VTBA Regional Emergency Declaration has been issued by FMCSA

By execution of this Emergency Declaration, motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance to the emergency in the States of Texas and Louisiana as a result of Tropical Storm Harvey are granted emergency relief from Parts 390 through 399 of Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations except as restricted herein.

This Emergency Declaration provides for regulator relief for commercial motor vehicle operations while providing direct assistance supporting emergency relief efforts transporting supplies, equipment and persons into or from the States of Texas and Louisiana or providing other assistance in the form of emergency services during the emergency resulting Tropical Storm Harvey in the States of Texas and Louisiana.

This declaration terminates when a driver or commercial motor vehicle is used in interstate commerce to transport cargo or provide services not directly supporting the emergency relief effort.

This declaration is effective immediately and shall remain in effect for the duration of the emergency or until 11:59 pm (ET), September 24, 2017, whichever is less.

Further updates to this declaration can be found on the FMCSA website www.fmcsa.dot.gov.

Crash Preventability Demonstration Program Overview

On August 1, 2017, the FMCSA began accepting Requests for Data Review (RDRs) into its Crash Preventability Demonstration Program through DataQs.  Crashes eligible for the Crash Preventability Demonstration Program must have occured on or after June 1, 2017.  The Crash Preventability Demonstration Program is expected to last a minimum of 24 months.

crash demonstration

FMCSA’s safety programs use data from 3.5 million roadside inspections and 150,000 crashes each year to prioritize its enforcement resources on those motor carriers that pose the greatest safety risks on our Nation’s roads.

Studies show that crash involvement is a strong indicator of future crash risk.  The Crash Preventability Demonstration Program allows FMCSA to gather data to examine the feasibility, costs, and benefits of making crash preventability determinations on certain crash types.  FMCSA will use the information from the program to evaluate if these preventability determinations improve the Agency’s ability to identify the highest-risk motor carriers.

For more information on the Crash Preventability Demonstration Program, please visit:

Updated: Monday, August 7, 2017

Electronic stability control mandate kicks in

federal mandate requiring nearly all new Classes 7-8 tractors sold in the United States be equipment with electronic stability control systems has officially kicked in.

Initially announced in 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has estimated the mandate will save up to 49 lives, prevent up to 1,759 crashes each year, and provide net economic benefits of more than $300 million annually.

Electronic stability control systems use sensors to anticipate possible rollover or loss-of-control events. The rule estimates the technology will add $600 to the cost of a new tractor, though some estimates have been a bit higher.

Read more

Crash Preventability Demonstration Program Overview

On August 1, 2017, the Agency will begin accepting Requests for Data Review (RDRs) into its Crash Preventability Demonstration Program through DataQs.  Crashes eligible for the Crash Preventability Demonstration Program must have occured on or after June 1, 2017.  The Crash Preventability Demonstration Program is expected to last a minimum of 24 months.

FMCSA’s safety programs use data from 3.5 million roadside inspections and 150,000 crashes each year to prioritize its enforcement resources on those motor carriers that pose the greatest safety risks on our Nation’s roads.

Studies show that crash involvement is a strong indicator of future crash risk.  The Crash Preventability Demonstration Program allows FMCSA to gather data to examine the feasibility, costs, and benefits of making crash preventability determinations on certain crash types.  FMCSA will use the information from the program to evaluate if these preventability determinations improve the Agency’s ability to identify the highest-risk motor carriers.

For more information on the Crash Preventability Demonstration Program, please visit:

Updated: Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bill to delay ELD mandate likely a non-starter in Congress

More than 21 members of the U.S. House have signed on as co-sponsors to the bill that would delay the compliance date of the looming electronic logging device mandate. The bill, if enacted, would give drivers and carriers two extra years to adopt ELDs by pushing the compliance deadline to December 2019.

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FMCSA puts final nail in the coffin for restart regs

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration confirmed on its website that the 2013 regulations on the 34-hour restart will not go back into effect, given the results of a study released this week.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has notified Congress that the required study of the those regs revealed they provided no safety benefit. The notification verified a DOT Inspector General notice issued last week on the study’s conclusions.

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FMCSA Notice

Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing:

FMCSA re-opens the public comment period for the Agency’s January 19, 2017, notice announcing the application for exemption from J.B. Hunt Transport, Inc. (J.B. Hunt), Schneider National Carriers, Inc. (Schneider), Werner Enterprises, Inc. (Werner), Knight Transportation, Inc. (Knight), Dupre Logistics, Inc. (Dupree), and Maveric Transportation, LLC (Maverick) to allow hair analysis in lieu of urine testing for pre-employment controlled substances testing of commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders.

Comments must be submitted by April 25, 2017.

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FMCSA clarifies ELD mandate’s ‘grandfather’ clause and potential issues with non-compliant ELDs

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration last week issued new guidance on the use of older logging devices that, while lacking compliance with the agency’s electronic logging device stipulations, afford carriers two extra years — until December 2019 — to fully comply with the ELD mandate.

The agency also published last week clarification for carriers whose devices turn out to be non-compliant after they’re in use.

Read more

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Truck driver shut down after two alcohol-related arrests in four-day span

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has declared Tennessee-licensed truck driver Eric Ronald Scott to be an imminent hazard to public safety and has ordered him not to operate any commercial motor vehicle (CMV) in interstate commerce. Scott was served the federal order on January 18, 2016.

Since receiving his commercial driver’s license (CDL) from the state of Tennessee on October 26, 2016, Scott has been arrested in two separate alcohol-involved events spanning a four-day period.

On the morning of December 31, 2016, the Berlin, Vermont, Police Department, in response for assistance at a local hotel parking lot, subsequently found Scott asleep in the cab of his tractor-trailer. Following a preliminary breath test for alcohol that detected the presence of alcohol, Scott was arrested for domestic assault.

On January 2, 2017, Scott was released from police custody. The following evening, the Berlin, Vermont, Police Department responded to a multi-vehicle crash that involved a tractor-trailer operated by Scott. According to the police report, while en route to Burlington, Vermont, with a final destination of Memphis, Tennessee, Scott jackknifed his tractor-trailer, striking a stop sign and causing three passenger vehicles to be forced off the road. An alcohol breath test conducted by police at the scene on Scott detected the presence of alcohol. Scott was subsequently arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol.

FMCSA’s imminent hazard out-of-service order to Scott states that his continued operation of a CMV in interstate commerce “ … substantially increases the likelihood of serious injury or death to you and/or the motoring public if not discontinued immediately.”

Failure to comply with the provisions of a federal imminent hazard out-of-service order may result in action by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for equitable relief and punitive damages. Civil penalties of up to $3,100 may be assessed for each violation of operating a commercial motor vehicle in violation of the order. Knowing and/or willful violation of the order may also result in criminal penalties.

Scott also may be subject to a civil penalty enforcement proceeding brought by FMCSA for his violation of the agency’s safety regulations.
Updated: Thursday, February 2, 2017