Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Biden-Harris Administration Sends Another $9.9 Billion from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to Transit Agencies Across the Country

See state-by-state funding HERE

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced that $9.9 billion in federal formula funding, part of the largest investment in public transit in U.S. history, is available to support public transportation in communities throughout the country thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda. This is the latest round of funding made possible thanks to the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to investing in our nation’s transit systems in communities of all sizes, improving transportation for all Americans.

These investments will help people get to work, school, and wherever else they need to go more quickly and affordably. The funding will help communities maintain and operate trains, buses, and ferries; upgrade stations and tracks; plan and design new transit corridors; and provide access for seniors and riders with disabilities.

The partial-year Fiscal Year (FY) 2024 funding is detailed in apportionment tables that specify funding to states, urbanized areas, and Tribal governments based on statutory formulas.

“When we invest in public transit, we improve daily life for millions of Americans across the country, and make it easier, safer, and more affordable to get around communities of every size,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The Biden-Harris administration is making the largest investment in public transit in U.S. history, including $9.9 billion announced today, to help communities improve public transit and expand it to reach more people than ever before.”

The tables specify funding available through FTA formula programs and represent a partial year of federal support for transit. The publication of apportionment tables allows transit providers nationwide to move forward with applications for FY 2024 funds to support expanding and modernizing transit systems and operations. The funding reflects formula funding available for five months (October 1, 2023 to March 1, 2024) at FY 2023 levels while the federal government operates under a Continuing Resolution.

“The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law provides significant increases to transit funds across the country, from counties with just one van providing rides to systems operating hundreds of trains, buses, and ferries in the largest cities in America,” said FTA Acting Administrator Veronica Vanterpool. “Communities depend on this funding to start new projects, fix old infrastructure, and bring more fast, safe, convenient service.”

FTA distributes formula funds to state Departments of Transportation, Tribal nations, and urbanized areas. Formula-based grant programs include funding for transit systems in both urbanized and rural areas, grants for buses and bus facilities – including low- and no-emission buses – transit designed for seniors and people with disabilities, planning funds, and support to improve the condition of transit assets. The tables allow transit agencies and grant recipients to view the amounts for programs set by statutorily defined formulas so they can better plan and manage over the long term for new projects and address their repair backlogs.

This year, due to changes resulting from the 2020 Census, some areas will see changes to funding amounts due to new urbanized area boundaries, as well as changes in populations. The apportionments reflect changes occurring in areas that exceed or fall below the 50,000 population threshold for urban areas as well as other thresholds within the urban programs that determine whether funds are apportioned to the states or directly to urbanized areas.

Full-year formula funding will be available once Congress passes an FY 2024 appropriations bill. Once enacted, transit funding will support President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to support transit in 500 urban communities across the country and rural transit systems nationwide, allowing hundreds of transit agencies to buy new buses and railcars, improving reliability and transit service.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Original article published by FMCSA

FMCSA Removes Five Devices from List of Registered ELDs

 

 

 

 

WASHINGTON – Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) removed CI ELD LOGS, CN ELD,  KSK ELD, TT ELD 30, and TT ELD 1010 devices from the list of registered Electronic Logging Devices (ELD). FMCSA placed these ELDs on the Revoked Devices list due to the companies’ failure to meet the minimum requirements established in 49 CFR part 395, subpart B, appendix A. The removals are effective February 28, 2024.

FMCSA will send an industry-wide email to inform motor carriers that all who use these revoked ELDs must take the following steps:

  1. Discontinue using the revoked ELDs and revert to paper logs or logging software to record required hours of service data.
  2. Replace the revoked ELDs with compliant ELDs from the Registered Devices list before April 28, 2024.

Motor carriers have up to 60 days to replace the revoked ELDs with compliant ELDs. If the ELD providers correct all identified deficiencies for their devices, FMCSA will place the ELDs back on the list of registered devices and inform the industry of the update.
During this time, safety officials are encouraged not to cite drivers using these revoked ELDs for 395.8(a)(1) – “No record of duty status” or 395.22(a) – “Failing to use a registered ELD.” Instead, safety officials should request the driver’s paper logs, logging software, or use the ELD display as a back-up method to review the hours of service data.

