FMCSA Targeting Vehicle Technology and Safety Fitness Changes in 2022

FMCSA Targeting Vehicle Technology and Safety Fitness Changes in 2022

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) agenda for the next 6 months was published Friday and outlines their regulatory and deregulatory focus for 2022.

The updated agenda has four new proposals in the pre-rule stage with formal notices scheduled to be issued between March and June of 2022.

These pre-rule stage topics include:

  • Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Revisions
  • Automatic Emergency Braking Systems
  • Safety Fitness Procedures, and
  • Unique Electronic Identification of Commercial Motor Vehicles

Other notable rules in the works from FMCSA include:

  • Broker and freight forwarder financial responsibility (an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking was previously published in 2018)
  • Third Party CDL testing rules
  • Safe integration of automated driving systems (an ANPRM was previously published in 2019)
  • Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Implementation Revisions

So, what can we expect with the new proposals in 2022?

Future Electronic Logging Device (ELD) Revisions

According to the proposal, many lessons were learned by FMCSA staff, State enforcement personnel, ELD vendors, and industry in the intervening years.

These lessons can be used to streamline and improve the clarity of the regulatory text and ELD specifications and answer recurring questions.

This led to four hours-of-service (HOS) rule changes that improved the workday for many truckers, including short-haul and team drivers, and increased overall flexibility while the overall structure of HOS rules has not changed.

These HOS changes affected the:

  • 30-minute rest break
  • team driving split sleeper berth exception
  • short-haul exemption, and
  • adverse driving conditions exemption

Knowing that there are technical modifications that could improve the usability of ELDs, the FMCSA is seeking information to determine what other changes would be warranted.

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) standards in trucking

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will be seeking comments on a proposal to require and/or standardize equipment performance for automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems on heavy trucks.

NHTSA believes AEB systems represent the next wave of potentially significant advances in vehicle safety.

“Dynamic brake support and crash-imminent braking are AEB systems that potentially save lives and reduce moderate and less-severe rear-end crashes that are common on our roadways.”

Among 20 carmakers that have pledged to install automatic emergency braking systems in all their cars by 2022, NHTSA said that by the end of 2019, four of those manufacturers have met that goal: Tesla, Volvo, Mercedes, and Audi with many others likely meeting this goal today.

The rulemaking is expected to propose performance standards for AEB systems on heavy trucks and accompanying test procedures to measure the performance in NHTSA compliance testing.

Safety ratings changing to “Unfit” will be looked at again

In 2016, a proposed Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) rule would replace the current three-tier federal rating system of “Satisfactory, Conditional and Unsatisfactory” for federally regulated commercial motor carriers with a single determination of “Unfit”, which would require the carrier to either improve its operations or shut down.

At the time, FMCSA believed the rule would enable them to properly assess the safety fitness of approximately 75,000 companies a month.

This was quickly shot down from most trucking groups in the industry with the belief that the rule creates an environment that is not equal to all involved and, in many cases, allows a competitive advantage to certain carriers.

The Truckload Carrier Association stated that “the very fact that this rule would only determine the safety fitness of approximately 75,000 carriers is incomprehensible and discriminant to say the very least.”

The American Trucking Associations commented that “the term ‘unfit’ is applied to fleets that, comparatively speaking, are considered the least safe in the industry. Yet FMCSA lacks sufficient data on 4/5ths of the industry to make such a determination.”

The ATA said they could possibly support a future proposal of this sort only after the SMS data is made reliably indicative of individual fleet safety performance.

In 2017, it was suggested that the FMCSA should radically improve the CSA system.

However, the agency has yet to make an official decision on whether to incorporate the highly complex data method known as Item Response Theory into its Compliance, Safety, Accountability motor carrier safety rating program.

Next year, the FMCSA plans to gather information on how it can more effectively identify “unfit” trucking companies and remove them from the nation’s roadways. They will accomplish this by seeking public comment about the use of available safety data, including inspection data, in determining carrier fitness to operate and possible changes to the current three-tier safety fitness rating structure.

Unique Electronic Identification (E-ID) of Commercial Motor Vehicles

FMCSA requests public comments on potential amendments to require every interstate commercial motor vehicle to be equipped with an electronic device capable of communicating a unique identification number when queried by a roadside system.

