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New DOT Regs for 2022: What We’re Keeping an Eye On
Foley
5 mins read

A new year means new DOT regs (or, at the very least, updated DOT regulations) for carriers. This year, we’re keeping an eye on several changes and/or updates, including ones related to electronic logging devices (ELDs), automatic emergency braking (AEB) systems on heavy trucks, Clearinghouse revisions, and potential changes to the safety ratings system. Let’s take a closer look so you know what to expect and how to prepare.

New Webinar: The Rise of Surprise Safety Events

Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs)

The original ELD regulation went into effect in February of 2016. But changes are afoot. As the pre-rule verbiage states, “Many lessons have been learned by FMCSA staff, State enforcement personnel, ELD vendors, and industry in the intervening years. These lessons can be used to streamline and improve the clarity of the regulatory text and ELD specifications and answer recurring questions.”

Hopefully, this will be good news for carriers and drivers, since many found the original ELD reg to be unrealistic and downright problematic.

Date/deadline in play: We expect to hear something from the FMCSA in April 2022.

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) Systems

 The pre-rule verbiage proposes “performance standards for AEB systems on heavy trucks and accompanying test procedures for measuring the performance of the AEB systems in NHTSA compliance testing.”

There has been debate over AEB systems, depending on who you talk to. According to this article published in June 2021, a trade group for big rig drivers has questioned whether the technology is ready. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, on the other hand, believes AEB systems could prevent “more than 40% of crashes in which semis rear-end other vehicles.”

Date/deadline in play: We expect to hear something from the FMCSA in early May 2022.

Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Implementation Revisions

The Clearinghouse went into effect in January 2020, right before the start of the pandemic. The pre-rule verbiage states that the “FMCSA is proposing changes to streamline and improve error-correction procedures, queries, and consent requirements.”

The Clearinghouse has caused many headaches for carriers due to its many nuances. A streamlined regulation would be welcomed by most. (And, of course, using Foley as your third-party Clearinghouse administrator means you’re covered no matter what happens.)

Date/deadline in play:  We expect an update in February 2022.

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Potential Changes to Safety Ratings

The FMCSA is committed to targeting unfit carriers and removing dangerous drivers from the roadways. To that end, it will be seeking “public comment about the use of available safety data, including inspection data, in determining carrier fitness to operate. The Agency would also seek public input on possible changes to the current three-tier safety fitness rating structure.”

Reminder that the three-tier status is Satisfactory, Conditional, and Unsatisfactory. As we’ve written about extensively, it’s extremely difficult and costly to return to a Satisfactory rating once you’ve been downgraded to either Conditional or Unsatisfactory.

Date/deadline in play:  We expect to hear something in March 2022.

New Webinar: The Rise of Surprise Safety Events

Possible Unique Electronic IDs of CMVs

The FMCSA has been collaborating with the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), and as a result of these discussions, a possible amendment to existing regs would require “every commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operating in interstate commerce to be equipped with an electronic device capable of communicating a unique identification number when queried by a roadside system.”

The idea being that these devices would improve roadside inspections and allow enforcement officers to target high-risk operators.

Date/deadline in play: We expect to hear more in February 2022.

Bottom line: Safety is the FMCSA’s top priority.

And no doubt, it is (or should be!) for carriers as well. The challenge, however, is keeping up with all the DOT regs and changes to those regulations. This can prove problematic come audit and inspection time. (Reminder: The FMCSA went on a surprise inspection blitz at the end of 2021—and it doesn’t show signs of slowing down in 2022.)

At Foley, it’s our job to stay current on all DOT regs so that our clients remain DOT compliant. Request a demo of the Foley Platform and let’s talk about your company’s specific DOT compliance needs.

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