FMCSA Grants Exemption to Livestock Haulers. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that drivers of vehicles hauling livestock will be granted a one-year exemption from the 30-minute break requirement during the first eight hours of a shift. This requirement is part of the current Hours-of-Service (HoS) rules for truck drivers to prevent fatigued-related crashes, although drivers transporting agricultural commodities, including livestock, within a 150-air mile radius of the source of those commodities are already exempt from the HoS rules and are not affected by this action. In 2013, FMCSA granted livestock haulers a 90-day waiver during the hot summer months with no adverse effects to safety. As authorized by Congress, FMCSA carefully considers and collects public comments on all applications for exemptions from federal regulations, including HoS for truck drivers. To date, FMCSA has received four petitions for exemptions, which only address the 30 minute break requirement of the HoS rule, and this is the second to be granted. The notice, which has been sent to the Federal Register, can be found here. Contact Marissa Padilla: (202) 366-9999.
FMCSA Announces Changes to Reporting of Adjudicated Citations. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced in a Federal Register Notice this week that beginning August 23, 2014, motor carriers and drivers will be able to request the removal of roadside inspection violations from agency data systems to more accurately reflect outcomes of judicial proceedings. The updated policy will enable carriers and drivers to request, through the DataQs system, the removal of violations that were previously uploaded into FMCSA’s Motor Carrier Management Information System by state enforcement agencies when a driver is found not guilty or if a violation is dismissed in court. FMCSA systems will continue to retain and display violations that result in a conviction or payment of fine. Persons who plead to or are convicted of a lesser charge will also have that information reflected. The changes are part of the agency’s continued effort to improve the quality and uniformity of violation data that is accessible across FMCSA systems to sharpen the focus on unsafe carriers and drivers. FMCSA considered more than 100 public comments before finalizing the updated policy, which has wide support within the commercial motor vehicle industry. For more information on the announcement visit: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/rulemaking/2014-13022. Contact Marissa Padilla: (202) 366-9999.
FHWA Extends Public Comment Period for Proposed HSIP Rules. FHWA has extended the comment period for the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP) and the HSIP national performance management measurement Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) to give the public more time to review and provide comprehensive comments on the NPRMs, as well as the forthcoming FHWA/Federal Transit Administration Statewide, Nonmetropolitan and Metropolitan Transportation Planning proposed rulemaking. The NPRMs support the national goal to significantly reduce traffic fatalities and serious injuries on public roads. The comment periods for both HSIP-related notices will now close on June 30 and can be found in the Federal Register at http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-05-28/pdf/2014-12153.pdf and http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-05-28/pdf/2014-12162.pdf. Contact: Neil Gaffney (202) 366-0660.