Posted on April 06, 2015
On Friday April 3rd, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published inflation adjustments to civil penalties for regulatory violations. This final rule takes effect June 2, 2015 and increases numerous penalties. Examples include a $1,000 increase in the penalty for out of service orders and a $5,000 increase in penalties for loading and unloading violations.
In a Federal Register posting, FMCSA explains that many fines and penalties have not been updated since 2003 or 2007, and certain changes were mandated by MAP-21. FMCSA also indicated that this series of changes was not significant enough to warrant a full regulatory evaluation or public comment.
The Final Rule can be viewed on the Federal Register website here.
A table summarizing the various increases can be found on the Federal Register website here.
Contact Interstate Motor Carriers for additional information on how these changes will impact your business.
Posted on March 23, 2015
On Thursday March 19th, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced how the new 34-hour restart study will be conducted. The goal of this study is to compare driver safety and fatigue levels of the following two groups:
- Commercial drivers who take at least two nighttime rest periods during the 34-hour restart break
- Commercial drivers who take one nighttime rest period during the restart break
The study will be conducted over a five month period and will measure numerous factors related to driver safety. This include accidents, near accidents, fatigue, alertness and more. Drivers will be selected to participate from motor carrier fleets of all sizes and from a wide variety of operations.
Metrics will be monitored and evaluated using several devices and tests: Electronic Logging Devices to measure time on duty, actigraph watches to measure sleep, psychomotor vigilance tests to monitor alertness, and onboard cameras.
After the five month data collection is completed, a review board will assess the data and advise the Department of Transportation of their findings.
Here is a link to the March 19, 2015 FMCSA announcement: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/research-and-analysis/commercial-motor-vehicle-driver-restart-study
Posted on November 18, 2014
Driving a Commercial Motor Vehicle requires a higher level of knowledge, experience, skills, and physical abilities than what is required to drive a non-commercial vehicle. Hence, CDL drivers are held to a higher standard when operating any type of motor vehicle on public roads. The Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) is a nationwide computer system that enables state driver licensing agencies (SDLAs) to ensure that each commercial driver has only one driver’s license and one complete driver record. State driver licensing agencies use CDLIS to complete various procedures. This coming year the following regulations will take effect:
- Jan 3, 2015 – States must begin enforcing the cell phone prohibition/restriction final rule. For more info: Mobile_Phone_Rule_Fact_Sheet.pdf
- Jan 30, 2015 – States must begin enforcing the regulation that paper copies of the Medical Examiner’s Certificate are only valid for the first 15 days after their issuance. As of this date, State driver licensing agencies will be adding medical self-certification status and the information on medical examiner’s certificate to the Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) record. All commercial drivers engaging in interstate commerce with a maximum gross vehicle weight rating of over 10,000 pounds (4,536 kilograms) are required to obtain and maintain a valid Medical Examiner’s Certificate (ME Certificate).Commercial drivers who drive vehicles requiring a CDL have two additional requirements. On or before January 30, 2015, all CDL holders must declare to their State Driver Licensing Agency (SDLA) that they only operate or expect to operate commercially in 1 of 4 possible categories with their CDL. This process is called self-certification.
For more information, view the following: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/commercial-drivers-license/medical or http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/commercial-drivers-license/state-state-instructions-submitting-medical-certificates-0
- July 8, 2015 – States must start enforcing all provisions of the CDL Testing and CLP (Commercial Lines Permit) Standards final rule. For more information: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/commercial-drivers-license/states
- July 8, 2015 – States must implement Commercial Driver’s License Information System (CDLIS) 5.3 into production no later than this date.
- Sept 30, 2015 – States must be in compliance with all CDL requirements (MAP-21, Section 32305). The MAP-21 stipulations are aimed at state agencies’ notifications and record-keeping of testing, licensing, violations, convictions and disqualifications. The DOT is requiring all states to submit a report prior to Nov. 13, 2014 addressing actions they plan to take to address any deficiencies in their commercial driver’s license program, as identified by the DOT in the most recent audit of the program. http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/commercial-drivers-license
Posted on October 08, 2014
The CSA Safety Measurement System (SMS) Website has been updated with the September 26, 2014 snapshot. Beginning with this snapshot and then all subsequent snapshots, the SMS integrates the results of adjudicated citations associated with inspections conducted on or after August 23, 2014 that have been processed through DataQs. Check your safety assessment now at: http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms.
