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Regulatory Update – March 6, 2020

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

FMCSA Announces Trucking Safety Summit
On March 4, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a public meeting to discuss improving safe operations of property-carrying commercial motor vehicles. The FMCSA 2020 Trucking Safety Summit will take place on March 19 at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) headquarters. Registration closes on March 10.

U.S. DOT Announces Availability of Online Guidance Portal
On March 3, 2020, U.S. DOT announced the availability of an online portal that contains all guidance documents published by the department. The creation of this online system was in response to the requirements outlined in the “Promoting the Rule of Law Through Improved Agency Guidance Documents” executive order published on Oct. 9, 2019. The portal is searchable and separate portals are also available for each agency within U.S. DOT.

FMCSA Publishes ICR on Crime Prevention for Truck Drivers
On Feb. 28, 2020, FMCSA published a notice and request for comments on an information collection request (ICR) to study the prevalence of harassment and assault against minority and female truck drivers. Comments are due by March 30.

NHTSA Requests Comments on Drug-Impaired Driving Criminal Justice Tool
On Feb. 27, 2020, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a request for comments on the drug-impaired driving criminal justice evaluation tool. The tool is designed to help states and local communities evaluate the effectiveness of efforts to address drug-impaired driving. Comments are due by April 27.

FMCSA Publishes CVSA North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria Incorporation by Reference Update
On Feb. 24, 2020, FMCSA published a final rule amending the hazardous materials safety permit regulations to update the incorporation by reference of CVSA’s “North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria 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.” Currently, the rule references the April 1, 2018, edition of the out-of-service criteria and, through this final rule, FMCSA incorporates the April 1, 2019, edition. The final rule is effective March 25. Petitions for reconsideration are due by March 25.

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Requests Comments on Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Pre-Employment Screening Exemption Request
On March 6, 2020, FMCSA published a notice and request for comments on an application from Motion Picture Compliance Solutions (MPCS) for exemption from the drug and alcohol clearinghouse pre-employment screening requirements. MPCS requests that its members be permitted to employ a driver who is subject to drug and alcohol testing to perform safety-sensitive functions before a full query is conducted. Comments are due by April 6.

FMCSA Grants Joint Railroad Hours-of-Service Exemption
On March 4, 2020, FMCSA announced the approval of a joint hours-of-service exemption application from R.J. Corman Railroad Services, Cranemasters Inc. and the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association. The exemption allows drivers responding to unplanned events, such as a derailed train, to drive after the 14th hour on duty and after the 60th hour in a 7-day period or the 70th hour in an 8-day period. The exemption is effective March 4, 2020-March 4, 2025.

NHTSA Requests Comments on DTNA Petition of Inconsequential Noncompliance
On Feb. 27, 2020, NHTSA published a notice and request for comments on a petition of inconsequential noncompliance from Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA). DTNA has determined that certain model year 2017-2019 Freightliner Cascadia commercial motor vehicles do not comply with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 108, Lamps, Reflective Devices, and Associated Equipment. The brake lights on the commercial motor vehicles involved illuminate when the low air warning light turns on. Comments are due by March 30.

FMCSA Requests Comments on CDL Exemption Application
On Feb. 25, 2020, FMCSA published a notice and request for comments on an application from the United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) from portions of the commercial driver’s license requirements. UPS requests that its driver trainees holding a commercial learners permit be permitted to operate twin 28-foot trailers on public roads to obtain behind-the-wheel skills training under the direct supervision of a driving instructor. Comments are due by March 26.

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.