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Regulation Updates

 

Edi Checkist for Carriers

June 23, 2017

 

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/eld-checklist-carriers

 

Electronic Logging Devices - Tips for Choosing a Compliant Electronic Logging Device (ELD)

June 23, 2017

 

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/Choosing%20an%20Electronic%20Logging%20Device%20Checklist.pdf

 

Registered ELDs

June 23, 2017

 

https://3pdp.fmcsa.dot.gov/ELD/ELDList.aspx

 

ELD Rule Implementation Timeline

June 23, 2017

 

https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/implementation-timeline

 

 

 

FMCSA Establishes National Drug and Alcohol Testing Clearinghouse for Commercial Truck and Bus Drivers

December 2, 2016

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced a final rule that establishes a national drug and alcohol clearinghouse for commercial truck and bus drivers. The clearinghouse database will serve as a central repository containing records of violations of FMCSA's drug and alcohol testing program by commercial driver's license (CDL) holders.

 

"An overwhelming majority of the nation's freight travels by truck, and millions of passengers reach their destinations by bus, so creating a central, comprehensive, and searchable database of commercial motor vehicle drivers who violate federal drug and alcohol testing requirements has been a departmental priority," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "This system will be a new technological tool that will make our roads safer."

 

Once the clearinghouse is established, motor carrier employers will be required to query the system for information concerning current or prospective employees who have unresolved violations of the federal drug and alcohol testing regulations that prohibit them from operating a commercial motor vehicle (CMV). It also requires employers and medical review officers to report drug and alcohol testing program violations.

 

The drug and alcohol clearinghouse final rule annual net benefits are an estimated $42 million, with crash reductions resulting from annual and pre-employment queries by FMCSA-regulated motor carriers.

 

"This is a major safety win for the general public and the entire commercial motor vehicle industry," said FMCSA Administrator Scott Darling. "The clearinghouse will allow carriers across the country to identify current and prospective drivers who have tested positive for drugs or alcohol, and employ those who drive drug- and alcohol-free. Drivers who test positive for drugs or alcohol will no longer be able to conceal those test results from employers and continue to drive while posing a safety risk to the driving public."

 

The final rule requires motor carriers, medical review officers, third-party administrators, and substance abuse professionals to report information about drivers who:

  • Test positive for drugs or alcohol;
  • Refuse drug and alcohol testing; and
  • Undergo the return-to-duty drug and alcohol rehabilitation process.

Additionally, motor carriers will be required to annually search the clearinghouse for current employees, and during the pre-employment process for prospective employees, to determine whether a driver violated drug or alcohol testing requirements with a different employer that would prohibit them from operating a CMV.

 

Federal safety regulations require employers to conduct pre-employment drug testing and random drug and alcohol testing. Motor carriers are prohibited from allowing employees to perform safety-sensitive functions, which include operating a CMV, if the employee tests positive on a DOT drug or alcohol test.

 

In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C. § 552a), a driver must grant consent before an employer can request access to that driver's clearinghouse record and before FMCSA can release the driver's clearinghouse record to an employer. After registering with the clearinghouse a driver can review his or her information at no cost.

 

Congress directed FMCSA to establish a national drug and alcohol clearinghouse as mandated by the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21).

 

The national drug and alcohol clearinghouse Final Rule goes into effect in January 2020, three years after its effective date.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-establishes-national-drug-and-alcohol-testing-clearinghouse-commercial-truck-and-bus

 

 

FMCSA Seeks Comment on Alternative Medical Examiner Certification Process for Department of Veterans Affairs Physicians

November 30, 2016

 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proposing amendments to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to establish an alternate process for qualified physicians employed in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to be listed on the agency's National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners.

 

After successful completion of an FMCSA-developed training and testing program conducted through the VA, the qualified physicians would become certified VA medical examiners who can perform medical examinations and issue Medical Examiner's Certificates to commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operators who are military veterans enrolled in the VA health system.

