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DOT Compliance & Safety News


Keep up with the latest changes in DOT Regulations from DOT Compliance Consultants.


News Updates

 


FMCSA To Announce Additional ELD Transition Guidance

November 20, 2017

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that in advance of the Dec. 18, 2017 implementation of the Congressionally-mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule, and to further facilitate transition to the rule by motor carriers, the Agency will be providing guidance related to enforcement procedures during the ELD transition. These will include a 90-day temporary waiver from the ELD requirement for transporters of agricultural commodities, formal guidance specifically pertaining to the existing Hours-of-Service exemption for the agricultural industry, and guidance on the "personal conveyance" provision.

 

FMCSA will also provide guidance on the existing 150 air miles hours-of-service exemption in order to provide clarity to enforcement and industry. The guidance is designed to allow industry to maximize the use of this statutory exemption. The Agency will consider comments received before publishing final guidance.

FMCSA and its enforcement partners are fully prepared for the Dec. 18, 2017 implementation. The forthcoming announcement represents the agency's desire to implement the ELD rule in a manner that improves safety without impeding commerce.

 

"FMCSA has listened to important feedback from many stakeholder groups, including agriculture, and will continue to take steps to ease the transition to the full implementation of the ELD rule,"

 

said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Cathy F. Gautreaux.

 

Formal publication of the guidance via the Federal Register is expected within the next two weeks, and will include a public comment process.

 

For more information on ELDs please visit: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/electronic-logging-devices

 

 

Safety Belt Usage Among Commercial Truck and Bus Drivers Rises to New National Levels

November 13, 2017

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that safety belt usage by commercial truck and bus drivers rose to a new record level of 86 percent in 2016, compared to just 65 percent usage in 2007, according to the results of a national survey.

 

"Buckling up your safety belt, regardless of the type of vehicle you drive or ride in, remains the simplest, easiest and most effective step you can take toward helping to protect your life," said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Cathy F. Gautreaux. "While it is good news that we are making strong progress, we need to continue to emphasize that everyone, everywhere securely fasten their safety belt 100 percent of the time."

 

Since 2007, FMCSA, in collaboration with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has conducted the Safety Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Survey six times. In each survey, safety belt usage by commercial drivers has been shown to be steadily increasing.

 

The 2016 survey observed nearly 40,000 commercial drivers operating medium- to heavy-duty trucks and buses at more than 1,000 roadside sites nationwide. The survey found that safety belt usage for commercial drivers and their occupants was highest by trucks and buses traveling on expressways at 89 percent, compared to 83 percent on surface streets. Male truck and bus drivers outpaced their female counterparts by buckling-up at a rate of 86 percent to 84 percent, respectively.

 

States with "secondary" seat belt laws (law enforcement officers may only stop drivers for violations other than not being buckled) have nearly matched states with "primary" seat belt laws (officers can stop and ticket drivers and occupants for simply not wearing a safety belt) – 84 percent compared to 85 percent – in the most recent survey.

 

Regionally, the survey found that commercial vehicle drivers and their occupants in the West, the Midwest and the South all wore safety belts at an 87 percent rate. Only in the Northeast region was safety belt usage by truck and bus drivers different and significantly lower at just 71 percent.

 

The survey was designed and conducted in accordance with data collection methodologies used by NHTSA in its National Occupant Protection Use Survey of passenger vehicle passengers. Data collection sites for the survey were randomly chosen. Teams of spotters and recorders collected data through observations from overpasses on weekdays and weekends during daylight hours in all weather conditions.

 

To obtain a copy of 2016 FMCSA Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Safety Belt Fact Sheet, visit https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/safety-belt/2016-safety-belt-fact-sheet.

 

 

FMCSA Declares Tennessee Truck Driver to be an Imminent Hazard to Public Safety

November 3, 2017

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Tennessee-licensed truck driver Earnest Paul Biddwell to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce. Biddwell was served the federal order on October 30, 2017.

 

On August 3, 2017, Biddwell, a commercial driver's license (CDL) holder, was operating a large commercial truck along Tennessee State Route 305 in McMinn County, Tennessee, when the gooseneck trailer separated from the vehicle, traveled across the center line striking a truck-trailer in the opposing lane and causing it to veer off the roadway into the ditch and up an embankment before it overturned. The driver the overturned vehicle died at the scene.

 

Although the gooseneck trailer had separated from his truck, Biddwell continued to drive until he was stopped by police officers. Biddwell subsequently tested positive for controlled substances. Controlled substances were also found in the truck cab.

 

At the time of the crash, Biddwell was operating with a revoked CDL and without possessing a valid medical certificate. In the preceding two years, Biddwell had been cited four times for violations of records-of-duty status (RODS) and three times for operating a commercial vehicle equipped with a radar detector.

 

The RODS produced by Biddwell for the months of June and July 2017, which showed him operating in Texas, Oklahoma, Louisiana, Kansas and Missouri, falsely named two motor carriers for whom he was driving. In fact, Biddwell was not employed or operating on behalf of either motor carrier.

 

A post-crash inspection of Biddwell's truck and gooseneck trailer by the Tennessee Department of Safety revealed six out-of-service violations, including serious safety deficiencies covering braking components, improper breakaway or emergency braking equipment, fuel tank construction and lighting devices and refective components.

 

FMCSA's imminent hazard out-of-service order states that Biddwell's continued operation of a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce "… substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and the motoring public if not discontinued immediately."

 

Failure to comply with the provisions of a federal imminent hazard out-of-service order may result in action by the U.S. Attorney's Office for equitable relief and punitive damages. Civil penalties of up to $1,811 may be assessed for each violation of operating a commercial motor vehicle in violation of the order. Knowing and/or willful violation of the order may also result in criminal penalties.

 

Biddwell also may be subject to a civil penalty enforcement proceeding brought by FMCSA for his violation of the agency's safety regulations.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-declares-tennessee-truck-driver-be-imminent-hazard-public-safety-2

 

 

FMCSA Declares Georgia-based Trucking Company to be an Imminent Hazard to Public Safety

November 3, 2017

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered a Decatur, Georgia-based trucking company, Keep On Trucking, LLC, USDOT No. 2928121, to immediately cease all interstate and intrastate operations after a federal investigation found the company to pose an imminent hazard to public safety. Keep On Trucking, which transports general freight, was served the federal order on November 2, 2017.

