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Regulatory Update – Aug. 4, 2017

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

PHMSA Publishes Updates on Special Permits
On Aug. 4, 2017, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) published updates on special permit applications:

FMCSA Issues CLP and CDL Testing Guidance
On Aug. 3, 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued regulatory guidance clarifying that state driver licensing agencies are permitted to facilitate the commercial learner’s permit (CLP) application process and administer the commercial driver’s license (CDL) general knowledge test to individuals who are not domiciled in the state. The regulatory guidance is applicable Aug. 3, 2017, through Aug. 3, 2022.

FMCSA Announces Crash Preventability Demonstration Program
On July 27, 2017, FMCSA announced that the agency is moving forward with a crash preventability demonstration program. As part of the program, FMCSA will receive requests for data review (RDRs) to evaluate the preventability of certain categories of crashes through the DataQs system. The notice details what types of crashes are eligible for the program, the process for submitting a crash for consideration, how determinations will be displayed in FMCSA systems and the data to be collected. The program began Aug. 1, 2017, for crashes that occur on or after June 1, 2017.

PHMSA Requests Comments on Transport of Dangerous Goods
On July 26, 2017, PHMSA issued a notice requesting comments on issues being considered for the 51st and 52nd sessions of the United Nations Sub-Committee of Experts on the Transport of Dangerous Goods. Comments are due by Nov. 17, 2017.

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Grants Five-Year Windshield Exemption to Hino Motors
On Aug. 3, 2017, FMCSA issued a notice granting a limited five-year exemption allowing motor carriers operating commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) manufactured by Hino Motors Manufacturing U.S.A. Inc. to use an automated emergency braking (AEB) system and a lane departure warning (LDW) system camera mounted in the windshield area at a height lower than currently allowed. The exemption is effective Aug. 3, 2017, through Aug. 3, 2022.

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

Other Items of Interest

Inspector General Publishes Assessment of High-Risk Carrier Reviews
On July 25, 2017, the Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General (IG) published a report on the timeliness and effectiveness of FMCSA’s review of high-risk motor carriers. The IG concluded that FMCSA made improvements to the process, but challenges remain with data quality.

GAO Publishes Report on FMCSA IT Systems Management
On July 13, 2017, the Government Accountability Office published a report on FMCSA’s information technology (IT) systems management. The report was required by Section 5504 of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act. The report identifies deficiencies in FMCSA’s IT system management and includes five recommendations to FMCSA to improve its IT strategic planning, oversight and operational analyses.