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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-15-043
Details
Synopsis: On September 26, 2014, about 9:05 p.m., a 2013 Peterbilt truck-tractor in combination with a 2014 Great Dane semitrailer, operated by Quickway Transportation Inc., was traveling north in the left lane of Interstate 35 (I-35), near Davis, Oklahoma. About the same time, a 2008 Champion Defender 32-passenger medium-size bus—transporting 15 members of the North Central Texas College (NCTC) softball team—was traveling south in the right lane of I-35. The college owned and operated the bus. In the vicinity of milepost 47, after negotiating a slight rightward curve at a speed of about 72 mph, the truck-tractor departed the left lane and entered the 100-foot-wide depressed earthen median at an approximate 2 degree angle. The truck-tractor continued through the median, traveling over 1,100 feet without evidence of braking or steering. The combination vehicle then entered the southbound lanes of I-35 at an approximate 9 degree angle and collided with the bus.
Recommendation: TO AMERICAN BUS ASSOCIATION, AMERICAN TRUCKING ASSOCIATIONS, COMMERCIAL VEHICLE SAFETY ALLIANCE, OWNER-OPERATOR INDEPENDENT DRIVERS ASSOCIATION, UNITED MOTORCOACH ASSOCIATION: Inform your members about the dangers of driver use of synthetic drugs and encourage them to take steps to prevent drivers from using these substances.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Await Response
Mode: Highway
Location: Davis, OK, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: HWY14MH014
Accident Reports: ​Preliminary Report Highway HWY14MH014 Truck-Tractor Semitrailer Median Crossover Collision With Medium-Size Bus on Interstate 35, Davis, Oklahoma, September 26, 2014
Report #: HAR-15-03
Accident Date: 9/26/2014
Issue Date: 12/14/2015
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: American Trucking Associations, Inc. (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc. (Open - Await Response)
United Motorcoach Association (Open - Await Response)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: American Trucking Associations, Inc.
Date: 4/13/2016
Response: We are pleased by your prompt action to inform your membership of the dangers of synthetic drug use, including (1) a discussion of the issue at your Safety Management Council’s Regulations Committee with trucking industry safety directors, (2) the development and distribution of a safety poster and a driver letter for your members to use when discussing the dangers of using these drugs, and (3) your ongoing support of federal drug testing mandates and supporting regulations. In addition, we commend your efforts to confirm that the major truck stop companies do not sell such drugs at their retail locations. These actions satisfy Safety Recommendation H-15-43, which is classified CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: American Trucking Associations, Inc.
To: NTSB
Date: 2/16/2016
Response: -From Bill Grave, President and Chief Executive Officer: I am writing in response to your December 14, 2015 letter (H-15-43} on the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) recommendation that the American Trucking Associations1 (ATA) "inform [our] members about the dangers of driver use of synthetic drugs and encourage them to take steps to prevent drivers from using these substances." ATA strongly supports this recommendation and has already taken steps to address the issue. I also want to thank you for including ATA in NTSB's recommendations and for NTSB's ongoing commitment to improving highway safety. As you may already know, ATA is a large and diverse federation. While our members range in size and type, they share a common interest in putting safety first. Accordingly, the increased use of synthetic drugs in society, and its potential use by truck drivers, is of growing concern for our members. Moreover, they understand that these drugs pose significant risks to the safety of our nation's highways and are committed to advocating for strategies that prevent their use. Since meeting with NTSB staff on this issue this past October, ATA has already taken steps to raise awareness in our industry about the dangers of synthetic cannabinoids. In November, ATA staff led a discussion on the issue of synthetic cannabinoids with members of the ATA Safety Management Council's Regulations Committee, a group comprised mainly of trucking industry safety directors. ATA has also reached out to the major truck stop companies to confirm that they do not offer synthetic cannabinoids for sale at their retail outlets. Additionally, this month the ATA Safety Management Council will be distributing a driver letter and safety poster to members discussing the dangers of synthetic cannabinoids. Samples are enclosed. ATA has a long history of advocating for measures to detect and prevent drug use in the trucking industry. For example, ATA petitioned the Department of Transportation for mandatory drug and alcohol regulations, before they were originally promulgated. Since the 1990s, ATA has called for the creation of a Federal drug and alcohol clearinghouse which would serve as a repository of drug and alcohol violations. Also, ATA has supported adding more drugs to the Federally mandated drug testing programs' panel. For example, ATA supported the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration's (SAMHSA) inclusion of MDMA (ecstasy) in the Federal testing panel in 2010 and the current proposed rule to include synthetic opioids. Finally, ATA has called for acceptance hair testing as an alternative specimen in the Federal Workplace Drug Testing Program. Specifically, ATA supported legislation (FAST Act PL: 114-94) that requires the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to, within 1 year, establish standards for the use of hair testing in Federal testing programs (e.g., DOT mandatory testing). Again, I want to thank the NTSB for its commitment to improving highway safety and raising awareness of the dangers of synthetic drug use. ATA shares your interest and commitment to educating the industry about the risks of using such drugs and implementing measures to prevent their use. Please feel free to let me know if there is anything else that ATA can do to support NTSB's efforts in this regard.

