Regulatory Updates – November 22, 2013

Update on Relevant Regulations:

NHTSA Set to Release Final Rule Requiring Seat Belts on Motorcoaches

On Monday, November 25, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will publish its final rule requiring lap and shoulder seat belts for each passenger and driver seat on new motorcoaches and other large buses. The final rule amends Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 208 and applies to new over-the-road buses and to other types of new buses with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 11,793 kilograms (26,000 pounds). The rule does not apply to transit buses and school buses. . The Final Rule will be effective 11/28/16 and petitions for reconsideration are due January 9th, 2014. Early compliance is allowed.

Upcoming Rules of Interest

According to the November edition of DOT’s Report on DOT Significant Rulemakings, progress has been made on several rules of interest to CVSA members. The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on the CDL Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse is currently at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. The agency expects the proposal to clear OMB by December 1, and predicts a December 25 publication. Meanwhile, the FMCSA’s Electronic Logging Device proposal is also at OMB, and is slated to be published on December 18. Two other items of interest have been delayed. Publication of the Safety Fitness Determination rulemaking has been pushed back a month and a half, to published on May 30, 2014, and release of the enhancements to the URS mandated by MAP-21 were pushed back a month, into August of next year.

Other Items of Interest:

DOT Announces Upcoming Size & Weight Study Events

Earlier this week, DOT announced two upcoming events related to the agency’s Comprehensive Truck Size & Weight Study. First, the agency has announced that there will be a public meeting of the National Academies’ Transportation Research Board Committee that will be reviewing the study. This meeting will be held on Thursday, December 5, 2013 from 11am to 6pm Eastern. The session will include presentations from DOT on the Desk Scans produced by the MAP-21 Comprehensive Truck Size and Weight Study. Prior to the meeting, an agenda will be posted here.

Second, DOT will be hosting its second public outreach session, via webinar, on Wednesday, December 18 from 1pm to 5pm Eastern. The session will include a review of draft desk scans, project plans, selected truck configurations and an updated project schedule. Prior to the webinar, DOT will post documents here. The agency will accept comments on these materials through January 3, 2014.

CSA Studies Due Out in Early 2014

Two government reports on FMCSA’s CSA program are due for release in early 2014. The Government Accountability Office is conducting a review of how well the CSA program assesses the potential safety risk posed by motor carriers. That report is schedule to be completed on January 14. In addition, the DOT’s Inspector General Office plans to publish their review of the study in early 2014.

IANA Announces New Driver Vehicle Examination Report Service

At their recent Intermodal Expo, the Intermodal Association of North America (IANA) unveiled a new electronic method for faster reporting of intermodal chassis roadside inspection information reports, which identify necessary repairs. The service, known as the Driver Vehicle Examination Report Service, is intended to provide faster, more effective delivery of inspection report information. It was developed in collaboration with FMCSA.