Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Implementation for FMCSA

First published by FMCSA

Dramatic image of 18 wheeler in a tunnel

Authorization of Appropriations

  • Section 23001(a) adds General Operating Expense (GOE) contract authority for Fiscal Years (FYs) 2022-2026.
  • Section 23001(b) provides contract authority for grant programs for FYs 2022-2026 years.
    • Adds a year of performance to the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) and provides Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training (SET) grants a 5-year period of performance.
    • Continues to allow enforcement of State traffic laws and regulations designed to promote the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles (CMV), provide the number of motor carrier safety activities, including roadside safety inspections, conducted in the State is maintained at a level at least equal to the average level of such activities conducted in the State, but updates the FYs from 2004 and 2005  to 2014 and 2015.
  • P 2642 adds General Fund authority (advanced appropriations/supplemental appropriations) for FMCSA GOE and Grant programs with a 4-year period of availability for new obligations. Once funds are obligated, the periods of performance for grantees above and within 49 U.S.C. section 31104(f) apply.

Grant Programs & Funding

  • Combatting Human Trafficking
    • Increases emphasis on the prevention and detection of human trafficking as a priority for the High Priority (HP) CMV grant program and is now allowable under FMCSA’s MCSAP, HP CMV, and Commercial Driver’s License Program Implementation (CDLPI) grants and FMCSA’s Outreach programs.
  • Immobilization Grant Program
    • Establishes a grant program under HP CMV to provide discretionary grants to States to immobilize or impound passenger carrying CMVs that are determined to be unsafe or fail inspection.
    • Requires the Secretary to work with States to develop a list of safety violations that would warrant the immediate immobilization or impoundment of a passenger carrying CMVs.
  • State Enforcement Training and Support (SET)
    • Establishes a new State Partners training grant program to be funded at 100% with a period of performance of 5 years.
    • The grant program will provide discretionary grants for nonprofit organizations to provide training to non-Federal employees who conduct CMV enforcement activities and to develop related training materials. Read More»

View:  Bipartisan Infrastructure Law: Impacts for FMCSA Grant Programs


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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Clearinghouse Annual Queries

First published by FMCSA

FMCSA homepage link
Clearinghouse Questions Answered

                                                                       Photo: FMCSA

ANNUAL QUERIES: Are you up-to-date?

Employers of CDL drivers must conduct a query in the Clearinghouse at least once per year for each CDL driver they employ (for more details on employer requirements, see 49 CFR 382.701). A limited query satisfies the annual query requirement. The annual query is tracked on a rolling 12-month basis, which means that if you conducted your last annual queries in December 2020, it is time to conduct your next round of queries.

Log in to the Clearinghouse and visit your Query History page (under My Dashboard > Queries) to see if your annual queries are due. For instructions on conducting annual queries, download the How to Conduct a Limited Query job aid.

What do employers need to do to satisfy the annual query requirement?Employers must obtain a general consent from CDL drivers they employ before conducting limited queries in the Clearinghouse to view these drivers’ information (you can download a sample limited query consent form). Employers may obtain a multi-year general consent from the driver for limited queries; if an employer obtained such a consent in 2020, the employer does not need to obtain the driver’s consent again in 2021.

Employers can log in to the Clearinghouse and conduct annual queries today.

What if an employer conducted a pre-employment query within the past 12 months?The pre-employment query satisfies the annual query requirement for that driver. Employers are not required to query the driver until one year after that pre-employment query. To learn more about queries and consent requests, download the Queries and Consent Requests Factsheet.

What is a query plan?

Before an employer can conduct queries in the Clearinghouse, the employer must purchase a query plan. Download the How to Purchase a Query Plan job aid for full instructions.

LOG IN TO THE CLEARINGHOUSE →

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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NHTSA Announces $260 Million in Grants for Highway Safety Programs Made Possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

First published by USDOT

Today, the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the release of nearly $260 million in highway safety grants. These grants, part of the funding included in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, were distributed to Highway Safety Offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, United States territories, and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs. The funds will help address the traffic safety crisis on America’s roads by helping states and territories support a broad array of traffic safety priorities. When full-year distributions are completed, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will increase the funding available for these vital life-saving programs by 31% over the previous fiscal year’s levels.

