FMCSA Seeks Public Comment on Pilot Program to Allow Drivers Ages 18-20 to Operate Commercial Motor Vehicles in Interstate Commerce

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (USDOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that it is seeking public comment on a potential pilot program that would allow drivers ages 18-20 to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce.

“Commercial trucks and buses are essential to a thriving national economy, and the Department wants to ensure the public has an opportunity to comment on this important potential change,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

Drivers ages 18-20 may currently only operate CMVs in intrastate commerce. In July 2018, USDOT announced the details of the Commercial Driver Pilot Program required under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which allows certain 18- to 20-year-olds with military training to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.

Today’s action requests comments on a second pilot program to allow non-military drivers ages 18-20 to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. FMCSA requests comments on the training, qualifications, driving limitations, and vehicle safety systems that FMCSA should consider in developing options or approaches for a second pilot program for younger drivers.

“We want input from the public on efforts that offer the potential to create more jobs in the commercial motor vehicle industry, while maintaining the highest level of safety. We encourage all CMV stakeholders to submit comments on a potential interstate pilot program for younger drivers,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.

The Federal Register Notice, including how to submit comments, is available here.

North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria Updated

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has updated the following out of service criteria:

  • DRIVER’S SEAT (MISSING), a. to provide an out-of-service condition for a missing driver’s seat. Drivers using a temporary seat rather than a permanent seat that is secured to the vehicle in a workmanlike manner was added to the out-of-service criteria.
  • DRIVER MEDICAL/PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS, a. Skill Performance Evaluation Certificate by modifying the language. A driver who possesses a valid Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) but is not complying with the SPE requirements should be placed out of service.
  • BRAKE SYSTEMS, g. Brake Drums and Rotors (Discs), (2) by adding language and a picture for cracks in structural supports of a brake rotor. If there are cracks through the vents in rotors, a collapse of the rotor is imminent; therefore, the vehicle should be placed out of service.
  • STEERING MECHANISMS, h. Tie Rods and Drag Links, (3) to add an out-of-service condition for a non-manufactured hole. A non-manufactured hole in a drag link should be placed out of service.

 

You can purchase the new North American Standard Out-of-Service book from CVSA by clicking here.

UCR Enforcement Date Delayed to May 1, 2019

A new CVSA bulletin provides guidance for verifying compliance with the UCR Agreement during a roadside inspection and encourages roadside enforcement for the 2019 registration year, with a new enforcement date of May 1. 2019.

 

This extension is based on a recommendation from the UCR Board. The start of the 2019 UCR registration period was delayed while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) completed its rulemaking process on fee levels for 2019 and further delays have created cause for the extension.

FMCSA Seeks Public Comment on Revising Current Hours-of-Service Regulations for Interstate Truck Drivers

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced that it is seeking public comment on revising four specific areas of current hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, which limit the operating hours of commercial truck drivers.

The upcoming Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), which will be published in the Federal Register, responds to widespread Congressional, industry, and citizen concerns and seeks feedback from the public to determine if HOS revisions may alleviate unnecessary burdens placed on drivers while maintaining safety on our nation’s highways and roads.  The comment period will be open for 30 days.

The four specific areas under consideration for revision are:

  • Expanding the current 100 air-mile “short-haul” exemption from 12 hours on-duty to 14 hours on-duty, in order to be consistent with the rules for long-haul truck drivers;
  • Extending the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions;
  • Revising the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after 8-hours of continuous driving; and
  • Reinstating the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks that are equipped with a sleeper-berth compartment.

In addition, the ANPRM seeks public comment and relevant data on two recently submitted petitions requesting regulatory relief from HOS rules (1) pertaining to the 14-hour on-duty limitation (filed by the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Association) and (2) pertaining to the 10-hour off-duty requirement (filed by TruckerNation).

Earlier this year, the congressionally mandated electronic logging device (ELD) rule, which required most FMCSA-regulated motor carriers to convert their records from paper to an electronic format, became effective. While compliance with the ELD rule has reached nearly 99 percent across the trucking industry, it has also brought focus to HOS regulations, especially with regard to certain regulations having a significant impact on agriculture and other sectors of trucking.

Additional information on the ANPRM, including how to submit comments to the Federal Register docket, is available here.

The first in a series of public listening sessions on the ANPRM will take place Friday, August 24, 2018, in Dallas, Texas, at the Kay Bailey Hutchinson Convention Center beginning at 3:00 p.m. local time.  Further information is available here

Information on current HOS regulations is available here.

