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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-12-015
Details
Synopsis: On March 12, 2011, about 5:38 a.m., a 1999 Prevost 56-passenger motorcoach, operated by World Wide Travel of Greater New York, headquartered in Brooklyn, was traveling southbound on Interstate 95, en route from the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Connecticut, to New York City, and carrying 32 passengers. While in the vicinity of mile marker 3.2, the motorcoach departed from the travel lanes to the right, driving over the rumble strips on the right shoulder edge. The motorcoach then crossed over the 10-foot-wide paved shoulder and struck a strong-post W-beam guardrail, traveling about 480 feet alongside and on the guardrail, before finally overturning 90° onto its right side and flattening the guardrail. The front of the vehicle subsequently collided with a vertical highway signpost consisting of two vertical 8-inch-diameter steel tubular poles linked by cross-beam diagonal metal supports. The front roof also collided with a steel electrical box mounted to the sign support structure. After the motorcoach struck the support structure and electrical box, the two poles entered the passenger compartment along the base of the passenger windows as the vehicle slid forward. The impact resulted in the roof panel being torn from the bus body for almost the entire length of the bus. As a result of this accident, 15 passengers were killed, 17 passengers received serious-to-minor injuries, and the bus driver received minor injuries.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY ADMINISTRATION: Revise 49 Code of Federal Regulations 391.23 to require that motor carriers obtain a 10-year driving history for all prospective commercial vehicle drivers.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Unacceptable Action
Mode: Highway
Location: New York City, NY, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: HWY11MH005
Accident Reports: Motorcoach Run-Off-the-Road and Collision With Vertical Highway Signpost, Interstate 95 Southbound
Report #: HAR-12-01
Accident Date: 3/12/2011
Issue Date: 7/12/2012
Date Closed: 9/28/2016
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FMCSA (Closed - Unacceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FMCSA
Date: 5/6/2019
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has reviewed the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), “Qualification of Drivers, Employment Application,” published at 84 Federal Register 46, March 8, 2019. The FMCSA is requesting public comment on the value of, and need for, the requirement to have prospective drivers complete an employment application. The agency is also seeking comment on ways this requirement could be changed to reduce the associated paperwork burdens for drivers and motor carriers, including—but not limited to—the complete elimination of the requirement. For the reasons given below, the NTSB encourages the FMCSA to retain the requirement for an application for employment, including the 10 years of employment history. The NTSB has long supported complete and proper background investigations as one of the essential building blocks of a strong safety culture by motor carriers. The application and processes required by 49 CFR 391.21 are a critical step in determining the safety performance and background of applicants. CDL history was an issue in a motorcoach run-off-the-road and collision in New York City in 2012, for which the NTSB found that inadequate safety oversight of the driver was a contributing factor.5A driver’s history of crashes or moving violations is directly related to future crash risk. In the final report for this investigation, the NTSB stated that for pre-employment screening, motor carriers need access to a longer than 3-year history of a CDL record to make informed hiring decisions. As a result of this investigation, the NTSB issued Safety Recommendations H-12-15 and -16 to the FMCSA, as shown below: Revise 49 Code of Federal Regulations 391.23 to require that motor carriers obtain a 10-year driving history for all prospective commercial vehicle drivers. (H-12-15) Revise 49 Code of Federal Regulations 384.225 to require that states retain on the Commercial Driver’s License Information System driver record all convictions, disqualifications, and other licensing actions for violations during the prior 10 years. (H-12-16) Each of these two recommendations is classified “Closed—Unacceptable Action,” because the FMCSA took no action to revise the CFR.

From: NTSB
To: FMCSA
Date: 9/28/2016
Response: Our intent in issuing these recommendations was to improve the driver hiring process by ensuring motor carriers are provided sufficient driving history information to make informed hiring decisions. We are disappointed that, despite your efforts to develop the Pre-Employment Screening Program as a voluntary tool for carriers to use to identify high-risk drivers, there is no regulatory change that ensures all carriers will have access to better information. Because you do not plan to revise the CFR as recommended, Safety Recommendations H-12-015 and -016 are classified CLOSED—UNACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: FMCSA
To: NTSB
Date: 4/29/2016
Response: -From Michael Jordan, Management and Program Analyst, Strategic Planning and Program Evaluation Division, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: • FMCSA reiterates its previously communicated position concerning safety recommendation H-12-015, dated February 27, 2013. • FMCSA believes the current requirements of 49 CFR 383.35(c) and 49 CFR 391.23 (a)(2) concerning the safety performance history of CDL holders and interstate drivers in general (both CDL and non-CDL), respectively, combined with the Agency's Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) tool for carriers to use on a voluntary basis, provides an effective means for carriers to prevent hiring high-risk drivers. • Section 383.35(c) currently requires prospective employers of CDL holders to obtain employment history information for the 10 years preceding the date the employment application is submitted. This requirement is applicable to drivers that seek positions requiring a CDL whether it involves interstate or intrastate operations, including drivers operating for Federal, State, and local governments. Section 391.23 requires prospective employers of non-CDL holders of interstate commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to obtain employment history information for the 3 years preceding the date the employment application is submitted. The requirements of 49 CFR 391.23 are applicable to interstate motor carriers, with compatible State requirements for intrastate motor carriers. And, for interstate and intrastate motor carriers that believe it is appropriate to set higher standards for non-CDL holders, the current regulations do not prohibit them from requesting a 10-year employment history. • The Agency believes that the requirements for motor carriers to obtain the employment history for prospective drivers are important rules because they place a responsibility on employers to be knowledgeable about the individuals they are hiring to drive CMVs. And, through this process, employers have the opportunity to learn about significant safety performance issues the driver may have had while operating trucks or buses for other employers. The motor carrier would then be in a position to consider whether the driver is likely to perform in a safe and responsible manner, if the decision is made to hire the driver. • To further enhance motor carriers' ability to learn about drivers they may consider employing, FMCSA developed the PSP tool. This tool enables employers to obtain, with the written consent of the driver, information about any roadside inspections that a driver may have undergone and the identity of the motor carrier that employed the driver at the time of the inspection. Through the use of this tool, the prospective employer could determine whether the driver had been inspected, the results of the inspection (especially driver-related violations, such as problems with the medical certificate, unsafe driving, and hours of service), and the employing motor carrier. Prospective employers could then discuss any discrepancies between the information in the PSP and the driver's self-reported employment and safety performance history. • When consideration is given to the requirement under 49 CFR 391.23 concerning a review of the driving record for each State in which the driver held or holds a driver's license, FMCSA has the tools it needs to hold motor carriers fully accountable for poor safety performance outcomes attributable to hiring drivers with documentable safety performance problems. While there may be qualitative benefits to a new requirement to review a 10-year driving history for non-CDL holders, the Agency is not aware of information or data that would enable the Agency to quantify the safety benefits. As such, it would be inappropriate to initiate a rulemaking on this subject, at this time. • FMCSA requests NTSB close safety recommendation H-12-015.