 

As required by the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, qualified VA physicians must: a) be employed in the VA; b) be familiar with FMCSA's standards for, and physical requirements of, a CMV operator requiring medical certification; and c) never have "acted fraudulently" with respect to such certification.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-seeks-comment-alternative-medical-examiner-certification-process-department-veterans

 

 

 

FMCSA Issues Safety Advisory for the Immediate Repair of DOT407 and DOT412 Cargo Tanks Manufactured by Keith Huber Incorporated Prior to May 1, 2013

November 10, 2016

 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is issuing a safety advisory to provide notice to owners and operators of DOT407 and DOT412 cargo tank motor vehicles manufactured by Keith Huber Incorporated.

 

These cargo tanks are NOT in compliance with Federal Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs) and do NOT meet 49 CFR 178.347. This safety advisory is for cargo tanks manufactured by Keith Huber Incorporated PRIOR TO MAY 1, 2013.

 

* IMPORTANT NOTE: Keith Huber Incorporated is no longer in business and ceased manufacturing cargo tanks on or about May 1, 2013. Keith Huber Incorporated is a distinct entity from the Keith Huber Corporation. Cargo tanks manufactured by the Keith Huber Corporation are NOT subject to this safety advisory.

 

Continued use of the Keith Huber Incorporated DOT407 and DOT412 cargo tanks in specification hazardous materials service is prohibited; owners and operators are subject to immediate enforcement and civil penalties.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-issues-safety-advisory-immediate-repair-dot407-and-dot412-cargo-tanks-manufactured

 

 

USDOT Issues 30-Day Extension to Public Comment Period for Proposed Rule Requiring Speed Limiters for Large Commercial Vehicles

November 1, 2016

 

The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced a 30-day extension of the public comment period for a September 7, 2016 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking which would require all newly manufactured U.S. trucks, buses, and multipurpose passenger vehicles with a gross vehicle weight rating more than 26,000 pounds to be equipped with speed limiting devices.

 

The new public comment deadline of December 7, 2016, will provide all interested parties sufficient opportunity to fully develop and submit comments and evidentiary materials to the agencies via www.regulations.gov.

 

Requiring speed limiting devices on heavy vehicles could save lives, as well as an estimated $1 billion in fuel costs each year.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/usdot-issues-30-day-extension-public-comment-period-proposed-rule-requiring-speed-limiters

 

 

FMCSA Reminds Medical Examiners and Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers that Revised Driver Examination Forms Must Be Used Beginning April 20, 2016

April 14, 2016

 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reminds Medical Examiners (MEs) and commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers that, as of April 20, 2016, certified MEs performing physical examinations of CMV drivers must use the revised versions of the Medical Examination Report (MER) Form (MCSA–5875) and the Medical Examiner's Certificate (MEC) Form (MCSA–5876).

 

In April 2015, FMCSA published the Medical Examiner's Certification Integration final rule, designed to facilitate the electronic transmission of MEC information from FMCSA's National Registry to the State Driver's Licensing Agencies, and required the use of revised MER and MEC forms.

 

In December 2015, FMCSA announced a 120-day grace period – from December 22, 2015 through April 20, 2016 – during which MEs may use either the old "substantially in accordance with" versions or the newly revised versions of the MER Form and MEC Form.

 

FMCSA provided a grace period to ensure that MEs had sufficient time to become familiar with the new forms and to program electronic medical records systems.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-reminds-medical-examiners-and-commercial-motor-vehicle-drivers-revised-driver

 

 

FMCSA Extends Compliance Date of Bus Leasing and Interchange Final Rule Until January 1, 2018

March 15, 2016

 

WASHINGTON - On May 27, 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published in the Federal Register a Final Rule to identify motor carriers transporting passengers in interstate commerce and correctly assign responsibility to these entities for regulatory violations during inspections, compliance investigations, and crash investigations.

