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August 2021 Significant Rulemaking Report
Foley
5 mins read

After a long period of inaction, the Department of Transportation (DOT) is once again moving forward with significant measures it plans to tackle in the latter half of 2021 and in 2022.

However, more pressing matters have presented themselves over the last couple of months. Specifically:

  • CDL disqualification oversight by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).
  • The long-anticipated opening of the Training Provider Registry.

Read more about both—as well as other DOT and FMCSA priorities—below.

FMCSA CDL Disqualification Oversight

The DOT’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) recently performed an audit of FMCSA oversight of state action to disqualify commercial drivers (when warranted). The findings: The agency has gaps and other significant challenges.

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According to the report, 17% of the time, states did not transmit electronic conviction notices in a timely fashion. This includes:

  • 18% of 2,182 major offenses.
  • 17% of 23,628 serious traffic violations.

The OIG also estimates that:

  • 11% of 2,182 major violations were not posted to driver records in a timely fashion.
  • 2% of 23,628 serious traffic violations were not posted at all.

According to a statement from the OIG, weaknesses and gaps in state compliance with federal regulation can limit FMCSA’s ability to keep unsafe CDL drivers off the road and protect public safety. The agency’s evaluation of paper conviction notifications is limited by state processes for recording and tracking convictions via mail, the office added, and the agency’s Annual Program Review process lacks adequate quality control measures to verify that state CDL programs meet federal requirements.

In response, the OIG has made seven recommendations in hopes to strengthen FMCSA’s oversight. These include:

  • Improving requirements for states to record, track and maintain paper-based convictions.
  • Finalizing and implementing standardized operating procedures for conducting annual program reviews.
  • Modifying the annual program review checklist.
  • Finalizing/implementing a standard operating procedure for determining when a state is not making a good faith effort to mitigate compliance issues, and when to impose sanctions on noncompliant states.
  • Completing FMCSA’s review of the States Compliance Records Enterprise (SCORE) program.
  • Implementing improvements for managing states’ compliance issues and developing and implementing a process to segregate non-CDL holder convictions from all CDL Information System reports.
  • Developing and implementing a plan for coordinating with the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators to mitigate risks when states transition to new software systems.

The FMCSA has agreed with these recommendations and begun to address them.

It is important to note that, while the audit analyzed state compliance, it ultimately underscores the DOT’s push for carriers to move to digital files and recordkeeping. Find out more about Foley’s full suite of compliance services here.

Digital Recordkeeping Now Required! Get Offsite Audit Ready Now

Training Provider Registry

 The FMCSA has finally launched its long-anticipated Training Provider Registry. This comes four years after the agency published its Entry-Level Driver Training Rule.

Per the rule, which goes into effect on February 7, 2022, only training providers listed in the registry will be eligible to train pre-CDL drivers.

Trainers listed on the registry must:

  • Follow training curriculum listed in the rule.
  • Use facilities, vehicles and instructors that meet criteria outlined in the rule.
  • Meet recordkeeping requirements.
  • Be licensed, certified, registered, or authorized to provide training in accordance with state laws and regulations where they are conducting training.

Other DOT and FMCSA Priorities

A number of other rules from the DOT, the FMCSA, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration are also in various pre-rule, proposed, and final stages. Some of these include:

  •  Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse revisions (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking expected in February 2022).
  • Automatic Emergency Braking (Notice of Proposed Rulemaking expected to be published in April 2022).
  • New Driver Vision Standards (Final Rule expected by February 2022).
  • Safe integration of automated driving systems (proposed ruling state).
  • Broker and freight forwarder financial responsibility (proposed ruling stage).
  • Assessment of Federal Motor Vehicle safety standards for lighting; assessment of Federal Motor Vehicle safety standards for brakes (both in the pre-rule stage).

As always, Foley is here to help with all of your compliance needs. Keep reading our blog for any updates on the above measures, and contact us today to learn about our comprehensive compliance program!

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