From: NTSB
To: FMCSA
Date: 5/23/2013
Response: The intent of these recommendations is to provide motor carriers with as much information as possible to make an effective hiring decision. The findings of our New York City investigation show that the current FMCSA regulations and the voluntary Pre-Employment Screening Program do not provide sufficient information to identify the safety performance issues of prospective CMV drivers. Although the FMCSA plans to promulgate rulemaking to create a national driver notification system in response to a provision of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, and such a system may help carriers to monitor drivers already in their employ, there is no indication that it would improve pre-hire screening. Yet, the FMCSA has indicated that it plans no further action on these recommendations. We urge the FMCSA to reconsider its position. In the meantime, Safety Recommendations H-12-15 and -16 are classified OPEN—UNACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FMCSA
To: NTSB
Date: 2/27/2013
Response: -From Anne S. Ferro, Administrator: The FMCSA believes the current requirements of 49 CFR 383.35(c) and 49 CFR 391.23 (a)(2) concerning the safety performance history of commercial driver's license (CDL) holders and interstate drivers in general (both CDL and non-CDL), respectively, combined with the Agency's Pre-Employment Screening Program (PSP) tool for carriers to use on a voluntary basis, provides an effective means for carriers to prevent hiring high-risk drivers. Section 383.35(c) currently requires prospective employers of CDL holders to obtain employment history information for the 10 years preceding the date the employment application is submitted. This requirement is applicable to drivers that seek positions requiring a CDL whether it involves interstate or intrastate operations, including drivers operating for Federal, State, and local governments. Section 391.23 requires prospective employers of non-CDL holders of interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers to obtain employment history information for the 3 years preceding the date the employment application is submitted. The requirements of 49 CFR 391.23 are applicable to interstate motor carriers, with compatible State requirements for intrastate motor carriers. And, for interstate and intrastate motor carriers that believe it is appropriate to set higher standards for non-CDL holders, the current regulations do not prohibit them from requesting a 1 O-year employment history. The Agency believes that the requirement for motor carriers to obtain the employment history for prospective drivers are important rules because they place a responsibility on employers to be knowledgeable about the individuals they are hiring to drive commercial motor vehicles. And, through this process, employers have the opportunity to learn about significant safety performance issues the driver may have had while operating trucks or buses for other employers. The motor carrier would then be in a position to consider whether the driver is likely to perform in a safe and responsible manner, if the decision is made to hire the driver. To further enhance motor carriers' ability to learn about drivers they may consider employing, FMCSA developed the PSP tool. This tool enables employers to obtain, with the written consent of the driver, information about any roadside inspections that a driver may have undergone and the identity of the motor carrier that employed the driver at the time of the inspection. Through the use of this tool, the prospective employer could determine whether the driver had been inspected, the results of the inspection (especially driver-related violations, such as problems with the medical certificate, unsafe driving, and hours of service), and the employing motor carrier. Prospective employers could then discuss any discrepancies between the information in the PSP and the driver's self-reported employment and safety performance history, When consideration is given to the requirement under 49 CFR 391.23 concerning a review of the driving record for each State in which the driver held or holds a driver's license, FMCSA has the tools it needs to hold motor carriers fully accountable for poor safety performance outcomes attributable to hiring drivers with documentable safety performance problems. While there may be qualitative benefits to a new requirement to review 10-year driving history for non-CDL holders, the Agency is not aware of information or data that would enable the Agency to quantify the safety benefits. As such, it would be inappropriate to initiate a rulemaking on this subject, at this time. In addition, on July 6, 2012, President Obama signed into law (P.L. 112-141) a new 2 year transportation reauthorization bill, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) that includes new requirements designed to improve commercial motor vehicle safety. The MAP-21 legislation, which went into effect on October 1, 2012, requires various motorcoach rulemakings and research projects, as well as requirements for improved oversight of motorcoach service providers. Specifically, as it relates to driver safety, section 32303 ofMAP-21 calls for FMC SA to establish standards for a driver notification system within 2 years. The FMCSA will be working on a plan for the development and implementation of a national driver notification system that would alert companies of a change in the status of an employee's driver's license due to a conviction for a moving violation, a failure to appear, an accident, a license suspension or revocation, or any other action taken against the driver's driving privilege. The Agency will meet this requirement by the statutory deadline. Based on the information provided, FMCSA respectfully requests that NTSB classify Safety Recommendation H -12-15 as "Closed-Acceptable-Alternate."