Beginning April 28, 2024, motor carriers who continue to use the revoked devices listed above will be considered as operating without an ELD. Safety officials who encounter a driver using a revoked device on or after April 28, 2024 should cite 395.8(a)(1), and place the driver out-of-service (OOS) in accordance with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance OOS Criteria.

FMCSA strongly encourages motor carriers to take the actions listed above now to avoid compliance issues in the event that the deficiencies are not addressed by the ELD providers.

For more information on ELDs, visit FMCSA’s ELD implementation website.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Original article published by FMCSA

Audit email is a scam, FMCSA warns motor carriers

Scam.jpg

Photo: Jerome Maurice/iStockphoto

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration says scammers are sending “very convincing” emails that look like an agency notification to schedule a safety audit.

In a recently published alert, FMCSA calls attention to the URL in the fraudulent email, which appears to be from the agency’s Safety and Fitness Electronic Records (SAFER) system. The scammers’ goal is to acquire personal information that would grant the sender access to an FMCSA account.

“Communications relating to safety audits will typically come directly from an FMCSA-dedicated mailbox, or from the entity within the state that has been assigned the responsibility to conduct the safety audit,” FMCSA says. “While these emails typically end in a ‘.gov,’ we encourage our stakeholders and customers to verify any email or communication they feel to be suspicious with the appropriate agency or contact your FMCSA Division Office directly to clarify.”


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Original article published by  the National Safety Council

FMCSA and PHMSA Issue Safety Advisory for Nurse Tanks

Safety Advisory:
Possible Catastrophic Failure of Nurse Tanks and
Recommendation for Periodic Testing

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) issue this safety advisory to provide notice of the possibility of catastrophic failure of certain hazardous materials packages commonly known as “nurse tanks.” See Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations (49 CFR) §173.315(m).

Background
This notice focuses on nurse tanks manufactured from January 1, 2007, through December 31, 2011, by American Welding and Tank (AWT) at its Fremont, Ohio plant. Nurse tanks manufactured by AWT from 2009 to 2010 were the subject of a prior FMCSA investigation and enforcement action in response to improper manufacturing procedures.

On August 23, 2023, a 2009 AWT nurse tank containing anhydrous ammonia experienced a catastrophic failure in a farm co-op lot, resulting in the release of all product. The failure caused the tank shell to “rocket” over 300 feet from its original location. While no injuries were reported, this event is an indicator of potential continuing problems with AWT nurse tanks that have now been in service for over a decade.

As a result of this incident, the owner of the nurse tank involved contracted with a third-party testing company to examine their AWT nurse tanks that were manufactured between 2008 and 2012. Radiographic testing showed that 7 of 8 the nurse tanks tested had extreme stress corrosion cracking, porosity, and inclusions/voids in the welds where the heads and shells of the nurse tanks were joined. Only the 2012 tank passed. The nurse tank owner submitted these results to engineering experts who were involved in previous research funded by FMCSA into similar issues with this series of AWT nurse tanks.1 Based on the test results and the review by the experts, the owner voluntarily placed the nurse tanks out-of-service.  The parent company of the farm co-op subsequently conducted similar radiographic testing on 142 AWT nurse tanks manufactured between 2007 and 2012, and 100 failed the test.  All 2012 tanks passed.

Recommendation
The current Hazardous Materials Regulations (49 CFR Parts 171-180) do not require periodic inspection and testing of nurse tanks that have attached and legible American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) identification plates and that meet the other requirements in 49 CFR §173.315(m)(1). Requirements for periodic inspection and testing of nurse tanks apply only when the ASME plate is missing or illegible. See 49 CFR §173.315(m)(2).

The FMCSA and PHMSA nevertheless strongly recommend that owners of AWT nurse tanks manufactured between January 1, 2007, and December 31, 2011 that are exempted from periodic inspection and testing requirements as described above, conduct voluntary periodic visual inspection in accordance with 49 CFR §173.315(m)(2)(i); thickness testing in accordance with 49 CFR §173.315(m)(2)(ii), and pressure testing in accordance with 49 CFR §173.315(m)(2)(iii). Note these dates reflect the years of manufacture that failed testing.