The goal of this requirement would be to improve the effectiveness of the roadside inspection program by more fully enabling enforcement agencies to target their efforts at high-risk operators, while at the same time providing an incentive for safe and legal operations.

DOT and Driver Training

Truck drivers and fleet managers need continuous training on new FMCSA rules.

CNS offers a variety of in-person and online training courses for the specific needs or weaknesses of your company or its’ drivers.

Fleets that incorporate training alongside driver qualification, drug testing and fuel tax management can create a complete picture of fleet safety.

Our complete DOT Compliance Programs promotes proactive safety and will complement or become your current safety department, without the cost of employing the many staff members it takes to run an effective safety program.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

2022 DOT Trucking Regulation Changes: ELDT, Driver Hiring, Age, Clearinghouse, Safety

2022 DOT Trucking Regulation Changes: ELDT, Driver Hiring, Age, Clearinghouse, Safety

After another year of the COVID pandemic and lagging supply chain issues, there was not a big push for major regulatory changes in 2021.

However, a massive infrastructure bill was passed into law in November and other major regulatory changes will go into effect quickly in 2022.

In 2022, some changes that the trucking industry may see include:

  • CDL trainees – Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) rule
  • Driver age – Under 21 Interstate Truck Drivers
  • Drug and Alcohol Testing – changes to DOT Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse
  • Safety Regulations
  • Medical Examiner Final Rule
  • Speeding – Speed Limiting Rule
  • Hiring – California AB5 Independent Contractor Rule

Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) rule

As of February 7, 2022, entry-level CDL trainees will have much stricter requirements for obtaining their CDL.

The Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) rule establishes new minimum training requirements for individuals who want to:

  • obtain a commercial driver’s license (CDL)
  • upgrade a CDL, or
  • obtain a passenger (P), school bus (S) or hazardous materials (H) endorsement

Under these new requirements, an entry-level driver must successfully complete a prescribed program of theory and behind-the-wheel instruction.

Prior to taking the knowledge test or the state administered CDL skills or hazmat endorsement tests, training must be provided by an entity listed on FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry (TPR).

Rush Of CDL Trainees Expected Before 2022 ELDT Rule

Under 21 Interstate Truck Drivers

In hopes to increase the share of younger drivers in the industry, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) proposed an under-21 commercial driver pilot program allowing young drivers aged 18, 19, and 20 to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce. Currently 18 to 20-year-olds are only allowed to operate intrastate commerce.

On Nov. 15, President Biden signed into law the $1 trillion infrastructure that requires the transportation secretary to establish an apprenticeship program for young drivers by Jan. 14, 2022. This program could certify up to 25,000 18- to 20-year-old drivers as long-haul truckers per year until it ends in 2024.

The apprentice truckers will be required to drive 240 hours under the supervision of an older driver in a truck equipped with safety features like automatic brake systems and a 65 mile per hour speed governor. After that, they’re free to drive any cross-state route in the country.

DOT Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

Most notable is a proposed rule that would revise the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. According to the abstract listed with the rule, the proposal would “streamline and improve error-correction procedures, queries and consent requirements.” As of right now, the notice of proposed rulemaking is expected in February 2022.

Other likely changes coming to the drug and alcohol Clearinghouse are exemption requests.

Last year, the Motion Picture Compliance Solutions (MPCS) exemption to the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Rule has been granted after stating that it did not fit their industry’s model.

Whether or not the exemptions are approved is yet to be seen and will depend highly on the situation of the particular carrier requesting the exemption.

Medical Examiner Final Rule

In December 2017, the registry experienced an outage that lasted seven months. During that time, FMCSA suspended medical examiners’ uploading of driver examinations until that functionality was restored.

A recent FMCSA supplemental notice proposes to extend the compliance date again for several provisions of its 2015 medical examiner’s certification integration final rule by another four years, until June 23, 2025, extending from the previous date of June 22, 2021.

According to the new notice, “this action is being taken to provide FMCSA time to complete certain information technology system development tasks for its National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners and to provide the state driver’s licensing agencies sufficient time to make the necessary IT programming changes after the new national registry system is available.”

