CVSA reacts to FMCSA rejection of personal conveyance petition

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Washington — The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance is evaluating its next course of action after the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration on Sept. 18 denied a CVSA petition requesting that the agency update its definition of personal conveyance and clarify a mileage limit.

A letter written by FMCSA acting administrator Wiley Deck and addressed to CVSA Executive Director Collin Mooney claims that the CVSA proposal lacks a “sufficient safety basis” to proceed with rulemaking that “would essentially propose arbitrary limits without any evidence of safety critical events avoided.”

CVSA filed the petition in May, after FMCSA announced a controversial final rule the agency claims adds flexibility to hours-of-service regulations. The rule went into effect Sept. 29.

“We understand the agency’s position on personal conveyance,” Mooney told Safety+Health, “but we still believe that it’s not addressed adequately.”

In June 2018, FMCSA issued guidance intended to clarify both the agricultural commodities exemption and the personal conveyance provision in HOS regulations.

According to the agency, personal conveyance – a driver’s movement of a commercial motor vehicle for personal use – is considered off-duty status and therefore does not affect HOS limitations.

However, CVSA contends in the petition that the guidance is “incomplete” without establishing a maximum distance and/or time a CMV operator can travel under the personal conveyance provision, stating that “a driver could, in theory, drive hundreds of miles over the course of several hours” under this designation, increasing the risk of driver fatigue and impacting roadway safety.

“Even though the agency says that setting a distance or time limit would be arbitrary, on the flip side of things, having things wide open for personal conveyance now is open-ended in itself, which is the whole point in the petition – why it’s creating issues,” Mooney said. “Because it gives the motor carrier industry and drivers an opportunity to hide hours under the premise of personal conveyance, which in fact is a falsification of the hours of service of the records of duty status. So, by providing that loophole, that gateway to camouflage or hide hours, we feel, is very problematic and jeopardizes highway safety.”

Deck writes that the guidance remains “an appropriate response to the issue, given the lack of research and data to support the adoption of specific restrictions.”

According to the guidance – which is effective until June 7, 2023 – other examples of personal conveyance include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Time spent traveling to restaurants and entertainment facilities from en route lodging, such as a motel or truck stop.
  • Commuting between the driver’s terminal and his or her residence, between trailer-drop lots and the driver’s residence, and between worksites and the driver’s residence.
  • Time spent traveling in a motorcoach without passengers to en route lodging, or to restaurants or entertainment facilities and back to the lodging.
  • Time spent transporting personal property while off duty.
  • Authorized CMV use to travel home after working at an offsite location.

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.

FAST Act Extended One Year — But ATM Members Tell Radio Newsmakers There Are Policy Miles to Go

First published by Americans for Transportation Mobility.

Due to a one-year continuation of the federal funding law for surface transportation, Americans can take a breather and know one crisis has been averted in one of the most difficult years in modern history.

Member organizations of the Americans for Transportation Mobility (ATM) Coalition took part in a recent national Radio Media Tour (RMT). They advocated a Congressional furtherance of the FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act, which was set to expire Sept. 30, but also a requisite for a longer-term federal investment plan to rebuild aging highways, bridges and public transit.

Interviews were held in the radio markets of Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia, Washington and national affiliates.

ATM had joined with the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) to request the extension. Passed by the House and Senate and signed by President Trump, the Continuing Resolution (CR) includes program funding and an additional $13.6 billion added to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), among some other measures.

FAST Act Can’t Be the Last Act 

The extension is just one step in a steep policy climb, however. Transforming a decaying transportation system into a 21st-century model of technology and mobility will require boosted investment and a bipartisan understanding that waiting — which is costing the country and motorists billions of dollars annually — is more costly than the fix.

“We’ve just kind of taken a generation off as a nation from investing the way that we should and, as a result, there’s projects mounting,” Emily Feenstra, Managing Director of Government Relations & Infrastructure Initiatives for the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), told Ken Johannessen of the national “Conversation Collage Podcast” produced in Wenatchee, Wash.

