New Trucking Regulations Aim to Make Roads Safer
COLUMBIA - New trucking industry safety regulations go into effect at the end of the month that will track trucker and carrier safety more completely. Missouri has been a part of the pilot program testing these new rules since 2008. The regulations work to make truck drivers safer and, in turn, might make it harder for truck drivers to be hired.
The new program is called Comprehensive Safety Analysis or CSA.
"It allows a carrier to help train those drivers and improve the quality of the drivers that they've got," said Tom Crawford, president of the Missouri Trucking Association.
Witte Bros. Exchange, Inc. is a family-owned Missouri company that moves more than 250,000 shipments over 17 million miles per year. Brent Witte, president of the company, said that the trucking industry has historically been seen as an indicator of how the economy will change.
"Prior to the downturn, the trucking industry actually experienced a downturn in freight volumes prior to the government or the press telling us that we were in a recession," said Witte. "You have to change gears a bit, slowed down, and go into a process where instead of making money, you're trying not to lose money."
Missouri is located within 600 miles of more than half of all U.S. manufacturing establishment and U.S. households.
Truck drivers tend to change companies frequently. While most industries experience layoffs, the trucking industry lowers pay and doesn't hire anyone new. These new safety regulations will track individuals' safety, as well as the trucking company. Currently, only the safety of trucking companies is tracked. Witte Bros. said these new regulations are beneficial. Witte said the regulations will make individual drivers accountable as much as companies.
"A safe company will not hire an unsafe driver," said Vaughn McDowell, general manager at Witte Bros.
McDowell said that overall, these new safety regulations will make a safer traveling community.
With more than 58,000 truck drivers in Missouri, the program could make safer roadways.