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators
Date: 9/10/2002
Response: The Safety Board has not received responses from the AAMVA on any of these five recommendations. The Board is interested in knowing whether and how its recommendations are implemented, both to ensure the public the highest level of safety and to identify creative solutions that might be shared with others. That is why we are monitoring the progress of these recommendations. The Safety Board believes that the AAMVA carries considerable influence with the states, and a commitment from the AAMVA to support and help to implement these recommendations would make a considerable difference. The Safety Board looks forward to receiving an update concerning the AAMVA's progress in helping to implement these recommendations. In the interim, Safety Recommendations H-98-38 and -39, and H-01-26, -32, and -33, will remain classified OPEN -- AWAIT RESPONSE.

From: NTSB
To: United Safety Car Association
Date: 7/29/2005
Response: The Safety Board has received a copy of the Pilot Car Escort Best Practices Guidelines and the Law Enforcement Escort Best Practices Guidelines prepared in response to this recommendation. These documents were prepared with input from subject matter experts representing the Association as well as specialized carriers, other pilot car escort organizations, permitting officials, Federal highway officials, State enforcement officers, training specialists, and many other government and industry entities. Thank you for your participation in this effort. The Board notes that the documents address all eight elements of the recommendation, including the need for escorts; training, testing, and certification needs; height poles and traffic controls; route surveys; maneuvering limitations; fatigue issues; railroad crossings; and highway-rail grade crossings. Again, the documents also address other important factors to consider for an oversize/overweight movement including maintaining a list of contacts, contingency plans, and communication needs. We also believe that the checklist contained in the Law Enforcement Best Practices Guidelines will prove to be particularly useful for oversize/overweight vehicle movements. As the completed guidelines exceed the expectations of the Board in issuing this recommendation, Safety Recommendation H-01-33 is classified CLOSED -- EXCEEDS RECOMMENDED ACTION.

From: NTSB
To: Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association
Date: 7/29/2005
Response: The Safety Board has received a copy of the Pilot Car Escort Best Practices Guidelines and the Law Enforcement Escort Best Practices Guidelines prepared in response to this recommendation. These documents were prepared by the SC&RA and CVSA using funding from the FHWA and with input from subject matter experts representing specialized carriers, other pilot car escort organizations, permitting officials, Federal highway officials, State enforcement officers, training specialists, and many other government and industry entities. The Board notes that the documents address all eight elements of the recommendation, including the need for escorts; training, testing, and certification needs; height poles and traffic controls; route surveys; maneuvering limitations; fatigue issues; railroad crossings; and highway-rail grade crossings. Again, the documents also address other important factors to consider for an oversize/overweight movement including maintaining a list of contacts, contingency plans, and communication needs. We also believe that the checklist contained in the Law Enforcement Best Practices Guidelines will prove to be particularly useful for oversize/overweight vehicle movements. As the completed guidelines exceed the expectations of the Board in issuing this recommendation, Safety Recommendation H-01-33 is classified CLOSED -- EXCEEDS RECOMMENDED ACTION. The Safety Board commends the SC&RA and the other participants for their comprehensive response to not only the letter of these recommendations but also their spirit. We appreciate the effort involved in preparing these documents and the ongoing initiatives to distribute them and provide training.

From: NTSB
To: Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association
Date: 7/22/2002
Response: The Safety Board is aware through staff contact that the SC&RA is committed to implementing the Board's recommendations. The Board further understands that a committee with the assistance of the SC&RA has been established to address the specific issues of the Glendale, California, accident and to work with the FHWA in developing a model pilot car driven training program and model oversize/overweight vehicle movement guidelines. We appreciate your commitment to addressing these important issues. As progress is made on these model programs, the Safety Board would appreciate an update. In the meantime, Safety Recommendations H-01-32 and -33 are classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association
To: NTSB
Date: 3/12/2002
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 03/27/2002 6:41:20 PM MC# 2020339 - From Joel M. Dandrea, Executive Vice President: With regard to developing a model pilot car training program and model oversize/overweight vehicle movement guidelines, SCXRA agrees with the fundamental premise that improved planning, communications and training can help promote safety performance and help reduce accidents, injuries, fatalities and property losses. SC&&A believes the specific issues identified by NTSB for inclusion in recommended guidelines and training address many of the fundamental elements integral to the safe movement of oversize/overweight loads.