Since the hacking outage, the FMCSA says it has experienced additional setbacks in its efforts to launch the national registry replacement system that require an additional delay.

Safety Regulations

Serving as deputy administrator of FMCSA since January 2021, Meera Joshi is waiting to be confirmed as the next FMCSA administrator.

Joshi mentioned four important safety priorities that could be coming in the industry:

  1. Electronic transfer of license data between states: This rulemaking is in the final months of getting published for interstate cooperation as there needs to be swift and current data transfer between states around CDL licensure.
  2. Have state’s downgrade license if a positive drug test is submitted to FMCSA’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse to keep risky drivers off the roads
  1. Strengthening FMCSA’s new entrant program
  2. Increase the scope of motor carrier investigations to encompass more at-risk behavior

As a new entrant, it is required to follow Department of Transportation (DOT) regulations and they will want to see some established records and processes during your New Entrant Safety Audit that will happen within the first 12 months of operation to complete the New Entrant Program.

Speed Limiting Rule

In June 2021, House lawmakers re-introduced another trucking speed limiter bill that would require the technology would be set to a maximum speed of 65 mph, or 70 mph with adaptive cruise control systems, as well as automatic emergency braking systems.

The proposal suggested maximum top speeds of 60, 65 or 68 mph, but backed away from anti-tampering requirements.

Nothing has happened with this bill since the summer.

California AB5 Independent Contractor Rule

The biggest issue affecting trucking is the California’s AB5 independent contractor bill that was signed into law in 2019. It has effectively outlawed the leased owner-operator market in California and is currently going through the court system.

Hours before the law was to take effect Jan. 2020, a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order blocking the state from enforcing it upon truck drivers.

How AB5 affects the trucking industry in California and nearby states

The United States Supreme Court on November 15th invited the Solicitor General to file a brief expressing the federal government’s views on whether the Supreme Court should hear California Trucking Association’s suit claiming federal law preempts California’s AB 5 for the trucking industry.

The injunction should remain in place while SCOTUS awaits the Solicitor General’s brief.

More recently, the Supreme Court of the United States declined to hear the first AB5 case from carrier Cal Cartage on October 4, 2021, leaving in place a split in authority regarding whether states can change the rules regarding how truckers are treated.

The next step will be CTA’s case at the U.S. Supreme Court that relies on slightly different arguments and factual statements than Cal Cartage case.

Conclusion

To summarize, as a trucking professional or trucking company owner in 2022, there a few things that you should consider.

If you are getting your CDL or paying to have your drivers trained, it would benefit you to get a CDL permit before the ELDT Rule goes into effect on February 7, 2022.

If you operate interstate, you may be able to consider hiring younger drivers in the 18-20 age range. Although these drivers are young with no experience, the benefit is that you can mold them. Breaking bad habits of experienced drivers is more difficult than developing good habits right out of the gate.

Also, depending on where you are located and how the AB5 rule evolves, you may not be able to hire owner operators as independent contractors any longer. These contractors would have to be treated as full-time employees and offered benefits.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

Where Trucking Regulations Stand As We Enter 2021 With A New Administration


As we transition from a Republican agenda to a Democrat agenda with Biden coming into office, there is potential for substantial impact within the trucking industry in the coming years. 

Since Democrats have won a majority in the U.S. House in 2018, they have laid out a bolstered regulatory agenda regarding trucking, including previously proposed bills that call on a return to public view of CSA scores, speed limiter rules, and sleep apnea rules.

Overall, we expect a more active regulatory DOT, since Biden is looking to amend DOT order 2100.6 to eliminate Trump’s requirement that new rules require repeal of two existing rules.

Let’s take a look at what 2021 may bring.

2020 Hour of Service Rule Changes

Last year marked the first time the hours-of-service rules had a major update in years that were highlighted after the ELD rollout.

Drivers could begin operating under the new HOS regulations on September 29, 2020 after the rule was debuted on May 14, 2020.

The HOS rules changes will improve the workday for many truckers, including short-haul and team drivers, and will increase overall flexibility while the overall structure of HOS rules have not changed.