 

On August 11, 2017, a Keep On Trucking truck operated by company co-owner Dwight Anthony Preddie travelling on Interstate 95 in Spotsylvania County, Virginia, failed to reduce speed from an estimated 63-miles-per-hour as it approached and entered a construction work zone. Preddie's truck collided into the rear of a Jeep Grand Cherokee estimated to be traveling at 5-miles-per hour. The Jeep was pushed into the rear of stopped tractor-trailer. The driver of the Jeep was killed and a passenger was critically injured.

 

Virginia State Police subsequently charged Preddie with reckless driving, driving with a suspended license and operating an uninsured vehicle. The police investigation also found that Preddie, at the time of the crash, to be in violation of federal hours-of-service regulations designed to prevent fatigued driving.

 

A post-crash investigation conducted by FMCSA safety investigators further found the company to be in violation of multiple federal safety statutes and regulations, including:

 

* Failing to comply with any driver qualification requirements, including ensuring that its drivers were properly licensed and physically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. During FMCSA's investigation, Keep On Trucking officials could not produce any driver qualification file with the requisite employment application, medical certificate, driver road test certificate, state motor vehicle record, prior employer inquiry or record of violations. Records reviewed by FMCSA investigators found that the company had in the past year allowed its drivers to operate without a valid driver's license, or with a suspended license, or without possessing a valid medical certificate.

 

* Failing to properly monitor its drivers to ensure compliance with maximum hours-of-service requirements prohibiting fatigued operation of commercial motor vehicles. During FMCSA's investigation, Keep On Trucking officials could not produce any records-of-duty-status or supporting documents.

 

* Failing to properly monitor its drivers to ensure the safe operation of the company's commercial vehicles. During the past year, Keep On Trucking drivers have been cited for numerous violations, including reckless driving, failing to obey traffic control devices and failing to use a safety belt as required by federal regulations.

 

* Failing to ensure that its vehicles were regularly inspected, maintained, repaired and met minimum safety standards. During FMCSA's investigation, Keep On Trucking officials could not produce the required maintenance files or records, including copies of roadside inspections or vehicle repair receipts showing that vehicle out-of-service defects had been repaired. In the past 12 months, Keep On Trucking vehicles have been cited at roadside safety inspections for inoperable or defective brakes, broken or missing axle position components, inoperable lights, damaged windshields and battery installation deficiencies.

 

In addition, Keep On Trucking was also found to be in violation of the following USDOT/FMCSA commercial regulations:

 

* Failing to possess the requisite federal operating authority required to conduct interstate commerce.

 

* Failing to possess the minimum levels of insurance as required by federal regulations.

 

FMCSA's investigation found that Keep On Trucking's failure to ensure its drivers were qualified, its failure to monitor its drivers for compliance with federal safety regulations and its inadequate vehicle maintenance program, "…substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death for its drivers and the motoring public if the operations of Keep On Trucking are not discontinued immediately."

 

Keep On Trucking may be assessed civil penalties of up to $25,705 for each violation of the out-of-service order. The carrier may also be assessed civil penalties of not less than $10,282 for providing transportation requiring federal operating authority registration and up to $14,502 for operating a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce without necessary USDOT registration. If violations are determined to be willful, criminal penalties may be imposed, including a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment for a term not to exceed one year.

 

FMCSA is also considering civil penalties for the safety violations discovered during the investigation and may refer this matter for criminal prosecution.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-declares-georgia-based-trucking-company-be-imminent-hazard-public-safety-0

 

 

USDOT Proposals Simplifies, Reduces Costs to States and to Individuals in Obtaining Commercial Driver's License

June 9, 2017

 

CDL knowledge test for qualified veterans, active duty personnel waived – easing transition into civilian careers as professional truck, bus operators

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced two proposals that would take steps toward responding to a national shortage of qualified truck and bus drivers. These proposed processes would simplify obtaining a commercial driver's license (CDL) for many individuals and reduce administrative expenses to both the driver applicant and state driver licensing agencies.

 

"Taken together, these two proposals will help ease the entry for thousands of qualified individuals into career opportunities as professional truck and bus drivers – a critical occupation facing an acute labor shortage in our country," said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Daphne Jefferson. We could eliminate unnecessary burdens to both the applicants and to the states, save time, reduce costs and, most importantly, ensure that states only issue commercial driver's licenses to well-trained, highly qualified individuals."

 

FMCSA is seeking public comment on the following two Notices of Proposed Rulemakings (NPRM) announced today:

  • Military Licensing and State CDL Reciprocity. This proposed rule would allow State Driver Licensing Agencies to waive the CDL knowledge test for qualified veterans and active duty personnel, including National Guard and Reserves, seeking to obtain a civilian CDL. This waiver would simplify processing and reduce costs for States and for qualified individuals. Since 2012, FMCSA has allowed States to waive the CDL skill test requirement for qualified veterans and active duty personnel. More than 18,800 individuals have transitioned from their military service into the U.S. civilian jobs as commercial truck and bus drivers under the waiver opportunity.

    "We owe so much to our men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces," said Jefferson. "This action would be one more way we can express our gratitude and assist those with a military CDL who wish to utilize their extensive training and experience operating heavy trucks and buses into careers as civilians."

  • Commercial Learner's Permit Validity. This proposed rule would allow States to issue a CDL learner's permit with an expiration date of up to one year, replacing the current six-month limitation. This extra flexibility would eliminate burdensome and costly paperwork requirements by the States. It would also eliminate unnecessary re-testing and additional fees presently incurred by individuals who seek an additional 180-day renewal of their CDL learner's permit.

"At the core of both proposals is safety of the motoring public," said Jefferson. "We will continue to demand that commercial truck and bus drivers, and their employers, adhere to the safety standards that exist to protect all drivers."

 

The public comment period for both proposals will remain open for 60 days following their formal publication in the Federal Register.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/usdot-proposals-simplifies-reduces-costs-states-and-individuals-obtaining-commercial-driver

 

 

FMCSA Declares Alabama-based Trucking Company to be an Imminent Hazard to Public Safety

April 27, 2017

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered a Beatrice, Alabama-based trucking company, Jeffery Finklea, doing business as J & L Trucking, USDOT No. 2479654, to immediately cease all interstate and intrastate operations after a federal investigation found the company to pose an imminent hazard to public safety. J & L Trucking, which operates two trucks transporting general freight, was served the federal order on April 24, 2017.

 

On March 28, 2017, a truck operated by J & L Trucking crossed the centerline on Alabama's State Highway 13 in Fayette County, colliding head-on with a passenger vehicle and fatally injuring both of its occupants.