“We don’t have the money to do the maintenance that we need and the repairs and the modernization that we need to be a world-class economy,” she added.

In the last World Economic Forum (WEF) ranking, America’s infrastructure dropped from ninth to 13th. And ASCE has identified a $2 trillion funding deficit by 2025 and graded the United States’ infrastructure a D+ in its 2017 Report Card.

“Right now we’re just not seeing that kind of longterm infrastructure investment that we need in this country,” said Michael Johnson, President & CEO of the National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association (NSSGA), in an interview with the Mid-America Ag Network in Kansas.

Along with discussing the economic fallout of the pandemic and worsening bridges and county roads, Johnson discussed what federal investment means for the Midwest. He emphasized that connectivity, including ports and port roads, is essential for the agricultural industry in this part of the nation.

Revenue for the HTF, which provides federal dollars for surface transportation, comes from motor fuels and trucking user fees, yet the federal gas tax has not been adjusted in 27 years. Based on Congressional Budget Office (CBO) numbers released in September regarding the 10-year cash flow forecast for the HTF, the projected end-of-2030 extra funding needed is still $193 billion, according to Senior Fellow Jeff Davis of the Eno Center for Transportation.

Additionally, AASHTO reported that state departments of transportation (DOTs) need $37 billion through fiscal year 2024 to cover state transportation revenue losses linked to stay-at-home orders, and the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) estimated that public transit agencies require an additional $32 billion of federal funding to address pandemic-related costs and revenue losses.

Speaking to the People 

The ATM is building grassroots awareness of how communities are affected by underfunded infrastructure. It is also zeroing in on infrastructure investment generating economic growth, creating jobs, and propelling interstate and global commerce.

Radio listeners learned about the crises of inadequate investment in states. The conversations turned to: growing cracks in the closed West Seattle Bridge; one in three roads or bridges in Ohio being in poor or mediocre condition; the need for federal dollars to help address traffic congestion on I-81 in Virginia; and Missouri officials dipping into general funds to fix an I-70 bridge that, if not accessible, could bottleneck the entire nation.

“There is a little bit of good news out there. … But we shouldn’t celebrate too much because it just essentially maintains the status quo for another year, and that status quo, in places like Missouri, isn’t great, right? You got more than half of your roads in the state of Missouri [that] are in poor or mediocre condition,” Brian Turmail, Vice President of Public Affairs & Strategic Initiatives of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), told Diane Jones of KLPW in St. Louis.

Spokespeople participating in the RMT included: Emily Feenstra, Managing Director of Government Relations & Infrastructure Initiatives, ASCE; Dr. K.N. Gunalan, “Guna,” President, ASCE; Steve Hall, Senior Vice President for Advocacy & External Affairs, American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC); Michael Ireland, President & CEO, Portland Cement Association (PCA); Ashley Jackson, Senior Director for Government Affairs, National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA); Michael Johnson, President & CEO, NSSGA; Ed Mortimer, Executive Director, ATM; Paul Skoutelas, President & CEO, American Public Transportation Association (APTA); Jeff Soth, Legislative & Political Director, International Union of Operating Engineers (IUOE); and Brian Turmail, Vice President of Public Affairs & Strategic Initiatives, AGC.

You can listen to a soundbite from each of the participants below:

Feenstra on “Conversation Collage Podcast”

Gunalan on WAMV-AM

Hall on WERE-AM/”America’s Work Force Radio Podcast”

Ireland on WCCI-FM

Jackson on “Conversation Collage Podcast”

Johnson on Mid-America Ag Network

Mortimer on WSVA-FM

Skoutelas on WERE-AM/”America’s Work Force Radio Podcast”

Soth on WERE-AM/”America’s Work Force Radio Podcast”

Turmail on KLPW-AM/FM

Sign our petition at http://bit.ly/2rk7EZl and share this story with your friends on social media.

