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March 2022 Significant Rulemaking Report
Mariah Barr
5 mins read

The month of March may have left you feeling lucky about the near future of the trucking industry, and you’d be right to have such a notion. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced numerous promising updates that could help both carriers and drivers alike, including:

  • Mouth swab drug testing proposal
  • Record of violations process change
  • International Roadcheck focus announcement
  • FMCSA COVID-19 waivers extension

Saliva Testing Proposal 

New Webinar Series: Drug & Alcohol Testing in 2022: What’s New & What’s Next 

The U.S. Department of Transportation published a proposed rulemaking that suggested adding the testing of oral fluid as a drug screening method for DOT-regulated companies, permitting motor carriers to test truck drivers using the collected saliva samples instead of urinalysis. 

In a February 28th Federal Register announcement, DOT said, “the advantage of every oral fluid collection is that it will be directly observed, as opposed to most urine collections, which are unobserved.” This virtually eliminates any “cheating” that can occur during the collection, making the hiring process less taxing, reducing turnover rates, and simply saving motor carriers’ time and money. 

Mouth swab drug testing can also be conducted nearly anywhere, which is extremely convenient in post-accident situations. The proposal also noted carriers could train in-house employees to perform the tests to avoid relying on laboratories.  

Record of Violations Process Update 

As of May 9th, truck drivers will no longer be required to provide their employers with a list of their traffic violations on a yearly basis. The adjustment was originally proposed in December 2020, but the FMCSA is finally making it a reality.  

This will eliminate the duplicative nature of another annual requirement in which motor carriers must obtain each driver’s motor vehicle record (MVR) from every state in which the driver holds or has held a CMV operator’s license or permit in the past year. 

Instead, drivers will be required to report the issuing driver’s license authority of each unexpired CMV operator’s license or permit they have on their employment application. This will allow carriers to perform the necessary inquiries and stay consistent with federal guidelines. 

International Roadcheck Focus Announced 

The dates have been set for the 2022 Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) International Roadcheck, which is the 72-hour blitz of commercial vehicle inspections throughout North America. You can expect to see law enforcement officers out from May 17th to the 19th, with the focus being on wheel ends. 

Wheel-end components, including brakes and slack adjusters, are critical for slowing down, maintaining control, and supporting the hefty loads carried by tractor-trailers. 

Brake systems were the top violation in the 2021 Roadcheck, causing 26.5% of all truck out-of-service conditions. Brake adjustments accounted for 12.4% of all violations and were the fourth-highest violation last year as well. 

The FMCSA identified the top 20 violations so far in fiscal 2022 as of February 16th, and, you guessed it, they’re crammed with different types of wheel-end component violations. 

FMCSA Extends COVID-19 Waivers (Again) 

The FMCSA’s COVID-19 emergency declaration that exempts haulers of specific goods from maximum driving time limits in the federal hours of service regulations is once again being extended through May 31st. The agency’s CDL and medical certificate waiver is now effective through April 15th.   

Read: FMCSA Issues Emergency Declaration in Response to COVID-19 Outbreak 

There aren’t any changes to the hours-of-service waiver since the last extension was announced on Nov. 30th, and the FMCSA is not expected to extend the CDL and medical certificate waiver again. The agency will review the status of the CDL/med cert policy on March 31st and may terminate the notice before April 15th. 

As a friendly reminder, motor carriers who operate under the terms of the declaration need to report their use of it to the FMCSA within five days of the end of each month through their FMCSA portal account. 

Want to stay in the know with the FMCSA’s most recent updates? See the entire Significant Rulemaking Report here.

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