How BISC spent the summer
The Bus Industry Safety Council keeps its finger on the pulse to help ensure a safer industry
The Bus Industry Safety Council (BISC), an independent safety advisory council affiliated with the American Bus Association (ABA) and sponsored by ABC Companies, Faribault, MN, held its summer meeting in June in Baltimore, MD. Twice a year, BISC provides a forum for bus and coach operators, vendors and suppliers and government agencies to address the critical and most recent issues concerning motorcoach safety and compliance. At this year’s summer meeting, with support from J. J. Keller, National Interstate Insurance and Transportation Safety Exchange (TSX), BISC hosted more than 130 motorcoach safety experts and interested industry members over two days, making it one of the most successful in the history of the organization.
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“The organization serves as the watchdog over the crucial issues that motorcoach companies deal with day-to-day,” says BISC Chairman Mike McDonal, general manager, Eyre Bus and Tour & Travel of Maryland, Columbia, MD. “At each meeting, our members address each topic on the agenda head-on and interact with the key government leaders and regulators to improve the industry’s culture of safety.”
During this year’s summer meeting, the commentary and guest presentations focused on current issues that included:
- The upcoming rulemaking on electronic logging devices – Discussion focused on operators’ experiences with this proposal to reduce to reduce the burden of hours-of-service recordkeeping and improve the quality and accuracy of logbook data.
- What the medical card/commercial driver’s license merger means to operators and drivers – All CDL holders must supply their state DMV licensing self-certification on the driving they do and the status of their medical certificate card. Non-compliance means the driver will lose CDL privileges; the company will be unable to dispatch a driver on its roster whose license is downgraded, causing productivity and revenue losses.
- The intersection of tire safety and outdated motorcoach weight specifications – With motorcoaches growing heavier due to amenities and mandates, a disparity exists between GVWR increases and the load current motorcoach tires are tasked to support. FMCSA asks tire manufacturers to help the carriers develop effective tire maintenance programs; and for motorcoach OEMs to work closer with tire manufacturers to develop tires to realistically fit today’s vehicles.
- How carriers can use the Safety Management Cycle (SMC) to address CSA issues – The SMC is a step-by-step process to help safety investigators and commercial carriers understand more than the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of a safety performance issue. The six Safety Management Processes (SMPs) presented in order of a company’s operations — Policies and Procedures; Roles and Responsibilities Qualification and Hiring Training and Communication, Tracking and Meaningful Action — identify and correct breakdowns in safety procedures and compliance.
The Bus Industry Safety Council meets twice a year, and everyone in the motorcoach industry is invited to attend and participate. The next BISC meeting will be held in St. Louis at ABA’s Marketplace, January 10-13, 2015.
“The Bus Industry Safety Council is the most important meeting of industry safety professionals,” says ABA President and CEO Peter J. Pantuso. “BISC meetings are must-attend events. We encourage bus and coach companies and safety professionals who to sign up and get involved. We are also very grateful to our title sponsor and support sponsors in making these meetings possible.”