CVSA Releases New Video on the Future of Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) released a new stop-motion video envisioning the future of commercial motor vehicle safety technology, inspections and enforcement. This four-minute video takes the viewer to a future – near and far – that’s safer for all road users. The future of commercial motor vehicle safety includes important advancements such as:

  • Vehicle-to-everything applications, including vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, vehicle-to-pedestrian and vehicle-to-enforcement technologies
  • Alerts to drivers regarding inclement weather, crashes, closed roadways, bridge height restrictions, construction, road conditions, etc.
  • Lane centering, lane keeping, automatic emergency braking and controlled driver steering
  • North American Standard Level VIII Electronic Inspections and universal electronic identification
  • Vehicles equipped with automated driving systems
  • Vehicle, driver and pedestrian monitoring technologies with cameras, sensors and radars inside and outside of the vehicle

Universal deployment of these critical safety technologies would revolutionize commercial motor vehicle roadside enforcement, monitoring and inspections, exponentially growing the North American Standard Inspection Program and drastically improving roadway safety.

The “Welcome to the Future of Commercial Vehicle Safety and Enforcement” video provides a clear and easy-to-understand visual presentation of today’s challenges and the solutions to those challenges, such as the deployment of proven safety technologies that improve transportation safety and prevent crashes. In addition, implementing the safety technologies referenced in the video will enable law enforcement officials to better identify and prioritize unsafe commercial motor vehicles and drivers for intervention, taking unfit vehicles and operators off the roads, while making roadside inspections and enforcement more efficient and reducing impacts on the movement of goods.

This public video is meant to be shared with lawmakers, regulators, safety advocates, motor carriers, drivers, researchers, vehicle safety technology developers and vendors, the law enforcement community and anyone else interested in learning about commercial motor vehicle safety and CVSA’s efforts to improve roadway, driver and vehicle safety.


 

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

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CVSA Bulletin – Securement of Roll-on/Roll-off, Hook-Lift and Lugger Containers on Vehicle

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) has issued a new inspection bulletin to help roadside enforcement personnel determine if a roll-on/roll-off, hook-lift, or lugger box/container is properly secured.

Both the U.S. and Canada have regulations for securing roll-on/roll-off and hook-lift containers on commercial trucks, but the rules lack important details. This has led to some confusion among motor carriers, drivers, and enforcement personnel alike.

The new nine-page CVSA bulletin aims to reduce that confusion with photos and clear instructions on how the containers should be secured, whether the truck has a built-in container securement system or not.

The new inspection bulletin is available online at cvsa.org.


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

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Speeding most cited violation during Operation Safe Driver Week


Greenbelt, MD — Law enforcement officials issued more than 71,000 citations and warnings to drivers during the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s annual Operation Safe Driver Week.

From July 12 to July 18, law enforcement officials throughout the United States and Canada were on the lookout for commercial and passenger vehicle drivers engaging in unsafe behaviors such as following too closely, not wearing a seat belt and distracted driving, while placing added emphasis on speeding, CVSA states in a Sept. 2 press release.

Citations and warnings related to speeding were most common among both groups of drivers. Commercial motor vehicle drivers received 2,339 citations and 3,423 warnings for speeding, while passenger drivers accounted for 14,378 citations and 11,456 warnings.

Rounding out the top five citations issued to CMV drivers: failure to wear a seat belt (1,003), failure to obey a traffic control device (617), texting or using a handheld phone (269), and improper lane change (122).

The next most common citations issued to passenger vehicle drivers were failure to wear a seat belt (932), possession/use/under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs (452), failure to obey a traffic control device (399), and improper lane change (273).

“Although CVSA is a commercial motor vehicle safety organization, it was important that passenger vehicle drivers were also involved in this annual weeklong driver safety enforcement initiative,” CVSA President John Samis said in the release. “When commercial motor vehicles and passenger vehicles collide, no matter who was at fault, the results can be catastrophic, especially for the smaller and lighter passenger vehicle. Preventing crashes from happening requires every driver – commercial and personal – to be aware of how to safely share the road with other types of vehicles.”