“Traffic crashes take the lives of too many Americans, but these tragedies are not inevitable, and we will not accept them as part of everyday life,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “Bolstered by additional funding from President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, these grants will save lives by improving safety on America’s roadways.”

The $133.3 million in State and Community Highway Safety Program (Section 402) funds will enhance highway safety by supporting data-driven traffic safety programs in the states. These programs include initiatives such as high-visibility enforcement campaigns and other safe driving campaigns, as well as enforcement of and education about state laws on seat belt use and risky driving. In addition, the funding will help improve traffic records and support programs on the proper use of child safety seats, including inspection stations where caregivers can confirm the proper installation of their child safety seats.

NHTSA is providing an additional $123.4 million to states and eligible territories through the National Priority Incentive Programs (Section 405). These funds include nearly $70 million for impaired driving countermeasures; $19 million for state traffic safety information systems to help states build databases related to crashes; more than $17 million for occupant protection including seat belt education and enforcement; more than $9 million for distracted driving prevention; $6.6 million for pedestrian and bicyclist safety programs; and $2 million for motorcyclist safety.

“The variety of funds available allows each state to target its specific challenges,” said NHTSA Deputy Administrator Dr. Steven Cliff. “Traffic safety may be a national problem, but the solutions are regional and local.”

This funding is part of over $13 billion in funding for roadway safety programs in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, including a $6 billion new Safe Streets for All discretionary grant program. The Department will release its first ever National Roadway Safety Strategy in January to lay out policies and issue a call to action to officials at all levels of government and stakeholders across sectors to help reduce traffic fatalities and injuries.


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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CVSA Adopts North American Fatigue Management Program

First published by CVSA
                      
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is now home to the North American Fatigue Management Program (NAFMP), a comprehensive educational and training program aimed at preventing fatigue-related risks and crashes and cultivating a corporate safety culture that proactively works to eliminate driver fatigue.
As an organization comprised of law enforcement jurisdictions, motor carriers, trucking organizations, safety associations and federal agencies committed to eliminating crashes on our roadways, CVSA was tasked by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FNCSA) with the management and evolution of the NAFMP. The NAFMP steering committee also includes Transport Canada, working closely with FMCSA to support the program.
“Our goal at CVSA is to prevent crashes involving commercial motor vehicles,” said CVSA President Capt. John Broers with the South Dakota Highway Patrol. “Offering the North American Fatigue Management Program as one of the Alliance’s driver-related educational programs helps us do our part to combat crashes caused by driver fatigue and exhaustion.
”“CVSA has the ideal infrastructure of events and channels of communication to foster the NAFMP,” said NAFMP Steering Committee Chair Roger Clarke.
“FMCSA is excited for this additional opportunity to partner with CVSA to address driver fatigue,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Meera Joshi. “FMCSA has supported the NAFMP since its inception and looks forward to CVSA continuing to provide this important program to educate the motor carrier industry on driver fatigue.”The NAFMP was developed by medical and sleep scientists from Canada and the United States through a multi-year, four-phase comprehensive process. The program aims to prevent driver fatigue and eliminate fatigue-related crashes by:

  • Offering easy-to-access online fatigue prevention training and education to commercial motor vehicle drivers, motor carrier executives and managers, freight shippers and receivers, dispatchers, driver managers, driver’s spouses and families, safety managers and trainers, etc.
  • Encouraging a motor carrier safety culture that proactively considers situations that may contribute to driver fatigue and fights to prevent it
  • Identifying sleep disorders and treatment options
  • Utilizing driver fatigue management technologies

In addition, CVSA plans to enhance, improve and grow the program by:

  • Hosting live and recorded Q&A sessions
  • Offering a moderated forum where users may ask questions and provide feedback
  • Offering information sessions at CVSA events and conferences
  • Hosting program and steering committee meetings to discuss program improvements
  • Offering webinars on various topics relevant to fatigue management
  • Offering Spanish content in addition to English and French

Learn more about the NAFMP and how to implement a fatigue management program by visiting the NAFMP website. Download a step-by-step implementation manual and register in the eLearning platform for the program courses.

