FMCSA Increases Random Drug Test Rate to 50% for 2020

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is increasing the minimum annual percentage rate for random controlled substances testing for truck drivers.

According to a document published in the Federal Register on Dec. 27, the agency is increasing the minimum annual percentage rate for random drug testing from 25% of the average number of driver positions to 50% of the average number of driver positions. This change will take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

For reference, FMCSA estimates there are 3.2 million commercial driver license holders participating in interstate commerce and 1 million CDL holders participating in intrastate commerce. Under the annual random testing rate of 25% of all driving positions, this meant at least 1.05 million random controlled substances tests were to be conducted. With a new annual random testing rate of 50%, approximately 2.1 million random tests will need to be conducted in 2020.

CVSA reminds truckers: No ‘soft enforcement’ for ELD transition

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Photo: vitpho/iStockphoto

Washington — Commercial motor vehicle inspectors will not observe a “soft enforcement” grace period for drivers still using automatic onboard recording devices to track their hours of service after Dec. 16, and such drivers will be placed out of service for violating Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regulations, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance warns in a Dec. 2 press release.

An FMCSA final rule requiring CMV drivers to track HOS via electronic logging devices took effect Dec. 18, 2017. However, the agency exempted for two years motor carriers who installed and used AOBRDs before the rule’s compliance date, giving them until Dec. 16 to transition to ELDs.

“Motor carriers utilizing an AOBRD must have a fully operational ELD installed by Dec. 17, 2019,” the release states. “If a commercial motor vehicle driver is required to have an ELD and the vehicle is not equipped with a registered compliant ELD, the driver is considered to have no record of duty status; that also applies to a driver still using an automatic onboard recording device after the AOBRD to ELD transition deadline.”

Speaking to Transport Topics in a Dec. 5 report, CVSA Executive Director Collin Mooney expressed confidence that a majority of motor carriers will be in compliance by the deadline. Still, Mooney said, the number of motor carriers who are not operating AOBRDs or have not chosen an ELD vendor has “eluded” the organization.

Register Now for the Clearinghouse and Be Ready for January 6

Purchase Query PlanThe FMCSA CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will be fully operational on January 6, 2020. Starting on this date, employers, including owner-operators, will need to be registered to:

  • Conduct queries to access a driver’s Clearinghouse record, after obtaining the driver’s consent. Beginning January 6, you will be required to conduct a full query in the Clearinghouse before hiring any CDL driver.
  • Designate a consortium/third-party administrator (C/TPA), if you work with one, which enables your C/TPA to access the Clearinghouse on your behalf. This is a requirement of all owner-operators.
  • Purchase a query plan, which must be in place before you, or your designated C/TPA, can conduct queries.
  • Report violations of FMCSA’s drug and alcohol testing program.

You can prepare for January 6 by registering for the Clearinghouse today. (If you have an FMCSA Portal account, ensure you have the correct Portal user role in place.)

FMCSA Updates SMS Website

FMCSA has updated the CSA SMS Website with the November 29, 2019 results.

Complete SMS results are available to enforcement users and motor carriers that are logged into the SMS. Logged-in enforcement users can view all carrier safety data, while logged-in motor carriers can only view their own data. If you are a motor carrier and do not have login credentials, please click here for more information on how to obtain your PIN.

LAST REMINDER: Transition your AOBRDs by December 16, 2019

Beginning December 17, 2019, at 12:01 a.m., motor carriers and drivers subject to the ELD rule must use self-certified ELDs that are registered with FMCSA to record their hours-of-service data. If a driver or motor carrier fails to use an ELD when one is required, the driver and motor carrier will be in in violation of the ELD rule and will be cited in accordance with 49 CFR 395.8(a)(1); and the driver will be placed out-of-service in accordance with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance OOS criteria.

Don’t forget to:

Exceptions and Exemptions to the ELD Rule Will Remain in Effect

The ELD exceptions delineated in the ELD rule and the ELD exemptions announced by FMCSA will not be impacted by the December 16 deadline. Motor carriers and drivers who operate under these exceptions and exemptions will continue to be able to use alternate methods of record-keeping after ELD full compliance goes into effect.

To learn more about the phases of ELD Implementation, view the ELD Implementation Timeline

NEW: Searchable ELD Frequently Asked Questions

The ELD website now offers an easier way to view the frequently asked questions on the ELD rule and technical specifications. Browse by categories or search by key terms to find the information you need.

Visit the new ELD FAQs page

Start of 2020 UCR Registration Period is Delayed

The start of the 2020 UCR registration period is delayed until further notice while the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) completes its rulemaking process on fee levels for next year. A notice of proposed rulemaking was published in the Federal Register on August 27.

Once the final rulemaking is published later this year, thereby officially establishing UCR fees for 2020, the UCR Board of Directors will recommend that states delay enforcement for three (3) months from the start of the registration period.

2018 Registration Year Closing September 30

UCR will officially close the 2018 registration year on September 30, 2019. If you have not already done so, be sure to pay your 2018 registration fee and resolve any outstanding issues before then.

Go to the National Registration System.

FMCSA Hours of Service Proposed Rule

 

**Update: Public Comment Period Now Open Until Monday, October 21, 2019**

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has published a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) on updates to hours of service (HOS) rules to increase safety and provide additional flexibility for commercial drivers.

The proposed rule on hours of service rule offers five key modifications to the existing HOS rules:

  • The Agency proposes a change the short-haul exception available to certain commercial drivers by lengthening the drivers’ maximum on‑duty period from 12 to 14 hours and extending the distance limit within which the driver may operate from 100 air miles to 150 air miles.
  • The Agency proposes to modify the adverse driving conditions exception by extending by 2 hours the maximum window during which driving is permitted.
  • The Agency proposes to increase flexibility for the 30-minute break rule by tying the break requirement to 8 hours of driving time without an interruption for at least 30 minutes, and allowing the break to be satisfied by a driver using on duty, not driving status, rather than off duty.
  • The Agency proposes to modify the sleeper-berth exception to allow drivers to split their required 10-hours off duty into two periods: an 8 and 2 split or a 7 and 3 split, either off duty or in the sleeper berth. Neither period would count against the driver’s 14‑hour driving window.
  • The Agency proposes to allow one off-duty break of at least 30 minutes, but not more than 3 hours, that would pause a truck driver’s 14-hour driving window, provided the driver takes 10 consecutive hours off-duty at the end of the work shift.

Make your voice heard — COMMENT TODAY HERE  

Learn More:

>News Statement Announcement

>Federal Register Rule Document

>HOS NPRM Handout

New final rule from FMCSA officially removes suspended HOS restart provisions from Code of Federal Regulations

Photo: vitpho/iStockphoto

Washington — Commercial motor vehicle drivers are no longer officially required to take a weekly break of at least 34 consecutive hours, including two breaks between 1 and 5 a.m., to comply with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration hours-of-service regulations, under a new final rule.

Published in the Sept. 12 Federal Register and effective immediately, the final rule formally withdraws the provisions from the Code of Federal Regulations after Congress suspended them in December 2014 pending further research into their safety ramifications. Continue reading»

FMCSA Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse Query Plan Details

Query plans will be available for purchase on the Clearinghouse website in fall 2019.

FMCSA has released the query plan options for employers of CDL drivers. The query plan information is in the attached factsheet, it is also available for download on the Clearinghouse website. Query plans will be available for purchase fall 2019.

Learn More About Query Plans →