 

The J & L Trucking driver admitted to Alabama Department of Public Safety officers that he had fallen asleep while driving. State law enforcement investigators at the crash scene found that the driver did not possess his records-of-duty-status for the preceding seven days and had no valid medical certificate, both required by federal safety regulations. In addition, the state investigators found multiple violations on the J & L Trucking vehicle, including unsafe, worn tires, and oil and grease leaks.

 

A post-crash investigation conducted by FMCSA safety investigators further found the company to be in violation of multiple federal safety statutes and regulations, including:

 

* Failing to ensure that its vehicles were regularly inspected, maintained, repaired and met minimum safety standards. During FMCSA's investigation, J & L Trucking officials could not produce any maintenance files or records, including copies of roadside inspections or vehicle repair receipts showing that vehicle out-of-service defects had been repaired. The company owner claimed he conducted periodic inspections and serviced the brakes of the vehicles – although he was not qualified to perform those functions. In the past 24 months, J & L Trucking vehicles were subjected to 12 unannounced roadside safety inspections; on nine occasions, the truck was ordered out-of-service for serious safety violations ranging from inoperative required lights, unsafe, worn tires, oil and grease leaks, damaged or discolored windshield, to missing or defective brake warning components.

 

* Failing to properly monitor its drivers to ensure compliance with maximum hours-of-service requirements prohibiting fatigued operation of commercial motor vehicles. During FMCSA's investigation, J & L Trucking officials could not produce any records-of-duty-status for two of its three drivers. One driver admitted he was unfamiliar with filling out a driver's log book – and had never done so. Another driver said he insisted on turning in his records-of-duty-status, but J & L Trucking officials failed to review them for compliance with federal safety regulations.

 

* Failing to comply with any driver qualification requirements, including ensuring that its drivers were properly licensed and physically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle. During FMCSA's investigation, J & L Trucking officials could not produce any driver qualification file with the requisite employment application, medical certificate, driver road test certificate, state motor vehicle record, prior employer inquiry or record of violations. The one employment application the company's officials did provide was found to be fraudulent.

 

FMCSA's investigation found that J & L Trucking's inadequate vehicle maintenance program, its failure to ensure its drivers were qualified and its failure to monitor its drivers for compliance with federal safety regulations "…substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death for its drivers and the motoring public if the operations of J & L Trucking are not discontinued immediately."

 

J & L Trucking may be assessed civil penalties of up to $25,705 for each violation of the out-of-service order. The carrier may also be assessed civil penalties of not less than $10,282 for providing transportation requiring federal operating authority registration and up to $14,502 for operating a commercial vehicle in interstate commerce without necessary USDOT registration. If violations are determined to be willful, criminal penalties may be imposed, including a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment for a term not to exceed one year.

 

FMCSA is also considering civil penalties for the safety violations discovered during the investigation and may refer this matter for criminal prosecution.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-declares-alabama-based-trucking-company-be-imminent-hazard-public-safety

 

 

FMCSA Declares Idaho Truck Driver to be an Imminent Hazard to Public Safety

November 28, 2016

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Idaho-licensed truck driver Justin Dennis to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. Dennis was served the federal order on November 18, 2016.

 

In January 2015, Dennis, a commercial driver's license (CDL) holder, was subject to a USDOT-required random controlled substances test; the verified test results were positive for methamphetamine, thus disqualifying Dennis from operating a CMV. Dennis was immediately terminated by his employer.

 

Federal safety regulations require that before a disqualified CDL-holder may be eligible for further testing and a possible return to operating a CMV, as an initial mandatory first step, the individual must report to a Substance Abuse Professional for evaluation. Dennis failed to initiate the process that would have allowed him to legally resume operating a CMV.

 

On November 9, 2016, while still disqualified, Dennis was operating a CMV on Interstate 84 in Boise, Idaho when his vehicle struck and killed an automobile driver who was standing near his disabled vehicle that had been involved in a single vehicle crash.

 

Dennis admitted to an FMCSA investigator that he had taken methamphetamines a few days prior to the November 9, 2016 crash. Investigators also found that at the time of the crash, Dennis had exceeded both driving and on-duty hour-of-service limitations designed to prevent fatigued driving.

 

Dennis further told investigators that he was texting while driving, shortly before the crash occurred.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-declares-idaho-truck-driver-be-imminent-hazard-public-safety

 

 

FMCSA Declares Connecticut Truck Driver to be an Imminent Hazard to Public Safety

November 16, 2016

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Connecticut-licensed truck driver Allen R. Johnson, Sr. to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. Johnson was served the federal order on November 8, 2016.

 

On November 2, 2016, Johnson, a commercial driver's license (CDL) holder, was operating a CMV when he was involved in a single-vehicle roll-over crash along Interstate 89 near mile marker 80 in Vermont.

A field sobriety test conducted on Johnson by Vermont State Police at the scene of the crash detected the presence of alcohol.

 

Johnson told Vermont State Police investigators that the crash occurred after he set the cruise-control to hold the vehicle at a constant 63 miles-per-hour and then stood up to change his pants.

 

FMCSA's imminent hazard out-of-service order states that Johnson's "…continued operation of a commercial motor vehicle substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to [himself] and to the motoring public if not discontinued immediately."

 

Failure to comply with the provisions of a federal imminent hazard out-of-service order may result in action by the U.S. Attorney's Office for equitable relief and punitive damages. Civil penalties of up to $3,100 may be assessed for each violation of operating a commercial motor vehicle in violation of the order. Knowing and/or willful violation of the order may also result in criminal penalties.

 

FMCSA is also considering civil penalties for the safety violations discovered during the investigation and may refer this matter for criminal prosecution.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-declares-connecticut-truck-driver-be-imminent-hazard-public-safety

 

 

FMCSA Orders Shut Down of Commercial Passenger Carrier Operations of South Carolina Church

November 14, 2016

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered a Chester, S.C. church to cease all intrastate and interstate commercial transportation after a federal investigation found it to pose an imminent hazard to public safety. The federal order was served on November 7, 2016.

 

On September 18, 2016, a motor coach commercially operated by Sandy River Baptist Church, USDOT No. 2445628, was transporting a junior college football team from Rock Hill, S.C. to Raeford, N.C. when a front wheel failed, causing the vehicle to swerve and strike a median guardrail and a concrete bridge support along U.S. 74 near Rockingham, N.C. The crash resulted in four fatalities and 39 injuries.