The 4 major changes in the 2020 hours of service reforms will affect the:

  • 30-minute rest break requirement
  • split-sleeper berth exception
  • short-haul exemption, and
  • adverse driving condition exemption

For more information, see the details of these rule changes.

The DOT may look at the other HOS rule changes that did not make a cut, and what effects the new changes are making, as to whether implement more HOS changes in the future.

DOT Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

Another major CDL Clearinghouse deadline approaches where companies could face fines, if in violation, and the Clearinghouse website may crash again as required annual query deadline approaches

With the FMCSA Clearinghouse now in effect for pre-employment, random testing and return-to-duty processes, employers of CDL drivers must follow a new drug testing process when hiring a potential new driver before a pre-employment drug test can be done at a collection site.

Violations can occur if required information is not loaded into the database, or if pre-employment drug tests are performed before a new hire gives consent for a detailed query.

Before the new hire driver can be tested, the employer needs to make sure the driver is registered to the FMCSA Clearinghouse, then request electronic driver consent to run a detailed query, run a query on the driver (employer or C/TPA), and ensure no recent negative drug testing history is present.

The other major required process for employers, including owner-operators, is to annually query all current CDL drivers at least once a year to make sure no violations appeared in the database. If the limited query returns any results, a detailed query is required.

This means the majority of CDL drivers need to have had a limited query run on them by January 6, 2021 or face potential violations and fines if found to be done late or not at all during an audit.

Greenhouse Gas Emission

Biden will likely restore strict fuel efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions standards that were placed during the Obama administration, which Trump rolled back.

Biden is also expected to drop the effort to revoke California’s waiver, which would allow the state to set its own greenhouse gas emissions standards, while the EPA under a Democratic administration will develop a more collaborative relationship with California air quality regulators.

Speed Limiting Rule

In June 2019, Senators revived a plan that would “require all new commercial trucks with a gross weight of 26,001 pounds or more to be equipped with speed-limiting devices, which must be set to a maximum speed of 65 miles per hour and be used at all times while in operation.”

The maximum speed requirement would also be extended to existing trucks that already have the technology installed.

Trucks without speed limiters will not be forced to retroactively install the technology.

This legislation is likely to be brought back in a Biden administration.

Sleep Apnea 

Sleep apnea is a breathing-related sleep disorder that causes brief interruptions of breathing during sleep. These pauses in breathing can last at least 10 seconds or more and can occur up to 400 times a night.

With 28% of commercial truck drivers likely suffering from mild to severe sleep apnea, these drivers are five times more likely to be involved in a crash, and the total cost of collisions related to apnea is estimated at $15.9 billion a year, according to research from the National Safety Council.

In order to diagnose sleep apnea, your doctor may send you to a sleep center for testing. You may be asked to spend a night at the center, where experts will monitor your sleep.

In August 2017, FMCSA and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) decided against moving forward on a possible regulation mandating the testing and treatment of sleep apnea for truck drivers and other transportation workers.

This is on the back-burner but not completely dead.

Hair Drug Testing

The industry is seeking additional drug testing methods, like hair and oral saliva testing, that can be used to prevent unsafe drivers on the roads as these methods are harder to cheat and provide a more complete drug testing history.

Large fleets have long used hair testing for pre-employment testing, catching 5 to 10 times more drug users than industry standard urine testing. However, currently these positive results cannot be released to the drivers record per DOT regulations.

Once completed, the DOT will adopt HHS hair testing guidelines and eventually prevent these drivers from seeking a job with another fleet.

As of right now, the proposed guidelines fall short of what the trucking industry has been hoping for.

The HHS proposed hair testing guidelines were published in the Federal Register on September 10, 2020. After the 60-day comment period, which ended November 10, 2020, HHS will review all comments and can make additional changes to their proposal. This process could take months.

When HHS releases their final proposed guidelines, the industry will need to wait for the Department of Transportation to go through its rulemaking process to allow the use of hair testing by motor carriers. While the DOT will likely adopt HHS guidelines, this process could take two years on its own.

However, Congress may try to push for immediate DOT adoption and the incoming Biden administration may apply pressure to speed up this process as well.

Autonomous/Electric Trucks

Electronic and autonomous trucking will be here quicker than you think.

