White House Orders Agencies to Write Clear Summaries of Rules

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White House Regulatory Czar Cass Sunstein has directed all federal agencies to preface complex rules with short explanations on their need, legal basis, and cost. Earlier this year, Sunstein directed federal agencies to write documents in “plain language” free of jargon. The move is part of the White House's regulatory reform effort which also includes a government-wide “look-back” aimed at streamlining rules and eliminating unnecessary regulations.

The next initiative is to require clear executive summaries of a rule's major provisions including its costs and benefits. Contact: Glen Kedzie at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Secretary LaHood Announces Close to $1.6 Billion in Funding

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U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces Close to $1.6 Billion in Funding for Repairs to Damaged Roads and Bridges

Supplemental Funding from Congress Makes Reimbursement Possible

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced nearly $1.6 billion to states and territories across the nation to help cover the costs of repairing roads and bridges damaged by a variety of natural disasters.

“Communities from coast to coast are still recovering from disasters that have affected the roads they use, their homes and businesses,” said Secretary LaHood. “The Obama Administration stands ready to provide emergency relief and reimburse these communities for the work that has been done to restore their critical transportation needs.”

Funding from the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Emergency Relief Program was provided by the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2012.  FHWA will provide a total of $1.58 billion to 30 states, American Samoa, U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and federal land management agencies to reimburse them for repairs to roads and bridges caused by storms, flooding, hurricanes and other natural and catastrophic disasters.

“States and communities can rely on the federal government during these critical times,” said FHWA Administrator Victor Mendez.  “When disaster strikes, the Department will do all it can to provide help to the affected areas.”

Vermont, hard hit by Hurricane Irene, will receive $125.6 million; North Dakota will receive $89.1 million for the Devils Lake Basin for damage caused by Spring 2011 runoff; and Iowa will receive $37.5 million to repair damage caused by the May 2011 Missouri River flooding. A complete list of states and funding amounts is listed below.

This money will reimburse states for fixing or replacing highways, bridges and other roadway structures. Costs associated with detours, debris removal and other immediate measures necessary to restore traffic flow in impacted areas are also eligible for reimbursement... Continue reading...


Safety Belt Art Contest is Now Open for Entries

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The CMV Safety Belt art contest is now open for entries and these will be accepted through February 14, 2011. To view the video promoting this year’s contest and for more information, visit: Thank you for spreading word about the art contest by linking to the safety belt partnership Web page through your organization’s Web site, social media outlets, and newsletters. Please contact me with your technical specifications if you require the video in a particular file type or format in order to upload it to your Web site or social media outlets. The video can also be viewed on DOT’s YouTube channel

A Touching Tribute - from Randall-Reilly Publishing

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Mike ReillyHundreds of people stood in line at the back of a Pottle’s Transportation 53’ dry van trailer near Section 53 at Arlington National Cemetery on December 10, 2011. They were there in conjunction with “Wreaths Across America Day”, which includes a remembrance ceremony that takes place on this sacred ground in Virginia, the final resting place for more than 300,000 veterans.

December 2011 marked the twentieth year that Worcester Wreath Company has provided wreaths to be placed on headstones to honor and remember America’s veterans during the holiday season, and the Pottle’s truck was one of 20 scattered throughout the 642-acre cemetery, the last stop in a “Veterans Honor Parade” that began December 4, 2011, in Harrington, Maine.

The truck convoy had slowly made its way down a 750-mile stretch of Route 1 to Washington, D.C., escorted by the Patriot Guard Riders. Along this week-long route, the group made stops at schools and cemeteries to carry out the mission of Wreaths Across America: to remember and honor veterans by placing wreaths at the graves of fallen military members during the holidays – a time of traditional family gatherings – and teach children that we are able to gather, in peace, because of the many sacrifices made by military men and women. About 15,000 volunteers joined the effort at Arlington, and each tractor trailer had a similar scene. Scout troops, parents, grandparents, kids in earmuffs and mittens, and military members in full dress uniforms were waiting to take wreaths, one at a time, and head for a familiar spot or form somber clusters around a single tomb. Some were there to volunteer their time. Others were present to pay a tribute to a fallen soldier with personal mourning and private reflection... Continue reading in Adobe Reader format...

Hours-of-Service FAQ

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DOT Safety Regulation Update Fast-Fax™
Week of January 2, 2012
Foley Services Your Single Source for DOT Compliance

We’ve received a number of questions about the new Hours-of-Service regulations. This week’s Fast-Fax is dedicated to answering the most frequently asked.

Has the Rule Been Published in the Federal Register Yet?
Yes, the rule has now been published, meaning that implementation can begin. If you would like to read the rule in full, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), has published it on their website. You can view it here:

When is it Being Implemented?
Now that the Final Rule has been published in the Federal Register, there is a set time-table for rolling out the rule to carriers. The effective date in the Final Rule is given as February 27 2012. This has caused some alarm with readers but you shouldn’t worry for now. Only a few minor aspects of the rule will go into effect then, the rest will go into effect in 2013. Here is a timetable of the implementation.

