Regulatory Updates – May 1, 2015

Update on Relevant Canadian Regulations

Updated PMVI Standard – NSC 11 Approved

The revised requirements on mandatory Periodic Motor Vehicle Inspections (PMVI) for trucks and buses were approved last fall. For first time the standard has been made available free of charge on the CCMTA web site. Provinces and territories are now working on implementation. A majority of jurisdictions have confirmed their intention to adopt by reference, and the others will follow as per their legislative windows. All are aiming for a six-month to a year transition period for education and awareness, with full implementation targeted for January 1, 2016. The PMVI standard calls for mandatory, annual in-shop inspections of trucks, tractors and trailers and semi-annual inspection of buses. The inspections are conducted at government-licensed facilities, with enforcement occurring at roadside and during facility audits.

Trip Inspection – NSC 13 Under Review

On April 16, 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued a notice and request for comment on a request from the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) Military Surface Deployment and Distribution Command (SDDC) for a renewal of its exemption from the minimum 30- minute rest break provision of the agency’s hours-of-service (HOS) regulations for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. SDDC currently holds an exemption for the period October 22, 2013, through October 21, 2015. The exemption renewal would allow these drivers to use 30 minutes or more of attendance time to meet the HOS rest break requirements, provided they do not perform any other work during the break. If granted, this exemption would be effective from October 22, 2015, through October 21, 2017. Comments are due May 18, 2015.

Update on Relevant U.S. Regulations

ATA Seeking 30 Minute Rest Break Exemption for HM Carriers

On May 1, 2015, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a request for comment on an exemption request received from the American Trucking Associations (ATA). ATA is seeking an exemption from the 30 minute rest break requirement under the hours of service (HOS) rules for all motor carriers that transport hazardous materials (HM) shipments requiring security plans under regulations of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA). The exemption would allow drivers transporting HM for motor carriers required to file security plans be allowed to count their on-duty ‘‘attendance’’ time for any HM cargo toward the required 30 minute rest break requirement, provided the drivers perform no other on-duty activity. Comments are due June 1, 2015.

Entertainer Motorcoach Council Seeks Emergency Exit Exemption

Also on May 1, 2015, FMCSA published a notice and request for comment on an exemption request received from the Entertainer Motorcoach Council (EMC) to allow its members to operate certain vehicles that do not meet the emergency exit requirements in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). EMC believes that while certain ‘‘Entertainer Coaches’’ do not have a rear or roof exit, the emergency exit windows at the rear sides of the vehicle that open manually and provide openings large enough to admit unobstructed passage provide an equivalent level of safety. Comments are due June 1, 2015.

FMCSA Publishes Updated National Hazardous Materials Route Registry

On April 29, 2015, FMCSA issued a notice of the current listing of designated and restricted routes for hazardous materials. The National Hazardous Materials Route Registry (NHMRR) is a listing, as reported by State and Tribal Government routing officials, of all designated and restricted road and highway routes for transportation of highway route controlled quantities (HRCQ) of Class 7 (radioactive) materials (RAM) (HRCQ/RAM) and nonradioactive hazardous materials (NRHMs) transportation. The listing in this notice supersedes the NHMRR published on July 14, 2014, and includes current route limitations and allowances, and information on State and Tribal Government routing agency contacts reported to FMCSA as of March 30, 2015. The notice also responds to comments received on the agency’s notice and request for comment on this subject published on July 14, 2014. The new list is effective April 29, 2015.

PHMSA Delays Processing of Two ATA Preemption Requests

On April 27, 2015, PHMSA published two notices of delay in processing preemption requests from ATA. The agency is conducting fact-finding and legal analysis in response to the requests, and is delaying issuance of its determination in order to allow time for appropriate consideration of the issues raised by the applications.

  • Application for a preemption determination concerning requirements of the City of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania for a permit to transport hazardous materials by motor vehicle and the fee to obtain the permit.
  • Application for a preemption determination concerning requirements of the New York City Fire Department for a permit to transport certain hazardous materials by motor vehicle through New York City, or for transshipment from New York City, and the fee for the permit.

FMCSA Publishes Final Rule on Medical Examiner’s Certification Integration

On April 23, 2015, FMCSA published a final rule on Medical Examiner’s Certification Integration. The rule requires certified medical examiners (MEs) performing physical examinations of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers to use newly developed forms and to report results of all CMV drivers’ physical examinations performed to FMCSA by midnight (local time) of the next calendar day following the examination. For holders of CLP/CDLs (interstate and intrastate), FMCSA will electronically transmit driver identification, examination results, and restriction information from examinations performed from the National Registry to the State Driver’s Licensing Agencies (SDLAs). The agency will also transmit medical variance information for all CMV drivers electronically to the SDLAs. The rule is effective June 22, 2015.

FMCSA Seeking Input on ‘Beyond Compliance’ Concept

Also on April 23, 2015, FMCSA published a notice and request for comment on the potential development of a ‘Beyond Compliance’ program. Beyond Compliance would include voluntary programs implemented by motor carriers that exceed regulatory requirements, and improve the safety of commercial motor vehicles and drivers operating on the Nations’ roadways by reducing the number and severity of crashes. Beyond Compliance would not result in regulatory relief. Comments are due June 22, 2015.

PHMSA Publishes Updates on Special Permits

On April 23, 2015, PHMSA published several updates on Special Permit Applications.