 

The imminent hazard designation was made following a post-crash investigation conducted by FMCSA safety investigators in coordination with the North Carolina State Highway Patrol. On the day of the crash, Sandy River Baptist Church was registered with FMCSA as a "private passenger carrier," but had failed to comply with driver qualification requirements or to properly monitor its drivers to ensure compliance with maximum hours-of-service requirements prohibiting fatigued operation of commercial motor vehicles, and failed to sufficiently implement a random alcohol and drug testing program for its drivers.

 

Federal safety regulations require that any entity transporting passengers in interstate commerce for a fee or other compensation must obtain both USDOT operating authority registration and USDOT safety registration. In applying for and in receiving USDOT operating authority registration, a business or a non-profit entity – including church organizations – affirms both the knowledge of and the ability to fully satisfy all vehicle and driver safety regulations that serve to protect drivers, passengers, and the motoring public.

 

In addition to possessing the necessary USDOT safety registration, under federal safety regulations, all commercial or "for-hire" passenger carriers operating in interstate commerce must maintain a minimum of $5 million in liability insurance documented on-file with FMCSA as a condition of operating authority registration.

 

Failure to comply with the provisions of a federal imminent hazard out-of-service order may result in action by the U.S. Attorney's Office for equitable relief, as well as civil penalties. Civil penalties of up to $25,705 may be assessed for each violation of the order. Knowing and/or willful violation of the order may also result in criminal charges.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-orders-shut-down-commercial-passenger-carrier-operations-south-carolina-church

 

 

FMCSA Seeks Input on "Beyond Compliance" Program

April 19, 2016

 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is seeking public input during the next 60 days on its Beyond Compliance program.

 

The Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act requires FMCSA to implement a Beyond Compliance program no later than June 2017.

 

To date, FMCSA has held three public listening sessions on this program and previously received input from its Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee.

 

Using the input received and the Congressional direction in the FAST Act, the notice published in today's Federal Register provides details on FMCSA's proposal and processes to allow recognition for a motor carrier that:

  1. installs advanced safety equipment;
  2. uses enhanced driver fitness measures;
  3. adopts fleet safety management tools, technologies, and programs; or
  4. satisfies other standards determined appropriate by the FMCSA Administrator.

 

The proposed Beyond Compliance program will not allow relief from regulatory requirements.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-seeks-input-%E2%80%9Cbeyond-compliance%E2%80%9D-program

 

 

FMCSA Releases Latest Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts Report

April 15, 2016

 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today released "Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts, 2014." This recurring annual report contains descriptive statistics about crashes involving large trucks and buses that caused fatalities, injuries, or property damage.

 

For comparative purposes, crash statistics on passenger vehicles are also presented. Among the findings: The number of large trucks and buses involved in fatal crashes decreased by five percent and 17 percent, respectively, in 2014 when compared to 2013.

 

The analysis also found year-over-year vehicle miles traveled (VMT) increased large trucks (1.5 percent) and buses (5.5 percent) in 2014.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-releases-latest-large-truck-and-bus-crash-facts-report

 

 

FMCSA Issues Safety Advisory for the Immediate Re-inspection and Retesting of Certain Cargo Tank Motor Vehicles

April 15, 2016

 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is issuing a safety advisory to provide notice to owners and operators of certain cargo tanks that they have: 1) been improperly inspected and tested, and 2) must be re-inspected and retested before being used in Hazardous Materials specification tank service.

 

The tanks in question were tested by H&W Tank Testing (CT#8083; Ohatchee, Alabama) and Christopher Humphries (CT#13131; Jacksonville, Alabama). Cargo tanks that have been inspected and/or tested by either company from April 2011 through March 2016 must be re-inspected and/or retested immediately by a cargo tank facility registered with FMCSA.

 

It is a violation of the Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations to use these cargo tank motor vehicles for transportation of hazardous materials before they have been properly re-inspected and retested by an FMCSA-registered cargo tank facility.

 

Owners and operators must immediately provide FMCSA with documentation that the required inspections and testing have been performed for all of the affected cargo tank motor vehicles.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-issues-safety-advisory-immediate-re-inspection-and-retesting-certain-cargo-tank-motor

 

 

 

U.S. Department of Transportation Announces Formation of Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program Formula Working Group

April 8, 2016

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) today announced the formation of the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) Formula Working Group. The Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act requires the DOT Secretary to establish a working group to analyze the requirements and factors for establishing a new allocation formula for the MCSAP, the flagship state grant program of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

 

"The Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program provides critical funds each year to states to support their large truck and bus safety efforts," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Now that we have expeditiously fulfilled this FAST Act requirement, I look forward to receiving the working group's recommendations on how we can enhance and streamline this important safety grant program with the ultimate goal of making our nation's roads safer."

 

MCSAP grant funds are essential to maintaining the states' commercial motor vehicle (CMV) enforcement programs around the country, with grant funds providing critical support for state-conducted compliance investigations, roadside inspections, new entrant audits, and traffic enforcement activities.

 

The DOT Secretary was required to establish a MCSAP working group within 180 days of enactment of the FAST Act – December 4, 2015 – and the working group must provide its recommendations to the Secretary no later than one year from the date of its establishment. According to the FAST Act, the working group must be composed of representatives from state CMV safety agencies, FMCSA, an organization representing state CMV enforcement agencies, and any other persons that the DOT Secretary considers necessary. State safety agency participation must make up at least 51 percent of the working group, and the group is exempt from the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

 

"We're extremely pleased to have such a diverse group of leading commercial motor vehicle safety professionals participating in this significant endeavor," said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. "This is an exciting opportunity to identify ways in which we can improve our grant allocation processes and, in turn, improve safety for the traveling public."

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/us-department-transportation-announces-formation-motor-carrier-safety-assistance-program

 

 

 

FMCSA Orders Shutdown of Massachusetts Trucking Company

March 17, 2016

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Worcester, Massachusetts-based trucking company John A. Robles, doing business as J and J Transportation, USDOT No. 2497430, to be an imminent hazard to public safety and ordered that it immediately cease all intrastate and interstate operations. J and J Transportation was served the federal order on February 25, 2016.