From: NTSB
To: Texas Pilot Car Association
Date: 7/29/2005
Response: The Safety Board has received a copy of the Pilot Car Escort Best Practices Guidelines and the Law Enforcement Escort Best Practices Guidelines prepared in response to this recommendation. These documents were prepared with input from subject matter experts representing the Association as well as specialized carriers, other pilot car escort organizations, permitting officials, Federal highway officials, State enforcement officers, training specialists, and many other government and industry entities. Thank you for your participation in this effort. The Board notes that the documents address all eight elements of the recommendation, including the need for escorts; training, testing, and certification needs; height poles and traffic controls; route surveys; maneuvering limitations; fatigue issues; railroad crossings; and highway-rail grade crossings. Again, the documents also address other important factors to consider for an oversize/overweight movement including maintaining a list of contacts, contingency plans, and communication needs. We also believe that the checklist contained in the Law Enforcement Best Practices Guidelines will prove to be particularly useful for oversize/overweight vehicle movements. As the completed guidelines exceed the expectations of the Board in issuing this recommendation, Safety Recommendation H-01-33 is classified CLOSED -- EXCEEDS RECOMMENDED ACTION. The Safety Board commends all the parties involved for their comprehensive response to not only the letter of these recommendations but also their spirit. We appreciate the effort involved in preparing these documents and the ongoing initiatives to distribute them and provide training.

From: NTSB
To: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Date: 7/29/2005
Response: The Safety Board has received a copy of the Pilot Car Escort Best Practices Guidelines and the Law Enforcement Escort Best Practices Guidelines prepared in response to this recommendation. These documents were prepared with input from subject matter experts representing AASHTO as well as specialized carriers, other pilot car escort organizations, permitting officials, Federal highway officials, State enforcement officers, training specialists, and many other government and industry entities. Thank you for your participation in this effort. The Board notes that the documents address all eight elements of the recommendation, including the need for escorts; training, testing, and certification needs; height poles and traffic controls; route surveys; maneuvering limitations; fatigue issues; railroad crossings; and highway-rail grade crossings. Again, the documents also address other important factors to consider for an oversize/overweight movement including maintaining a list of contacts, contingency plans, and communication needs. We also believe that the checklist contained in the Law Enforcement Best Practices Guidelines will prove to be particularly useful for oversize/overweight vehicle movements. As the completed guidelines exceed the expectations of the Board in issuing this recommendation, Safety Recommendation H-01-33 is classified CLOSED -- EXCEEDS RECOMMENDED ACTION.

From: NTSB
To: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
Date: 7/20/2004
Response: NMC# 102473: Safety Board staff presented these issues to AASHTO's Subcommittee on Highway Transport in November 2003, and the issue of escort vehicles was again discussed at its June 2004 meeting, which Safety Board staff attended. Pending the development of the requested guidelines, Safety Recommendations H-01-32 through -34 are classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials
To: NTSB
Date: 3/30/2004
Response: AASHTO has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Federal Transit Administration, the American Public Transportation Association and the Community Transportation Association to develop a bus safety and security program. It is considered a "voluntary" program, but AASHTO is encouraging transit systems to participate.

From: NTSB
To: FMCSA
Date: 7/29/2005
Response: NMC# 102681: The Safety Board has received a copy of the Pilot Car Escort Best Practices Guidelines and the Law Enforcement Escort Best Practices Guidelines prepared in response to this recommendation. These documents were prepared by the SC&RA and CVSA using funding from the FHWA and with input from subject matter experts representing specialized carriers, other pilot car escort organizations, permitting officials, Federal highway officials, State enforcement officers, training specialists, and many other government and industry entities, including the FMCSA. Thank you for your participation in this effort. The Board notes that the documents address all eight elements of the recommendation, including the need for escorts; training, testing, and certification needs; height poles and traffic controls; route surveys; maneuvering limitations; fatigue issues; railroad crossings; and highway-rail grade crossings. Again, the documents also address other important factors to consider for an oversize/overweight movement including maintaining a list of contacts, contingency plans, and communication needs. We also believe that the checklist contained in the Law Enforcement Best Practices Guidelines will prove to be particularly useful for oversize/overweight vehicle movements. As the completed guidelines exceed the expectations of the Board in issuing this recommendation, Safety Recommendation H-01-33 is classified CLOSED -- EXCEEDS RECOMMENDED ACTION. The Safety Board commends the FMCSA and the other participants for their comprehensive response to not only the letter of these recommendations but also their spirit. We appreciate the effort involved in preparing these documents and the ongoing initiatives to distribute them and provide training.

From: NTSB
To: FMCSA
Date: 3/17/2003
Response: NMC# 102027: At a meeting held on July 10, 2002, representatives of the FMCSA and the Board agreed that Safety Recommendations H-01-32 and H-01-33 should be closed for the FMCSA and the issue pursued with the FHWA, which was issued companion recommendations. Accordingly, Safety Recommendations H-01-32 and H-01-33 to the FMCSA are classified CLOSED -- RECONSIDERED.

