Cooperation needed between agency, trucking industry Gov. Mike Rounds is encouraging the Department of Public Safety, the Department of Transportation, and the trucking industry to work together to improve cooperation between these three entities.
"We have a unique opportunity to create a partnership where industry and government work together for safe, efficient, and responsible trucking operations in South Dakota," Rounds said.
Most recommendations are a result of a study conducted last fall of the Motor Carrier Services Unit, which revealed clear opportunities for improving customer service. Results also indicated that the majority of truck operators feel state government does a good job of ensuring trucks are operated safely and within legal weight limits.
"We see this as a positive step forward," Secretary of the Department of Public Safety Tom Dravland said. "We have always wanted a good relationship with the trucking industry. The study has identified steps that can be taken to improve these relations, and thus, we intend to follow the recommendations and start making changes."
Members of each department, along with trucking industry professionals, will create a work group to define a mission for Motor Carrier Services and provide training that focuses on customer service. They plan to rewrite the Motor Carrier Handbook to clearly explain trucking regulations, while making more information Internet friendly. The group will also promote increased contact between truckers and officers in educational settings rather than during enforcement actions.
Myron Rau, Executive Vice President of the South Dakota Trucking Association said that he agrees a partnership is a step in the right direction. "We can't survive without each other"
. Whether you're talking about truckers or law enforcement, we all make a living on South Dakota roads. The more we can do to work together on these issues, the better the results will be for everyone."
The work group will generate ideas for improvements, while also considering recommendations from last fall's study. For a copy of the study, contact Dave Huft at 605-773-3358.