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FMCSA awards over $8 million to Pennsylvania to bolster safety efforts

FMCSA awarded $7.9 million to the Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to strengthen enforcement oversight at high-crash corridors throughout the state.

The Trucker News Services

8/25/2011

WASHINGTON – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Thursday announced over $8 million in federal grants to improve commercial truck and bus safety across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

FMCSA Deputy Administrator William Bronrott joined city and state law enforcement officials for the announcement at a motorcoach safety inspection checkpoint in downtown Philadelphia Thursday morning.

Based on grant applications, FMCSA awarded $7.9 million to the Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to strengthen enforcement oversight at high-crash corridors throughout the state, conduct safety audits of new truck and bus companies and upgrade the commercial driver’s license knowledge test from paper to electronic form at testing facilities across the state. 

FMCSA also awarded $174,370 to the City of Philadelphia Police Department to support its full-time commercial motor vehicle (CMV) inspection unit and to increase safety inspection strike forces and other traffic enforcement activities at popular destinations.  FMCSA additionally awarded the Pittsburgh Police Department $239,991 to bolster commercial truck and bus inspections at tunnel entrances and to train its CMV enforcement unit. 

In 2010, Pennsylvania's motor carrier inspectors conducted more than 93,000 random truck inspections across the state, a 14-percent increase from 2009, and weighed more than 435,000 trucks. Troopers also inspected more than 28,000 school buses across Pennsylvania. 

It issued more than 88,000 out-of-service violations in 2010.

 “Local and state law enforcement are our first line of defense for identifying and removing unsafe commercial trucks and buses from our roads,” Bronrott said. “These targeted resources will help us save lives by strengthening compliance with bus and truck safety standards across Pennsylvania and along the I-95 corridor.”

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As FMCSA announced its grant award at a motorcoach passenger drop-off and inspection point near Philadelphia’s National Constitution Center Hall, Philadelphia police officers were conducting full bus driver and vehicle safety inspections. The Philadelphia inspection sweep is part of Pennsylvania’s Statewide Motorcoach Inspection Strikeforce, which runs from through Saturday.  

In addition to FMCSA’s grant and enforcement efforts, the agency also offers a "Think Safety: Every Trip, Every Time" pre-trip safety checklist that helps consumers review a bus company's safety record, safety rating and DOT operating authority before buying a ticket or hiring a bus company for group travel.

The checklist is available online at FMCSA's Passenger Bus Safety website at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/Index.aspx.

FMCSA also encourages consumers to report any unsafe bus company, vehicle or driver to the agency through a toll free hotline (888) 368-7238) or FMCSA's consumer complaint website at http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/HomePage.asp.

To learn more about FMCSA’s commercial truck and bus safety grant programs and other safety initiatives, visit the FMCSA website at www.fmcsa.dot.gov.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

 

 

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