Don’t worry, truckers will not be affected tomorrow, but it is definitely something to think about over the next decade or two.

There is much that still needs to be considered before mass adoption of electric fleet vehicles like the Tesla Semi. This includes dozens to hundreds of megacharging stations to be built at trucking terminals and over the road chargers meant for truckers, showing they can handle consistent next day maintenance repairs if the truck breaks down, etc.

However, the incoming Biden administration is expected to increase regulatory oversight of electric and self-driving cars and trucks and increase the availability of federal tax credits for EVs.

For fleets to realize economic gains from autonomy requires a new set of processes and systems designed to assure safety and provide a positive return on investment. Over time, fleets would expect to see more balanced routes and reduction in mixed traffic and commuter congestion.

If the technology is nailed, then peak hours of travel can be circumnavigated to provide greater assurance on cargo arrival times, partnered with improved safety of fellow road-users.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

Fleets Transporting In Virginia Face New Covid-19 Rules And Fines

infection disease preparedness and response plan

Companies with Virginia truck drivers will have to create infectious disease preparedness and response plans

Virginia is the first state to impose enforceable COVID-19 safety requirements in the workplace. Fleets based in or operating in the state are now figuring out what the effect of this new law will be for their drivers and operations.

The final Emergency Temporary Standard rule was first made public on July 17 by the Virginia Department of Labor and Industry and anticipates publication during the week of July 27.

What is required once the rule is published?

According to the rule, all companies based in Virginia will be required to:

  • classify employees by risk level (very high, high, medium and lower) based on workplace hazards and job tasks
  • establish policies for employees to self-monitor for COVID-19 signs and to report symptoms
  • put in place procedures to prevent employees who are known to have or are suspected of having COVID-19 from infecting co-workers, and
  • develop and implement a written infectious disease preparedness and response plan for employers of people in “medium risk” jobs (including truck drivers) that require being closer than 6 feet to other employees or the general public

Employers have 60 days from the rule’s effective (publication) date to develop the plan.

What does the Virginia Trucking Association (VTA) say?

According to Freightwaves, Dale Bennett, president and CEO of the Virginia Trucking Association, is seeking more clarity from the state on what he says could be a major regulatory burden for his members as well as shippers and receivers.

“If you have motor carriers or trucking companies that either do business in Virginia or have facilities in Virginia and you haven’t paid attention to this, you need to wake up,” Bennett told FreightWaves. “Anytime you talk about a new regulation, there’s going to be some cost associated with that. There are now certain requirements and responsibilities on the employer to report when employees test positive. These aren’t just guidelines anymore.”

For carriers that do not have locations in Virginia, once a driver steps out of the cab inside Virginia, there may be parts of these regulations that affect them.

What are the penalties if you disregard the rules?

According to Virginia Department of Labor and Industry, they can enforce the rules with fines for noncompliance ranging from $13,000 to $130,000 for repeat offenders and the state may shutter an employer’s operations, if deemed necessary.

How long will this last and what about other states?

The rules are set to expire six months after becoming published but could be extended if the state decides to do so.

We will be watching if additional states adopt similar plans.


DOT Compliance Services

Our complete Proactive Safety Management (PSM) program has been organized to get you through an FMCSA audit by managing your driver qualification files, drug consortium, Electronic Logging Devices (ELD), vehicle maintenance and more.

Whether you are a large trucking company that is on-boarding drivers quickly or a construction outfit with multiple trucks in your fleet, you need to stay aware of FMCSA regulations.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

2020 FMCSA Hours of Service changes: Effective as early as September

2020 Hours of Service Rules | DOT Compliance Services | CNS

In response to the HOS issues highlighted during the ELD mandate rollout, and in an effort to improve safety and flexibility to CMV drivers, the new hours-of-service rule changes effective September 29th.

“Right now, there’s no effort to abate or hold off on Sept. 29,” said the agency’s Acting Administrator, Jim Mullen, in FMCSA’s online Truck Safety Summit held Aug. 5.

In August of 2019 the FMCSA released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) related to the hours of service rules and regulations and were also taking public comment on the DOT hours-of-service proposal.

