Q&A Session with Stephen Clark, Business Development Manager, Teletrac
1. Tell us a little bit about your background and expertise regarding fleet governmental regulations.
I have been in the telematics industry since 1999; I follow the Motorcoach Industry issues closely. I recently attended the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee meetings in Washington D.C. and last week attended CVSA Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. In my business development role at Teletrac, it is my job to make sure the company meets existing and future FMCSA regulations.
2. What current challenges do the motorcoach industry face? As more people travel by motorcoach, the industry needs to keep operating at a high level of safety. The FMCSA has been focusing hard on new carriers to make sure they are qualified to operate. The DOT and FMCSA have also been targeting motorcoach companies with low CSA scores and all motorcoach companies with roadside inspections. As a motorcoach operator you need to identify where your problems are and correct them. There are new rules, including a ban of texting and handheld cell-phone use for bus drivers, as well as on-going efforts by FMCSA to better address fatigue through electronic onboard recorders and crackdowns on marginal operators. As Deborah A.P. Hersman, Chairman of the NTSB states, “Where there is smoke there’s fire.” Teletrac’s safety analytics, business intelligence and HOS solutions identify the smoke.
3. Have you seen the motorcoach industry take on new priorities in the past few years? They want to be safe; they are being inundated by new technology, such as tire pressure monitoring equipment and collision avoidance systems. They know about HOS systems and they are not mandated at this time. When they purchase HOS they want to know it will meet new FMCSA regulations. New motorcoach HOS rules are still being vetted by the FMCSA process.
4. How important is health and safety to the motorcoach industry? Health and safety is understandably a high priority for the motorcoach industry. Your job is based on doing a significant amount of driving to get your customers where they want to go. Your drivers not only face greater risks than office-based employees, but can also expose members of the public to danger through aggressive and unsafe driving, with disastrous consequences for the company’s reputation as well as the legal risks involved. As an IMG associate member, I understand your strong commitment to safety.
5. How do you see the motorcoach industry changing in the next few years? In my opinion, it looks like EOBRs will be mandated by July 2015 through MAP 21 legislation. New motorcoach HOS regulations could go either way at this point in time based on listening sessions and new research on driver fatigue. Companies that have safety analytics and business intelligence will have the data to understand their risks. It is important to partner with companies that understand your business, are established in the industry, and have the capital to endure.
6. What solutions does Teletrac offer that can aid the motorcoach industry? Teletrac’s new safety analytics and business intelligence can provide fleet managers and owners with the metrics to recognize where there is smoke in your organization. Teletrac’s electronic driver logs, or e-Logs, eliminate messy manual paperwork, reduce traffic violations and minimize audit risks. By automating driver logs, fleet managers have the ability to easily track vehicle mileage logs and strengthen their fleet's compliance regulations. Teletrac’s HOS solution can save driver and back office man-hours as well as help to keep your CSA scores high.