For owners of affected AWT nurse tanks unable to conduct voluntary pressure testing, FMCSA and PHMSA recommend that either radiographic or ultrasonic testing be conducted. While the period of voluntary inspection and testing is at the discretion of the nurse tank owner, FMCSA and PHMSA recommend conducting the inspection and testing at least once every five years consistent with 49 CFR §173.315(m)(2)(iv).

Additional Information
FMCSA and PHMSA are committed to the safety of the farming community and the public. The agencies will be engaged with stakeholders through a variety of outreach activities intended to emphasize the importance of this recommendation and its implications for the owners of these nurse tanks.

For more information, or if you have a question concerning this Safety Advisory, please contact Paul Bomgardner, Chief, FMCSA Hazardous Materials Division, at (202) 493-0027, or by email at paul.bomgardner@dot.gov.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

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Original article published by FMCSA

FMCSA to study sexual assault and harassment in trucking

female-truck-driver.jpg
Photo: kali9/iStockphoto

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration wants input from truckers as it shapes a study to analyze how common sexual assault and harassment are in the trucking industry.

A Feb. 8 Request for Information states that FMCSA is acting on recommendations of its Women of Trucking Advisory Board “to better understand problems” of sexual assault and sexual harassment, or SASH.

Through the study, the agency seeks to understand possible regulatory or policy actions to improve driver safety and mitigate incidents of sexual assault and harassment. FMCSA further looks to collaborate with industry partners on outreach efforts to boost driver safety through SASH prevention.

FMCSA is seeking to expand on a 2022 study that found harassment and crime against female and minority male truck drivers was “prevalent.”

According to the study, “women truck drivers are particularly vulnerable to crimes that are sexual in nature and are more likely to experience harassment from another truck driver or from trainers,” FMCSA says. The agency also found that crimes against female drivers are more likely to happen at night.

Although female truck drivers reported harassment incidents more often than their male counterparts, FMCSA said “most respondents said that they did not think reporting harassment would make a difference.”

Comments are due March 11.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

FMCSA seeking more input on how it decides if motor carriers are safe

Washington — As the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration considers revising how it determines if truck and bus companies are fit to operate safely, the agency is asking for feedback on research that could impact its decision.

FMCSA is looking for input on six studies. Topics include:

  • In-vehicle monitoring systems
  • The association between crashes and safety-critical events
  • The impact of federal compliance reviews on reducing crashes
  • The effectiveness of forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking systems on front-to-rear crash rates

Comments are due Feb. 12.

FMCSA determines whether motor carriers are able to operate safely by using existing motor carrier data and data collected during compliance reviews. This forms a three-tiered rating system of satisfactory, conditional or unsatisfactory.

The agency accepted comment through Nov. 29 on a possible new methodology for making this determination, considering input on:

  • Available science or technical information to analyze regulatory alternatives for determining carrier fitness
  • Current agency safety fitness determination regulations, including feedback on the process and impacts
  • Available data and costs for regulatory alternatives reasonably likely to be considered

In 2017, FMCSA withdrew a proposed rule that would have changed the SFD process for motor carriers.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Should states be allowed to make their own rules for truckers’ meal and rest breaks?

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is asking for comments on petitions seeking to restore California’s and Washington state’s rules on meal and rest breaks for commercial truck and bus drivers.

The agency had preempted both states’ rules, which gave drivers at least 30 minutes of off-duty mealtime for every five hours of work and a 10-minute rest period for every four hours of work for drivers transporting property.

FMCSA requests input on:

  • Whether – and to what extent – enforcement of a state’s meal and rest break laws with respect to intrastate property-carrying and passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers has impacted the health and safety of drivers.
  • Whether enforcement of state meal and rest break laws as applied to interstate property-carrying or passenger-carrying CMV drivers will exacerbate existing truck parking shortages and result in more trucks parking on the side of the road, and whether any such effect will burden interstate commerce or create additional dangers to drivers and the public.
  • Whether enforcement of a state’s meal and rest break laws as applied to interstate property-carrying or passenger-carrying CMV drivers will dissuade carriers from operating in that state.
  • Whether enforcement of a state’s meal and rest break laws as applied to interstate property-carrying or passenger-carrying CMV drivers will weaken or otherwise impact the resiliency of the national supply chain.

