FMCSA again extends regulatory relief for truckers carrying pandemic-related goods

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is extending its temporary hours-of-service exemptions and other regulatory relief for commercial truck drivers transporting items intended to assist with COVID-19 pandemic relief efforts.

Announced Aug. 31, the extension of Emergency Declaration 2020-002, initially issued March 13, 2020, and expanded and modified multiple times, is scheduled to remain in effect through Nov. 30.

Regulatory relief is extended to drivers who are transporting:

  • COVID-19 vaccines; constituent products; and medical supplies and equipment, including ancillary supplies/kits for the administration of vaccines
  • Medical supplies and equipment for the testing, diagnosis and treatment of COVID-19
  • Supplies and equipment to help curb the spread of COVID-19, including masks, gloves, hand sanitizer, soap and disinfectants
  • Food, paper products and other groceries for emergency restocking of stores or distribution centers
  • Gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and ethyl alcohol
  • Supplies to assist individuals impacted by the “consequences” of the pandemic (e.g., building materials for individuals displaced or otherwise impacted as a result of the emergency)
  • Livestock and livestock feed

Drivers making routine commercial deliveries, “including mixed loads with a nominal quantity of qualifying emergency relief added to obtain the benefits of this emergency declaration,” are not covered under the exemption.

“To be eligible for the exemption, the transportation must be both (i) of qualifying commodities and (ii) incident to the immediate restoration of those essential supplies,” FMCSA says.

The regulatory relief doesn’t extend to safety regulations concerning speed limits, fatigue, texting/phone use while driving, crash documentation and out-of-service rules, among others.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT 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.

It’s Brake Safety Week

First published by CVSA

Commerical Vehicle Safety Alliance - McCraren Compliance

Photo property of CVSA

Starting today, Aug. 22, through Aug. 28, commercial motor vehicle law enforcement personnel in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. will be cataloging and submitting brake inspection and violation data to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) for Brake Safety Week, a vehicle safety initiative focused on the inspection and identification of brake violations in commercial motor vehicles. The results will be released later in the year and will include the brake-related out-of-service rates for the week, along with data on chafing air brake hose/tubing violations, the focus area for this year’s Brake Safety Week.

“Although inspection of a vehicle’s brake system and its components is always part of the roadside inspection process, Brake Safety Week aims to highlight the importance of brake systems and proper brake maintenance, operation and performance,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police.

Throughout Brake Safety Week, CVSA-certified inspectors will be conducting North American Standard Level I and V Inspections. When checking the brake system and its components, the inspector will:

  • Check for missing, non-functioning, loose, contaminated or cracked parts on the brake system.
  • Check for S-cam flip-over.
  • Listen for audible air leaks around brake components and lines.
  • Check for improper connections and chafing of air hoses and tubing.
  • Ensure slack adjusters are the same length (from center of S-cam to center of clevis pin) and the air chambers on each axle are the same size.
  • Ensure the air system maintains proper air pressure.
  • Look for non-manufactured holes (e.g., rust holes, holes created by rubbing or friction, etc.) and broken springs in the spring brake housing.
  • Mark and measure pushrod travel.
  • Inspect required brake system warning devices, such as anti-lock braking system malfunction lamp(s) and low air-pressure warning devices.
  • Inspect the tractor protection system, including the bleed-back system on the trailer.
  • Ensure the breakaway system is operable on the trailer.

In addition to checking brake systems, inspectors may also check cargo securement, coupling devices, driveline/driveshaft components, driver’s seat (missing), exhaust systems, frames, fuel systems, lighting devices, steering mechanisms, suspensions, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels, rims and hubs, windshield wipers, etc.

If no critical vehicle inspection item violations are found during a Level I or V Inspection, that vehicle is eligible for a CVSA decal. Conversely, vehicles with critical vehicle inspection item violations may be placed out of service if they meet the North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria. Those violations must be addressed before the vehicle will be permitted to proceed.

Brake Safety Week is a campaign of CVSA’s Operation Airbrake program, supported by CVSA member jurisdictions, the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, and Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transportation and the National Guard.

