Development of the pilot car driver certification program for Alabama
Oversize and overweight loads are an essential part of the economy and current life. Unfortunately, with these loads comes a potential danger to the public. Roads, bridges, and railroad crossings are not built to support these loads or allow for easy access. Pilot car escorts are an essential element to safely and efficiently moving the oversize loads. These escorts have the responsibility of keeping the public and load safe. Yet, only eleven states have training and certification requirements for the driver of the escort vehicle. Alabama is not one of these eleven states. The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) partnered with the University Transportation Center of Alabama (UTCA) to develop a program. This thesis documents the development of the Alabama Escort Driver Certification Program and focuses on the development of the curriculum. For the escort driver certification program to be effective, The Code of Alabama must be updated to include certification requirements. After extensive research, UTCA staff recommended changes to The Code of Alabama to update the rules and regulations regarding pilot/escort driving. UTCA also suggested course logistics such as course instructors, course availability and locations, class size, budget, proof of certification, and course evaluation. UTCA then developed a one day (eight hour) curriculum based on Florida's current curriculum. Participants must attend the course, demonstrate proper flagging technique, and pass a written exam with a minimum score of 80% to receive certification. The thesis also describes the multi-media presentation, instructor's manual, and participant's manual's content format and content. The development of a website to serve as a media for advertisement and a registration aid is also presented. This report documents relevant information and decisions made in the development of an important and possibly life-saving program.