FMCSA awarded $349,131 to the North Dakota Department of Transportation to implement an electronic commercial driver's license testing system across the state. FMCSA additionally awarded the North Dakota Highway Patrol $1,963,108 to conduct compliance reviews, safety audits, and thousands of inspections throughout North Dakota, to include ports of entry and remote border locations.
"We owe it the traveling public to protect the safety of our roadways," says US transportation secretary LaHood. "These grants will help our North Dakota law enforcement partners save lives and ensure commercial carriers and drivers are operating in full compliance with federal safety regulations."
As FMCSA announced its grant award in Bismarck, law enforcement officials throughout North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming conducted full bus driver and vehicle safety inspections. The three-state inspection sweep is part of FMCSA's year-round partnership with the States to bolster commercial bus and driver safety.
"We are committed to working side-by-side with our state partners to create a tight net of safety enforcement," says FMCSA administrator Ferro. "These grants will enable North Dakota to achieve this goal by providing the resources needed to boost police presence along critical traffic corridors and border crossings across the state."
Among those that joined FMCSA Administrator Ferro at the grant announcement were North Dakota highway patrol superintendent Col. James Prochniak, North Dakota transportation director Francis Ziegler and North Dakota highway patrol trooper John Sova, who recently was named "Grand Champion" of the 2011 North American Inspectors Championship sponsored by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance and FMCSA.
In addition to FMCSA's grant and enforcement efforts, the agency also offers a "Think Safety: Every Trip, Every Time" pre-trip safety checklist to help consumers review a bus company's safety record, safety rating and USDOT operating authority before buying a ticket or hiring a bus company for group travel. The checklist is available online at FMCSA's Passenger Bus Safety Web site: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/Index.aspx. FMCSA also encourages consumers to report any unsafe bus company, vehicle or driver to the agency through a toll free hotline 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238) or FMCSA's consumer complaint Web site: http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/HomePage.asp.