 

In early February 2016, FMCSA investigators visited J and J Transportation to conduct a compliance review. The company refused, or was unable, to produce:

 

  • Vehicle maintenance records, including servicing schedules, or documentation otherwise indicating that the company had a vehicle maintenance program;
  • Drivers' vehicle inspection reports or evidence that drivers undertook federally required pre-trip and post-trip safety inspections;
  • Evidence that defects identified in past roadside inspections had been corrected – before allowing that particular vehicle to be dispatched again;
  • Records for a majority of its drivers specially addressing driver qualification documentation, leading J and J Transportation to dispatch multiple drivers that possessed suspended or invalid commercial driver's licenses (CDL);
  • Medical examiner's certificates for its drivers;
  • Complete records-of-duty status for its drivers or supporting documents, such as fuel and toll receipts; and
  • Records for a majority of its driver documenting that they underwent mandatory pre-employment controlled substances tests – before performing a safety-sensitive function including operating a commercial motor vehicle.

On December 4, 2015, a commercial truck operated by J and J Transportation was involved in a single vehicle crash, fatally injuring the driver. The post-crash investigation by the New York State Police found multiple violations by the driver of federal hours-of-service regulations. The same driver had been cited for false records of duty status during roadside inspections that occurred on October 20, 2015 and again on December 2, 2015. During the compliance investigation, J and J Transportation was unable to show that it had taken any subsequent action following the two roadside inspections to ensure that the driver – and all its drivers – complied with federal hours-of-service and records of duty status regulations.

 

J and J Transportation's continued use of unsafe vehicles and its failure to adequately oversee its drivers to ensure compliance with federal safety regulations substantially increases the likelihood of serious harm to its drivers and to the motoring public.

 

Violating an imminent hazard out-of-service order and operating without operating authority and a USDOT number may result in civil penalties up to $60,000 as well as a criminal penalty, including a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment not to exceed one year.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-orders-shutdown-massachusetts-trucking-company

 

 

 

FMCSA Suspends Operating Authority of Four Bus Companies Following Multi-State Strike Force Investigation

March 14, 2016

 

WASHINGTON – Following a four-month, multi-state investigation, the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that it has revoked the operating authority registration of four commercial bus companies for willfully failing to comply with federal safety regulations.

 

Specifically, each of the four passenger carriers was found to have intentionally provided a misleading and/or a false physical address as its principal place of business. Federal safety regulations prohibit a registered motor carrier from falsely designating its physical address/principal place of business when the motor carrier is not engaged in business operations related to the commercial transportation of persons or property at that location.

 

The bus companies who had their USDOT operating authority registration revoked are:

  • Homewood, Alabama-based AKAI LLC, USDOT No. 2444704
  • Norcross, Georgia-based Luxury Express Bus Company LLC, USDOT No. 2442687
  • Waltham, Massachusetts-based Magnum Coach Lines, LLC, USDOT No. 2489680
  • Raleigh, North Carolina-based Hermes Luxury Coach LTD, USDOT No. 2430448

A motor carrier found to be operating without possessing valid USDOT operating authority may be liable for federal civil penalties of up to $25,000 for each violation.

 

FMCSA also announced today that as part of the recent strike force investigation, two additional bus companies are to receive federal civil penalties for multiple violations of federal safety regulations.

  • Doraville, Georgia-based Transtate Travel Inc., USDOT No. 2450783. Transtate Travel was found to be in violation of federal statutes (1) prohibiting making a fraudulent or intentionally false entry on a USDOT operating authority registration document, and (2) for operating beyond the scope of its USDOT-granted authority. Based upon the results of FMCSA's compliance investigation, Transtate Travel has received a proposed Conditional Safety Rating.
  • New York City-based Forever Yours Tours, Inc., USDOT No. 2042615. Forever Yours Tours, was found to be in violation of federal statutes (1) prohibiting the aiding, abetting, encouraging, or requiring a motor carrier or its employee(s) to violate federal safety regulations, and (2) for making fraudulent or intentionally false entry on a USDOT application for operating authority registration. Based upon the results of FMCSA's compliance investigation, Forever Yours Tours has received a proposed Unsatisfactory Safety Rating.

Commercial passenger carriers that receive a proposed Conditional or an Unsatisfactory Safety Rating have a period of 45 days to submit an acceptable corrective action plan outlining in detail the steps it will take to bring the carrier into compliance with FMCSA safety regulations, or to submit a formal Administrative Appeal to the agency, or otherwise contest the proposed Safety Rating.

 

Commercial bus and truck companies that receive a final Safety Rating of Unsatisfactory are prohibited from operating in interstate and intrastate commerce.

 

Operating in violation of a final Unsatisfactory Safety Rating may result in federal civil penalties of at least $25,000, as well as a criminal penalty, including a fine of up to $25,000 and imprisonment not to exceed one year.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-suspends-operating-authority-four-bus-companies-following-multi-state-strike-force

 

 

 

U.S. DOT Seeks Input on Screening and Treating Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers and Rail Workers with Obstructive Sleep Apnea

March 8, 2016

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) today announced that the agencies are seeking public input during the next 90 days on the impacts of screening, evaluating, and treating rail workers and commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The National Transportation Safety Board recommended that DOT take action to address OSA screening and treatment for transportation workers.

 

The joint Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) is the first step as both agencies consider whether to propose requirements specifically on OSA. FRA and FMCSA will host three public listening sessions to gather input on OSA in Washington, DC, Chicago, and Los Angeles.

"It is imperative for everyone's safety that commercial motor vehicle drivers and train operators be fully focused and immediately responsive at all times," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "DOT strongly encourages comment from the public on how to best respond to this national health and transportation safety issue."

 

It is estimated that 22 million men and women could be suffering from undiagnosed OSA, a respiratory disorder characterized by a reduction or cessation of breathing during sleep. Undiagnosed or inadequately treated moderate to severe OSA can cause unintended sleep episodes and deficits in attention, concentration, situational awareness, memory, and the capacity to safely respond to hazards when performing safety sensitive service. For individuals with OSA, eight hours of sleep can be less refreshing than four hours of ordinary, uninterrupted sleep, according to a study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The size and scope of the potential problem means that OSA presents a critical safety issue for all modes and operations in the transportation industry.

 

"The sooner patients with OSA are diagnosed and treated, the sooner our rail network will be safer," said FRA Administrator Sarah Feinberg said. "Over the next 90 days, we look forward to hearing views from stakeholders about the prevalence of obstructive sleep apnea, their views on diagnosis and treatment, and potential economic impacts."

 

"The collection and analysis of sound data on the impact of OSA must be our immediate first step," said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. "We call upon the public to help us better understand the prevalence of OSA among commercial truck and bus drivers, as well as the safety and economic impacts on the truck and bus industries."

 

FRA is also currently working on a rule that will require certain railroads to establish fatigue management plans. In 2012, FRA partnered with the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, WFBH Education Foundation and the John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center to sponsor the Railroaders' Guide to Healthy Sleep website[external link]. The site provides educational information to railroaders and their families about sleep disorders and information to improve sleep quality.