The rate of motor vehicle-related deaths jumped 20% in the first half of the year compared with the same period in 2019 – despite a 17% drop in the number of miles driven – according to preliminary estimates released Sept. 15 by the National Safety Council.


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

Cranes and derricks in railroad roadway work: OSHA clarifies final rule; lists exemptions

railroad-workers2.jpg

Photo: Washington State Dept. of Transportation

Washington — OSHA is providing specific exemptions and clarifications for railroad roadway work in its Cranes and Derricks in Construction Standard.

According to a final rule published in the Sept. 15 Federal Register, the exemptions and clarifications are intended to “recognize the unique equipment and circumstances in railroad roadway work,” as well as reflect the preemption of OSHA requirements by Federal Railroad Administration regulations, including those for the safe operation of railroad roadway maintenance machines that have cranes or other hoisting devices.

Some of the exemptions apply to flash-butt welding trucks, the use of rail stops and rail clamps, dragging a load sideways, out-of-level work, and boom-hoist limiting devices for hydraulic cylinder-equipped booms. Operator training and certification will follow FRA regulations, OSHA states in a Sept. 14 press release.

This rulemaking culminates a 10-year period that began when the Association of American Railroads and a number of individual railroads filed a petition challenging the Cranes and Derricks in Construction Standard – published in August 2010.

OSHA published a notice of proposed rulemaking in July 2018 after reaching a settlement agreement with those organizations. Nearly a year later, FRA informed OSHA that it intended to preempt many of the requirements in the NPRM.

OSHA states in the rule that “Although any exemption from OSHA requirements resulting from the preemption of OSHA statutory authority by FRA would apply whether or not the OSHA regulations include any specific exemptions, OSHA believes it is still appropriate to amend the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) to include the explicit exemptions for RMMs in the OSHA crane standard. Having the exemptions specified in the OSHA crane standard will provide additional clarity for employers in the railroad industry, including contractors, who may be unfamiliar with the legal implications of FRA’s action.”

The rule is scheduled to go into effect Nov. 16.


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FMCSA proposes pilot program to allow drivers under 21 to operate CMVs interstate

busy-highway-trucks.jpg

Photo: WendellandCarolyn/iStockphoto

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking public comment on a proposed pilot program that would allow drivers ages 18 to 20 to operate commercial motor vehicles interstate.

Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia permit drivers as young as 18 to obtain a commercial driver’s license for intrastate travel, with Hawaii the lone exception.

The pilot program would establish an apprenticeship program for CDL holders younger than 21, requiring apprentices to complete two probationary periods totaling 400 hours. Additionally, 19- and 20-year-old drivers who have operated CMVs in intrastate commerce for at least one year and 25,000 miles are eligible to participate. According to FMCSA, the program would prohibit drivers from hauling passengers and hazardous materials or operating special configuration vehicles, including cargo tanks.

“This action will allow the agency to carefully examine the safety, feasibility and possible economic benefits of allowing 18- to 20-year-old drivers to operate in interstate commerce,” FMCSA acting administrator Wiley Deck said in a Sept. 4 press release. “Safety is always FMCSA’s top priority, so we encourage drivers, motor carriers and interested citizens to review this proposed new pilot program and share their thoughts and opinions.”

In February, the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee’s Transportation and Safety Subcommittee conducted a hearing to explore safety concerns regarding younger CMV drivers, among other industry issues.

FMCSA in May 2019 requested public comment on a proposal to allow 18- to 20-year-olds to operate CMVs in interstate commerce. According to the agency, 1,118 comments were received, with 504 favoring the proposal, 486 in opposition, and various other comments providing “conditional support” or offering additional suggestions.

American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear was among the proposal’s early supporters.

