Perceived Benefits and Utilization of Technology: A Comprehensive Survey of the Maryland Motor Carrier Industry
This document reports on the perceptions of motor carrier operators regarding the automated electronic services used for credential processing and safety enforcement to be implemented under the Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Network (CVISN) initiative. The CVISN initiative is a nationwide Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) program that seeks to enable the seamless movement of traffic, goods, and services and improve the operating efficiency of government agencies associated with commercial vehicles. Maryland, one of two CVISN prototype states, is implementing the CVISN architecture to enhance and support administrative processes for commercial vehicle operations (CVO), improve roadside safety inspection operations, and implement electronic screening for commercial vehicles.
Data from three surveys (American Trucking Foundation Survey, a Maryland Truck Inventory and Use Survey, and a proposed survey to be used in Connecticut) were used to design a survey that was sent to members of the Maryland Motor Truck Association (MMTA) and the Independent Truckers and Drivers Association (ITDA). 714 surveys were sent to MMTA members and 136 surveys were sent to ITDA members. Of the 850 surveys mailed, 224 were returned by a self-selected survey group. When asked about their use of various technologies, survey respondents indicated that telecommunications technologies (fax, cellular phone, pager, two-way radio, etc.) are most widely used followed by computer-based communications systems. On-board systems are the least used technologies. Carriers with large fleets (25 or more vehicles) tend to implement new technologies at a higher rate than smaller fleets.
Respondents were asked to rate the potential value of various electronic services. Nearly 33 percent felt electronic registration is valuable, roughly 13 percent were neutral, and approximately 11 percent thought it has little or no value. More than a third of the respondents believed that electronic fuel tax application and filing is valuable, while almost 13 percent were neutral, and roughly 10 percent felt that it has little or no value. Regarding electronic application for Oversize/Overweight (OS/OW) permits, approximately 20 percent of respondents though that they will be valuable. Nearly seven percent were neutral and roughly 13 percent felt this technology has little or no value. Approximately 14 percent of respondents believed that electronic application for Controlled Hazardous Substances (CHS) have little or no value, while almost five percent were neutral. Approximately 12 percent felt that they would be valuable. On the issue of electronic roadside clearance, about 29 percent of respondents believed that it is valuable, nearly ten percent did not feel it is valuable, and almost 5 percent were neutral. Roughly 35 percent of respondents thought that electronic access to Maryland motor carrier regulations is valuable. About ten percent were neutral and another ten percent believed that the use of this technology has little or no value. Regarding the value of online access to fleet’s safety information and traffic and road conditions, approximately 34 percent of respondents favored online access to fleet’s safety information. Another 11 percent assigned little or no value to it, while roughly ten percent were neutral. Over 36 percent of respondents felt that having access to traffic and road conditions is valuable. About 13 percent felt it would have little or no value, while another nine percent were neutral.
Survey respondents indicated their level of agreement with several statements. When asked to assess the statement that electronic roadside clearance at mainline speeds will decrease the number of unsafe and illegal carriers, roughly 42 percent of carriers were neutral, about 32 percent agreed, and over 25 percent disagreed. Regarding the statement that respondents would find it easier to comply with regulations if all agencies support more efficient processing, the majority (60 percent) agreed with the statement, nearly 29 percent were neutral, and approximately 11 percent disagreed. Approximately 40 percent of carriers were impartial to the statement that there is a lack of timely information exchange between themselves and the agencies. Roughly 39 percent agreed, while another 21 percent disagreed. Twenty-four (24) percent of respondents were willing to participate in a weigh/inspection bypass program despite the possibility of incurring more costs. Another 23 percent were neutral while the majority, 53 percent, would not be willing to participate.