For any CMV drivers who are detected to have a respiratory dysfunction, such as OSA, FMCSA currently recommends that medical examiners refer them for further evaluation and therapy. In January 2015, FMCSA issued a bulletin to remind healthcare professionals on the agency's National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners of the current physical qualifications standard and advisory criteria concerning the respiratory system, specifically how the requirements apply to drivers that may have obstructive sleep apnea.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/us-dot-seeks-input-screening-and-treating-commercial-motor-vehicle-drivers-and-rail-workers

 

 

 

National Academies of Sciences to Lead Congressionally Mandated Study of CSA's Effectiveness in Identifying "High Risk" Truck and Bus Companies.

March 7, 2016

 

News Digest

National Academies of Sciences to Lead Congressionally Mandated Study of CSA's Effectiveness in Identifying "High Risk" Truck and Bus Companies. In response to Section 5221 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) of 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has commissioned the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, through its Committee on National Statistics and Transportation Research Board, to carry out a study regarding high risk truck and bus companies. The study will examine the accuracy with which the Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) safety measures used in the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) and the Safety Management System (SMS) identify high risk carriers and predict or are correlated with future crash risk or other safety indicators for motor carriers.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/national-academies-sciences-lead-congressionally-mandated-study-csas-effectiveness

 

 

Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts

April 16, 2015

Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts (LTBCF) is a recurring annual report that contains descriptive statistics about fatal, injury, and property-damage-only crashes involving large trucks and buses. Information in the LTBCF report is compiled by FMCSA's Analysis Division from four major sources:

 

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA's) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS), a census of fatal crashes involving motor vehicles traveling on public trafficways.
  • NHTSA's General Estimates System (GES), a probability-based sample of fatal, injury, and property-damage-only crashes.
  • FMCSA's Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS) Crash File.
  • The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA's) Highway Statistics.

 

Archived versions of the LTBCF publication can be accessed via Analysis & Information (A&I) Online.

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/data-and-statistics/large-truck-and-bus-crash-facts

 

 

FMCSA Orders Utah Bus Company to Cease all Operations

July 31, 2015

WASHINGTON – A Woods Cross, Utah-based bus company that primarily transported children has been ordered by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to cease all intrastate and interstate operations for repeatedly operating unsafe vehicles and for failing to comply with a 2014 federal consent order.

Deseret Bus Leasing, Inc. (d/b/a Deseret Bus Service), USDOT No. 890659, was ordered by FMCSA to cease all operations, effective at 12:01 a.m. on July 20, 2015.

Deseret had undergone a compliance review by FMCSA investigators in late 2013 which ultimately resulted in an unsatisfactory safety rating, prohibiting the company from conducting commercial operations. 

In June 2014, following a thorough review by FMCSA of the company’s safety management plan, and upon entering into a federal consent order, Deseret’s safety rating was upgraded to conditional as long as Deseret implemented its safety management plan and complied with the terms of the order. 

The federal consent order detailed not only the corrective actions the company had taken, but outlined the steps it had agreed were necessary to ensure compliance with federal safety regulations.  These corrective actions included, among others, ensuring that Deseret’s leased and company-owned vehicles were systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained.

Deseret Bus Service further agreed to submit quarterly reports to FMCSA’s Utah Division and provide updated lists of drivers, records of duty status summaries, driver vehicle inspections reports, and all annual and roadside/terminal inspections.

Between January and May 2015, Deseret was subject to 15 vehicle inspections.  On seven occasions, safety inspectors found serious violations that posed a risk to public safety and required vehicles to be placed out-of-service.  Safety violations included defective brakes and brake warning systems, insufficient tire-tread, broken leaf springs, and exhaust leaks.

In its federal consent order, Deseret had also agreed to immediately terminate any driver who knowingly operated a vehicle that had been placed out-of-service before it was repaired.  On multiple occasions, a single driver was found to repeatedly operate a Deseret vehicle that had been placed out-of-service; the driver is still employed by the company.

FMCSA’s action places Deseret Bus Service’s operations out-of-service based on its unsatisfactory safety rating and suspends its USDOT number; Deseret’s federal operating authority registration is revoked.  Operating in violation of an out-of-service order without federal operating authority and a USDOT number may result in civil penalties up to $60,000 for each transportation operation, as well as criminal penalties that may include fines up to $25,000 and imprisonment not to exceed one year.   

While Deseret may request an administrative review of FMCSA’s denial of its request for a change in its unsatisfactory safety rating, the prohibition from conducting all intrastate and interstate commercial passenger transportation operations would remain in place during the period of any review.

- See more at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-orders-utah-bus-company-cease-all-operations

 

 

FMCSA Orders Shut-down of Trucking Companies in Illinois, Georgia, as Imminent Hazards to Public Safety

June 15, 2015

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in separate actions has ordered Payson, Illinois-based Rhino Displays, USDOT No. 1474447, and Hampton, Georgia-based Prudential Carriers, Inc., USDOT No. 248188, respectively, to immediately shut down following federal investigations that revealed numerous widespread violations of critical safety regulations by both companies.

 

In July 2010, Rhino, a fireworks display company, informed FMCSA in writing that it had closed the commercial fireworks transportation portion of its business.

On May 30, 2015, FMCSA safety investigators discovered that Rhino had transported fireworks to a baseball stadium in Hannibal, Missouri.  Upon further investigation of the cargo, the driver and the truck, multiple safety violations were revealed, including: opened and improperly secured packages of fireworks; absence of a federally required fire extinguisher in the vehicle; presence of alcohol in the vehicle; the driver not possessing a commercial driver’s license (CDL), a hazardous materials endorsement, or a valid medical certificate; no records of duty status; no Hazardous Materials Safety Permit  (HMSP); no hazmat placarding on the vehicle; and absence of required shipping papers.

The federal out-of-service order dated June 4, 2015, states “These widespread violations substantially increased the likelihood of serious injury or death to Rhino Display’s drivers and the public.”

A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order can be viewed at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/Rhino-Displays-IHOOS

In late May 2015, FMCSA safety investigators initiated an investigation of Prudential following the carrier’s recent involvement in several crashes, including a May 12, 2015, incident in which the company instructed the driver to continue operating a truck that was transporting a damaged, leaking load of canola oil onto Interstate 75 in Georgia.  Four separate vehicle crashes resulted from the extremely slick and hazardous road conditions caused by the leaking oil before the driver was stopped and arrested by law enforcement officers.

