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The Dothan Eagle | Heat still simmering on DOT numbers change
The Alabama Department of Public Safety will use the numbers to track the safety records of commercial vehicle drivers, said Capt. Harry Kearley of the Department of Public Safety.
Residents transporting recreational equipment like RVs or boats will not be required to get the numbers.Those affected that previously were not include farmers, lawn care professionals and plumbers whose vehicle and trailers meet the minimum weight requirement.
After the news hit earlier this year, frustrated groups of farmers questioned if they would also need to get a commercial drivers license and buy commercial insurance, something Kearley
said should have already been purchased under the law.
"The numbers are free - won't even cost you a stamp if you get them online - and you don't need a CDL license.The insurance, that's something (CMV operators) were supposed to have 20 years ago," he
said the numbers were the last thing the state needed to be in full compliance with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations.
If your vehicle is in good working order there's nothing to fear from the Department of Public Safety
"But if you're stopped again and again and again for the same hazards - (DOT numbers are) advantageous to us so we could keep track of slackers."
Cattleman Joe Graddy has not looked into whether he
needs a number on his
three-ton truck to transport his
Texas longhorn cattle, but to him it would be a waste.
"If I have to have one I will certainly have to go and get it," he
For two years, Alabama Department of ...
For two years, Alabama Department of Public Safety Capt. Harry Kearley has asked state legislators to strengthen laws on truck inspections.
Capt. Harry Kearley, head of the truck inspectors at the Alabama Department of Public Safety, said the problem is that truckers are not securing their loads, especially steel coils.He also said they are driving too fast on interstate ramps and bridges.State Sen.Jabo Waggoner, R-Vestavia Hills, agreed with Kearley.He cited speeds as causing the most problems.Alabama DPS Director Col.
Capt. Harry Kearley, ...
Capt. Harry Kearley, commander of the motor carrier safety unit for the Alabama Department of Public Safety, agreed that driver training on how to secure coils could help reduce the number of accidents.
"I have never seen a load jump off of the road going the speed limit," he
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Capt. Harry Kearley, commander of the state Department of Public Safety's Motor Carrier Safety Unit, said the federally mandated securement methods work.
The problem, he said, is a combination of failure to follow those guidelines and inappropriate driving practices, such as taking turns too fast.
"Combining those problems tends to sling them off the truck," Kearley
said, "or when the truck turns over, they tend to fall off."
said increasing the regulations on securing steel coils would lead to more violations, not fewer dropped coils.
Federal regulations contemplate the use of cradles, but do not require them.
"It's like speed limits," said Kearley
"If people are running 90 miles per hour, you don't lower the speed limit from 70 to 60.
You just enforce the law you've got and make them do right.
I can't see making the load-securement rules more stringent when they're not following the ones we've got."
Stricter regulations would also cause problems on interstate shipments, Kearley
"We don't want anyone coming into the state to have to stop and readjust the coils.
It would be time-consuming and cost-prohibitive," Kearley
said most of the problems with dropped coils are coming from shipments that originate in Alabama.
The Alabama Trucking Association
, a trade association consisting of members of the trucking industry, opposes more restrictive requirements - such as mandated cradles - to secure steel coils.
"To put it bluntly, we don't think it's necessary," said ATA spokesman Ford Boswell.
Several states require that truckers secure steel coils with cradles, a method Boswell and Kearley
They both said it is more than is necessary.
"Properly chained on, you don't need a cradle," Kearley
said the solution is more overtime, some of which would be covered by federal grants.
"We can spend our off days enforcing these laws," Kearley
"I had people working a saturation two-week detail in Birmingham focusing just on (coil load securement)."
was using overtime hours to enforce securement regulations across the state, including Decatur.
Later this month, Kearley
said, the DPS
will have courtesy checks of steel-coil loads at U.S. Steel
Part of the goal of the event, he
said, will be to increase awareness of the problem, especially to those involved in securing the loads.
said the state is also considering increasing the fine for those who lose steel-coil loads, but that would require legislation.
The state Department
of Transportation already fines truckers to cover the cost of damage to bridges and roads caused by dropped coils.
opposes stricter regulations, he
does not dispute the severity of the danger the coils pose to motorists.
Capt. Harry Kearley, commander of the state Department of Public Safety's Motor Carrier Safety Unit, said increasing the regulations on securing steel coils would lead to more violations, not fewer dropped coils.
Better enforcement: The American Trucking Association
supports more driver training and more aggressive state enforcement.
Enforcement means money, something not in great supply at the state Department
of Public Safety
said the solution is more overtime, some of which would be covered by federal grants .