On March 2, 2020, the FMCSA announced that they have filed the rule to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), which is one of the final steps before the rule is published in the Federal Register.

When will the HOS rule take effect?

Drivers could begin operating under the new HOS regulations on September 29, 2020 after the rule was debuted on May 14, 2020.

During this time, ELD providers will have to implement software changes to reflect the new hours of service rules.

The only thing that could delay the HOS rules is a $1.5 trillion transportation and infrastructure bill passed by the House in July.

According to the bill, it would require that the FMCSA perform a comprehensive review of the regulations to determine their safety impact and give an additional public comment period, delaying HOS rule changes for months.

2020 Hours of Service Rule Changes and their Effect on Trucker Workdays

What are the new hours of service rules?

There are 4 major changes to be included in the hours of service reforms.

For detailed examples of what would or would not qualify as a violation…
Download FMCSA HOS Updates Guide

Short-haul exception: 

Changes will lengthen the current 100 air-mile exemption of the drivers’ maximum on‑duty period from 12 to 14 hours, and extending the short-haul radius from 100 air-miles to 150 air-miles, to be consistent with the 150 air-mile exemption of trucks with a GVWR of 26,000 lbs. or less.

Drivers under the short-haul exemption are not required to keep records of duty status.

HOS 2020 short haul changes

Adverse driving conditions exception: 

Changes will extend both their drive-time limit and their on-duty window by 2 hours if they encounter adverse conditions such as weather or traffic congestion.

According to the FMCSA, the provision will allow drivers to either sit and wait out the conditions or to slowly drive through them with caution.

HOS 2020 adverse driving changes

30-minute break requirement:

Changes will allow drivers to satisfy the required break using on-duty (not driving status) rather than off-duty, and requiring it within their first 8 hours of drive time, rather than their first 8 hours on-duty.

For example, if you are on-duty refueling your truck and it takes 30 minutes, this could qualify as your 30-minute rest break.

HOS 2020 30 min rest break changes

Sleeper berth exception: 

Changes will allow more flexibility for drivers to split the required 10 hours off-duty into two periods.

7 and 3 split: Must contain at least 7 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth and 3 hours off duty. The shorter period will pause the rolling on-duty clock.

8 and 2 split: Must contain at least 8 consecutive hours in the sleeper berth and no less than 2 consecutive hours off duty. The shorter period will pause the rolling on-duty clock.

Unlike the proposal issued last August, the hours of service changes do not include the option for drivers to pause their 14-hour clock for up to three hours while off-duty to extend the 14-hour clock.

Mullen said the agency deemed the seven-hour, three-hour split “sufficiently flexible” to that end, given with the new change the shorter period in any sleeper split will in fact stop the rolling duty clock, unlike the current split-sleeper rules.

HOS 2020 split sleeper berth changes

What does this mean for fleets and truck drivers?

These changes provide an important time for fleets to update their driver training. CNS offers a variety of in-person and online training courses for the specific needs or weaknesses of your company or its’ drivers.

Fleets that incorporate training alongside driver qualification, drug testing and fuel tax management can create a complete picture of fleet safety.

Our complete safety program—Proactive Safety Management (PSM) Program—will complement or become your current safety department, without the cost of employing the many staff members it takes to run an effective safety program.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

FMCSA extends and expands Emergency HOS Declaration to Dec 31


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has extended and expanded its emergency declaration providing regulatory relief to truck drivers who are transporting emergency supplies during the coronavirus outbreak.

This is the sixth extension, which will now last through Dec. 31.

The original declaration was put in place on March 13 and was most previously set to expire Sept. 14.

The FMCSA’s declaration grants exemption from Parts 390-399 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. This includes hours of service (HOS), parts and accessories needed for safe operation, and longer combination vehicles.

The FMCSA notice states that, “Because emergency conditions have not abated, FMCSA is extending [the] emergency declaration and associated regulatory relief.” “This extension of the emergency declaration addresses national emergency conditions that create a need for immediate transportation of essential supplies, equipment and persons, and provides necessary relief from the FMCSRs for motor carriers and drivers engaged in the transport of essential supplies, equipment and persons.”

In addition to extending the time frame for the declaration, the notice also expands on the already once expanded HOS exemption list, adding the transportation of liquefied gases used in refrigeration or cooling systems.