“This is a significant step toward improving safety on our nation’s roads, setting a standard for these drivers that is well beyond what 49 states currently require,” Spear said in a Sept. 4 press release. “This is an amazing block of talent with unlimited potential. If our freedom can be defended from tyranny around the world by our men and women in uniform, many well below the age of 21, then it’s quite clear that we can train that same group how to safely and responsibly cross state lines in a commercial vehicle.”

ATA Chairman Randy Guillot suggests in the release that the proposal could offer a gateway to connect with potential new drivers, putting the industry “in a better position to bring in a new generation of valuable talent.”

Several groups – including the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Governors Highway Safety Association, and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety – are expressing opposition to the proposed program.

In an article published Sept. 4 in OOIDA’s Land Line magazine, OOIDA Director of Federal Affairs Jay Grimes asserts that the program “will no doubt lead to more crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks,” citing longstanding data showing higher incident rates among 18- to 20-year-old drivers.

“OOIDA also fears that younger drivers will be subject to inadequate working conditions and be used to maintain a cheap labor supply that will only result in higher driver turnover rates rather than long-term careers in the industry,” Grimes said. “We believe the agency should be working to reverse the increasing trend of crashes and promoting policies that help make trucking a rewarding, sustainable profession. This pilot program accomplishes neither of those objectives.”

Comments on the program are due by Nov. 9.


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 pilot program would allow CMV drivers to pause hours of service for rest break

semis-parked-at-night.jpg

Photo: vitpho/iStockphoto

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking public comment on a proposed pilot program that would allow commercial motor vehicle operators one rest break of up to three consecutive hours but no less than 30 minutes during every 14-hour on-duty period.

Under the program, announced in an Aug. 28 press release and published in the Sept. 3 Federal Register, CMV drivers could pause their on-duty period when taking the rest break, “provided the driver takes 10 consecutive hours off duty at the end of the work shift.” The agency estimates a sample size of 200-400 drivers for the program, which could last up to three years.

“FMCSA wants to hear directly from drivers about the possibility and safety of an hours-of-service pause pilot program,” Jim Mullen, who stepped down as the agency’s acting administrator at the end of August, said in the release. “The agency remains committed to exploring ways to improve safety on our roadways, while increasing flexibility for truckers. We encourage drivers, motor carriers and interested citizens to review the proposed pilot program and provide substantive public comments for FMCSA to review.”

The proposal comes on the heels of a highly anticipated final rule – published in the June 1 Federal Register and set to take effect Sept. 29 – FMCSA claims will add flexibility to hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers. Under the rule, the agency will:

  • Change the short-haul exemption to 150 air miles from 100, and 14 hours on duty from 12, to be consistent for rules with long-haul truck drivers.
  • Extend the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions.
  • Revise the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after eight hours of continuous driving.
  • Reinstate the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks equipped with sleeper berth compartments.

However, the final rule doesn’t include a proposed provision that would have allowed covered CMV operators one rest break of up to three consecutive hours during every 14-hour on-duty period.

“In our comments on the recently revised hours-of-service rules, we called for a pilot program to study the impacts this type of change would have on highway safety and our industry,” American Trucking Associations spokesperson Sean McNally told Safety+Health. “We are pleased to see that FMCSA has taken our suggestion and we will work with the agency to ensure this program yields meaningful data that can be used for future rulemakings.”

Lewie Pugh, executive vice president of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, supports the proposed program as well.

“While we advocated that the final HOS rule should have included the split duty provision, we think the pilot program can provide substantive data to permanently give drivers more control over their daily schedules,” Pugh said in an article published Aug. 28 in OOIDA’s Land Line magazine. “We will work with the agency to ensure the pilot program is conducted in the most productive manner possible so additional HOS improvements can be implemented as soon as possible.”

Comments on the pilot program are due Nov. 2.


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

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Jim Mullen to exit as acting head of FMCSA

Jim-Mullen.jpg

Photo: Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration

Washington — Jim Mullen will step down as acting administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration at the end of August, a Department of Transportation spokesperson confirmed Aug. 17.