“This program has the potential to reduce fatigue-related risks, improve driver alertness, health and wellness, increase productivity, and decrease crashes and roadway fatalities,” said Capt. Broers. “The online training and educational courses available through this program are free, voluntary, self-paced and available 24/7. We encourage all drivers and motor carriers to utilize these online tools.”

For more information, contact CVSA Fatigue Management Program Specialist Rodolfo Giacoman via email or at 301-830-6155.

This program was made possible through an international partnership of law enforcement jurisdictions, federal agencies, academics and motor carrier stakeholder groups.


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 renews regulatory relief extension

First published by FMCSA

EXTENSION OF THE MODIFIED
EMERGENCY DECLARATION No. 2020-002 UNDER 49 CFR § 390.25

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) hereby declares that the continuing national emergency warrants extension of the modified Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002.  The extension of the modified Emergency Declaration continues the exemption granted from certain requirements in Part 395 of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) for the fifty States and the District of Columbia as set forth below.

FMCSA issued Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 in response to the March 13, 2020 declaration of a national emergency under 42 U.S.C. § 5191(b) related to the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and the immediate risk COVID-19 presents to public health and welfare.  FMCSA has previously modified Emergency Declaration 2020-002 to expand and remove categories of supplies, equipment and persons covered by the Emergency Declaration to respond to changing needs for emergency relief.  On August 31, 2021, FMCSA extended and amended the modified Emergency Declaration No. 2020-002 and associated regulatory relief through November 30, 2021 in accordance with 49 CFR § 390.25.

FMCSA is continuing the exemption and associated regulatory relief in accordance with 49 CFR § 390.25, because the presidentially declared emergency remains in place and because, although the number of COVID-19 cases began to decline in the U.S. following widespread introduction of vaccinations, persistent issues arising out of COVID-19 continue to affect the U.S. including impacts on supply chains and the need to ensure capacity to respond to variants and potential rises in infections.  Therefore, a continued exemption is needed to support direct emergency assistance for some supply chains.  This notice continues the relief granted in Emergency Declaration 2020-002, as modified on June 15, 2020, August 15, 2020, December 1, 2020, and August 2021, through February 28, 2022 subject to the restrictions and conditions set forth herein unless modified or terminated sooner.  This extension of the modified Emergency Declaration addresses national emergency conditions that create a need for immediate transportation of essential supplies and provides necessary relief from the FMCSRs for motor carriers and drivers.  Read More»


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Pilot program will allow CDL holders younger than 21 to drive trucks across state lines

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Washington — Commercial motor vehicle drivers younger than 21 will be allowed to operate interstate under an apprenticeship pilot program established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, signed into law Nov. 15 by President Joe Biden.

Lawmakers have tried to establish the employer-based program via standalone congressional bills a combined four times, including legislation introduced this past March in the House (H.R. 1745) and Senate (S. 659). Those bills were known as the Developing Responsible Individuals for a Vibrant Economy Act, or DRIVE Safe Act. None of the previous bills made it out of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee or the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee.

Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia have allowed 18- to 20-year-olds to obtain commercial drivers’ licenses and operate large commercial vehicles. Those drivers, however, weren’t permitted to operate across state lines, even to cross the Ohio River from New Albany, IN, to Louisville, KY, as noted by Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN) in a March press release. That same driver, though, could travel 260 miles from New Albany to South Bend, IN.

Under the law, participants in the apprenticeship program must complete at least 400 hours of on-duty time and 240 hours of driving time accompanied by an experienced driver. That driver can’t be younger than 26 years old, must have held a CDL for at least two years, must have driven a CMV for at least five years in interstate commerce, and must not have had any “preventable accidents” or pointed moving violations.

Additionally, an apprentice can drive only CMVs that have an automatic or automatic manual transmission, an active braking collision mitigation system, a forward-facing video event capture system, and a governed speed of 65 mph – either at the pedal or via adaptive cruise control.


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.

DOT Physical Form Expiration Date

First published by NDASA

Keep Using the DOT Medical Exam Forms Expiring Today

The date found on the top right corner of the following forms indicate the date of expiration is today, November 30th, 2021

This is the date of expiration for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approved information collection 2126-0006.