The federal out-of-service order dated June 5, 2015, states that the investigation “… uncovered widespread regulatory violations demonstrating Prudential’s repeated and egregious non-compliance with (federal safety regulations) and a management philosophy indifferent to motor carrier safety.”

 These violations included: failing to ensure its leased and company-owned

- See more at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-orders-shut-down-trucking-companies-illinois-georgia-imminent-hazards-public-safety

 

 

Veterans Transition into Civilian Jobs as Commercial Truck and Bus Drivers in Record Numbers through USDOT/FMCSA Program

June 24, 2015

WASHINGTON – More than 10,000 veterans and active duty personnel have now taken advantage of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Military Skills Test Waiver Program.  In the first three years of the Military Skills Test Waiver Program, approximately 6,000 former military personnel obtained a civilian commercial driver’s license (CDL).  In the past 12 months alone, another 4,000 individuals, including Reserves, National Guard, and U.S. Coast Guard service members, have taken advantage of the Program.

“It is our duty to help returning veterans transition into civilian life, and I am proud that so many have used this program to secure careers in the transportation sector,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Just as important, we want to put their valuable skills and experience to work driving the Nations’ economy.”

The Military Skills Test Waiver Program, which began in 2011, grants state licensing agencies, including the District of Columbia, the authority to waive the skills test portion of the CDL application for active duty or recently separated veterans who possess at least two years of safe driving experience operating a military truck or bus.  Waiving the skills test expedites the civilian CDL application process and reduces expenses for qualified individuals and operating costs to state licensing agencies.

 

“In the near future, the need for skilled truck drivers is expected to grow dramatically,” said FMCSA Chief Counsel Scott Darling.  “Having skillful and experienced drivers operating on our roadways will lead to increased safety for every member of the motoring public.”

The USDOT/FMCSA Military Skills Test Waiver Program has been conducted in close cooperation with the Department of Defense and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).

 

Additional information, including a standardized application form accepted in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, is available at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/commercial-drivers-license/military.

# # # #

- See more at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/veterans-transition-civilian-jobs-commercial-truck-and-bus-drivers-record-numbers-through

 

 

FMCSA Releases Crash Weighting Analysis

January 21, 2015

 

WASHINGTON - The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced through the Federal Register a study that examined (1) whether Police Accident Reports provide sufficient, consistent, and reliable information to support crash weighting determinations, (2) whether a crash weighting determination process would offer an even stronger predictor of carrier crash risk than the current assessment method, and (3) how the agency might reasonably manage and support a process for making crash weighting determinations, including the acceptance of public input. The announcement invites public comment along with a request for feedback on what steps the agency should take regarding the weighting of crash data in the agency’s systems based on the carrier’s role in a crash.

 

Presently, the agency considers all recordable crashes involving a commercial motor vehicle occurring in the preceding 24 months as an assessment within its Safety Measurement System, which quantifies the on-the-road safety performance of motor carriers to prioritize enforcement resources.  

 

Independent research has demonstrated that a motor carrier’s involvement in a crash, regardless of their role in the crash, is a strong indicator of their future crash risk.

 

The study examined Police Accident Reports obtained from two national dataset: the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) and the National Motor Vehicle Crash Causation Survey (NMVCCS). Various statistical and analytical approaches were employed to assess crash weighting benefits including an analysis of motor carriers involved in single-vehicle fatal crashes over time.  

 

Changing the crash weights based on a motor carrier’s role in the crash did not appear to improve the ability to predict future crash rates when all crashes are considered.  There also was concern about the reliability of using Police Accident Reports to make this determination.  The study pointed out that implementing a crash weighting effort on a national scale would require a method for uniformly acquiring final Police Accident Reports, a process and system for uniform analysis, and a method for receiving and analyzing public input.  

 

It is estimated that the annual costs for operating a system to process Police Accident Reports, including the acceptance of public input and reviewing appeals, would be between $3.9 million and $11.2 million.  The public is invited to review the full report and provide feedback.  

 

 

FMCSA Announces Intention to Establish a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee on Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Drivers

December 12, 2014

News Digest

FMCSA Announces Intention to Establish a Negotiated Rulemaking Committee on Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Drivers.  The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced through a Federal Register notice that the agency is seeking comment from commercial driver and training organizations, truck and bus associations, motor carriers, state licensing and law enforcement agencies, labor unions, safety advocacy groups, insurance companies, and the public on recommendations for membership to a negotiated rulemaking committee on minimum training requirements for entry-level commercial drivers.

The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) directs FMCSA to establish minimum training requirements for individuals seeking to obtain an intrastate or interstate commercial driver’s license (CDL) and become a professional truck or bus operator.  

In August 2014, FMCSA announced by notice in the Federal Register that it had retained a neutral convener, and was exploring the possibility of proceeding with a negotiated rulemaking.  The convener interviewed stakeholders and has recommended proceeding with a negotiated rulemaking.  The convener’s report is available is here.

The negotiated rulemaking committee will examine minimum training requirements, including length of classroom instruction and behind-the-wheel experience, accreditation versus certification of CDL training programs and schools, curricula for passenger, property and hazardous materials carriers, instructor qualifications, as well as other areas.  

With the Federal Register notice, FMCSA is soliciting nominations for members of the negotiated rulemaking committee.  

The agency seeks to ensure a wide range of candidates are considered to achieve a balanced committee.  Persons who will be significantly affected  and believe their interests will not be represented on the proposed committee are encouraged to nominate themselves or another person.  

A copy of the Federal Register notice is available at: 
https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2014/12/10/2014-28919/minimum-t....

Comments will be accepted through January 9, 2015.  



U.S. Department of Transportation Eliminates $1.7 Billion Annual Paperwork Burden for U.S. Trucking Industry.
December 9, 2014

Final Rule Marks Obama Administration’s Largest Paperwork Reduction

WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced today that, effective Dec. 18, 2014, professional truck drivers will no longer have to comply with a burdensome daily paperwork requirement, saving the trucking industry an estimated $1.7 billion annually without compromising safety.

“We delivered big on President Obama’s call to cut red tape and waste,” said Secretary Foxx. “America’s truckers should be able to focus more on getting their goods safely to store shelves, constructions sites or wherever they need to be instead of spending countless hours on unnecessary paperwork that costs the industry nearly $2 billion each year. This is a far better way to do business.”