The first expansion to the HOS emergency declaration offering relief for drivers providing direct assistance in support of emergency efforts to meet immediate needs for:

  • Medical supplies and equipment related to the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19.
  • Supplies and equipment necessary for community safety, sanitation and prevention of community transmission of COVID-19 such as masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants.
  • Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of distribution centers or stores.
  • Immediate precursor raw materials, such as paper, plastic or alcohol, that are required and to be used for the manufacture of essential items.
  • Fuel.
  • Equipment, supplies and persons necessary to establish and manage temporary housing or quarantine.
  • Persons designated by federal, state or local authorities for medical, isolation or quarantine purposes.
  • Persons necessary to provide other medical or emergency services.

The FMCSA has made it very clear that the emergency declaration does not change any traffic or safety laws drivers are expected to abide by, such as speed limits. Drivers are also still required to continue following FMCSA rules and requirements related to commercial driver licenses, drugs and alcohol, hazardous materials, size, weight and registration requirements.

Motor carriers are not allowed to force or even authorize a fatigued driver to operate a commercial motor vehicle. In an instance where a driver makes it known to a carrier that he or she needs rest, the driver must be given at least 10 consecutive hours before returning to service.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

Pennsylvania’s Work Zone Speed Cameras

Speed Camera

Automated speeding camera in PA work zones

PennDOT has initiated an automated camera program in hopes of creating long-lasting changes in driver behavior. By using technology to their advantage, their goal is to make the roadways safer for both drivers and workers.

With all the new laws and technology, drivers have many questions. We’re here to answer those for you!

When will the camera tracking program start?

The Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program started on March 4, 2020. The new automated camera systems began installation in 2019, and will continue into 2020.

Why are cameras being installed in work zones?

Speeding violations are the number one ticketed offense in Pennsylvania. Reports in 2017 show 1,778 work-zone accidents, resulting in 19 fatalities and over 1,100 injuries. This technology-based program from the PennDOT was put into motion with the intent of saving lives, not penalizing drivers. The goal is to slow traffic through work zones.

The law passed in 2018 allows for the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program to be put into action. This program is approved to be piloted for 5 years.

Where will cameras be installed?

Speed cameras will be installed in work zones on highways across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

The following zones will have the first group of cameras installed:

  • Interstate 78 Section 12M Project (Mile Markers 35-43), Berks County
  • Interstate 476 Total Reconstruction (Mileposts 31-38), Montgomery County
  • Interstate 83 Exit 4 Project (Mileposts 3-4), York County
  • US 1, Section WAV (Wayne Avenue Viaduct), Philadelphia
  • US 1, Section RC1, Bucks County
  • Interstate 276, Section RC1, Bucks County
  • PA 885, Section A45 (Boulevard of the Allies in Pittsburgh from downtown to Oakland), Allegheny County 

How many camera systems are installed?

Two systems were scheduled to be done by the end of 2019. Only ten systems are expected to be installed by the end of 2020. As more work zones install cameras, you can track their installation here.

How will the automated camera systems capture speeding violations?

In Pennsylvania, you can be issued a speeding ticket if you’re even just 1 mph over the speed limit. With the new automated camera system, cameras will capture speeds and photos of license plates. Drivers with speeds exceeding the posted speed limit by 11 mph will receive a ticket via mail.

Camera zones will have signs alerting drivers, and fines will only be issued during active construction times.

What kinds of fines will be issued for speeding drivers?

Fines in the Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program use the following schedule:

  • First offense – warning letter
  • Second offense – $75 fine
  • Third and all other offenses – $150 each

Tickets are mailed to drivers within 30 days. No violation will add points to your license if you pay within 90 days.

What will the fine money be used for?

Monies collected from speeding violation fines will pay for the camera technology and its administration. Any additional monies will be used to support state police, PennDOT, and the General Fund.

Are automated camera systems here to stay?

Since this is a pilot program, after five years, the results and benefits will be reevaluated and need to be reauthorized.

The PennDOT is hopeful this program, instead of penalizing drivers, will create a behavior shift that makes working and driving on the roads safer for all.