 

This Final Rule will also provide the general public with the means to identify the responsible motor carrier at the time transportation services are provided.

 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) had recommended that FMCSA regulate the leasing of passenger carriers in much the same way as it regulates the leasing of for-hire property carriers.

 

The original compliance date as set forth in the Final Rule was January 1, 2017.

 

The one-year extension of the compliance date announced today will allow FMCSA a sufficient opportunity to review and, where appropriate, make adjustments due to a number of petitions for reconsideration.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-extends-compliance-date-bus-leasing-and-interchange-final-rule-until-january-1-2018

 

 

 

FMCSA Restores Property Carriers' "Absolute Measures" in Compliance with the FAST Act

March 7, 2016

 

News Digest

 

FMCSA Restores Property Carriers' "Absolute Measures" in Compliance with the FAST Act. Section 5223 (c) of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act (FAST Act) of 2015 requires the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) to keep property carriers' absolute measures available to the public. These measures are generated directly from safety data and not based on relative comparison to other motor carriers. The FAST Act prohibits the display of a property carriers' relative percentile, so on December 4, 2015, FMCSA removed the information prohibited from display, and also removed the absolute measures to allow time to modify the Safety Measurement System (SMS) website to be compliant. At this time, those modifications are complete and the SMS website is fully compliant with the FAST Act.

 

- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-restores-property-carriers-absolute-measures-compliance-fast-act

 

 

FMCSA Proposes New Rule for Determining Safety Fitness of Motor Carriers

January 15, 2016

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced a rulemaking proposal designed to enhance the Agency's ability to identify non-compliant motor carriers. The Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), to be published in the Federal Register, would update FMCSA's safety fitness rating methodology by integrating on-road safety data from inspections, along with the results of carrier investigations and crash reports, to determine a motor carrier's overall safety fitness on a monthly basis.

 

"Ensuring that motor carriers are operating safely on our nation's roadways is one of our highest priorities," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "Using all available information to achieve more timely assessments will allow us to better identify unsafe companies and get them off the road."

 

"This update to our methodology will help the agency focus on carriers with a higher crash risk," said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. "Carriers that we identify as unfit to operate will be removed from our roadways until they improve."

 

The proposed SFD rule would replace the current three-tier federal rating system of "satisfactory–conditional–unsatisfactory" for federally regulated commercial motor carriers (in place since 1982) with a single determination of "unfit," which would require the carrier to either improve its operations or cease operations.

 

Once in place, the SFD rule will permit FMCSA to assess the safety fitness of approximately 75,000 companies a month. By comparison, the agency is only able to investigate 15,000 motor carriers annually – with less than half of those companies receiving a safety rating.

 

The proposed methodology would determine when a carrier is not fit to operate commercial motor vehicles in or affecting interstate commerce based on:

  1. the carrier's performance in relation to a fixed failure threshold established in the rule for five of the agency's Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs);
  2. investigation results; or
  3. a combination of on-road safety data and investigation information.

 

The proposed rule further incorporates rigorous data sufficiency standards and would require that a significant pattern of non-compliance be documented in order for a carrier to fail a BASIC.

 

When assessing roadside inspection data results, the proposal uses a minimum of 11 inspections with violations in a single BASIC within a 24-month period before a motor carrier could be eligible to be identified as "unfit." If a carrier's individual performance meets or exceeds the failure standards in the rule, it would then fail that BASIC. The failure standard will be fixed by the rule. A carrier's status in relation to that fixed measure would not be affected by other carriers' performance.

 

Failure of a BASIC based on either crash data or compliance with drug and alcohol requirements would only occur following a comprehensive investigation.

 

FMCSA estimates that under this proposal, less than 300 motor carriers each year would be proposed as "unfit" solely as a result of on-road safety violations. Further, the agency's analysis has shown that the carriers identified through this on-road safety data have crash rates of almost four times the national average.

