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Regulatory Update – July 8, 2022

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

NHTSA Requests Applications for Advisory Committee on Underride Protection
On July 6, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a request for nominations to serve on the agency’s Advisory Committee on Underride Protection (ACUP). The purpose of ACUP is to provide advice and recommendations to the secretary of transportation on safety regulations to reduce underride crashes and fatalities relating to underride crashes. Applications are due by Aug. 5.

NHTSA Denies Petition for Underride Protection Defect Investigation
On July 5, NHTSA issued a notice denying a September 2021 petition requesting that the agency investigate whether a defect related to motor vehicle safety exists in van-type or box semi-trailers due to a lack of side underride guards. On Nov. 17, 2021, NHTSA opened Defect Petition DP21–004 to evaluate the petitioners’ request. After a review of the petition and other information, NHTSA concluded that the issues presented by the petitioners will be examined in work undertaken pursuant to congressional direction under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

NHTSA Announces Creation of MMUCC Committee
Also on July 5, NHTSA published a notice announcing the creation of the agency’s Model Minimum Uniform Crash Criteria (MMUCC) Committee. NHTSA has led the development of the MMUCC since the first edition was published in 1998. NHTSA is creating the committee to inform the development and revision of the MMUCC Guideline, sixth edition. The MMUCC Committee’s objectives are: (1) to exchange views, information and advice to further refine the collection of motor vehicle crash data and (2) to exchange views, information and advice on institutional barriers preventing MMUCC implementation. Comments are due by Sept. 6.

U.S. DOT Seeks Comments on Drug and Alcohol Testing Data Applicability
On June 30, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) published a request for information regarding a March 2021 report published by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) titled “DOT Has Taken Steps to Verify and Publicize Drug and Alcohol Testing Data but Should Do More.” The report examines how DOT uses drug and alcohol testing data, how DOT verifies that data are reliable, and whether DOT follows key actions for transparently reporting drug and alcohol testing data. The data are primarily used by DOT to determine the random testing rate(s) for safety-sensitive employees in each industry each year. In response to a recommendation from the GAO Report, DOT requests information from potential users in the public to determine if there is a broader audience for the public data. Comments are due by Aug. 1.

FMCSA Held UCR Board Meeting
On June 27, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a meeting of the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan Audit Subcommittee to continue its work in developing and implementing the Unified Carrier Registration Plan and Agreement. The meeting was held June 30.

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Requests Comments on Railsback Hazmat Safety Professionals ELDT Exemption Request
On July 8, FMCSA published a notice requesting comments on an exemption request from Rex Railsback, Owner, Railsback HazMat Safety Professionals, LLC, for an exemption from the theory instructor qualification requirements in the entry-level driver training (ELDT) regulations. Mr. Railsback would perform theory (i.e., classroom) training relating to the transportation of hazardous materials for driver-trainees seeking to obtain a hazardous materials endorsement on their commercial driver’s license (CDL). Comments are due by Aug. 8.

FMCSA Requests Comments on APA HOS Exemption Request
Also on July 8, FMCSA published a notice requesting comments on a request from the American Pyrotechnics Association (APA) to renew a previously expired hours-of-service (HOS) exemption on behalf of 45 member companies. APA is seeking an exemption that would allow the member companies’ drivers to exclude off-duty and sleeper berth time of any length from the calculation of the 14-hour limit and to use paper records of duty status in lieu of an electronic logging device during the designated Independence Day periods. The requests are for the transportation of pyrotechnics from June 28 through July 8 of every year from 2022 through 2026. Comments are due by Aug. 8.

FMCSA Requests Comments on NGWA ELDT Exemption Request
On July 7, FMCSA published a notice requesting comments on an exemption request from the National Ground Water Association (NGWA) from the ELDT regulations for individuals operating Class B ground-water well drilling rigs. Comments are due by Aug. 22.

FMCSA Requests Comments on Alaska ELDT Exemption Request
On July 6, FMCSA published a notice requesting comments on an exemption request from the state of Alaska for an exemption from the ELDT curriculum that requires the Class A CDL applicant to demonstrate proficiency in proper techniques for initiating vehicle movement, executing left and right turns, changing lanes, navigating curves at speed, entry and exit on the interstate or controlled-access highways, and stopping the vehicle in a controlled manner. Comments are due by Aug. 5.

FMCSA Renews New Prime CLP Exemption
On June 28, FMCSA announced its decision to renew the New Prime Inc. exemption from the provisions that require a commercial learner’s permit (CLP) holder to be accompanied by a CDL holder with the proper CDL class and endorsements, seated in the front seat of the vehicle while the CLP holder performs behind-the-wheel training on public roads or highways. Under the terms and conditions of this exemption, a CLP holder who has documentation of passing the CDL skills test may drive a commercial motor vehicle for New Prime without being accompanied by a CDL holder in the front seat. The exemption is effective June 28, 2022-June 27, 2027.