Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

Creating workplaces where we all watch out for each other

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.

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Original article published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Biden-Harris Administration Announces More Than $80 Million in Grants to Improve Highway Safety, Including Better Access to Truck Parking

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced more than $80 million in grant awards from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This historic funding will help reduce the frequency and severity of commercial motor vehicle crashes on our nation’s roadways and support truck drivers by expanding access to truck parking, investing in critical technology, improving safety in work zones, rural areas and high crash corridors, and more. Grant recipients include states, local governments, non-profit organizations, and academic institutions across the country.

The High Priority grants include a 65% increase in funding for truck parking projects over last year and enhance critical efforts to support truck drivers and improve safety such as:

  • Expand access to truck parking by helping truck drivers locate available rest area truck parking spaces in real time via dynamic message signs along highways in Kentucky, Delaware, and Indiana.
  • Research to support automated, location-based driver alerts via electronic logging devices that inform drivers of upcoming work zones — improving safety for both the drivers and the workers.
  • Enhancement of electronic screening technologies to detect vehicle violations (such as automated license plate readers, USDOT number readers, tire monitoring system, and hazardous materials placard readers).
  • Outreach and education to combat human trafficking, an effort in which truck drivers can play a key role given their time and attention on the road.

“We depend on truck drivers every day, and we have a national responsibility to support their safety and job quality,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Today, we are proud to deliver new funding that will improve safety on our nation’s roads.”

“President Biden’s historic investment through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law helps improve commercial motor vehicle safety on our roadways both at the national and local levels,” said FMCSA Administrator Robin Hutcheson. “Our grantees will dedicate these investments to innovative technology, research, and other projects that will positively impact CMV safety and move us towards the National Roadway Safety Strategy’s goal of zero deaths on our nation’s roadways.”

This builds on the Biden-Administration’s continued investment in truck parking and safety on our nation’s roadways, which includes over $80 million invested in new truck parking spaces across the country.

  • Caldwell County, Texas: $22.9 million RAISE grant to design and construct a truck parking plaza that improves safety and convenience for truck drivers. Plaza will include short- and long-term spaces with lighting, fencing, restroom and shower facilities, with 24-hour monitored security.
  • Caldwell Parish, Louisiana: $10.5 million RAISE grant to buy land and build a Truck Parking facility near the port and a highway for 50 commercial trucks, 100 cars, and EV charging stations that are designed to provide auxiliary power units to power a truck cab’s heating and cooling, without having to run the engine while also recharging trucks. There will also be a system to find parking spaces in real-time.
  • On I-4 Between Tampa and Orlando: $15 million INFRA grant for a new truck parking facility with approximately 120 spaces, electric charging stations, and pedestrian infrastructure to access nearby commercial amenities.
  • Near Memphis, Tennessee: $22 million INFRA grant adds 125 truck parking spaces at a spot along I-40—a critical freight corridor. Project will also upgrade adjacent bridge structures.

All HP grant applications undergo a series of reviews before award selection. Please visit FMCSA’s grant program page for additional information on the discretionary application announcement, review, and approval process.


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 launches Training Provider Registry for entry-level drivers

Photo: FMCSA

Washington — A group of House Republicans is moving to repeal a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration final rule that stipulates minimum training requirements for entry-level truck drivers.

Reintroduced on July 19 by Rep. Bob Good (R-VA), the Trucking Workforce Improvement Act (H.R. 4738) would rescind the rule, which sets minimum training standards for first-time applicants for Class A or B commercial driver’s licenses or those seeking a CDL upgrade to Class A or B. The bill has 14 co-sponsors.

The rule further establishes standards for drivers aiming to obtain hazardous materials, passenger or school bus endorsements for the first time. Affected entry-level drivers must complete training from a provider listed on the Training Provider Registry before taking a CDL skills test.

In a press release, Good calls the rule “regulatory overreach” and cites as impetus for the bill a perceived driver shortage that has long lingered as an industry debate.