View the results from last year’s Brake Safety Week.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT 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 to medical examiners: Submit driver exams conducted when registry was offline

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set a deadline of Sept. 30 for certified medical examiners to submit the results of physical qualification exams of commercial truck and bus drivers that were completed while the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners was offline from Dec. 1, 2017, through Aug. 13, 2018.

According to a notice published in the Aug. 9 Federal Register, “a significant number of health care professionals” – estimated at around 14,000 – haven’t uploaded results of exams conducted during the 36-week window in which the national registry website wasn’t accessible after a hacking attempt.

“FMCSA makes this request to ensure, to the greatest extent possible, that results of all examinations conducted during the outage are reported to the national registry,” the notice states. In an audit published in January, the Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General estimates that 780,000 or so exams may be outstanding from the database.

FMCSA announced in April 2018 that the attempted hack was unsuccessful and no personal information was exposed. After the incident, the agency says it advised medical examiners to “segregate all examinations completed during the outage and be prepared to upload them to the national registry system when it is back online and operating normally.”

According to the notice, the database’s reporting functionality for medical examiners was restored on June 22, 2018, while administrative assistants and third-party organizations were able to again submit results on behalf of medical examiners on Aug. 13, 2018. However, FMCSA didn’t require immediate uploads amid initial concerns of accelerated activity on the temporary national registry system. “Continued improvements” to the system have helped alleviate the concerns, the notice states.

The national registry website notes that FMCSA is developing a new database “to better serve you.”


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT 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 finalizes entry-level driver training rule, extension

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

FMCSA finalizes entry-level driver training rule, extension

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has finalized an interim final rule that delayed, by two years, the compliance date for its initial final rule on minimum training requirements for entry-level commercial motor vehicle drivers.

According to a final rule published in the June 30 Federal Register, the compliance date for the ELDT final rule is Feb. 7.

The final rule – initially published in December 2016 with an effective date of Feb. 7, 2020 – is the first to establish minimum training standards for first-time applicants for Class A or B commercial drivers’ licenses or those seeking a CDL upgrade to Class A or B. It also sets standards for drivers attempting to obtain hazardous materials, passenger or school bus endorsements for the first time.

The extension allows for “additional time to complete development of the Training Provider Registry (TPR) and provides state driver licensing agencies (SDLAs) time to modify their information technology systems and procedures” to accommodate the driver-specific training data.

The latest final rule is set to go into effect July 31, more than a year after the interim rule was finalized Feb. 4, 2020.

An increase in driver training, according to FMCSA, will result in improved fuel economy based on changes in driver behavior, such as smoother acceleration and braking. Better fuel economy also is anticipated to result in lower air emissions and improved air quality.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT 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 looks to expand area where safety tech can be mounted on truck, bus windshields

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking to increase the area safety technology can be mounted inside commercial motor vehicles and expand the definition of “vehicle safety technology.”

According to a notice of proposed rulemaking published in the July 6 Federal Register, the proposals are in response to a rulemaking petition from Daimler Trucks North America.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations mandate that vehicle safety devices be mounted no more than 4 inches “below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers.” The devices also must remain outside the driver’s line of sight to the road and highway signs/signals.

FMCSA is proposing to increase that parameter to 8.5 inches below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers. The FMCSR’s rule that the devices may not be mounted more than 7 inches “above the lower edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers” would remain unchanged.

The proposed expanded definition of “vehicle safety technology” adds braking warning/assist systems, automatic emergency braking, driver camera systems and attention assist warning, as well as global positioning systems and other devices. Those include systems and devices that use lidar, radar and sensors.

The deadline to comment on the NPRM is Aug. 5.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT 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.

Inspectors Remove More Than 1,200 Commercial Motor Vehicles With Critical Brake Violations From Roadways During CVSA’s Unannounced Brake Safety Day

First published by CVSA

Commercial motor vehicle inspectors in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. conducted 10,091 inspections and placed 1,273 vehicles out of service for brake-related critical vehicle inspection items on May 26. Inspectors tracked and reported this data to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) for Brake Safety Day, the Alliance’s unannounced one-day inspection and enforcement initiative focused on brake systems.

“Inspectors conducted their usual inspections and reported brake-related data to CVSA for Brake Safety Day,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police. “We are sharing the results to call attention to the importance of commercial motor vehicle brake safety.”

