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Regulatory Update – Dec. 27, 2019

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

U.S. DOT Publishes Final Rule on Rulemaking, Guidance and Enforcement Procedures
On Dec. 27, 2019, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published a final rule that updates the agency’s administrative procedures for rulemakings, guidance and enforcement. The rule goes into effect Jan. 27, 2020.

FMCSA Publishes Financial Responsibility ICR
On Dec. 27, 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a request for comments on an information collection request (ICR) regarding minimum insurance levels for motor carriers. Comments are due by Jan. 27, 2020.

FMCSA Publishes Unified Registration System ICR
Also on Dec. 27, 2019, FMCSA published a request for comments on an ICR to collect information through the Unified Registration System from new registrants seeking initial operating authority. Comments are due by Jan. 27, 2020.

U.S. DOT Publishes Semiannual Regulatory Agenda
On Dec. 26, 2019, the U.S. DOT published its semiannual summary of current and projected rulemakings, existing regulations and actions completed by each agency. The agenda also provides the public with information on planned activities for the year.

PHMSA Announces Lithium Battery Safety Advisory Committee Meeting
On Dec. 26, 2019, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) announced that the Lithium Battery Safety Advisory Committee will meet Jan. 22-23, 2020, at the U.S. DOT headquarters in Washington D.C. Requests to attend and/or deliver oral comments at the meeting must be received by Jan. 8, 2020.

FMCSA Publishes Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse ICR
On Dec. 23, 2019, FMCSA published a request for comments on an ICR regarding the drug and alcohol clearinghouse. The renewal of the ICR would allow FMCSA to continue to collect user contact information during the clearinghouse registration process. Comments are due by Jan. 22, 2020.

NHTSA Publishes ANPRM on Tires FMVSS
On Dec. 19, 2019, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a request for comments on an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) on updating the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) on tires. The ANPRM seeks information on changes that are necessary to keep pace with new tire technology. Comments are due by Feb. 18, 2020.

FMCSA Publishes Operating Authority Revocation ICR
On Dec. 18, 2019, FMCSA published a request for comments on an ICR regarding voluntary revocation of operating authority. The ICR allows carriers to request that their operating authority be revoked if they no longer meet the requirements to operate. Comments are due by Feb. 18, 2020.

FMCSA Publishes LCV Training ICR
Also on Dec. 18, 2019, FMCSA published a request for comments on an ICR regarding agency requirements for long combination vehicles (LCV) certification. Comments are due by Feb. 18, 2020.

FMCSA Publishes Beyond Compliance ICR
Also on Dec. 18, 2019, FMCSA published a request for comments on a ICR regarding the agency’s beyond compliance initiative. The ICR is intended to allow FMCSA to study the effectiveness of various technologies, programs and policies on motor carrier safety performance. Comments are due by Feb. 18, 2020.

U.S. DOT Launches Combatting Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award
On Dec. 18, 2019, the U.S. DOT announced the creation of the Combatting Human Trafficking in Transportation Impact Award. The award is open to individuals and entities that have taken steps to combat human trafficking in transportation. Submissions for the award are being accepted Jan. 1-31, 2020.

FMCSA Requests Comments on Petition to Rescind Hearing Requirements
On Dec. 16, 2019, FMCSA published a request for comments on a petition from the National Association of the Deaf. The petition requests that FMCSA initiate a rulemaking to remove the requirement that commercial motor vehicle drivers be able to hear. Comments are due by Feb. 14, 2020.

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Requests Comments on Knight-Swift Driver Qualification Files Exemption
On Dec. 23, 2019, FMCSA published a request for comments on an exemption request from Knight-Swift Transportation Holdings. The application requests that Knight-Swift be permitted to verify the results of a medical examination for newly hired drivers by means other than obtaining a driver’s motor vehicle record. Comments are due by Jan. 22, 2020.

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.

Other Items of Interest

U.S. DOT Announces Safety Data Initiative
U.S. DOT announced an agency wide safety data initiative to identify new data sources. The agency is awarding funding for research and data collection related to precursors to crashes, pedestrian and bicyclist safety, intersections and non-fatal injury crashes.