Safe truck parking: FMCSA’s Hutcheson says federal agencies will team up to ease shortage

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

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Photo: Missouri Department of Transportation

Louisville, KY — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is “really feeling the urgency” to address a national shortage of safe parking spots for truckers who need to comply with federally mandated rest breaks, acting agency administrator Robin Hutcheson said March 24 during a media roundtable at the Mid-America Trucking Show.

report published on the same day in the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association’s Land Line magazine notes that Hutcheson called the issue “one of the top two or three” FMCSA hears about, adding that the message has “gone to the top of the U.S. government.”

Federal hours-of-service regulations require truck drivers to park and rest after being on duty for long periods. In a letter sent to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Feb. 18, American Trucking Associations President and CEO Chris Spear and OOIDA President and CEO Todd Spencer call on the Department of Transportation to prioritize funding from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to address the issue.

“We know we need to work on this,” Hutcheson said during the roundtable, according to the report. “We know this needs to be addressed. We hear over and over again, ‘I would be a safer driver if I had a place to rest.’ That’s up to us to make sure we’re focusing on that and doing everything we can.”

She added that FMCSA will collaborate with the Federal Highway Administration to remedy the issue. She identified as first steps examining available funding for additional truck parking and ensuring state freight plans include truck parking needs.

During a March 2 hearing before the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Buttigieg testified that DOT is “very concerned” about the lack of truck parking, calling it an issue of convenience, safety and emissions. He suggested state DOTs might consider pursuing funding for truck parking from the:

In another update from the roundtable, reported March 28 by Overdrive magazine, Hutcheson said an apprenticeship pilot program that would allow commercial motor vehicle drivers younger than 21 to drive trucks across state lines won’t begin “until late summer, at the earliest.”

Hutcheson said the program, established by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, needs a more secure “data collection methodology” before it can be implemented.


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 final rule expands 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 increasing the area safety technology may be mounted inside commercial motor vehicles and expanding the definition of “vehicle safety technology.”

According to a final rule published in the March 7 Federal Register and set to go into effect May 6, the rulemaking was promulgated in response to a petition from Daimler Trucks North America.

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations previously mandated that vehicle safety devices be mounted no more than 4 inches “below the upper edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers.” FMCSA is changing that parameter to 8.5 inches.

The devices must still remain outside the driver’s line of sight to the road and highway signs/signals. The regulation that states the devices may not be mounted more than 7 inches “above the lower edge of the area swept by the windshield wipers” will remain unchanged.

In addition, the final rule amends another regulation to add “technologies that had been granted temporary exemptions.”

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


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.

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.

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.

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

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

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication

regulatory relief for truckers

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.

FMCSA proposes amending guidance on CMV ‘yard moves,’ hours of service

First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Washington — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is seeking public comment on a proposal to revise the agency’s guidance on “yard moves” and commercial motor vehicle drivers’ hours of service.

According to a notice published in the Jan. 4 Federal Register, FMCSA regulations require most CMV drivers to record their HOS under four categories: driving; on-duty, not driving; sleeper berth; and off-duty. The agency’s design and performance standards for electronic logging devices – which record HOS – provide two “special driving categories”: personal conveyance and yard moves.

FMCSA, however, did not define “yard moves” in its final rule on ELDs and is seeking to update its guidance to include the following: “A driver may record time operating a CMV for yard moves as on-duty, not driving under 49 CFR 395.8(b) only if the movement of the CMV occurs in a confined area on private property,” such as an intermodal or port facility.

Other examples of “yards” may include a motor carrier’s place of business; a shipper’s privately owned parking lot; and a public road where access is restricted by gates, lights, flaggers or other means.

“For example,” FMCSA says, “if a driver must operate on a public road briefly to reach different parts of a private property, the movement may be considered a yard move if public access is restricted during the move.”

Additionally, FMCSA is seeking responses to the following questions:

  • Would defining “yard moves” provide necessary clarification while benefiting drivers and carriers?
  • Are there other situations or properties where drivers may be in a “yard move” status that should be included in the guidance?
  • Would adding examples of “yard moves” prove helpful? If so, give examples for consideration.
  • How should “yard” be defined in the guidance?

The deadline to comment is Feb. 3. FMCSA plans to reevaluate its guidance “no later than” five years after it’s finalized.

“This guidance, if finalized, lacks the force and effect of law and is not meant to bind the public in any way,” FMCSA says. “This guidance document is intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding the agency’s interpretation of its existing regulations.”


McCraren Compliance can help you understand and comply with FMCSA and USDOT to 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.

Technology could ‘greatly reduce’ rear-end crashes involving large trucks: IIHS study

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First published by Safety+Health an NSC publication.

Arlington, VA — Installing crash prevention technologies on the front of large commercial trucks may reduce, by more than 40%, crashes in which those trucks rear-end another vehicle, according to a recent report from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

IIHS Director of Statistical Services Eric Teoh analyzed data from about 2,000 crashes involving large trucks that occurred from 2017 to 2019. He found that forward-collision warning systems reduced rear-end crashes by 44%, while automatic emergency braking systems reduced the crashes by 41%. Additionally, these technologies were found to reduce overall crashes by 22% and 12%, respectively.

Front crash prevention systems employ cameras, radar or other sensors to monitor roadways, while AEB systems automatically engage brakes to prevent or mitigate collisions.

According to data from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, 4,415 fatal crashes involving large trucks occurred in 2018 – a 52.6% increase from the 2,893 recorded in 2009.

“This study provides evidence that forward-collision warning and AEB greatly reduce crash risk for tractor-trailers and other large trucks,” Teoh said in a Sept. 3 press release. “That’s important information for trucking companies and drivers who are weighing the costs and benefits of these options on their next vehicles.”


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.

New from NTSB: Safety tip card for truck drivers

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Photo: National Transportation Safety Board

Washington — A new safety tip card created by the National Transportation Safety Board for commercial motor vehicle drivers and owners is intended to reinforce common lessons learned from agency crash investigations, as well as issues outlined in NTSB’s list of 10 “Most Wanted” safety improvements for 2019-2020.

Designed to be stored above a truck’s visor, the card advises drivers to:

  • Minimize all distractions and follow federal regulations regarding cell phone use.
  • Follow posted speed limits, and drive slower in inclement weather.
  • Stay healthy by taking breaks, exercising and managing fatigue. Also, avoid driving while taking prescription or over-the-counter medications that can cause impairment.
  • Wear seat belts, and make sure passengers follow suit.
  • Drive sober; never operate a CMV while impaired by drugs and alcohol.

Tips for CMV owners and/or managers include:

  • Implement a fatigue management program following North American Fatigue Management Program guidelines.
  • Purchase CMVs equipped with underride protection, advanced speed-limiting technologies and collision avoidance technologies, and train drivers on their use.
  • Establish policies to address driver medical fitness for duty.

Citing data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, the card states that 4,951 people were killed in crashes involving large trucks in 2018 – an increase of almost 6% from 2016.

House lawmakers call for automatic emergency braking on new commercial trucks, buses

Photo: Chesky_W/iStockphoto

Washington — Automatic emergency braking would be a standard feature on all new commercial motor vehicles, including large trucks, under legislation introduced in July by Reps. Jesús “Chuy” García (D-IL) and Hank Johnson (D-GA). Read more