“My bill will remove obstacles to entry for aspiring truck drivers, enable more opportunities for well-paid jobs and unleash the American economy,” he said.

The final rule was initially published in December 2016, with an effective date of Feb. 7, 2020. That date was later pushed back to February 2022.

Jack Van Steenburg, executive director and chief safety officer at FMCSA, suggested the shortage was a myth while speaking about the rule when it went into effect.

“With an increasing number of people applying for CDLs over the past year, there has never been a more important time to implement minimum uniform training standards that ensure new drivers have both the knowledge and skills to operate safely,” he said in a press release. “The ELDT regulations were developed with input from driver and training organizations, motor carriers, state licensing agencies, safety advocacy groups, and insurance companies.”


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 Safety+Health an NSC publication

House committee advances bill that includes a block on speed limiters

orange-semi
Photo: Missouri Department of Transportation Flickr

Washington — The House Appropriations Committee has approved legislation that would prohibit funding for a Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposal to require the installation of speed-limiting devices on heavy trucks.

Approved during a July 18 committee markup, the appropriations bill proposes a budget of $891.3 million for FMCSA in fiscal year 2024, which begins Oct. 1. However, the legislation includes a provision that zero funding may be used “to promulgate any rule or regulation” mandating the installation of speed limiters on trucks, buses and multipurpose passenger vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds.

In May 2022, FMCSA introduced a proposed rule to that end, expanding on a 2016 joint proposal from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and FMCSA. The latter is the sole agency listed on the proposed rule, which doesn’t suggest a top speed. The 2016 proposal specified capping speeds at 60, 65 or 68 mph.

FMCSA has received nearly 16,000 comments on its updated proposal, which includes multiple stakeholder 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?

The bill now advances to the House floor.


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

Bill would halt FMCSA’s movement on speed limiters

Original article published by Safety+Health

Photo: Missouri Department of Transportation Flickr

Washington — Legislation recently introduced in the House would prohibit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from requiring speed-limiting devices on large trucks and buses.

Sponsored by Rep. Josh Brecheen (R-OK), the Deregulating Restrictions on Interstate Vehicles and Eighteen-Wheelers, or DRIVE, Act (H.R. 3039) covers trucks, buses and multipurpose passenger vehicles weighing more than 26,000 pounds.

Brecheen is a fourth-generation rancher and former trucking company operator. “I know from experience driving a semi while hauling equipment, and years spent hauling livestock, that the flow of traffic set by state law is critical for safety instead of an arbitrary one-size-fits-all speed limit imposed by some bureaucrat sitting at his desk in Washington, D.C.,” he said in a press release.

In May 2022, FMCSA published an advance notice of supplemental proposed rulemaking that expands on a 2016 joint proposal from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and FMCSA that would require speed limiters. FMCSA is the lone agency listed on the proposal, which doesn’t specify a top speed. The 2016 proposal suggested capping speeds at 60, 65 or 68 mph.

The Department of Transportation’s Fall 2022 regulatory agenda lists June as a target date for publication of a second proposed rule.

Multiple industry groups back Breechen’s bill, including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the U.S. Cattlemen’s Association, and the Towing and Recovery Association of America. The American Trucking Associations, meanwhile, supports FMCSA’s proposal and recommends a recurring, five-year review of “speed-governing regulations” to ensure they remain consistent with current technology.

“These efforts to prohibit the development of safety policies are misguided,” Bill Sullivan, executive vice president of advocacy at ATA, said in a press release. “They will lead to more serious crashes – and this bill will never become law, even if it passes the House.”


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.

FMCSA wants to expand Crash Preventability Determination Program

Original article published by Safety+Health

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking comment on potentially expanding a program intended to determine to what extent crashes involving commercial trucks and buses are preventable.

Adjusting the Crash Preventability Determination Program would help FMCSA “review even more crashes each year,” the agency says in a notice published in the April 13 Federal Register. “The use of more preventability information in assessing motor carriers will provide an improved indication of a motor carrier’s crash risk.”

