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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis
SD2003-03


Title: South Dakota Motor Carrier Enforcement Customer Satisfaction
Project Researcher: David Bender,
Project Manager: Dave Huft
Research Period: 7/14/2003 - 12/31/2003
Status:
Cost: $70,000.00

Problem Statement:

During the 2003 session of the South Dakota State Legislature, motor carrier enforcement issues were the subject of considerable discussion. Some commercial carriers and certain elected officials characterized the Motor Carrier Enforcement unit of the South Dakota Highway Patrol as unprofessional and overzealous. Although their comments were reported by the news media, it is unclear how representative they are of truck operators at large.

Perceptions of motor carrier enforcement may be influenced by numerous factors, including:

the number and complexity of state and federal motor carrier regulations;

  • a significant paperwork burden;

  • South Dakotas strong emphasis on vehicle weight enforcement;

  • questions about enforcement uniformity throughout the state;

  • personal interactions between motor carrier enforcement officers and motor carriers;

  • background and training of both motor carrier enforcement officers and motor carriers.

    A clearer understanding of perceptions among both motor carriers and staff of the Motor Carrier Enforcement unit would enable cooperative efforts to improve working relationships and address important concerns.



    Findings: Pending

    Research Objectives:
    1  To assess perceptions regarding the importance of motor carrier enforcement services and satisfaction with their delivery within the trucking industry and the SD Highway Patrol's Motor Carrier Enforcement unit.
    2  To identify underlying causes or factors that shape these perceptions.
    3  To recommend solutions that will enable the trucking industry and Motor Carrier Enforcement to improve working relationships while maintaining highway safety.

    Research Tasks:
    1  Meet with the project's technical panel to review project scope and work plan.
    2  Through a review of applicable literature and interviews with individual stakeholders, identify and analyze key issues of concern to motor carriers and Motor Carrier Enforcement personnel in South Dakota.
    3  Prepare, for approval of the project's technical panel, a technical memorandum that summarizes key issues and proposes discussion guides for focus groups with motor carriers and Motor Carrier Enforcement staff.
    4  Upon approval of the project's technical panel, conduct separate focus groups with motor carriers and Motor Carrier Enforcement personnel in each of four geographical regions of the state.
    5  Prepare, for approval of the project's technical panel, a technical memorandum that summarizes focus group findings and proposes survey instruments for motor carriers and Motor Carrier Enforcement staff.
    6  Upon approval of the project's technical panel, conduct surveys of three motor carrier segments (commercial carriers, farmers and ranchers who use trucks in the course of their businesses, and businesses who operate their own trucks in the course of
    7  Analyze and summarize survey results to quantify perceptions and to identify key issues requiring further analysis.
    8  Through interviews of knowledgeable individuals, acquire information necessary to clarify and resolve key issues requiring further analysis.
    9  On the basis of findings from the literature review, interviews, focus groups, and surveys, recommend solutions that motor carriers and Motor Carrier Enforcement personnel can apply to improve working relationships.
    10  Prepare a final report and executive summary of the research methodology, findings, conclusions, and recommendations.
    11  Prepare and make an executive presentation to the SDDOT Research Review Board at the conclusion of the project.

    Documents Available:
    SD2003_03.Final_Report.pdf
    SD2003_03.Executive_Summary.pdf
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