Trucking Industry Teams With Oil and Gas Companies To Improve Road Safetyby Jana Ritter - Published: 5/03/2013
Oil and gas companies have joined the trucking industry in the fight to promote improved road safety and traffic management in heavily traveled producing areas like the Eagle Ford in south central Texas, the Marcellus region in the Northeast and the Bakken in the upper Midwest. The region has been a recent hot spot for US oil production and inevitably a danger zone of high volume traffic and deadly accidents.
In a collaborative partnership of the American Petroleum Institute, the American Trucking Associations and the National Tank Truck Carriers - nearly two dozen recommendations for roadway safety and more considerate driving practices have been collected. The recommendations will be used as important reminders for member companies and to help develop informational materials on the need to provide safe and responsible trucking operations for the mutual benefit of producers, transporters and the communities in which they operate.
An initiative that first launched in 2012, with the Houston-based Consumer Energy Alliance – a broad-based association comprised of transportation, agriculture, businesses, consumers and energy organizations – the group began seeking improved communications about road safety among its membership and the broader public. All the safety recommendations collected thus far, were formally adopted by the parties at a recent meeting in Houston.
The recommendations are available for the public to view online and they include recommendations to hold frequent meetings with motor carriers to evaluate safety issues, methods for encouraging a culture of safety, techniques to promote access to safety education resources, and practices to properly inform all drivers on the delivery and removal of equipment and materials used during oil and natural gas production.
For their part, producers are encouraged to monitor and enforce requirements for proof of regulatory compliance by motor carriers and to not hire those with unsatisfactory safety ratings. It is recommended for both transporters and producers to be sensitive to local impacts and, to the extent possible, "schedule deliveries and movements to minimize the traffic impact on local communities.”
Proof of regulatory compliance should also include ensuring that all commercial drivers have a verifiable CDL, as unqualified drivers without CDL's have become a problem specific to the Eagle Ford region. Not only have many truck drivers been cited for not carrying CDL's, they have caused a few of region's deadly accidents as well.
Glen Kedzie, American Trucking Associations Vice President, Energy & Environmental Counsel said, “Safety remains 'Priority 1' for the trucking industry. Through this collaborative effort of the transportation and energy sectors, along with continued community involvement and education, ATA is confident that these recommendations will go far in improving safety in oil and gas production and exploration transportation activities.”