FMCSA established the program in May 2020. The agency reviews crashes classified under 16 types while modifying information in its Safety Measurement System to delineate non-preventable crashes.

The proposal would add four new crash types:

  • Commercial motor vehicles struck on the side by a driver operating in the same direction
  • CMVs struck because another driver was entering the roadway from a private driveway or parking lot
  • CMVs struck because another driver lost control of their vehicle
  • Any other type of crash involving a CMV in which video demonstrates the sequence of events

Additionally, FMCSA wants to modify 11 existing crash types “to broaden” them and “allow more crashes to be eligible.” The proposed changes would double the program’s size, FMCSA says.

Between May 1, 2020, and Dec. 30, FMCSA received more than 39,000 requests for data review, the notice states. About 72.5% of the requests fell under an existing category, with approximately 96% of crashes classified as “not preventable.”

Comments on the proposal are due June 12.


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.

FMCSA Expands List on Crash Preventability Program

Original article published by Transport Topics
DOT Headquarters

Department of Transportation

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced it is adding four types of crashes to its program that omits carrier fault for certain types of crashes when calculating the carrier’s safety measurement profile.

“Based on the agency’s experiences with the crash types and its reviews of crash eligibility, FMCSA proposes modifying existing crash types to broaden eligibility, removing the distinction between direct and indirect strikes, and differentiating some types for improved reporting and use of the data to identify ways to reduce crashes involving nonmotorists,” the agency said in an April 12 notice.

The changes also will be in alignment with the Department of Transportation’s National Roadway Safety Strategy, the agency said.

The program, known as the Crash Preventability Demonstration Program, was first implemented in 2020.

Under the program, carriers with eligible crashes may submit a Request for Data Review with the required police accident report and other supporting documents, photos or videos through the agency’s DataQs website.

The four new crash types:

  • Commercial motor vehicle was struck on the side by a motorist operating in the same direction. Currently, the crash type is limited to side strikes at the very rear of the vehicle.
  • CMV was struck because another motorist was entering the roadway from a private driveway or parking lot.
  • CMV was struck because another motorist lost control of their vehicle.
  • Any other type of crash involving a CMV in which a video demonstrates the sequence of events of the crash.

FMCSA is seeking comments on the proposed changes for 60 days.

Since its implementation in 2010, FMCSA’s Compliance Safety Accountability Safety Measurement System has used safety performance information in the seven Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories, or BASICs, in addition to recordable crashes involving commercial motor vehicles, to prioritize carriers for safety interventions.

The Crash Indicator BASIC uses crashes from the previous 24 months to calculate percentiles for motor carriers. In addition, the public SMS website lists motor carriers’ recordable crashes.

Other Crash Types

A list of the 17 crash types previously identified by FMCSA. The CMV was:

  • Struck in the rear by a motorist.
  • Struck on the side at the rear by a motorist.
  • Struck while legally stopped at a traffic control device or parked, including while the vehicle was unattended.
  • Struck because another motorist was driving in the wrong direction.
  • Struck because another motorist was making a U-turn or illegal turn.
  • Struck because another motorist did not stop or slow in traffic.
  • Struck because another motorist failed to stop at a traffic control device.
  • Struck because another individual was under the influence (or related violation, such as operating while intoxicated), according to the legal standard of the jurisdiction where the crash occurred.
  • Struck because another motorist experienced a medical issue which contributed to the crash.
  • Struck because another motorist fell asleep.
  • Struck because another motorist was distracted (e.g., cellphone, GPS, passengers, other).
  • Struck by cargo or equipment from another vehicle, or debris (e.g., fallen rock, fallen trees, unidentifiable items in the road).
  • Involved in a crash as a result of an infrastructure failure.
  • Struck an animal.
  • Involved in a crash  because of an Individual committing or attempting to commit suicide.
  • Involved in a crash with a nonmotorist.
  • Involved in a crash type that seldom occurs and does not meet another eligible crash type (e.g., being struck by an airplane or skydiver or being struck by a deceased driver in another vehicle).