The following Provisions of the rule will become effective on February 27, 2012:

  • On-Duty Time: Under the rule going into effect on February 27, on duty-time does not include any time resting in a parked CMV. In a moving property-carrying CMV, on-duty time does not include up to 2 hours in passenger seat immediately before or after 8 consecutive hours in sleeper-berth. This provision also applies to passenger-carrying drivers.
  • Penalties: Starting on February 27, driving (or allowing a driver to drive) 3 or more hours beyond the driving-time limit may be considered an egregious violation and subject to the maximum civil penalties. This provision also applies to passenger-carrying drivers.
  • Oilfield Exemption: “Waiting time” for certain drivers at oilfields must be shown on logbook or electronic equivalent as off duty and identified by annotations in “remarks” or a separate line added to “grid.”

The rest of the rule, as described in Fast-Fax 718, will become effective on July 1, 2013. (This includes the 11 hours of driving time; the mandatory breaks every 8 hours and the limit on 34- hour restart rule.)

I have to take a half-hour break every 8 hours? What if that doesn’t fit my schedule?
You can’t drive for eight hours without going off duty for 30 minutes. However, you can take the break at any time within those 8 hours and reset the clock. For example, your day could be 8 hours on duty, half an hour’s break, then another 3 hours on duty to bring you to a total of 11 hours for the day. Alternatively you could work 6 hours, then take the break, then work another 5, or any combination in between.

What about the times I am loading or unloading or dealing with a client out of my truck?
Unfortunately, these situations don’t count as ‘Off-Duty’ time. When you take the 30-minute break you need to stop working; go into your sleeper berth or go to a truck stop, do anything non-work related.

I Keep Hearing That the Rule Allows 11 Hours Driving Time, I Thought it was 10?
In the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued in 2010, FMCSA put in both 10 and 11-hour days, saying that they would choose which is better when they published the Final Rule. When the rule was published, they decided to stick with the 11 hours.

Is There Going To be a Lawsuit?
There is a lot of talk right now from both sides of the debate — carriers and safety advocates — but, as yet, no action. If there is a lawsuit, we will let you know. Even if there is, it may not stop the rulemaking process. The presiding judge could stop the rule while the deliberations go on, but he or she might choose not to. At this stage of the game, you should plan on the rule going into place — if it doesn’t, it doesn’t but it’s better to be prepared.

If you have further questions, please contact our Technical Writer, Alex Rose at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Alex will try to answer all of your questions about this matter.

Editor: Roxanne Swidrak, Vice President, Operations • 1-800-253-5506 • • Vol. 111, No. 719 • © Foley Carrier Services, LLC. 2011

Cell Phones Banned for Commercial Drivers

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COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - A new federal law went into effect Tuesday banning commercial truck drivers from using their cell phones while on the road.

Texting while driving is already illegal in most states, but this law goes even further to any use of hand-held phones.

Jay Dent is learning a new trade -how to drive a semi-truck at Georgia Driving Academy in Columbus.

"You not only have a steering wheel you have to mess with, you also have a gear shift.  You've got turn signals.  You've got a clutch pedal.  You've got a brake pedal, fuel, mirrors you've got to look in all the time," said Dent.

However, there is one thing he and about four million other commercial drivers in the country will not be doing: using their cell phones.

Tuesday was the first day for the federal law banning truck and bus drivers from using hand-held devices while behind the wheel.

"It pretty much means hands-free.  So, you're going to have to have a Bluetooth or some other mechanism to communicate without actually having to make multiple key entries," said Brad Barber, Georgia Driving Academy's School Director.

Barber says curriculum now includes the new regulations.  He also says the fines drivers could face if they violate the law can add up.  Drivers could be fined up to $2,750 for each offense and could lose their license after multiple offenses.  If a company allows drivers to violate the new law, it could cost up to $11,000 for each penalty.

"I think it's something that's going to strengthen the safety of the truck driver and the industry itself.  Anything you can do to reduce accidents and potentially fatalities are a positive goal," said Barber... Continue reading...

DOT Supervisory Drug and Alcohol Training

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In recent months, we have received numerous inquiries regarding companies using aggressive marketing tactics to sell supervisor training to employers who may be subject to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s drug and alcohol testing requirements. Please note that the FMCSA is not familiar with these companies nor the training they are offering.

49 CFR §382.603 requires supervisors of CDL drivers to take 60 minutes of training on the symptoms of alcohol abuse and another 60 minutes of training on the symptoms of controlled substances use. The purpose is to qualify supervisors for determining when reasonable suspicion testing is needed.

The FMCSA does not certify trainers or training companies, nor does it pre-approve the curriculum presented. Employers are responsible for meeting the training requirement of 49 CFR §382.603 including ensuring that any training company/entity that they purchase training from provides training in the physical, behavioral, speech, and performance indicators of probable alcohol misuse and use of controlled substances. It is up to the employer to select which training to attend, keeping in mind the aforementioned guidelines.