Information on electronic logging devices (ELDs) carried on-board long-haul trucks and used by commercial vehicle enforcement officers to check compliance with HOS regulations is available here.

ATRI Updates Online Idling Regulation

Arlington, Virginia – The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) today published its latest update of state and local idling regulations on its website at TruckingResearch.org.  The listing is provided in two forms.  An online compendium provides detailed information and hyperlinks to each of the 65 state and local regulations that have been identified.  A cab card is also available that provides a consolidated listing which can be downloaded and carried in the glove box of a truck.

Among the newly enacted regulations now included in the compendium are:

  1. Madison, Wisconsin has a 5-minute idling limit with limited exemptions, one of which is if the temperature is less than 20ºF or more than 90ºF. Fines can range from $25 to $200.
  2. Sandy City, Utah has a 1-minute idling limit with limited exemptions. Violators will be given up to three warnings before a citation not exceeding $750 can be issued.

Other regulations now listed in the compendium include Newark, Delaware; Ithaca, New York; Logan, Utah; and Summit County, Utah.

ATRI continues to monitor the development of idling regulations across the country and provides the compendium and cab card as a free service to help trucking companies and truck drivers comply with the myriad of state and local idling regulations.

“Even though enforcement tends to vary among jurisdictions, with areas such as California and New York City being more active, the regulations highlight communities that are concerned about emissions from idling vehicles,” explained Mike Tunnell, ATRI’s Director of Environmental Research.  “We urge trucking companies to be aware of these regulations not only to comply and avoid fines but to be good neighbors in the communities in which they operate.”

ATRI is the trucking industry’s 501(c)(3) not-for-profit research organization. It is engaged in critical research relating to freight transportation’s essential role in maintaining a safe, secure and efficient transportation system. 

Click here for a PDF copy of idling regulations 2019.ATRI-CabCard-Jan-Updated

FMCSA Grants American Concrete Pumping Association HOS Exemption

The American Concrete Pumping Association has won a temporary exemption from select hours-of-service rules by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

According to a document published in the Federal Register on Nov. 1, the exemption relaxes the requirement that short haul drivers using the records-of-duty status exception return to their starting location within 12 hours of coming on duty.

FMCSA’s exemption will allow drivers operating concrete pumps to return to their starting point within 14 hours instead of 12. The exemption took effect Nov. 1 and expires Oct. 31, 2023.“FMCSA has analyzed the exemption application and the public comments and has determined that the exemption, subject to the terms and conditions imposed, will achieve a level of safety that is equivalent to, or greater than, the level that would be achieved absent such exemption,” the FMCSA states.

The industry organization, which represents more than 600 companies and 7,000 workers, compared it’s work to that of ready-mixed-concrete drivers whose perishable products necessitate time-sensitive hauls.

The association also stated that concrete pump operators spend little time actually driving. The average concrete pump operator spends 25-32% of his or her shift driving, and daily trips usually are less than 25 miles. The association said that the majority of operators’ time is spent waiting on ready-mixed concrete for them to pump.

FMCSA Military Driver Programs

A Winning Strategy for Service Members, Veterans, the Transportation Industry and our Nation

Washington D.C- As we recognize our veterans on this holiday, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is proud to help experienced military drivers transition to commercial driving careers. These individuals offer a proven work ethic, personal discipline and invaluable training and skills. Leveraging their skills is a service to them and a gain for our nation’s commercial motor vehicle (CMV) industry.

We value the connection between service members and veterans’ capabilities, and their employment is at the heart of FMCSA programs for military drivers. To show appreciation of the training and experience gained by our military service men and women, below are FMCSA programs that make it easier, quicker and less expensive to obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL).

  • The Military Skills Test Waiver Program exempts qualified military drivers from having to take the CDL skills test. More than 23,000 service members and veterans have taken advantage of this exemption.
  • The Even Exchange Program (or Knowledge Test Waiver) allows for qualified military drivers to be exempt from the knowledge test. When the exemption is used in conjunction with the Military Skills Test Waiver, this allows a qualified military driver to exchange his or her military license for a CDL.
  • The Under 21 Military CDL Pilot Program will soon launch. This study research program will assess the safety impacts of allowing qualified military drivers younger than 21 to operate CMVs in interstate commerce.
  • The Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training Grant Program assists current or former members of the United States Armed Forces (including National Guard and reserve members) and their spouses in receiving training to transition to the motor carrier industry.

More information on these FMCSA military driver programs is available on FMCSA’S website.

Please help FMCSA support our country’s service members and veterans by spreading the word on these career transition programs.