 

FMCSA encourages the public to review the NPRM and to submit comments and evidentiary materials to the docket following its publication in the Federal Register. The public comment period will be open for 60 days. FMCSA will also be providing a reply comment period allowing for an additional 30 days for commenters to respond to the initial comments.

 

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- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-proposes-new-rule-determining-safety-fitness-motor-carriers

 

 

FMCSA Launches Online Unified Registration System that Strengthens Safety and Improves Efficiency

December 17, 2015

 

WASHINGTON -- On Dec. 12, 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) launched a new, simplified, online registration process that truck and bus companies, freight forwarders, brokers, intermodal equipment providers, and cargo tank manufacturing, inspection and repair facilities use as new applicants for USDOT registration.

 

The first phase of the Unified Registration System (URS) combines multiple "legacy" reporting forms into a single, online "smart form" that streamlines the registration and renewal process, improves efficiency, reduces errors and, most importantly, strengthens safety for the motoring public.

 

When fully implemented in 2016, URS will enable FMCSA to more readily identify unfit carriers and detect unsafe truck and bus companies seeking to evade Agency enforcement actions, including civil penalties, by attempting to regain USDOT registration by registering as a purported different, unrelated business entity.

 

FMCSA estimates URS will ultimately reduce costs to industry by approximately $9 million in time saved and fees incurred over a 10-year period.

 

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- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-launches-online-unified-registration-system-strengthens-safety-and-improves

 

 

Electronic Logging Devices to be Required Across Commercial Truck and Bus Industries

December 10, 2015

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced the adoption of a Final Rule that will improve roadway safety by employing technology to strengthen commercial truck and bus drivers' compliance with hours-of-service regulations that prevent fatigue.

 

"Since 1938, complex, on-duty/off-duty logs for truck and bus drivers were made with pencil and paper, virtually impossible to verify," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "This automated technology not only brings logging records into the modern age, it also allows roadside safety inspectors to unmask violations of federal law that put lives at risk."

 

The Final Rule requiring the use of electronic logging devices (ELD) will result in an annual net benefit of more than $1 billion – largely by reducing the amount of required industry paperwork. It will also increase the efficiency of roadside law enforcement personnel in reviewing driver records. Strict protections are included that will protect commercial drivers from harassment.

 

On an annual average basis, the ELD Final Rule is estimated to save 26 lives and prevent 562 injuries resulting from crashes involving large commercial motor vehicles.

 

"This is a win for all motorists on our nation's roadways," said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. "Employing technology to ensure that commercial drivers comply with federal hours-of-service rules will prevent crashes and save lives."

 

An ELD automatically records driving time. It monitors engine hours, vehicle movement, miles driven, and location information.

 

Federal safety regulations limit the number of hours commercial drivers can be on-duty and still drive, as well as the number of hours spent driving. These limitations are designed to prevent truck and bus drivers from becoming fatigued while driving, and require that drivers take a work break and have a sufficient off-duty rest period before returning to on-duty status.

 

The four main elements of the ELD Final Rule include:

  • Requiring commercial truck and bus drivers who currently use paper log books to maintain hours-of-service records to adopt ELDs within two years. It is anticipated that approximately three million drivers will be impacted.
  • Strictly prohibiting commercial driver harassment. The Final Rule provides both procedural and technical provisions designed to protect commercial truck and bus drivers from harassment resulting from information generated by ELDs. [A separate FMCSA rulemaking further safeguards commercial drivers from being coerced to violate federal safety regulations and provides the agency with the authority to take enforcement actions not only against motor carriers, but also against shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries.]
  • Setting technology specifications detailing performance and design requirements for ELDs so that manufacturers are able to produce compliant devices and systems – and purchasers are enabled to make informed decisions.
  • Establishing new hours-of-service supporting document (shipping documents, fuel purchase receipts, etc.) requirements that will result in additional paperwork reductions. In most cases, a motor carrier would not be required to retain supporting documents verifying on-duty driving time.