There are two ways to access and view your safety data, including any results of adjudicated citations for inspections conducted on or after August 23, 2014 that have been processed through DataQs. Log into your Portal account (https://portal.fmcsa.dot.gov/login) or log into the SMS website with your FMCSA-issued U.S. DOT Number Personal Identification Number (PIN) (NOT a Docket Number PIN). If you do not know or have forgotten your PIN, you can request one via http://safer.fmcsa.dot.gov/ and follow the instructions on the page.
For General information on the FMCSA policy on adjudicated citations and a Glossary of Key Terms see attachments below:
Contact Us for more information.
Posted on July 25, 2014
FMCSA’s increased minimum insurance requirement target date moved up
The House of Representatives recently voted to block the federal government from raising the minimum liability insurance limits for trucks as recommended by the regulatory agency for the trucking industry. The FMCSA’s report to Congress stated that current minimum financial responsibility limits for the commercial motor vehicle industry – including the $750,000 limit for general freight carriers — are inadequate to meet the costs of some crashes, mainly because of rising medical costs. The minimum limits have not been raised in more than 30 years. FMCSA moved up the date in which it projects to publish a proposed insurance increase rule to Sept. 19, from last month’s November projection. Continuing congressional action of late is trying to rein in FMCSA’s regulatory activities.
DOT requesting info about fraudulent letters issued to motor carriers
The US DOT issued a warning that a round of fraudulent letters has been issued to DOT contractors and potential contractors purporting to be issued by the Department. These fraudulent letters request that current or potential contractors register by submitting their company’s financial information on a release form entitled, “Authorization to release financial information”. The DOT emphasizes that it does not require any financial information to be submitted in order to be eligible for procurement.
If you have been targeted, the DOT urges businesses not to complete the release form which is attached to the letter and not to release any information to the fax number cited in the letter. If you suspect you have received one of these letters, immediately contact Department of Transportation Office of the Inspector General Hotline at (800) 424-9071. To view a sample of the latest letter currently being sent to DOT customers, visit:
Changes to the SMS website to be implemented on August 2
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is implementing a number of changes designed to improve the Safety Measurement System website, some in response to industry feedback. The changes, which the agency proposed last November based on suggestions from the industry and others, are intended to make the website more accessible and useful. In addition to the changes it proposed last year, the agency is adding several new innovations suggested by industry groups. Here’s a rundown of what will be new when the changes are implemented on August 2.
- The site will display a carrier’s summary status in the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories. The aim is to clarify if a carrier’s performance will lead to enforcement intervention. The agency said it will give users single-click access to detailed BASIC information.
- In response to a comment by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the agency will clarify how on-road performance data and investigation results are factored into a carrier’s status.
- The site will feature a tour to explain the revisions.
- The site will let users download the public data for all carriers in the same safety event group, such as inspections or crashes, used to rank the carrier’s BASIC percentile. This does not include the Crash Indicator and HazMat Compliance data.
- The site will highlight a carrier’s performance in each BASIC to identify any trends. The agency will include descriptions of a carrier’s measure and explanations of its relationship to the carrier’s percentile.
- The site will change the display of the BASICs based on effectiveness.
- The site will include a carrier’s safety rating from a compliance review, information that formerly had to be taken from a different database.
- The site will show a carrier’s current insurance and authority status. It will include a link to the Licensing & Insurance Online Web Site.
- The carrier’s enforcement case history will be posted in response to a suggestion by American Trucking Associations, the agency will provide a link to its Civil Penalties Web Site.
- The site will offer a variety of customizable displays and graphs to portray safety performance over time.
- The site will display the total number of inspections and a breakdown of the number of inspections with violations.
- The site will clarify SMS terminology.
The agency is adding four other changes based on suggestions it received.
- It will show carriers their Inspection Selection System data on the Carrier Overview page.
- It will show driver and vehicle out-of-service information based on public data from its Safety and Fitness Electronic Records site.
- In response to a suggestion by ATA, the agency will provide a link to its test of the Safety Management System’s effectiveness. It also will display the results in graphs on the web site.
- In response to a suggestion by Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety, the agency will post the carrier’s “Doing Business As” name.
FMCSA will hold three educational webinars, with two on August 20, 2014 (10:00-11:30 a.m. and 2:00-3:30 p.m.), and a third to be held on August 21, 2014 (2:00-3:30 p.m.). Webinar participants will be able to ask questions and receive real-time responses. Additionally during the webinars, FMCSA staff will discuss and answer questions on the Agency’s new adjudicated citations policy, which takes effect August 23, 2014. To register for one of the upcoming three educational webinars, visit:
Contact your Interstate Motor Carriers Regional VP to learn more:
Northeast/Mid-Atlantic Region VP
Mid-Atlantic/Western PA Region
Southeast Region VP
Tri-State Small Fleet
| Mark Wilson