Commercial truck drivers are required to conduct pre- and post-trip inspections of their vehicles to identify any safety defects or maintenance concerns. The final rule announced today removes the requirement that drivers file a report for approximately 95 percent of inspections when equipment problems or safety concerns are not identified. 

“Ensuring regulatory flexibility for businesses and reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens through the retrospective review process are top priorities for President Obama and the Office of Management and Budget,” said OMB Director Shaun Donovan. “I commend Secretary Foxx and the Department of Transportation for their work on this effort, which is one of the largest paperwork reduction rules in the last decade. We look forward to working with the Department of Transportation and other agencies on ways to further institutionalize retrospective review as an essential component of government regulatory policy.”

The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that professional truck drivers spend approximately 46.7 million hours each year completing Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs). Eliminating DVIRs when no safety defects or mechanical deficiencies are identified will result in time savings valued at $1.7 billion dollars annually.

“We are committed to improving efficiency so that drivers can stay focused on their safety and the safety of everyone they share the road with,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “Until now, truck driver vehicle inspection reports were the 19th highest paperwork burden across all federal agencies. By scrapping the no-defect inspection reports, the burden is reduced to 79th, marking the most significant paperwork reduction achievement thus far in the Obama Administration.”

FMCSA’s No-Defect DVIR rule will be effective on the date it is published in the Federal Register, which is scheduled for Dec. 18, 2014. 

President Obama launched the Administration’s Regulatory Review and Reform initiative in January 2011 by issuing Executive Order 13563. The order commenced an unprecedented government-wide review of regulations with the goal of eliminating or modifying out-of-date, ineffective or overly-burdensome rules and reducing regulatory burdens on the private sector. The retrospective review effort to date includes actions that will save more than $20 billion dollars over the next few years, with more savings in the future.

In June 2012, FMCSA eliminated a comparable requirement for truck drivers operating intermodal equipment trailers used for transporting containerized cargo shipments. The cost savings to the intermodal industry was estimated to be $54 million annually.

 

 

FMCSA Shuts Down Bus Companies in Georgia and South Carolina, Trucking Operations in Iowa and Massachusetts

 

All declared to be imminent hazards to public safety

 

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that it has ordered the immediate shut-down of four motor carriers, each for disregarding federal safety regulations and putting their companies' own drivers, passengers and the public at risk.

 

"Safety is our highest priority and we are committed to ensuring that bus and truck companies comply with federal safety regulations to help protect the motoring public," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Companies that are unwilling to meet their safety obligations will not be allowed to operate on our highways and roads."
The two passenger carriers ordered shut-down by FMCSA are:

 

Woodburn's Tour and Travel, LLC, doing business as Woodburn's Motor Coach, USDOT No. 2181163, of East Point, Ga. Federal investigators found that Woodburn's fleet of 11 motor coaches did not meet minimum safety standards as the company failed to systematically and properly inspect, repair or maintain the vehicles. Investigators also found that the company's owners failed to monitor and ensure that its drivers complied with controlled substances and alcohol use and testing regulations. Drivers were employed before receiving negative pre-employment drug and alcohol test results as required by federal law. The company failed to require its drivers to turn in hours-of-service records or other required documentation, such as driving itineraries and fuel receipts.

A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order, issued March 7, 2014, is available here: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2014/WoodburnsMotorCoach.pdf.

 

Motts Transportation, Inc., USDOT No. 828452, of Cordesville, S.C. Federal investigators found that this passenger carrier and the company owner, Jerome Carter, Sr., failed to monitor drivers and failed to ensure that vehicles were systematically and properly inspected, repaired, and maintained. The company failed to require its drivers to comply with federal limitations on driving and on-duty requirements. In at least one instance, an unqualified individual was allowed to operate a motorcoach.

A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order, issued February 10, 2014, is available here: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2014/MottsTransportation.pdf.

 

The two trucking operations ordered shut-down by FMCSA are:

 

GEG Construction, Inc., USDOT No. 1503585, of Indian Orchard, Mass. Federal investigators found that the motor carrier and company owner, Gil Gomes, failed to ensure that vehicles were systematically and properly inspected, repaired and maintained, and operated vehicles in an out-of-service condition. The company employed drivers before they received negative pre-employment drug and alcohol test results as required by federal law. In one instance, a driver without a valid commercial driver's license was allowed to operate a commercial vehicle.

A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order, issued March 11, 2014, is available here: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2014/GEGConstruction.pdf.

 

Allen Quandahl, LLC, USDOT No. 1964143, of Waukon, Iowa. Federal investigators found that Allen Quandahl, LLC, failed to ensure that its vehicles were properly inspected, repaired, and maintained, resulting in systemic accidents. The carrier failed to monitor and ensure that its drivers complied with controlled substances and alcohol use and testing regulations. The company employed drivers before receiving negative pre-employment drug and alcohol test results as required by federal law. Drivers were not required by the company to turn in hours-of-service records or other required documentation such as driving itineraries and fuel receipts. In one instance, a driver without a valid commercial driver's license was allowed to operate a commercial vehicle.

A copy of the imminent hazard out-of-service order, issued February 25, 2014, is available here: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/documents/about/news/2014/AllenQuandahl.pdf.

 

"Unsafe commercial vehicles, drivers, and companies put innocent lives in jeopardy," said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. "FMCSA inspectors and investigators will not hesitate to take immediate action to protect the public from needless exposure to harm."

 

Thus far in 2014, FMCSA has declared five passenger carriers, two property carriers, and four commercial drivers to be imminent hazards to the public, prohibiting them from conducting operations in interstate commerce.

 
As part of FMCSA's work to make safety data readily available to the traveling public, the SaferBus mobile app gives bus riders a quick and free way to review a bus company's safety record before buying a ticket or booking group travel. The app, available for iPhone, iPad, and Android phone users, can be downloaded for free by visiting FMCSA's "Look Before You Book" webpage at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/saferbus.

 

Travelers planning a bus trip are also encouraged to think safety first before buying a ticket or chartering a bus by using FMCSA's multilingual passenger carrier safety checklist at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/lookbeforeyoubook.
FMCSA urges consumers and whistleblowers to report any unsafe bus company, vehicle, or driver to the agency through a toll free hotline 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238) or FMCSA's consumer complaint web site: http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov/HomePage.asp.

 

Consumers who bought a ticket on a bus company that FMCSA has recently placed out-of-service may be entitled to a credit from their credit card company under the Fair Credit Billing Act if they paid for the ticket by credit card. For more information, visit: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/pcs/bus-credit-refund.aspx.

 

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