In December 2018, FMCSA preempted California’s rules for property-carrying CMV drivers who are subject to hours-of-service regulations. The agency said the rules were incompatible with current federal HOS regulations and caused “a disruption in interstate commerce.” A little more than a year later, FMCSA granted a similar preemption petition for passenger-carrying CMV drivers in the state.

In November 2020, FMCSA granted a petition to preempt Washington state’s meal and rest break rules for property-carrying CMV drivers, determining that federal HOS regulations supersede the state’s rules.

The International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the Truck Safety Coalition, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, Parents Against Tired Truckers, and William B. Trescott have petitioned FMCSA to reverse those decisions.

The American Trucking Associations, the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association, the American Bus Association, and the Washington Trucking Associations submitted the original petitions for FMCSA preemption.

Comments are due Feb. 26.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Speed-limiter proposal hot topic of House hearing

Robin Hutcheson
Photo: National Association of City Transportation Officials

Washington — Members of the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee veered from the focus of a recent hearing by challenging legislation that would require speed-limiting devices on heavy trucks.

During the Dec. 13 hearing on implementing provisions of the Infrastructure Investment and Job Act, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration head Robin Hutcheson fielded heavy questioning about the agency’s May 2022 advance notice of proposed rulemaking.

The ANPRM, however, isn’t part of the law.

“We share your commitment to drivers and certainly their safety and the safety of everybody who travels,” Hutcheson said in response to critical remarks on the ANPRM from Rep. Eric Burlison (R-MO). “We are underway in a process of rulemaking; however, we have not yet issued any notice of proposed rulemaking.”

Burlison interjected: “Well, I would encourage you to not implement that rule. I think you would have an outcry from [the trucking] community.”

The Department of Transportation’s Fall 2023 regulatory agenda lists December as a target date for publication of a second proposed rule.

In May 2022, FMCSA introduced an ANPRM that would mandate the installation of speed limiters on trucks, buses and multipurpose passenger vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds. The advance proposal expanded on a 2016 joint proposal from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and FMCSA. The latter is the lone agency listed on the ANPRM, which doesn’t suggest a top speed. The 2016 proposal specified capping speeds at 60, 65 or 68 mph.

FMCSA received nearly 16,000 comments on its updated advance proposal, which requested feedback from stakeholders on prompts including:

  • What percentage of the commercial motor vehicle fleet uses speed-limiting devices?
  • If in use, at what maximum speed are the devices generally set?
  • What training or skill sets are needed for motor carriers’ maintenance personnel to adjust or program electronic engine control units to set speed limits?

During the hearing, Rep. Troy Nehls (R-TX) advised Hutcheson to “listen to the truckers” who believe the measure regulates them too strictly. “I think they would know better than the bureaucrats and, specifically, Congress on this.”

Said Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-NJ): “Nobody’s asked for this. This is another creation of big government, in my opinion.”


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

FMCSA Warning: Drivers Who Drug-Test Positive Will Lose CDLs

Final Rule Goes Into Effect in Late 2024
drug test form

A substance abuse professional will evaluate when a driver has successfully completed his or her eligibility to be retested. (Thinkstock)

Federal trucking regulators have issued a warning that late next year truck drivers who test positive for drug use will not only be placed on prohibited driving status, but will lose their commercial driver licenses and not be issued learning permits until they complete the federal return-to-work process.

“A driver with a drug-and-alcohol program violation is prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, including operating CMVs, for any DOT-regulated employer until the return-to-duty process is complete,” said a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration notice on Nov. 28. “By November 18, 2024, as part of new federal regulations, drivers with a ‘prohibited’ status in the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse will lose or be denied their state-issued commercial driving privileges.”

FMCSA’s final rule was issued in October 2021, but the message went out this week to remind drivers that positive drug tests will require state driver licensing agencies to take action when the drug test failures are posted in the Clearinghouse, said an agency spokeswoman.

“A CDL license will remain prohibited until FMCSA has received notification that the driver has satisfied and completed the return-to-duty process,” the spokeswoman said. “Subsequently, FMCSA removes the violation from the Clearinghouse.”