The former chief counsel for the agency, Mullen assumed the role of acting administrator in October after Raymond Martinez resigned from his post as FMCSA administrator after almost two years. He now oversees construction of DOT’s redeveloping John A. Volpe National Transportation Systems Center in Cambridge, MA.

“At the end of the month, Jim Mullen will be leaving the department,” a DOT spokesperson told Safety+Health. “We greatly appreciate Jim’s service and the work he has done for our country.”

The spokesperson confirmed that former FMCSA Director of Government Affairs Wiley Deck, now a senior policy advisor to Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao, will succeed Mullen as deputy administrator.

During Mullen’s tenure, FMCSA fully implemented its Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse and unveiled a highly anticipated final rule the agency claims will add flexibility to hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers.


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

Group petitions FMCSA to delay final rule amending trucker hours-of-service regulations

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Photo: Grafissimo /iStockphoto

Washington — A coalition of safety advocacy groups, in conjunction with the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, is petitioning the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to reconsider a controversial final rule the agency claims will add flexibility to hours-of-service regulations for commercial truck drivers.

Submitted June 30 and filed by the Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, Citizens for Reliable and Safe Highways, Parents Against Tired Truckers, the Truck Safety Coalition, and the Teamsters, the petition requests a stay of the effective date of the final rule – slated for Sept. 29 at press time – until the FMCSA administrator can further review the petition.

Under the rule, announced in a May 14 agency press release and published in the June 1 Federal Register, FMCSA will:

  • Change the short-haul exception to 150 air miles from 100, and 14 hours on duty from 12, to be consistent for rules with long-haul truck drivers.
  • Extend the current 14-hour on-duty limitation by up to two hours when a truck driver encounters adverse driving conditions.
  • Revise the current mandatory 30-minute break for truck drivers after eight hours of continuous driving.
  • Reinstate the option for splitting up the required 10-hour off-duty rest break for drivers operating trucks equipped with sleeper berth compartments.

The final rule doesn’t include a proposed provision that would have allowed covered commercial motor vehicle operators one rest break of up to three consecutive hours during every 14-hour on-duty period.

The petition cites National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data showing that 4,951 fatalities in incidents involving a large truck occurred in 2018, as well as other research highlighting fatigue-related hazards associated with the profession.

According to preliminary data released in NHTSA’s May 2020 Traffic Safety Facts report, fatalities in incidents involving a large truck are projected to have increased 1% in 2019.

“The final rule is not in the public interest and does not meet the agency’s statutory mission in carrying out its duties to assign and maintain safety as the highest priority,” the groups contend in the petition. “The agency had failed to address the significant risk to public safety posed by fatigued drivers of CMVs at a time when large truck crashes continue to increase.”

Jim Hoffa, Teamsters general president, and Lamont Byrd, director of the Teamsters’ safety and health department, voiced their opposition to the final rule in a May 14 press release.

“In an effort to increase so-called ‘flexibility’ for trucking companies, the FMCSA is abandoning safety and allowing drivers to push themselves to the limit even further,” Hoffa said. “Trucking is already one of the nation’s most dangerous jobs. We shouldn’t be sacrificing the health and safety of drivers just to pad the profits of their big business bosses.”

yrd added: “Extending the workday to 14 hours for CDL-qualified short-haul drivers will result in an increase in occupational injuries and driver fatigue. We are also concerned with the revised rest break provision. This revised rule could allow a driver to spend hours performing physically demanding work and then drive up to eight hours without having to take a break.”

After multiple delays, FMCSA published a proposed rule in the Aug. 22 Federal Register. The initial comment deadline also was delayed before FMCSA on March 2 submitted the proposal to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review.

In a May 14 video posted on the Department of Transportation’s YouTube channel, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao said the final rule’s provisions “will help drivers reach their destination safely without feeling like they’ve got to race against the clock to comply with federal mandates. They will also help truckers get the rest they need when they need it. When safety rules make sense, drivers are better able to comply, and that benefits everyone.”