Transportation Secretary Slater Announces New Hotline System For Commercial Drivers to Report Safety Violations
Topics: Rodney E. Slater
Federal Highway Administration
September 3, 1998
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, September 3, 1998
Contact: Stan Hamilton
In a continuing effort to improve highway safety, U.S. Transportation Secretary Rodney E. Slater today announced the opening of a new line of communication with commercial vehicle drivers to receive reports of actual or potential violations of the federal motor carrier safety regulations.
"Safety is President Clinton’s highest transportation priority, and this important initiative will improve safety," Secretary Slater said. "Every valid report will be vigorously followed up and corrective action will be ordered when necessary."
The new line, 1-888-DOT-SAFT (368-7238), is a toll-free number for drivers nationwide to contact the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Motor Carriers. In addition, the safety violation report form is available on the Internet for drivers who prefer to mail or fax their complaints.
The hotline was warmly endorsed by several organizations representing truck drivers. They include Jim Johnston, president, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association; Rita Bontz, president, Independent Truckers and Drivers Association; and Marianne Petersen, president, Association of Professional Truck Drivers of America (APTDA).
"We are very pleased." Johnston said. "Too often, enforcement efforts simply target drivers, when someone else is the cause of an unsafe situation. The hotline will help to identify those parties that deserve government scrutiny."
Bontz said, "This direct connection to the Office of Motor Carriers provides a much needed service. It will be successful if truckers use it wisely, and if government continues to be responsive to their comments."
"Our professional drivers work too hard for too little in a business that is hard enough without having to tolerate increased risks from those few who foster unsafe practices," Petersen said. "APTDA applauds this new way for drivers to improve the safety of our highways."
Drivers are protected by law against being discharged, disciplined or discriminated against regarding compensation, terms or privileges of employment for reporting violations.
A requirement to establish the hotline is prescribed in the recently enacted Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century.
The reporting form is on the Internet at www.fhwa.dot.gov/omc/forms.htm. Drivers may print and mail these reports to the Office of Motor Carriers, U.S. Department of Transportation, 400 Seventh St., S.W., Washington D.C. 20590. Drivers also may fax reports to (202) 366-7298.
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