FMCSA is in the process of submitting the information collection renewal request for approval. Please continue to use the forms that are currently posted on the FMCSA website.

Once the information collection renewal has been approved, new versions of the Medical Examination Report Form, MCSA-5875, Medical Examiner’s Certificate, MCSA-5876, and Insulin-Treated Diabetes Mellitus Assessment Form, MCSA-5870 will be posted on the FMCSA website indicating the forms have been renewed.

View the current form here: FMCSA Form MCSA-5875 (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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USDOT Releases State by State Fact Sheets Highlighting Benefits of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

First published by USDOT

Today, the U.S. Department of Transportation released state-by-state fact sheets that highlight how the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will deliver for communities across the country by repairing roads and bridges, improving transportation options, building a national network of chargers to accelerate the adoption of EVs, upgrading our nation’s airports and ports, and much more.

“Americans rely on our transportation infrastructure every day – to get to work, school, loved ones, and to move goods across our economy,” said Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “The once-in-a-generation investments in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will improve people’s lives in every state in the nation by increasing access to safe, clean, reliable transportation.”

Individual fact sheets for each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, are linked below:

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
District of Columbia 
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming


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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FMCSA final rule adds rear impact guards to annual truck inspection list

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Washington — Rear impact guards on large commercial trucks must be inspected annually, under a recently issued final rule from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Rear impact guards are designed to prevent “underrides,” which occur when a passenger vehicle strikes the rear of a CMV and slides underneath. FMCSA notes that although rear impact guards have been required on CMVs for more than 65 years, they have not been one of components listed in Appendix G for required inspections. This has meant “that a vehicle can pass an annual inspection with a missing or damaged rear impact guard.”

Published in the Nov. 9 Federal Register and effective Dec. 9, the rule adds rear impact guards to Appendix G and amends labeling requirements. “Road construction controlled (RCC) horizontal discharge trailers” are exempt.

In December, FMCSA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking, with a two-month comment period. Seven months later, the Department of Transportation listed the measure in the final rule stage as part of its Spring 2021 regulatory agenda.


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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OSHA ETS on COVID-19 wouldn’t apply to most truckers

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

Washington — The majority of truck drivers will be exempt from OSHA’s emergency temporary standard on COVID-19 vaccination, testing and masking, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said during a recent TV interview.

Should the ETS survive the multiple legal challenges it’s facing, it would apply to employers with more than 100 employees. Those employers would have until Dec. 5 to develop, implement and enforce a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy – or develop a policy that gives employees the choice to get vaccinated or undergo weekly COVID-19 testing.

Meanwhile, covered employees would have a deadline of Jan. 4 to be fully vaccinated or begin undergoing weekly COVID-19 testing. Unvaccinated workers also would be required to wear a face covering while indoors or in a vehicle “with another person for work purposes.”

Reacting to concerns from trucking groups – including the American Trucking Associations – over the ETS, Walsh said during the interview on CNBC that “the ironic thing is most truckers aren’t covered by this because they’re driving a truck, they’re in a cab, they’re by themselves. They wouldn’t be covered by this.”

ATA and other groups fear that many drivers would leave the industry as a result of the ETS, amid a perceived shortage of drivers.

In a statement issued shortly after Walsh’s comments, ATA President and CEO Chris Spear called them “an enormous victory for our association and industry.”

Spear continued: “Given the nationwide shortage of truck drivers, it is vital that our industry has the relief it needs to keep critical goods moving, including food, fuel, medicine and the (COVID-19) vaccine itself.”

In a letter dated Oct. 21 and addressed to Sharon Block, acting administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, Spear wrote that the association was “gravely concerned” about the impact the ETS would have on the industry, which he estimated could lead to a loss of “up to 37% of drivers to retirements, attrition to smaller carriers and/or conversion to independent contractor owner-operators.”

A Department of Labor spokesperson told CNBC that the vaccination, testing and masking requirements would apply to truck drivers who work in teams – such as two people in a cab – or those who “interact with people in buildings at their destinations or starting points.”


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.