Why does CVSA devote an inspection day specifically to brakes? Brakes are one of the most important systems within a commercial motor vehicle; however, despite our knowledge of how crucial those systems are, brake-related violations continue to dominate vehicle out-of-service conditions. Brake system violations was the top vehicle out-of-service category during last year’s three-day International Roadcheck commercial motor vehicle and driver inspection and enforcement safety initiative.

Each year, for Brake Safety Day, CVSA-certified inspectors conduct inspections, focusing on the vehicle’s brake systems and components, and remove commercial motor vehicles with brake-related out-of-service violations from roadways. Here are the results from May 26:

  • Six jurisdictions from Canada, 42 U.S. jurisdictions, and Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and National Guard participated.
  • Inspectors in Canada, Mexico and the U.S. conducted 10,091 inspections and placed 1,273 vehicles out of service for brake violations.
  • The brake-related out-of-service rate in North America was 12.6%.
  • The U.S. brake-violation out-of-service rate was 13.3%. In Canada, the rate was 11.4% and in Mexico, the rate was 2.9%.
  • In Canada, 946 inspections were conducted. In Mexico, inspectors conducted 487 inspections, and in the U.S., 8,658 inspections were conducted.
  • Fourteen vehicles were removed from roadways in Mexico for brake violations. In Canada, 108 vehicles were placed out of service for brake violations, and in the U.S., 1,151 vehicles had to be removed from roadways due to brake violations. Read More»

McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT 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.

It’s Operation Safe Driver Week

First published by CVSA

Photo property of CVSA

Greenbelt, Maryland (July 11, 2021) – Today is the start of Operation Safe Driver Week, a safe-driving awareness, outreach and enforcement campaign aimed at reducing crashes through interventions between law enforcement officials and unsafe drivers.

Throughout the week, law enforcement officers will be on the lookout for passenger vehicle drivers and commercial motor vehicle drivers engaging in dangerous driving behaviors, such as speeding and distracted driving. Identified unsafe drivers will be issued a warning or citation.

Roadway fatalities increased 24% in 2020 over the previous 12-month period, despite miles driven decreasing 13% due to the pandemic. Furthermore, studies have shown that most crashes are caused by drivers’ actions – either something they did, such as speeding, or didn’t do, such as not paying attention to the driving task. Research has also shown that interactions with law enforcement change drivers’ behaviors.

“We know that roadway fatalities and crashes have increased, we know that drivers’ actions are often the cause of crashes, and we know that after a person is pulled over and warned or cited by a member of law enforcement, that person’s driving actions improve,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police. “We took what we know about causes of crashes and interventions to reduce the number of crashes, and made that into an actionable and measurable traffic enforcement safety initiative – Operation Safe Driver Week.”

Operation Safe Driver Week is the law enforcement community’s effort to reduce the number of crashes involving passenger vehicles and commercial motor vehicles by intervening in unsafe driving behaviors when they happen and warning or citing unsafe drivers in an effort to improve drivers’ behaviors.

During Operation Safe Driver Week, enforcement officers will be tracking their interactions with passenger vehicle drivers and commercial motor vehicle drivers and will submit a report to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) at the conclusion of the week. CVSA will publicly report its findings in the fall.

CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver program was created to improve the behavior of all drivers operating in an unsafe manner – either in or around commercial motor vehicles – through educational and traffic enforcement strategies.

Operation Safe Driver Week is sponsored by CVSA, in partnership with the U.S. Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Mexico’s Ministry of Communications and Transportation and its National Guard, and with support from the motor carrier industry and transportation safety organizations.

To find out about Operation Safe Driver Week enforcement events in your area, contact the agency or department responsible for overseeing commercial motor vehicle safety in your area.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT 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.

Calling Arizona’s Safest Professional Drivers!

First published by Arizona Trucking Association
Calling Arizona’s Safest Professional Drivers!

 

The safest professional truck drivers are gearing up for this year’s Battle of the States. Will you represent Arizona?

