Regulatory Update – April 17, 2020

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

PHMSA Publishes Updates on Special Permits
On April 8, 2020, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published updates on special permit applications:

FMCSA Requests Comments on Training Certification for Entry-Level Drivers ICR
On April 7, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a notice and request for comments on an information collection request (ICR) that will be used to register providers of entry-level driver training. Comments are due by May 7.

FMCSA Requests Comments on Hazardous Materials Safety Permit ICR
Also on April 7, 2020, FMCSA published a notice and request for comments on an ICR regarding hazardous materials safety permits. The revised ICR requires companies holding safety permits to develop plans that allow for the periodic tracking of shipments. Comments are due by May 7.

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Denies SBTC ELD Exemption Application Request for Reconsideration
On April 13, 2020, FMCSA announced the denial of the Small Business in Transportation Coalition’s (SBTC) electronic logging device (ELD) exemption application request for reconsideration. SBTC requested that all motor carriers with fewer than 50 employees be exempt from the required use of ELDs. FMCSA originally denied the request on July 17, 2019. CVSA filed comments in opposition to both the original exemption request and the request for reconsideration.

FMCSA Requests Comments on Werner ELD Exemption Request
Also on April 13, 2020, FMCSA published a notice and request for comments on an application from Werner Enterprises for exemption from certain ELD requirements. Werner requests that as they transition to a new ELD provider, five data fields be permitted to be left blank on the ELD display for the first eight days of operation. Comments are due by May 13.

FMCSA Requests Comments on Samsara Window Mounting Exemption Request
Also on April 13, 2020, FMCSA published a notice and request for comments on an application from Samsara Networks Inc. for exemption from the window mounting requirements. Samsara requests that its AI Dash Cam be permitted to be mounted lower in the windshield than is currently allowed. Comments are due by May 13.

CVSA Active Exemption Tracker
CVSA maintains a list of active exemptions issued by FMCSA. Members can access the information by logging into their CVSA member portal and clicking on the “Exemptions” tab at the top of the page.

CVSA Letters, Petitions and Comments to Rulemakings

CVSA Submits Comments on SBTC Pet HOS and ELD Exemption Request
On April 10, 2020, CVSA submitted comments to FMCSA in opposition to an exemption request from the SBTC for exemption from certain hours-of-service (HOS) and ELD requirements. SBTC requested that drivers who have pets in their vehicle be exempt from the requirement to have an ELD and be permitted to drive for 13 hours in a 16-hour on-duty period. CVSA’s comments outline the negative impacts this exemption would have on safety and urge FMCSA to deny the request.

CVSA Submits Comments on U.S. DOT AV 4.0
On April 2, 2020, CVSA submitted comments on the “Ensuring American Leadership in Automated Vehicle Technologies: Automated Vehicles 4.0” (AV 4.0) document published by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). The comments outline several areas of consideration important to the enforcement community, including how commercial motor vehicles equipped with automated driving systems (ADS) will interact with enforcement, regulations that need to be examined for applicability and the future development of vehicle-to-enforcement (V2E) technology.

Other Items of Interest

FMCSA Extends National Emergency Declaration Waiving Title 49 CFR 390-399 for Emergency Response
On April 8, 2020, FMCSA expanded the national emergency declaration that suspends Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 390-399, including HOS regulations, for carriers providing assistance to emergency relief efforts related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. FMCSA also published frequently asked questions about the emergency declaration.