Regulatory Update – April 1, 2022

Update on Relevant Mexican Regulations

SICT Publishes Further Extension on Renewal Deferral of Mexican CDL
On March 31, the Ministry of Infrastructure, Communications and Transportation (SICT) published a notice further extending the COVID-19 contingency renewal deferral of the Licencia Federal de Conductor (LFC or Mexican Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)). LFCs set to expire between March 20, 2020, and June 30, 2021, will continue to be valid until June 30, 2022. This is the latest extension of several deferrals published by the SICT during the COVID-19 pandemic. The validity of expired LFCs apply while operating in Mexico only. In mutual agreement with the SICT, the U.S. CDL waiver has already expired and therefore expired LFCs are not valid to operate in the U.S.

SICT Publishes Spring Vacation Operations Schedule for Specialized Freight Motor Carriers
Also on March 31, SICT published a notice to motor carriers of oversized/overweight specialized freight and industrial towing vehicles. The notice indicates the specific highway operations schedule by highway type during the spring vacation period of April 8-24. These carriers must suspend all highway operations on April 8-10, 14-18 and 24.

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

On March 29, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a notice and request for comments on an information collection request (ICR) that is needed to evaluate the Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC). The ICR would be used to conduct a national study of active law enforcement to assess judgement about collecting crash data and evaluate the ability to accurately collect MMUCC variables. Comments are due by May 31.

PHMSA Announces Creation of FAQs
On March 22, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a notice and request for comments on the agency’s intent to convert historical letters of interpretation applicable to the Hazardous Materials Regulations into frequently asked questions (FAQs). Historically, the agency has issued letters of interpretation to specific stakeholders and plans to convert those letters into broadly applicable public FAQs. Comments are due by May 23.

U.S. DOT Publishes Update to Civil Penalty Amounts
On March 21, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published a final rule implementing the annual inflation increase of civil penalty amounts that may be imposed for violations of U.S. DOT regulations. These changes were effective on March 21.

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Grants Werner CDL Exemption Request
On March 31, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a notice granting an application from Werner Enterprises to allow commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holders who have passed the CDL skills test to operate a commercial motor vehicle with a CDL holder somewhere in the vehicle. Without the exemption, a CDL holder is required to be present in the passenger seat. The exemption is effective March 31, 2022-March 31, 2027.

CVSA Active Exemption Tracker
CVSA maintains a list of active exemptions issued by FMCSA. The exemption tracker can be found at under the “Inspections” tab at the top of the page.

CVSA Letters, Petitions and Comments to Rulemakings

CVSA Submits Petition to Update the CVSA Level VI OOSC Incorporation by Reference
On March 29, CVSA submitted a petition to FMCSA requesting an amendment to the hazardous materials safety permit regulations to update the incorporation by reference of CVSA’s “North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria (OOSC) and Level VI Inspection Procedures and Out-of-Service Criteria for Commercial Highway Vehicles Transporting Transuranics and Highway Route Controlled Quantities of Radioactive Materials as Defined in 49 CFR Part 173.403” to reference the April 1, 2022, edition.

CVSA Submits Petition to Add Maximum Distance/Time to Definition of Personal Conveyance
Also on March 29, CVSA submitted a petition to FMCSA to add a maximum distance and/or time a driver can operate under personal conveyance to Title 49 CFR 395.2. The petition outlines the need for a defined maximum distance and/or time to prevent abuse of personal conveyance and provide a clearer set of guidelines for law enforcement and motor carriers. CVSA initially petitioned FMCSA to make this change on Dec. 17, 2018. The petition was subsequently denied on Sept. 18, 2020. Since the original petition, additional data has become available that demonstrates the continued misuse of the provision.