Regulatory Updates – March 4, 2016

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

FMCSA Releases NPRM on National Training Standards for Entry-Level Truck and Bus Drivers

On March 4, 2016, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on proposed comprehensive prerequisite training standards for entry-level truck and bus drivers seeking a commercial driver’s license (CDL). Mandatory training would apply to:

    • First-time CDL applicants
    • Current CDL holders seeking a license upgrade or an additional endorsement
    • A previously disqualified CDL holder seeking to reacquire a license

Individuals would be subject to the proposed entry-level driver training requirements and must complete a course of instruction provided by an entity that:

    • Meets the minimum qualifications for training providers;
    • Covers the curriculum;
    • Is listed on FMCSA’s proposed Training Provider Registry; and
    • Submits electronically to FMCSA the training certificate for each individual who completes the training

Military drivers, farmers, and firefighters would remain generally exempt from the federal CDL requirements.

The compliance date of this proposed rule would be three years after the effective date of the final rule. Comments are due April 6, 2016. The compliance date of this proposed rule would be three years after the effective date in the final rule. Additional information on the negotiated rulemaking can be found here.

NHTSA and EPA Release Information on Phase 2 Heavy-Duty Greenhouse Gas Emissions Program

On March 2, 2016, the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice and opportunity to comment on new data on powertrain, aerodynamics and drive cycles of certain vehicles as they relate to proposed standards. The information is related to the proposed Phase 2 Medium- and Heavy-Duty National Program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fuel consumption for new on-road heavy-duty vehicles and engines. Comments are due April 1, 2016.

FMCSA Announces UCR Board Meeting

On February 29, 2016, FMCSA issued a notice announcing a meeting of the Unified Carrier Registration (UCR) Plan Board of Directors. The Board will continue its work in developing and implementing the Unified Carrier Registration Plan and Agreement. The meeting is open to the public and will be held on March 17, 2016.

Update on Exemptions

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

Office of Hazardous Materials Safety Research & Development Forum

On March 23, 2016, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) will hold a Safety Research & Development (R&D) forum.

CVSA Sends Letter in Support of 5.9 GHz Spectrum to FCC

On March 1, 2016, CVSA sent a letter in support of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding the agency’s allocation of portions of the 5.9 GHz spectrum for vehicle to vehicle (V2V) communications architecture. In the letter, CVSA encourages the agency to give priority to safety systems as sharing of that spectrum with non-vehicle safety uses is considered. CVSA sees a potential for applications to be developed around the V2V platform to communicate safety-related information from trucks and buses in addition to the basic position, speed and heading messages proposed for light vehicles. However, success of any V2V application depends on the FCC’s allocation, as well as NHTSA’s coordination and industry’s implementation of an interference-free, dedicated spectrum.