Regulatory Updates – May 31, 2013

Update on Relevant Regulations

FMCSA Issues HOS Exemptions

On May 31, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued two separate exemptions from hours of service (HOS) requirements. First, FMCSA granted the Department of Energy’s request for an exemption from the minimum 30-minute break requirement, allowing employee-drivers engaged in the transportation of security-sensitive radioactive materials to use 30 minutes or more of ‘‘attendance time’’ to meet the HOS rest break requirements, so long as they do not perform any other work during the break. The exemption is effective from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2015. The agency also granted an exemption request from Trailways Companies. Under the exemption, which applies to all regular-route passenger carriers and their drivers, drivers are exempt from the HOS record of duty status requirement to enter a change in duty status on the daily log for breaks in driving time of 10 minutes or less, specifically for the purpose of picking up or dropping off passengers, baggage, or small express packages. This exemption is effective from May 31, 2013 to May 31, 2015.

FMCSA Seeks Input on Driver Harassment Issue

On May 28, FMCSA issued a Notice and Request for Comments, announcing the agency’s intent to gather input on the issue of driver harassment, in the context of their pending rulemaking on electronic logging devices (ELDs), also referred to as electronic on board records (EOBRS). Comments on the information request are due June 27.

FMCSA Seeks to Eliminate Quarterly Financial Reporting for Some For-Hire Carriers

On May 24, FMCSA issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, proposing to eliminate the quarterly financial reporting requirements for certain property and passenger carriers, in an attempt to reduce the paperwork burden. Comments are due by July 23, 2013.

Other Items of Interest

CVSA President Mark Savage Named to National Freight Advisory Committee

On May 30, Department of Transportation (DOT) Secretary Ray LaHood named the members of the newly formed National Freight Advisory Committee. CVSA’s President, Mark Savage, of the Colorado State Patrol, was among the 47 individuals named to the committee. The purpose of the committee, created by MAP-21, is to provide DOT with recommendations on how to improve its freight transportation policies and programs.

MCSAC Subcommittees Meeting in June

FMCSA has announced that both the Motorcoach and CSA Subcommittees of the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) will be meeting June 17-20 in Arlington, VA. The CSA subcommittee meeting, scheduled for the 17th and 18th, will feature a presentation from CVSA President Mark Savage. The Motorcoach subcommittee will meet the 19th and 20th. Both meetings are open to the public. Additional information, including agendas, will be posted on the MCSAC website.

OOIDA Challenges Overturned Violations Policy

In early May, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) filed a lawsuit challenging FMCSA’s policy that allows violations dismissed by a court to remain on a driver or carrier’s record. OOIDA is seeking a court ruling that violations dismissed in court must be removed from the driver or carrier’s record.