GPS use may require federal intervention
Mar 23, 2005 3:02 PM
Wireless communications coupled with global positioning systems (GPS) can improve the safe and secure transportation of hazardous materials, according to the results of the Hazardous Materials Safety and Security Field Operational Test conducted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
However, the report determined that market forces may be slow in moving the HAZMAT trucking industry towards full deployment and realization of the technological benefits so that government intervention may be required.
Cliff Harvison, president of the National Tank Truck Carriers, anticipates carriers should expect mandated installation of some of the devices and technologies, starting with so-called "high hazard" commodities.
"It's just a matter of time," Harvison said. "DOT will tell you that the intention of the Field Operations Test was not to justify rulemaking. However, I suggest that they didn't spend almost two and a half million dollars on this project and then put the results in a filing cabinet."
The operational test was initiated after the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001.
FMCSA was asked to identify areas within the transportation system that were vulnerable to terrorist attack and was charged with quantifying security costs and benefits of an operational concept that applied technology and improved enforcement procedures to hazmat transportation.
The information is available in its entirety on the FMCSA Web site at fmcsa.dot.gov.
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