 

The ELD Final Rule permits the use of smart phones and other wireless devices as ELDs, so long as they satisfy technical specifications, are certified, and are listed on an FMCSA website. Canadian- and Mexican-domiciled drivers will also be required to use ELDs when operating on U.S. roadways.

 

Motor carriers who have previously installed compliant Automatic On-Board Recording Devices may continue to use the devices for an additional two years beyond the compliance date.

 

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- See more at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/electronic-logging-devices-be-required-across-commercial-truck-and-bus-industries

 

 

FMCSA's Final Rule Prohibits Coercion, Protects Commercial Truck and Bus Drivers From Being Forced to Violate Safety Regulations

November 27, 2015

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced the publication in the Federal Register of a Final Rule to help further safeguard commercial truck and bus drivers from being compelled to violate federal safety regulations. The Rule provides FMCSA with the authority to take enforcement action not only against motor carriers, but also against shippers, receivers, and transportation intermediaries.

 

"Our nation relies on millions of commercial vehicle drivers to move people and freight, and we must do everything we can to ensure that they are able to operate safely," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "This Rule enables us to take enforcement action against anyone in the transportation chain who knowingly and recklessly jeopardizes the safety of the driver and of the motoring public."

 

The Final Rule addresses three key areas concerning driver coercion: procedures for commercial truck and bus drivers to report incidents of coercion to the FMCSA, steps the agency could take when responding to such allegations, and penalties that may be imposed on entities found to have coerced drivers.

 

"Any time a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, freight-forwarder, or broker demands that a schedule be met, one that the driver says would be impossible without violating hours-of-service restrictions or other safety regulations, that is coercion," said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. "No commercial driver should ever feel compelled to bypass important federal safety regulations and potentially endanger the lives of all travelers on the road."

 

In formulating this Rule, the agency heard from commercial drivers who reported being pressured to violate federal safety regulations with implicit or explicit threats of job termination, denial of subsequent trips or loads, reduced pay, forfeiture of favorable work hours or transportation jobs, or other direct retaliations.

Some of the FMCSA regulations drivers reported being coerced into violating included: hours-of-service limitations designed to prevent fatigued driving, commercial driver's license (CDL) requirements, drug and alcohol testing, the transportation of hazardous materials, and commercial regulations applicable to, among others, interstate household goods movers and passenger carriers.

 

Commercial truck and bus drivers have had whistle-blower protection through the Department of Labor's Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) since 1982, when the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) was adopted. The STAA and OSHA regulations protect drivers and other individuals working for commercial motor carriers from retaliation for reporting or engaging in activities related to certain commercial motor vehicle safety, health, or security conditions. STAA provides whistleblower protection for drivers who report coercion complaints under this Final Rule and are then retaliated against by their employer.

 

In June 2014, FMCSA and OSHA signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen the coordination and cooperation between the agencies regarding the anti-retaliation provision of the STAA. The Memorandum allows for the exchange of safety, coercion, and retaliation allegations, when received by one agency, that fall under the authority of the other.

 

For more information on what constitutes coercion and how to submit a complaint to FMCSA, see: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/coercion. Please note: the Final Rule takes effect 60 days following its publication in the Federal Register.

 

This rulemaking was authorized by Section 32911 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 (MCSA), as amended.

 

For a copy of today's Federal Register announcement, see: www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/11/30/2015-30237/prohibiting-coercion-of-commercial-motor-vehicle-drivers.

* * *
https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/final-rule-prohibits-coercion-protects-commercial-truck-and-bus-drivers-being

 

 

 

Unified Registration System


Action:
Final rule; extension of effective dates.

