Regulatory Updates – July 24, 2015

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

NHTSA Issues ANPRM Calling for Underride Guards on Straight Trucks

On July 23, 2015, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM) proposing to amend the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs) to require that single-unit trucks be equipped with rear impact guards and reflective tape on the rear and sides of the trucks to improve their visibility. The notice is in response to a petition submitted by the Truck Safety Coalition. Comments are due September 21, 2015.

Update on Other Rulemakings of Interest

On July 15, 2015, the Department of Transportation (DOT) published its monthly Report on DOT Significant Rulemakings. The report included the following updates:

  • Safety Fitness Determination Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) –The NPRM was sent to the Office of Management & Budget (OMB) on June 23, 2015 for review. Publication is now scheduled for September 30, 2015.
  • CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Final Rule – publication is still scheduled for December 14, 2015.
  • ELD Final Rule – publication is still scheduled for September 30, 2015.
  • MAP-21 Enhancements to the Unified Registration System NPRM – publication is still scheduled for April of 2016.
  • MAP-21 Prohibition of Coercion Final Rule – publication is still scheduled for September 25, 2015.
  • FMCSA/NHTSA Joint Rule on Heavy Vehicle Speed Limiters – publication is still scheduled for August 20, 2015.
  • Entry-Level Driver Training NPRM – publication is scheduled for October 15, 2015.
  • Motorcoach Rollover Structural Integrity Final Rule – publication is still scheduled for December 31, 2015.
  • Wetlines Final Rule – publication is still scheduled for November 24, 2015.

R&R Transportation Requests 30 Minute Rest Break Exemption

On July 13, 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a notice and request for comment on an exemption request received from R&R Transportation for an exemption from the 30 minute rest break requirement. The exemption would be available to R&R’s drivers engaged in the transportation of materials that by their nature must be attended, such as radioactive materials, pharmaceuticals, and ammunition. The exemption allow R&R’s drivers to use 30 minutes or more of attendance time to meet the hours of service (HOS) rest break requirements, provided they do not perform any other work during the break. Comments are due August 12, 2015.

EPA Proposes New Emissions Standards for Heavy Vehicles

On July 13, 2015, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a proposed rule to establish new greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty vehicles. Comments are due September 11, 2015. On July 23, the EPA issued a follow up correction to its original proposal.

Other Items of Interest

GAO Issues Report on Oversight of State CDL Programs

On July 15, 2015, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report entitled, “Commercial Driver’s Licensing: Federal Oversight of State Programs Could Be Improved.” The report is the result of a GAO study on issues related to commercial driver’s license (CDL) skills testing, including how states administer skills tests; what is known about waits for skills tests; and how FMCSA oversees these tests. In the report, GAO recommends that FMCSA clarify agency policy on oversight of states’ CDL programs and improve or obtain a mechanism to track oversight activities.