This year’s state-level virtual knowledge competition will be held on July 31 by the Arizona Trucking Association. Trivia contests will be based on Facts for Drivers, federal and state laws, state trucking history and culture. What is more, our top 10 contestants will qualify to go on to the National Battle of the States: Virtual Truck Driving Championships. Plus, you have the opportunity to win some exciting prizes!

Complete your 2021 Arizona Virtual TDC registration form and submit it  for a chance to be named Grand Champion of trucking safety. The deadline to register is July 23rd.

REGISTER AT: https://arizonatrucking.com/virtual-tdc/

For more information on the National Battle of the States, including how to qualify, visit BattleofTheStates.trucking.org. Join our NTDC Facebook group for the latest updates and practice questions.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT 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.

GRASSROOTS ACTION ALERT

First published by ARTBA

Grass Roots Action Alert - ARTBA Action Alert: Tell Your U.S. Rep. to Support Highway & Transit Bill 

ARTBA Action Alert: Tell Your U.S. Rep. to Support Highway & Transit Bill

The five-year surface transportation reauthorization bill will be on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives this week.

It would provide historic increases in federal highway, bridge and public transportation investment.

Contact your member of the House TODAY. Urge them to vote “yes” on H.R. 3684, the INVEST in America Act.

Passage of the House bill would represent another important step forward in the legislative process. With less than 100 days until current transportation funding law expires, we must keep pressure on Congress to act before Sept. 30.

Contact your member via the ARTBA Grassroots Action Center today:

TAKE ACTION


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT 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.

Spring 2021 regulatory agenda: FMCSA seeks to ‘streamline and improve’ database of drivers who fail drug, alcohol tests

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.
DOT.jpg

Photo: Jane Terry

 

Washington — A proposal to “streamline and improve error-correction procedures, queries, and consent requirements” within the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is among the anticipated agency actions listed on the Department of Transportation’s regulatory agenda for Spring 2021.

Released June 11, the agenda – issued by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs twice a year – provides the status of and projected dates for all potential regulations listed in three stages: pre-rule, proposed rule and final rule. Listings marked “long term” aren’t expected to be worked on for at least six months.

The potential measure to amend clearinghouse protocol is among seven regulations listed in the proposed rule stage, with a notice for proposed rulemaking expected in February.

FMCSA fully implemented the clearinghouse in January 2020, unveiling a national online database intended to enhance road safety by providing – in real time – the names of commercial motor vehicle drivers who have failed drug and alcohol tests.

Federal regulations mandate motor carriers conduct preemployment drug testing in addition to random testing. Employees who test positive are prohibited from performing safety-sensitive functions, which includes operating a CMV.

As of May 1, marijuana was the most common substance found in positive tests for substance misuse among CMV drivers, having been detected in 40,053 of the 75,522 positive tests reported to the clearinghouse since Jan. 6, 2020. Cocaine (10,626) and methamphetamine (6,969) were the next most common substances identified. Multiple substances can appear in positive tests, FMCSA notes.

Among the 12 regulations FMCSA lists in the final rule stage is an item concerning the addition of rear impact guards to the list of components to be examined during mandatory annual inspections of CMVs.

Designed to prevent “underrides,” which occur when a passenger vehicle strikes the rear of a CMV and slides underneath, rear impact guards have been required on CMVs for nearly 70 years, states a notice of proposed rulemaking published in the Dec. 29 Federal Register. However, the guards are excluded from the list of components in Appendix G for required inspections, meaning a CMV can pass an annual inspection with a missing or damaged rear impact guard, according to FMCSA.

The agency also is proposing to amend labeling requirements for the guards “and to exclude road construction controlled (RCC) horizontal discharge trailers from the rear impact guard requirements,” the NPRM states.

“Including rear impact guards and rear end protection in the periodic inspection requirements in Appendix G will call additional attention to this critical safety component and help ensure that each vehicle is checked at least once a year, improving compliance and helping to prevent fatalities and injuries when rear-end collisions occur,” the NPRM states. “Furthermore, including rear impact guards and rear end protection in the periodic annual inspection standards will harmonize U.S. regulations with those in Canada and Mexico, which include rear impact guards and rear end protection as part of their annual inspection programs.”

A final rule is expected to be published in November.


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA, DOT 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.