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.

Lack of oversight at issue in fatal crash

Original article published by National Transportation Safety Board
​At-rest position of the truck-tractor and Chevrolet. (Source: AZDPS with annotations by the NTSB.)

Crash highlights need for fatigue management and more action on collision avoidance and connected vehicle technologies

WASHINGTON (March 28, 2023) – A program to manage driver fatigue in agricultural transportation and collision avoidance technology would have prevented a fatal 2021 multivehicle collision in Phoenix where a tractor-trailer carrying milk crashed into stopped traffic, the NTSB said at its virtual public board meeting Tuesday.

“Generally, motor carriers must make a compelling safety case before regulators will grant them an exemption from safety rules. But, once Congress mandated and then expanded the agricultural hours-of-service exemption, the oversight of the carriers’ fatigue risk largely disappeared,” said NTSB Chair Jennifer Homendy. “Drivers operating under an hours-of-service exemption are at a greater risk of fatigue: an unacceptable — and avoidable — danger to every road user.”

The board met to discuss the findings and recommendations of an investigation into the multivehicle crash on June 9, 2021 that killed four and injured 11.

Following the initial impact, the milk truck crossed the eastbound travel lanes, struck a concrete median barrier and separated. The truck cab and one passenger vehicle were consumed by fire. Video footage showed the truck driver was facing forward before the crash and did not slow down as he approached the line of cars. Investigators found the driver had less than a six-hour opportunity for sleep the day of the crash and regularly worked 70 – 80 hours per week.

The trucking company, Arizona Milk Transport, operated under an “hours-of-service exemption” that allows unlimited driving hours for certain agricultural commodities within a 150 air-mile radius. Investigators said the safety impact of the hours-of-service exemption is unknown, as is the prevalence of its use, and called for more data.

Although exempted from hours of service, Arizona Milk Transport did not have a program to manage driver fatigue. The investigation found the company had poor oversight over its drivers and did not enforce its own policies regarding the maximum hours employees could work.

The NTSB called for the U.S. Department of Transportation to study the prevalence of driver fatigue in companies operating under the exemption and require them to seek authority to implement a fatigue management program. The NTSB also recommended milk industry associations encourage their members to adopt a fatigue management program.

In addition, the NTSB reiterated multiple recommendations on collision avoidance technology that would have prevented this crash from occurring in the first place. This includes recommendations to NHTSA to develop standards for forward collision avoidance systems in commercial vehicles and mandate connected vehicle technology on all new vehicles.

Further, the NTSB voted to reclassify two recommendations to the U.S. DOT and the Federal Communications Commission related to connected vehicle or vehicle-to-everything implementation. The NTSB changed the recommendations’ status to “open, unacceptable response” due to the lack of progress. The responses had been classified “open, await response.”

Vehicle-to-everything, or V2X, technology allows vehicles and infrastructure to relay important safety information to other vehicles to avoid crashes. The NTSB currently has 14 open recommendations related to collision avoidance systems and V2X technologies​ and the issue is on its Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements.

The executive summary, probable cause, findings, and safety recommendations are in the report abstract available on the investigation web page. The final report will be published on the NTSB website in several weeks.

The public docket for the investigation includes more than 1,800 pages of factual information, including reports, interview transcripts, and other investigative materials.


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.

FMCSA asks for more input on automated driving systems for trucks and buses

Original article published by Safety+Health

Photo: FMCSA

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is moving forward – and seeking feedback – on a proposed rule that would amend, revise or eliminate existing regulations to integrate commercial trucks and buses equipped with automated driving systems.

A supplemental advance notice of proposed rulemaking published in the Feb. 1 Federal Register requests additional information as the agency aims to expand on a May 2019 ANPRM focused on ADS-equipped vehicles.

