National Pilot Car Association Backs Demand for Training
Aug. 4, 2022 - The National Pilot Car Association (NPCA) is participating in a National Pilot Car Stakeholder Advisory Group, along with the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association, the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO), Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).
The advisory group wants to help create a national pilot car training curriculum and help ongoing discussions about certification.
“Collaboration between carriers and pilot cars has grown, and the coming together of these industries has improved dramatically in the last 10 years because everyone agrees that we can all benefit by working together,” said Michael Morgan, NPCA legislative vice president.
“More and more carriers are requiring pilot and escort vehicle operators (P/EVO) to be certified. However, only 13 states require P/EVO certifications, and the lack of regulations creates a lot of liability,” said Bill Wegrzyn, NCPA president.
A nationally recognized training curriculum would help reduce risk by making sure pilot car operators meet specific requirements. It would also reduce the carrier’s responsibility in case of an accident.
Increased regulations would also protect the pilot car operator because they would be able to prove that they have been trained properly.
In the meantime, the FHWA’s P/EVO Best Practices document provides a comprehensive guide for pre-planning, including route review plus pilot-vehicle and equipment preparation. It also covers how to handle challenges like railroad crossings, emergency procedures, and post-trip evaluations.
“More organizations are recognizing the importance of pre-trip planning, and while it’s been a long road getting to this point, working together improves safety for everyone,” said Wegrzyn.