redefining its mission regarding motor carriers to emphasize a balance of service and enforcement, renaming the Motor Carrier Enforcement unit to Motor Carrier Services, and informing all staff of assessment findings;
improving processes for recruiting, training, and evaluating staff to emphasize communication skills and customer service;
providing more and clearer information to the trucking industry through public meetings, a comprehensive web site, informational brochures, and an entirely rewritten South Dakota Commercial and Agricultural Vehicle Handbook;
enhancing services to the motor carrier industry through online automated permitting, electronic screening and more efficient vehicle inspection at the Interstate 29 port of entry north of Sioux City, and reducing the duration of inspections.
While qualitative evidence suggests that these changes have contributed to improved customer satisfaction, objective research is needed to assess progress and to identify opportunities for additional improvements.
Importance: The trucking industry is vital to South Dakotas residents and economy, because most commodities and retail products are transported by truck. Likewise, compliance with safety and weight regulations is essential to protecting the publics welfare and capital investment in the state highway system. By identifying ways to enhance cooperation between the trucking industry and regulatory agencies, the mutual interests of the industry, government, and the public will be served.