From: NTSB
To: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
Date: 7/29/2005
Response: The Safety Board has received a copy of the Pilot Car Escort Best Practices Guidelines and the Law Enforcement Escort Best Practices Guidelines prepared in response to this recommendation. The Board notes that these documents were prepared by the SC&RA and CVSA using funding from the FHWA and with input from subject matter experts representing specialized carriers, other pilot car escort organizations, permitting officials, Federal highway officials, State enforcement officers, training specialists, and many other government and industry entities. Thank you for your participation in this effort. We note that the documents address all eight elements of the recommendation, including the need for escorts; training, testing, and certification needs; height poles and traffic controls; route surveys; maneuvering limitations; fatigue issues; railroad crossings; and highway-rail grade crossings. Again, the documents also address other important factors to consider for an oversize/overweight movement including maintaining a list of contacts, contingency plans, and communication needs. We also believe that the checklist contained in the Law Enforcement Best Practices Guidelines will prove to be particularly useful for oversize/overweight vehicle movements. As the completed guidelines exceed the expectations of the Board in issuing this recommendation, Safety Recommendation H-01-33 is classified CLOSED -- EXCEEDS RECOMMENDED ACTION. The Safety Board commends the CVSA and the other participants for their comprehensive response to not only the letter of these recommendations but also their spirit. We appreciate the effort involved in preparing these documents and the ongoing initiatives to distribute them and provide training. Please continue your work with the other agencies and organizations in these efforts.

From: NTSB
To: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
Date: 12/30/2002
Response: CVSA indicated that its fall workshop included discussion and training about pilot car training programs, oversize/overweight vehicle movement procedures and guidelines, reviewing and verifying permits, routings and special conditions (i.e. hazards of moving oversize/overweight vehicles over grade crossings), provisions for handling off-route loads, and notifications to railroads made prior to escorting a load across a highway/rail grade crossing. In addition, CVSA discussed issues with its members such as training, testing, and certification of pilot car operators, police officers, and truck drivers in the movement of overweight loads, and the effects of fatigue on performance. Pending an update on the development of model oversize/overweight vehicle movement guidelines that includes these issues, Safety Recommendation H-01-33 is classified OPEN -- ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
To: NTSB
Date: 7/1/2002
Response: Letter Mail Controlled 07/12/2002 5:08:53 PM MC# 2020672 - From Stephen F. Campbell, Executive Director: This letter responds to the Safety Board's December 20, 200l correspondence on Highway Safety Recommendations H-01-32, 33, and 36. These recommendations deal with pilot car driver training programs, oversize/overweight vehicle movement guidelines, and encouragement of CVSA members to train their officers on permits, safety briefings, provisions for off-route loads, and notification of railroads before an oversize/overweight vehicle is escorted across. These recommendations are a result of circumstances arising from the January 28,2000 tractor-combination vehicle and train collision in Glendale, California. We apologize for not providing a prompt response to the Safety Board's letter. As a result of the Board's letter CVSA intends to take the following actions: 1. Prepare an article for out quarterly newsletter, The Guardian, to inform inspectors of the findings; concerns; and recommendations raised by the Board in its accident investigation. 2. At the CVSA fall workshop to be held August 24-29, 2002 in Boston, Massachusetts, there will be a four-hour training, discussion, and Q & A session on: · Pilot car training programs · Oversize/overweight vehicle movement procedures and guidelines · Current training practices including: reviewing and verifying permits, safety briefings discussing routings and special conditions (i.e. hazards of moving oversize/overweight vehicles over grade crossings), provisions for handling off-route loads and notifications to railroads made prior to escorting a load across a highway/rail grade crossing · Regulations and permitting of weights, lengths, and widths of commercial motor vehicles · Technology solutions and recommendations · Best practices for administration and enforcement of oversize/overweight loads · Any data or information on the safety fitness of these loads Speakers from various fields of expertise on the above issues have been invited to the CVSA Fall Workshop for a 4 hour discussion, training, and Q & A session, scheduled for August 28th from 1:00-5:00 p.m. The invited include speakers from the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association, the United Professional Escort Car Association, the State of Colorado, the American Trucking Associations, the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Office of the Secretary of Transportation. 3. Committee discussions will be held to address the recommendations of the National Transportation Safety Board, and various oversize/overweight commercial motor vehicle and highway-railroad grade crossing safety concerns. 4. Outcomes of the committee discussions, to include training recommendations and guidelines, will be posted on the CVSA web-site. At the April 2002 CVSA Spring Workshop in South Dakota, the Driver-Traffic Enforcement Committee deliberated on the issue of adding a specific endorsement to the Commercial Driver's License for drivers of oversize/overweight shipments. In response to the discussion, a letter was sent to FMCSA requesting safety statistics on movements of oversize/overweight commercial vehicles to aid the Committee in developing a position on the safety fitness of these movements. Likewise, the Driver-Traffic Enforcement Committee has initiated discussions with Operation Lifesaver to explore collective actions on joint highway rail crossing safety initiatives. If the Board has additional suggestions or recommendations for CVSA to consider, we welcome its ideas. For our part, we will continue to be vigilant in our effort to promote proper oversize/overweight vehicle operations and education. We look forward to furthering our excellent relationship with the NTSB in making positive impacts on commercial vehicle and highway safety.