Update on Relevant Regulations:
Reminder: Changes to CSA Coming in December
Earlier this year, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced a series of changes to the CSA program aimed at improving the accuracy of carriers’ scores. The changes will go into effect in December of 2012. Changes include:
- Strengthening the Vehicle Maintenance BASIC by incorporating cargo/load securement violations from today’s Cargo-Related BASIC;
- Changing the Cargo-Related BASIC to the Hazardous Materials (HM) BASIC to better identify HM-related safety and compliance problems;
- Better aligning the SMS with Intermodal Equipment Provider (IEP) regulations;
- Aligning violations that are included in the SMS with CVSA inspection levels by eliminating vehicle violations derived from driver-only inspections and driver violations from vehicle-only inspections;
- More accurately identifying carriers that transport significant quantities of HM; and
- More accurately identifying carriers involved in transporting passengers.
FMCSA Extends Transecurity Windshield Exemption as Part of Research/Evaluation
On Nov. 28, the FMCSA issued an exemption for Transecurity, LLC, allowing the company to place an onboard safety monitoring system at the bottom of windshields on their CMVs, instead of the FMCSR required “not more than 6 inches below the upper edge of the windshield, outside the area swept by the windshield wipers, and outside the driver’s sight lines to the road and highway signs and signals.” This is being done as part of research being conducted on behalf of FMCSA. The exemption would enable motor carriers to participate in a field operation test to evaluate the system and allow for on-road data collection. This exemption is effective from Nov. 28, 2012, until Nov. 28, 2014.
FMCSA Request for Comment on Training Certification for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators
On Nov. 21, FMCSA reiterated a previous Request for Comment on Training Certification for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operators. The original request was published in the Federal Register May 17, 2012, but the agency did not receive any comments. Comments are now due Dec. 21, 2012.
FMCSA Announces MCSAC Meeting – December 3-5, 2012
Also on Nov. 21, FMCSA announced that the Motor Carrier Safety Advisory will meet Dec. 3-5, 2012, in Alexandria, VA. At the meeting, FMCSA will assign the MCSAC a new task concerning entry level driver training (ELDT). The Committee will also receive updates from the DOT Office of the Inspector General and General Accountability Office. In addition, the CSA Subcommittee will meet and receive presentations and a panel discussion from researchers and data analyst concerning FMCSA’s SMS.
NHTSA Publishes Report on Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems
On Nov. 19, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a technical report on Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems, “Evaluation of the Effectiveness of TPMS in Proper Tire Pressure Maintenance” in the Federal Register. The report is available here. Comments on the report are due by March 19, 2013.
PHMSA Request Comment on HazMat Data
On Nov. 21, the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) published a Request for Comments in order to “conduct an assessment to improve the collection, analysis, reporting, and use of data related to accidents and incidents involving the transportation of hazardous materials” in order to meet certain requirements included in Section 33006(a) of MAP-21. The request comes with a very short timeline - comments are due by Dec. 28.
NHTSA’s Deputy Administrator Leaving the Agency
Ron Medford, NHTSA’s Deputy Administrator, has taken a position at Google as the company’s Director of Safety for Self-Driving Cars.