What is Happening with the FMCSA

Protecting your fleet has never been more affordable

In a recent publication of the Dispatcher, we discussed the FMCSA proposed changes to the CSA Program. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a Notice of Proposed Rule Making asking for comments on changes to the current Compliance, Safety and Accountability program. The comment period closed, and less than 200 comments were received from industry stakeholders. The FMCSA is reviewing those comments, but no further information about the process or possible changes has been provided. TVC will keep you updated on any changes as they become available.

The FMCSA has other key items on its regulatory agenda. Some have lingered for some time, and new issues have been added. The Agency has a Rule List that was updated in Fall 2022. Here are a few essential items TVC Pro-Driver is tracking:

  • Crash Preventability Determination Program
  • Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse Revisions
  • DOT Oral Fluids Testing
  • Heavy Vehicle Speed Limiters
  • Automatic Emergency Braking

In April of this year, the FMCSA published a request for comments on the CSA Crash Preventability Determination Program. The deadline for comments was June 12, 2023. The FMCSA is looking at expanding the existing program from 16 eligible crash types to 21 different eligible crash types. As of July 2023, over 47,000 eligible crashes have been submitted for review. Additionally, 13,000 non-eligible crashes have been submitted and rejected for not meeting the program requirements.

Thirty thousand five hundred crashes have been ruled “Not Preventable.” It takes a minimum of 90 days to receive a determination. Most determinations take almost six months to receive after the DataQ was performed. The time delay is reportedly due to the lack of staffing by FMCSA. The industry has voiced concerns, and the FMCSA has committed to adding additional staff.

Drug and alcohol updates include a proposal to review the employer-reported “refusal” process and possibly allow a rebuttal process. The final DOT Oral Fluid Testing rule was published on May 2, 2023. This would allow employers to use oral fluid tests from DOT requirements. Utilization cannot occur until two laboratories are certified by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Vehicle safety is being reviewed in the form of two proposals. Heavy Vehicle Speed Limiters are a key topic among drivers, safety professionals and vehicle manufacturers. This topic will be heavily debated in the months ahead. Automatic Emergency Braking Systems is the second contentious item to follow. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA), a group of commercial vehicle enforcement agencies and industry representatives, has asked for additional time to comment on AEB systems as more studies are needed.

As attentive members of the industry, TVC Pro-Driver will continue to stay on top of transportation topics and changes that may impact your company and drivers.

By Steve Wilhelms, Director of Safety and Compliance

Protecting your fleet has never been more affordable