In its Fall 2022 Unified Regulatory Agenda, FMCSA had indicated its intention to publish in January a notice of proposed rulemaking on the vehicles.

“FMCSA invites comment on additional questions and those issued in the previous ANPRM to help FMCSA assess benefits, costs and other impacts of any potential proposal issued later,” the SANPRM states.

Those additional questions include:

  • Should FMCSA require motor carriers operating Level 4 or 5 ADS-equipped commercial motor vehicles to notify the agency before operating those vehicles in interstate commerce without a human driver behind the wheel?
  • Before operating in interstate commerce, should motor carriers be required to submit information, data, documentation, or other evidence that demonstrates to FMCSA that motor carriers seeking to operate Level 4 or 5 ADS-equipped CMVs have appropriate safety management controls in place to operate the vehicle in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications and with federal requirements?
  • What data should FMCSA collect and maintain regarding Level 4 or 5 ADS-equipped CMVs engaged in interstate transportation? How would such information be used and how would it improve the agency’s ability to oversee the safe operation of Level 4 or 5 ADS-equipped CMVs?
  • To what extent should the federal requirements otherwise applicable to CMV drivers (such as hours-of-service limitations, drug and alcohol testing, and physical qualifications) also apply to a remote assistant who isn’t expected to take control of the dynamic driving task of an ADS-equipped CMV operating at Level 4?
  • What, if any, aspects of the remote assistant job function may require FMCSA oversight, including minimum standards and/or auditing (for example, training, physical qualifications and other job-performance related measures)?
  • Are there any specific limitations that should be imposed on the working conditions of remote assistants, such as limitations on the number of ADS-equipped CMVs that a remote assistant is simultaneously responsible for or the number of hours that a remove assistant may work?
  • Should Level 4 or 5 ADS-equipped CMVs be subject to pre-trip inspection requirements for their mechanical and ADS components in addition to those specified in 49 CFR 392.7, including those which might necessitate new inspection equipment, before such CMVs are dispatched and after a specified period of operation?
  • Under what safety situations should state inspectors and/or FMCSA receive immediate notification of an unsafe maintenance or operational issue, if any?

The deadline to comment is March 20.


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.

Trucker access to parking and rest facilities part of supply chain bill

Original article published by Safety+Health
trucks-rest-area

Photo: Missouri Department of Transportation

Washington — Measures for expanded access to parking and rest facilities are included in recently proposed bipartisan legislation aimed at revamping the interstate trucking supply chain system.

Introduced Jan. 24 by Reps. Dusty Johnson (R-SD) and Jim Costa (D-CA), the Safer Highways and Increased Performance for Interstate Trucking Act (H.R. 471) would permit the transportation secretary to issue grants for projects that provide truck parking. Those grants would total $175 million in fiscal year 2023 and a combined $580 million over the next three fiscal years.

In step with a Senate bill (S. 5169) introduced in the previous Congress, entities eligible for grants would be:

  • States
  • Metropolitan planning organizations
  • Local governments
  • Agencies of states or local governments “carrying out responsibilities relating to commercial motor vehicle parking”
  • Tribal governments or a consortium of tribal governments
  • Multistate or multijurisdictional groups

Grantees would be permitted to partner with private entities “to carry out an eligible project.” Projects may include those that:

  • Build rest areas that include truck parking.
  • Open existing weigh stations, rest areas and park-and-ride facilities to truck parking.

Further, the legislation would require the transportation secretary to consult with state departments of transportation, private providers of truck parking, and other bodies to prepare a report that “evaluates the availability of adequate parking and rest facilities” for trucks in interstate transportation and updates the progress on providing such spaces.

In a press release, the Shippers Coalition praises the legislation for “lessening burdens on truck drivers.”

A lack of safe places for truckers to park ranked third on the American Transportation Research Institute’s list of top trucking industry concerns, released in October.


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.