The final rule said it will help keep unsafe drivers off the road by increasing compliance with the CMV driving prohibition.

A driver’s employer is required to provide a driver a list of DOT-qualified substance abuse professionals for education and treatment. Drivers can then select their SAP based on their own research. The SAP will then evaluate when a driver has successfully completed his or her eligibility to be retested.

“To remain in a ‘not prohibited’ status, your employer must complete the follow-up testing plan with you as specified by the SAP, which must include a minimum of six unannounced follow-up tests in the first 12 months of returning to performing safety-sensitive functions,” according to FMCSA. “If you are an owner-operator, your designated consortium/third-party administrator must complete your follow-up testing plan.”

FMCSA says the Clearinghouse is having the intended effect of taking large numbers of drivers caught using drugs off the highways. However, a persistent concern is that large numbers of drivers remain in prohibited driving status after failing their drug tests, suggesting that many have been leaving the profession rather than enroll in the return-to-duty program.

Since the Clearinghouse was opened in January 2020, there have been 224,000 positive drug and alcohol tests recorded, the majority for positive marijuana drug tests.

As of the end of September, 149,374 drivers remained in prohibited status, with 113,639 not yet starting the return-to-work program.

Despite a recent illuminating research report by the American Transportation Research Institute that focused on driver marijuana test failures, FMCSA said it has no research of its own yet to explain why the large majority of drivers who test positive for at least one of the 14 substances tested appear to be moving to what they view as greener pastures — maybe even for less money.

ATRI notes that marijuana is a unique problem. While it is legal in many states, truck drivers cannot use marijuana at all. There is zero tolerance. Smoking a joint can cause a driver to fail his or her drug test.

The ATRI study concluded: “Data confirms that most [drivers] have not completed the return-to-work process and instead opted to remain outside of the interstate trucking industry.”

In a recent statement, FMCSA noted that in calendar years 2021 and 2022, more than 1 million new CDL driver records were added to the Commercial Driver’s License Information System by states — a “robust indicator of new drivers entering the industry. Therefore, we believe FMCSA’s drug and alcohol program is improving safety by directly holding individual drivers accountable for drug and alcohol violations and completing the RTD requirements.”


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Original article published by Transport Topic

FMCSA Portal Updates — Action Required

FMCSA Portal Users –

If you have or use an FMCSA Portal account, you must act now to maintain access.

How you log on to the FMCSA Portal is changing.  FMCSA is making access more secure by implementing multifactor authentication. As of January 1st, User ID and Passwords will no longer be used to access the FMCSA Portal.

You will access the FMCSA Portal through a Login.gov account instead of using your current FMCSA Portal username and password.

(U.S. Department of Transportation users should refer to the internal email notifications for specific instructions on creating accounts and logging in via government issues PIV cards.)

What actions do you need to take now?

To ensure you have continued access to the FMCSA Portal, you must set up a Login.gov account. Please follow the attached step-by-step directions, which can also be found on the FMCSA website, to establish your account.

Don’t delay – set up your Login.gov account now for immediate access to the FMCSA Portal that is easier and more secure. Once you have created your Login.gov account, instead of entering a User ID and Password, simply click the “Sign In With Login.gov” link and follow the attached instructions to log in.

Have questions or need help setting up your Login.gov account?

What is Multifactor Authentication?

Multifactor Authentication is a method to verify your identity requiring two or more pieces of evidence (factors). These factors can be something you know (like a password), something you have (like an access card) or something you are (like facial recognition or fingerprint).

Why is FMCSA implementing Multifactor Authentication?

The Federal Cybersecurity plan under White House Executive Order 14028, Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity, and Office of Budget Memorandum M-22-09, Moving the U.S. Government Toward Zero Trust Cybersecurity Principles (Federal Zero Trust Strategy) requires all Federal agencies to adopt secure MFA to enhance information security by Dec. 31, 2023.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, USDOT and ADOT and ensure your drivers and your vehicles operate safely and efficiently.

Call us Today at 888-758-4757 or email us at info@mccrarencompliance.com to schedule your free FMCSA Compliance Assessment.

Original article published by FMCSA