Regulatory Update – May 15, 2020

Update on Relevant Canadian Regulations

British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Seeks Comments on Regulatory Changes
On April 15, 2020, the British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure published a request for comments on several changes to the safety regulations. Feedback is being requested on implementation of the electronic logging device (ELD) rule, changes to National Safety Code Standard 13 – Trip Inspections and speed limiters. Comments are due by June 15.

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

FMCSA Announces Hours-of-Service Final Rule
On May 14, 2020, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced the release of the agency’s final rule updating the hours-of-service regulations. The final rule expands the short haul exemption to 150 air miles and allows for a 14-hour work shift, expands the driving window during adverse driving conditions by two hours, allows 30 minutes of on-duty time to qualify for the 30-minute rest break requirement, and allows the sleeper berth period to be split into a seven- and three-hour period. CVSA submitted comments to these changes when they were published in the original notice of proposed rulemaking. The final rule has not yet been published in the Federal Register and will go into effect 120 days after publication.

PHMSA Publishes Final Rule to Harmonize with International Standards
On May 11, 2020, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a final rule that amends various Hazardous Materials Regulations to align with international standards. The changes include updates to the requirements for shipping names, hazard classes, packing groups, special provisions, packaging authorizations, air transport, quantity limitations and vessel stowage. The rule went into effect on May 11, 2020. The voluntary compliance date is Jan. 1, 2019, and the delayed compliance date is May 10, 2020. The incorporation by reference of the publications listed in the rule were approved on May 11, 2020.

PHMSA Publishes Updates on Special Permits
On May 7, 2020, PHMSA published updates on special permit applications:

Update on Exemptions

FMCSA Requests Comments on K & L Trucking Cargo Securement Exemption Request
On May 14, 2020, FMCSA published a notice and request for comments on an application from K & L Trucking Inc. to allow the company to secure large metal coils to its trailers with securement systems that are different from those permitted in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations. Comments are due by June 15.

FMCSA Requests Comments on Grote Industries Rear Lamp Exemption Request
On May 12, 2020, FMCSA published a notice and request for comments on an application from Grote Industries LLC to allow motor carriers operating trailers and van body trucks to install brake-activated pulsating lamps on the rear of the vehicles in addition to steady-burning brake lamps. Comments are due by June 11.

CVSA Relocates Active Exemption Tracker to Public Website
CVSA maintains a list of active exemptions issued by FMCSA. The exemption tracker has been relocated and can now be found at under the “Inspections” tab at the top of the page.

CVSA Letters, Petitions and Comments to Rulemakings

CVSA Submits Comments on NTTC Rear Lamp Exemption Request
On May 4, 2020, CVSA submitted comments to FMCSA on an exemption request from the National Tank Truck Carriers (NTTC) to allow motor carriers to operate tank trailers with a red or amber brake-activated pulsating lamp on the rear of trailers. CVSA’s comments agreed with NTTC’s assessment that amber brake-activated pulsating lamps can improve safety but expressed concern that red pulsating lights may be confused with emergency vehicles and conflict with some state laws limiting those types of lights for use by emergency vehicles.

Other Items of Interest

FMCSA Extends National Emergency Declaration Waiving Title 49 CFR 390-399 for Emergency Response
On May 13, 2020, FMCSA extended the national emergency declaration that suspends Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 390-399, including hours-of-service regulations, for carriers providing assistance to emergency relief efforts related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, through June 14. FMCSA also published frequently asked questions about the emergency declaration.