From: NTSB
To: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
Date: 6/21/2017
Response: We are pleased that you published an article about the dangers of synthetic drug use in your quarterly Guardian magazine. This action satisfies Safety Recommendation H-15-43, which is classified CLOSED--ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
To: NTSB
Date: 5/17/2017
Response: -From Collin B. Mooney, MPA, CAE, Executive Director, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance: In response to NTSB's recommendation, CVSA's Driver-Traffic Enforcement Committee Chairman, Sergeant Chris Barr of the Indiana State Police, wrote an article that appeared in the March 2017 issue of "Guardian", CVSA's quarterly magazine. A copy of the article is enclosed. The article alerts members to the dangers of synthetic drugs, particularly for drivers of commercial motor vehicles who must remain alert and responsive during on-the-job activities. Further, Sergeant Barr urged the motor carrier industry to follow the lead of local and federal law makers by prohibiting the use of synthetic drugs among drivers and to create processes by which drivers who continue to use these substances are detected and penalized. CVSA asks that NTSB close this recommendation with a satisfactory response. CVSA works to closely monitor, evaluate and identify potentially unsafe transportation processes and procedures as well as to help facilitate and implement best practices for enhancing safety on our highways. Commercial motor vehicle safety continues to be a challenge and we need the involvement of all affected parties to help us better understand these issues and put into place practical solutions. We appreciate the opportunity to comment on this proposal and the agency's commitment to safety and stakeholder involvement.

From: NTSB
To: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
Date: 1/6/2017
Response: We are encouraged by your plans to publish an article about the dangers of synthetic drug use in your quarterly “Guardian” magazine. We further appreciate your sharing the draft article with us and believe that it will address this recommendation once it is published. Pending such action, Safety Recommendation H-15-43 is classified OPEN--ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
To: NTSB
Date: 11/2/2016
Response: -From Collin B. Mooney, CAE, Executive Director: In response to NTSB’s recommendation, CVSA’s Driver-Traffic Enforcement Committee Chairman, Sergeant Chris Barr of the Indiana State Police, has written an article that will appear in the March 2017 issue of “Guardian”, the Alliance’s quarterly magazine. The article alerts members to the dangers of synthetic drugs, particularly for drivers of commercial motor vehicles who must remain alert and responsive during on-the-job activities. Further, Sergeant Barr urged the motor carrier industry to follow the lead of local and federal law makers by prohibiting the use of synthetic drugs among drivers and to create processes by which drivers who continue to use these substances are detected and penalized. CVSA asks that NTSB close this recommendation with a satisfactory response. CVSA is a nonprofit association comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial and federal commercial motor vehicle safety officials and industry representatives. The Alliance aims to achieve uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial motor vehicle inspections and enforcement by certified inspectors dedicated to driver and vehicle safety. Our mission is to improve commercial motor vehicle safety and uniformity throughout the U.S., Canada and Mexico by providing guidance and education to enforcement, industry and policy makers.

From: NTSB
To: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
Date: 1/27/2016
Response: We are encouraged by your plans to work with your membership to develop appropriate actions to address this recommendation, and we look forward to reviewing the resulting products. Pending the completion of your efforts, Safety Recommendation H-15-43 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance
To: NTSB
Date: 12/17/2015
Response: -From Collin B. Mooney, Acting Executive Director: CVSA has received the recommendation and will begin working with our membership to raise awareness and discuss what actions are appropriate to help prevent the use of synthetic drugs by commercial motor vehicle drivers. An update will be sent once this work has been completed. CVSA is an international not-for-profit organization comprised of local, state, provincial, territorial and federal motor carrier safety officials and industry representatives from the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Our mission is to promote commercial motor vehicle safety and security by providing leadership to enforcement, industry and policy makers. In addition, CVSA has several hundred associate members who are committed to helping the Alliance achieve its goals; uniformity, compatibility and reciprocity of commercial motor vehicle inspections, and enforcement activities throughout North America by individuals dedicated to highway safety and security.

