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March 2022

ICSA Annual Membership Meeting

Thursday, March 24, 9 AM Pacific Time

The 2nd annual membership meeting of the Independent Carrier Safety Association will be held Thursday, March 24, at 9 AM Pacific Time. Members may attend in person at ICSA Offices at the address listed below or may connect using the Zoom link.

The purpose of the annual meeting is to provide an overview to members on the health of the organization, its membership growth, finances, safety accomplishments, and potential new services. Members will have an opportunity to raise issues and ask questions of ICSA’s leadership as outlined in the agenda.

Members who wish to attend in person should arrive at ICSA headquarters no later than 8:45 AM. The address is 22489 N. 19th Ave., Suite 135, Phoenix, AZ 85027. Please be aware that there is no truck parking at ICSA headquarters. For those who wish to attend remotely, the Zoom link can be found in the agenda. We look forward to your participation in our Annual Membership Meeting.

Restaurant Stimulus Gives Truckers a Break

Owner/operators are one of the beneficiaries of a measure enacted by the federal government to help restaurants recover from the pandemic. Instead of deducting 80% of the cost of restaurant meals on the road, truckers may now deduct 100% of such expenditures for tax years 2021 and 2022. Obviously, anyone who takes advantage of this deduction should retain proof in the form of restaurant receipts in case of an audit.

ICSA does not give financial or tax advice, so we urge you to consult a tax accountant before you file your taxes to take full advantage of this change.

USDOT Proposes Saliva Testing for Drugs

The U.S. Department of Transportation is proposing new drug testing guidelines that would allow motor carriers to test truck drivers using saliva samples as an alternative to urine testing.

In its 119-page Federal Register announcement published February 25, DOT said that such tests “…will give employers a choice that will help combat employee cheating on urine drug tests and provide a more economical, less intrusive means of achieving the safety goals of the program.”

“Unlike directly observed urine collections, an oral fluid collection is much less intrusive on the tested employee’s privacy,” DOT said.

ICSA will be closely monitoring the proposal and will keep its members informed. Meanwhile, ICSA requires hair testing of drivers for carriers that wish to be considered for Platinum-level membership as required to take advantage of our low-cost insurance coverage. See Mike Hitchcock’s Coaching Corner in this newsletter for an overview of hair testing.

2020 Traffic Fatalities Highest Since 2007

Despite an 11% drop in Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT), U.S. Department of Transportation traffic data shows that 38,824 people died in traffic crashes in 2020, the highest number since 2007. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s 2020 annual traffic crash data shows, that even though the total number of crashes and traffic injuries dropped in 2020, fatal crashes increased by 6.8% and the fatality rate per 100 million vehicle miles traveled increased to 1.34, a 21% increase from 2019. Data on crashes involving large trucks is still being compiled, but preliminary figures show that fatalities in large truck crashes were down 1.3%.

Truckers beware: in 45% of fatal crashes, drivers of passenger vehicles were either speeding, were impaired by alcohol or were not wearing a seat belt, or a combination of these three risky behaviors. The 2020 crash data report also breaks down data in key categories and compares it to 2019.

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Mike Hitchcock, ICSA Safety Consultant

By Mike Hitchcock, ICSA Safety Consultant

Exceptions to Hair Testing?

ICSA regularly gets questions about hair tests and exceptions. The most frequent question is why ICSA requires hair testing for Platinum Member drivers to be covered under our truck insurance program. The answer is pretty simple: Hair testing is considered a “best practice” in our industry and the surest way to ensure habitual drug users aren’t behind the wheel of heavy-duty trucks.

Nearly all the nation’s major trucking companies require hair testing. Although hair testing is non-regulated and test results are not reported to USDOT, it is currently the best way to protect your trucking business from habitual users.

ICSA wants to protect its members from that risk. Hair testing can assist in reducing litigation opportunities, result in fewer claims and lower insurance costs while improving highway safety. That said, there are two acceptable exceptions for hair testing.

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CVSA Roadcheck Set for May 17-19

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has announced this year’s International Roadcheck inspection blitz will be held May 17-19. During the 72-hour inspection initiative, commercial motor vehicle inspectors in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will conduct North American Standard Inspections of trucks, buses and drivers at weigh and inspection stations, on roving patrols, and at temporary inspection sites.

Each year, CVSA focuses on a specific aspect of a roadside inspection. This year, the focus will be on wheel ends. CVSA says violations involving wheel end components historically account for about one quarter of vehicle out-of-service violations discovered during International Roadcheck, and past Roadcheck data routinely identified wheel end components, excluding brakes, as a top 10 vehicle violation. Of course, inspectors will likely check other mechanical and driver components during the inspections.

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