Thursday, April 28, 2011 by
In August of 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will ask a panel of advisers for recommendations on how it might deal with the concern of sleep apnea in truck drivers. The FMCSA has scheduled an August meeting between its Medical Review Board (which has recommended tougher regulations) and its Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee, a panel of 19 officials from the industry, including the enforcement community and labor and safety advocacy groups. A public meeting is tentatively scheduled for August 29, 2011, in the Washington, D.C. area. The agency will consider the committee's recommendations in deciding whether or not to move forward with a rulemaking.
Rob Abbott, vice president of safety policy at American Trucking Associations, applauded the move stating that there is confusion in the medical community about sleep apnea because the Medical Review Board made recommendations several years ago and the agency has not yet acted on them.
The Medical Review Board's recommendations on several driver health concerns can be found at www.fmcsa.dot.gov
Friday, February 18, 2011 by
On January 26, 2011, we reported that the Indiana House had agreed to legislation that would prohibit all drivers from reading or sending text messages or e-mails while driving. The Indiana Senate has now approved of this bill. The previous texting ban only extended to drivers under 18 years old. This new bill extends to all drivers. Senator Jean Leising of Oldenburg questioned how police officers would determine whether a driver was sending a text message or simply dialing a phone number.
Wednesday, January 26, 2011 by
The Indiana House agreed to legislation that would prohibit all drivers from reading or sending text messages or e-mails while driving. The House voted 85-11 on Tuesday. Indiana's current texting ban only extends to drivers under 18 years old. Hands-free technology, however, would still be allowed. Fines would be up to $500. The bill now moves to the Senate for consideration.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010 by
While speaking at a forum on driver health in Baltimore yesterday, Anne Ferro, Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, stated that the proposed revisions to the hours of service rule by the White House Office of Management and Budget should be completed by November 26, 2010. The public will have an opportunity to comment once the proposal is published before it becomes final. Per a court order, the rule is to be completed by next July.
Friday, August 20, 2010 by
The American Trucking Associations ("ATA") continues to press the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ("FMCSA") on CSA crash accountability. In our previous post dated June 24, 2010, we noted that one of the concerns voiced by the ATA about the current CSA system was that accidents enter the system without the recognition of fault. Dave Osiecki, senior vice president of policy and regulatory affairs at ATA, sent a letter to the FMCSA this week requesting the agency remove the following types of crashes from the safety measurement system: crashes involving a vehicle traveling in the wrong direction; crashes involving a vehicle rear-ending a truck while legally stopped at a traffic light; crashes involving a vehicle striking a truck while legally parked off the road; and documented suicides. According to Osiecki, these types of crashes should be removed as a matter of agency policy because it is reasonable to presume that the commercial driver and carrier in these types of crashes have no accountability for the crash.
Thursday, June 24, 2010 by
A hearing was held yesterday on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration's ("FMCSA") new enforcement program, CSA 2010. While there is general support for the program, some of the concerns deal with timing, data quality and funding. For example, one concern voiced by Keith Klein, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Transport Corporation of America, who spoke on behalf of the American Trucking Associations, was that under the FMCSA's current CSA 2010 system, accidents enter the system without the recognition of fault. In other words, there is no way to recognize the difference between preventable and non-preventable accidents. In response, Ann Ferro, the agency's chief, emphasized that crash data are a legitimate indicator of a motor carrier's safety performance regardless of fault. She went on to say, however, that the agency recognizes the problem of crash accountability and will analyze the data if the carrier's safety fitness rating comes into question.
Thursday, April 1, 2010 by
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing to toughen the punishment under the current texting ban that was established in January. In addition to the steep fines now in place (up to $2,750 for each texting offense), the proposal seeks to disqualify commercial drivers caught texting while driving. This will affect approximately 7 million commercial interstate drivers of trucks and other vehicles. In addition, part of the proposal seeks to add state or local anti-texting laws to the list of serious traffic violations that can lead to disqualification for CDL drivers. For example, if a driver commits a second offense within three years, he would be disqualified for at least 60 days. A 120-day disqualification results from three offenses within a three year period.
Notice of the proposed rulemaking was published in the Federal Register today with a request for comments due by May 3, 2010.
Saturday, March 13, 2010 by
The Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) recently announced a postponement of the requirement for carriers to submit manifest information electronically to CBSA for shipments coming to Canada. CBSA indicated that a delay was necessary to ensure adequate testing and preparation of the systems. While CBSA indicated that the system will be available for testing as early as June 2010, the project will not be launched until September 2010. This delay will affect other transportation sectors including the importer, freight forwarder, and rail pieces of the project. The Canadian Trucking Alliance supports the delay.