From: NTSB
To: Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc.
Date: 12/14/2015
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation—railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. The NTSB determines the probable cause of the accidents and issues safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, we carry out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinate the resources of the federal government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. We are providing the following information to urge the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) to take action on the safety recommendation being issued in this letter. On November 17, 2015,the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) adopted its report concerning the September 26, 2014, crash in which a Peterbilt truck-tractor in combination with a Great Dane semitrailer, operated by Quickway Transportation Inc., collided with a Champion Defender 32-passenger medium-size bus on Interstate 35, near Davis, Oklahoma.1 The truck-tractor departed the roadway, traveled more than 1,100 feet across the median without evidence of braking or steering, entered the southbound lanes of traffic, and collided with the bus—which was transporting 15 members of the North Central Texas College softball team. As a result of the crash, four passengers on the bus were fully or partially ejected and died, and both drivers and the remaining passengers were injured. Additional information about this crash and the resulting recommendation As a result of this investigation, we issued seven new recommendations, including two to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; one to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); one to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); one to the 50states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico; one to the American Association of Community Colleges; and the following recommendation to OOIDA, the American Trucking Associations, the American Bus Association, the United Motorcoach Association, and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance: H-15-43 Inform your members about the dangers of driver use of synthetic drugs and encourage them to take steps to prevent drivers from using these substances. As a result of this investigation, we also reiterated five previously issued recommendations to NHTSA and two each to the FHWA and to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. In addition, we superseded one previously issued recommendation to the governors and legislatures of the 50 states, the US Territories, and the District of Columbia. This safety recommendation is derived from the NTSB’s investigation and is consistent with the evidence we found and the analysis we performed. Chairman HART, Vice Chairman DINH-ZARR, and Members SUMWALT and WEENER concurred in this recommendation. The NTSB is vitally interested in this recommendation because it is designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate receiving a response from you within 90days detailing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement it. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendation by number. We encourage you to submit your response electronically to correspondence@ntsb.gov.

From: NTSB
To: United Motorcoach Association
Date: 12/14/2015
Response: The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation—railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. The NTSB determines the probable cause of the accidents and issues safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, we carry out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinate the resources of the federal government and other organizations to provide assistance to victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. We are providing the following information to urge the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) to take action on the safety recommendation being issued in this letter. On November 17, 2015,the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) adopted its report concerning the September 26, 2014, crash in which a Peterbilt truck-tractor in combination with a Great Dane semitrailer, operated by Quickway Transportation Inc., collided with a Champion Defender 32-passenger medium-size bus on Interstate 35, near Davis, Oklahoma.1 The truck-tractor departed the roadway, traveled more than 1,100 feet across the median without evidence of braking or steering, entered the southbound lanes of traffic, and collided with the bus—which was transporting 15 members of the North Central Texas College softball team. As a result of the crash, four passengers on the bus were fully or partially ejected and died, and both drivers and the remaining passengers were injured. Additional information about this crash and the resulting recommendation As a result of this investigation, we issued seven new recommendations, including two to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration; one to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); one to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA); one to the 50states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico; one to the American Association of Community Colleges; and the following recommendation to OOIDA, the American Trucking Associations, the American Bus Association, the United Motorcoach Association, and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance: H-15-43 Inform your members about the dangers of driver use of synthetic drugs and encourage them to take steps to prevent drivers from using these substances. As a result of this investigation, we also reiterated five previously issued recommendations to NHTSA and two each to the FHWA and to the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. In addition, we superseded one previously issued recommendation to the governors and legislatures of the 50 states, the US Territories, and the District of Columbia. This safety recommendation is derived from the NTSB’s investigation and is consistent with the evidence we found and the analysis we performed. Chairman HART, Vice Chairman DINH-ZARR, and Members SUMWALT and WEENER concurred in this recommendation. The NTSB is vitally interested in this recommendation because it is designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate receiving a response from you within 90days detailing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement it. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendation by number. We encourage you to submit your response electronically to correspondence@ntsb.gov.