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Fast-Fax - Year End Review 2011

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of December 9, 2011
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

January

HOS Proposal Finally Hits the Federal Register

Safety advocates and big industry associations started weighing in on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new Hours of Service (HOS) proposal shortly after the preview copy appeared on the agency’s website on December 23.

DOT Issues Railroad Crossing NPRM

Two DOT agencies propose changes to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs)and Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMRs) that would prohibit a motor vehicle driver from entering onto a highway-rail grade crossing unless there is sufficient space to clear the crossing without stopping.

February

New Cargo Insurance Requirements Begin March 21

FMCSA eliminates the minimum cargo insurance requirements for most for-hire common carriers of property and freight forwarders. Household goods carriers and household goods freight forwarders are still on the hook.

March

GAO Report Reveals Price, Future of CSA

A report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) revealed how much CSA has cost the taxpayer and what FMCSA has in store for the future of the program.

Settlement Agreement Results in CSA Changes

As part of a settlement agreement with three trucking associations, FMCSA made some changes to the CSA system.

April

PHMSA Texting Ban Begins

PHMSA issued a final rule that prohibits texting on electronic devices while transporting hazardous materials requiring placarding.

PHMSA Final Rule Enhances Enforcement Authority

PHMSA’s new enforcement and inspection procedures Final Rule enhances, but does not change, the current inspection procedures.

May

FMCSA Establishes Minimum Standards for CLPs

After more than 20 years of proposals, FMCSA published a Final Rule establishing a minimum standard that States must adhere to when issuing Commercial Learner’s Permits (CLPs).

FMCSA Reopens Hours-of- Service Comment Period

The agency will only consider comments on four driver fatigue-related documents it added to the public docket.

NY Congressman Reintroduces ‘Jason’s Law’.

Congressman Paul Tonko (D-NY) reintroduced “Jason’s Law,” a bill aimed at increasing safe truck parking facilities across the country.

FMCSA Delays Intermodal Equipment Rules

FMCSA announced that it would delay the new rules governing Intermodal Equipment. The new implementation date is June 30, 2012.

June

Are Safety Rating Appeals Extensions History?

After a deadly accident involving a carrier appealing an unsatisfactory safety rating, DOT head Ray LaHood calls for an end to appeals extensions for unsafe bus companies.

FMCSA Punts on Medical Certificate Filing Rule

FMCSA issues a proposed rule effectively delaying an overhaul to the medical certificate filing regulations that has been on the books since 2008. Drivers and motor carriers will be required to keep paper copies of the medical certificate until at least 2014.

July

FMCSA Proposal Eliminates Confusion on Schedule I Drug Use by CMV Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed changes designed to clear up “perceived” inconsistencies regarding Schedule I drug use by CMV drivers. The bottom line is that the use of Schedule I drugs by CMV drivers is never permitted. The agency also plans to eliminate incorrect use of the term “actual knowledge” and harmonize Part 382 refusal-to-test provisions with Part 40 requirements.

DOT Proves Its Point

The Department of Transportation claimed a significant victory in its war against distracted driving as pilot programs in Hartford and Syracuse were hailed as overwhelming successes.

FMCSA Releases Draft Strategic Plan

FMCSA released a draft of its latest strategic plan in July, giving the industry a glimpse at the future of safety regulations. Expect increased CMV safety regulations in 2012.

August

CAFE Standards Applied to Trucks for First Time

Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards have been applied to heavy-duty vehicles for the first time. Starting in 2014 new trucks will have to be much more fuel efficient.

FMCSA Swings the Ax to Old Regulations

The Obama Administration is waging war against regulations deemed harmful to small businesses; every agency is taking the axe to out dated or harmful regulations and FMCSA was no exception.

September

NLRB Rulemaking Causes Stir Trucking Industry

The new rules require that employers post information about the right to unionize along side other mandatory postings (such as disability and minimum wage laws).

NTSB Recommends Banning All Cell Phones in Trucks

The National Transportation Safety Board, an independent government body, made its recommendations to FMCSA and to the states earlier this week.

October

The Rise of the Tolls

With budgets over burdened, taxes at record lows and a nationwide infrastructure crisis only just getting started, States and Municipalities are looking to tolls to raise revenues.

Full Steam Ahead on Cross Border Program

Despite strenuous objections from the industry and from Congress, FMCSA is pushing on with the Cross Border Trucking Project with Mexico.

November

Motor Carriers Improving Safety

FMCSA has released figures that show that the number of fatal crashes decreased by almost a third between 2007 and 2009.

DOT Marks 20 Years of Drug Testing

The DOT marked twenty years since it was mandated by Congress to begin drug and alcohol testing of transportation workers.

December

FMCSA and PHMSA Ban Handheld Cellphones

In a widely predicted move, FMCSA and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration issued a joint Final Rule on Wednesday, November 23 banning the use of a handheld cellphone while operating a CMV.

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • www.FoleyServices.com • Vol. 111, No. 716 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011