 

Summary:
FMCSA delays the effective and compliance dates for its August 23, 2013, Unified Registration System (URS) final rule. Because FMCSA changes the effective date (the actual date when the regulatory text that appears in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) will be changed) and makes technical corrections and conforming amendments to the 2013 regulatory text, the Agency has determined that it is in the best interest of the regulated entities, our State partners and the general public to present the full text of the sections affected. The 2013 URS final rule was issued to improve the registration process for motor carriers, property brokers, freight forwarders, Intermodal Equipment Providers (IEPs), hazardous materials safety permit (HMSP) applicants and cargo tank facilities required to register with FMCSA, and streamline the existing Federal registration processes to ensure the Agency can more efficiently track these entities. Today's final rule delays the implementation of the 2013 final rule in order to allow FMCSA additional time to complete the information technology (IT) systems work required to fully implement that rule.

https://cms.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/rulemaking/2015-26625

 

 

 

GAO Report Supports Positive Safety Impact of Hours-of-Service Rule

July 30, 2015

WASHINGTON – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a response today to the recent U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) report that examined the Agency’s 2014 study on the hours-of-service (HOS) changes that were made in 2011 and implemented in 2013.  The report also examined the rule’s assumptions and effects. The HOS rules govern the amount of time commercial truck drivers transporting freight can work and drive on a daily and weekly basis.  The response from FMCSA acknowledged the recommendations of the report and agreed to implement those suggestions.

“This GAO report provides further evidence that the changes FMCSA made to the HOS rules improve highway safety by saving lives and lowering the risk of driver fatigue,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This reinforces our belief that these life saving measures are critical to keeping people safe on the roads. We value the GAO’s independent review and will use their recommendations to further strengthen our Department’s research to ensure that we have the best data available to keep our roads safe.”

During the nearly 18 months in which the new restart provisions were in effect, the GAO report found evidence of reduced driver fatigue and enhanced roadway safety.  Specifically, the report found –

  • fewer fatal crashes;
  • fewer drivers working the maximum schedules;
  • lower risk of driver fatigue; and
  • no increase in crashes during the 5 a.m. to 9 a.m. morning rush hour

Review of FMCSA research study and rule impact assumptions: The GAO report (GAO-15-641) also concluded that FMCSA’s HOS study data support the finding that the provision requiring drivers taking a restart to be off-duty for two nights reduces fatigue. The report found that the analysis and conclusion in FMCSA’s field study were supported by the data, and it confirmed FMCSA’s assumption that the rule would most likely impact those drivers working the longest permissible hours.

“Our agency’s mission is safety, and we’re pleased that the GAO’s findings provide evidence of the positive impact of the 2011 hours-of-service rules,” said FMCSA Chief Counsel Scott Darling. “We view this report as a confirmation that our commitment to continually refining our research efforts to focus on the most effective safety outcomes is paying dividends.”

The GAO report also recommended that DOT adopt formal guidance outlining Agency research standards. It went on to suggest that Congress consider directing DOT to study and report on how electronically collected driver schedule data can be extracted, stored, and analyzed in a way that addresses cost and privacy concerns.

FMCSA is on track to follow these recommendations, and a Final Rule will be released this fall requiring interstate truck and bus companies to convert from paper logbooks to electronic logging devices (ELD) to record and store drivers’ schedule data.  FMCSA supports Congress modifying the MAP-21 restrictions to clarify that FMCSA may use ELD data for research purposes.

BACKGROUND: In 2011 FMCSA issued new HOS provisions, with compliance required on July 1, 2013. One of the new provisions required that drivers working the longest permissible hours and using the previous 34-hour restart option include two overnight periods during the restart, thus providing a greater opportunity for restorative sleep. Drivers also were limited to using the restart only once every 168 hours.

In December 2014, Congress suspended these two HOS provisions pending further study by FMCSA. The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 required FMCSA to conduct another study to further examine the impact of the new provisions on driver fatigue and safety performance. That study is currently underway and is scheduled to conclude this fall.