For more information, contact us at 888.260.9448 or info@cnsprotects.com.

2020 CVSA North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria


Starting today, April 1, 2020, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 2020 North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria is now in effect. The 2020 out-of-service criteria replaces and supersedes all previous versions.

The North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria (OOSC) is the pass-fail criteria for roadside safety inspections. The purpose of the criteria is to identify critical safety violations. Those violations render the driver, vehicle and/or motor carrier out of service until the condition(s) or violation(s) are corrected or repaired.

HOW TO PASS ROADSIDE INSPECTIONS DURING CVSA BRAKE SAFETY WEEK

In accordance with CVSA Bylaws, the proposed changes were communicated to the voting members of the Alliance on Oct. 15, 2019 and were ratified on Nov. 1, 2019. There was an additional ballot clarification regarding OOSC Ballot Item #2 which was communicated to the membership on Dec. 10, 2019 and ratified on Dec. 20, 2019. The following changes were made to the out-of-service criteria:

  1. Modified the subtitle in Part I, Item 2. Operator’s/chauffeur’s license or permit (non-CDL), a. Vehicle 26,000 lbs. Or less GVWR not designed to transport 16 or more passengers or placarded loads of hazardous materials.
  2. Included information outlining a valid Canadian dangerous goods training certificate to Part I, Item 2. Operator’s/chauffeur’s license or permit (non-CDL), b. Endorsements and restrictions and Part I, item 3. Commercial driver’s license (CDL), c. Endorsements and restrictions.
  3. Amended Part I, Item 7. Drugs and other substances; as identified under section 392.4(a) by adding OOSC regarding the FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and removing “as identified under section 392.4(a)” from the title.

    Check out our industry library resources of 15 videos, 2 ebooks, industry links, and CNS In The News content.
  4. Removed the reference to an AOBRD in Footnote 14 and added a note for Footnotes 11-14. Part I, Item 9. Driver’s record of duty status – US – footnotes for driver’s record of duty status – US
  5. Removed the out-of-service condition of 72 hours for no log from Part I, Item 10. Driver’s record of duty status – Canada, h. No daily log (See Footnote 2).
  6. Amended Part I, Item 10. Driver’s record of duty status – Canada – footnotes for driver’s record of duty status – Canada, Footnote 2, to reduce the amount of time a driver can be behind on his/her daily log and not be declared out of service.
  7. Updated Part I, Item 11. Driver’s record of duty status – Mexico by replacing the OOSC for Mexico to reflect the requirements in the NOM-087-SCT-2-2017 and adding footnotes.
  8. Added the new SAE J2899 markings found on brake chambers to Part II, Item 1. Brake systems, a. Defective brakes, Brake Adjustment Reference Charts (Clamp Type).
  9. Clarified in Part II, Item 1. Brake systems, e. Parking brake that a parking brake needs to be held by mechanical means.
  10. Amended Part II, Item 11. Suspensions, d. Suspension connecting rod, tracking component assembly or sway bar components by removing sway bars from the OOSC.
  11. Clarified in Part II, Item 12. Tires, a. Any tire on any steering axle(s) of a power unit, (9) and b. All tires other than those found on the front steering axle(s) of a powered unit that the condition refers to a wheel end of a vehicle.
  12. Amended Part II, Item 16. Buses, motorcoaches, passenger vans or other passenger-carrying vehicles – emergency exits/electrical cables and systems in engine and battery compartments/seating (temporary and aisle seats) by adding OOSC for emergency exits that are marked but not necessarily required.
  13. Amended Part III, Item 3. Bulk packages, c. Bulk package authorization by modifying the title and out-of-service condition to include Canadian terminology.
  14. Added a note regarding manhole covers to Part III, Item 3. Bulk packages, d. Venting devices, manhole covers, fill/inspection openings and discharge valves.
  15. Modified the title and condition in Part III, Item 6. Non-bulk packaging to include Canadian terminology.
  16. Added a condition to Part III, Item 10. Emergency response assistance plan (ERAP) (in Canada only) by outlining that ERAP information must be on the shipping document.

For more information, CVSA provides a document that outlines each of the above-mentioned amendments, along with a detailed description of the rationale behind each change.