The GAO report is in response to a congressional request to review the methodology and findings of FMCSA’s January 2014 Field Study on the Efficacy of the New Restart Provision for Hours-of-Service, a study mandated under MAP-21.

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- See more at: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/gao-report-supports-positive-safety-impact-hours-service-rule#sthash.CIcqLW4r.dpuf

 

 

 

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration updated its website Dec. 17 to reflect the recent suspension of parts of its hours of service rule, a change that took effect when President Obama signed a $1 trillion bill into law Dec. 16.

On its hours of service page, the agency noted that it has suspended the “requirements regarding the restart of a driver’s 60- or 70-hour limit that drivers were required to comply with” since July 1, 2013.

The notice, which also will appear in the Federal Register, said: “The restart provisions have no force or effect from the date of enactment” of the fiscal 2015 funding bill.

Motor carriers, commercial drivers and state motor carrier safety-assistance program recipients and law enforcement personnel with questions about the immediate enforcement changes are asked to contact FMCSA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance.

FMCSA’s requirement that drivers take off two consecutive periods of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. during a 34-hour restart is suspended through Sept. 30, when the funding law is set to expire. The law also requires FMCSA to provide Congress a report about the restart rule’s health claims.

Truckers still are required to account for a 30-minute break during their shifts and adhere to pre-July 2013 hours of service regulations.


U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION



U.S. Department of Transportation Proposes New Regulation to Protect Motorcoach and Large Bus Passengers in Rollover Crashes

July 31, 2014

 

Performance requirements would ensure a sufficient level of survival space and reduce the risk of ejection in rollover crashes

 

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today proposed a new federal motor vehicle safety standard to protect motorcoach and other large bus passengers in rollover crashes.  The proposal aims to improve the structural design of large buses to ensure that passengers are better protected in a deadly vehicle rollover by ensuring that the space around them remains sufficiently intact and the emergency exits remain operable.

 

"The consequences for passengers in rollover crashes are severe,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. "I want passengers to know that when this Department sees opportunities to make their travel safer so that they can more confidently visit their families or get to work, we are going to do just that and we believe this proposal is a step in that direction.”

 

Today’s proposed standard would establish performance requirements that each new motorcoach and large bus must meet when subjected to a dynamic test in which the bus is tipped over from a raised platform onto a hard level surface. The proposed standard would:

  • Require space around occupant seating positions to be maintained to afford occupants a survivable space in a crash;
  • Require the seats, overhead luggage racks, and window glazing to remain attached to their mountings during and after the test; and 
  • Require emergency exits to remain closed during the rollover test and operable after the test. 

Both the proposed test procedure and performance requirements are closely modeled after the European regulations for large buses. In a separate rulemaking action to improve safety even further, the Department is planning on finalizing requirements later this year for stability control technologies in these vehicles, which would help prevent rollovers from occurring. 

 

"The traveling public deserves safer service and peace of mind when they board a motorcoach or large bus,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman.  “Stronger large bus structures, combined with seat belt use will help keep passengers secured and protected in the event of a crash.”

 

"Approximately 700 million trips are taken on commercial buses each year.  Raising the standard for a motorcoach’s durability, in the event of a crash, is critical to saving the lives of the passengers inside,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro.  “In addition to taking critical steps to improve the structural design of buses, we are committed to further increasing motorcoach safety through stricter oversight, in-depth investigations into high-risk companies, and by ensuring that drivers are properly licensed and medically fit for the job.”

 

NHTSA’s Notice of Proposed Rulemaking can be viewed in the Federal Register and members of the public will have the opportunity to comment on the proposal for 60 days. NHTSA is proposing a compliance date of three years after publication of a final rule. Click here to view the NPRM.

 

For additional safety information regarding motorcoach travel or to download FMCSA’s free SaferBus mobile app, visit the Look Before You Book website.  As always, FMCSA urges travelers to report any unsafe bus company, vehicle or driver by calling its toll free hotline 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238) or online: http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov.



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