Our latest DOT Compliance Updates. We will update this section regularly so please check back often.
FMCSA Issues Proposed Rule to Allow Insulin-Treated Diabetics to Drive CMV's
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requested comments on a proposal to modify FMCSA's minimum medical qualifications that would allow insulin-treated diabetics to operate CMV's. Currently, insulin-treated diabetics are required to request an exemption from the medical requirements in order to drive a CMV. This process is time-consuming and requires additional evaluation by several medical specialists. FMCSA has issued over 1,000 such exemptions in the past year and a half. Under the proposal, drivers with stable, well-controlled insulin-treated diabetes could be certified for a maximum of one year by any medical examiner listed on the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. Their "treating clinician" must provide documentation that the condition is stable and controlled. Comments are due July 6, 2015.
New Enforcement Guidance on Driver Medical Card Possession
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has issued a new Inspection Bulletin for roadside enforcement personnel about the verification of driver medical qualification. As of January 30, 2015, drivers are only required to carry their medical cards for 15 days after they are issued. Enforcement officers are supposed to be able to verify medical status by conducting an electronic driver record check with the state licensing agency. In the event that proof of medical qualification has not been updated by the state, enforcement officials have been instructed to cite the driver for a violation. The driver or motor carrier may then challenge the violation through the DataQs system and show proof of their medical qualification submission to the state licensing agency.
Given the potential problems with the capturing and transmission of medical data by the state licensing agencies, Highway Driver Leasing recommends that drivers continue to carry their medical examiners' certificates to prove medical qualification.
CVSA's International Roadcheck Event to Take Place June 2-4, 2015
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance's (CVSA) 28th annual International Roadcheck will take place June 2-4, 2015. International Roadcheck is a 72-hour period when approximately 10,000 CVSA-certified local, state, provincial and federal inspectors in jurisdictions across North America perform truck and bus inspections.
International Roadcheck is the largest targeted enforcement program on commercial motor vehicles in the world, with nearly 17 trucks or buses inspected, on average, every minute in Canada, the United States and Mexico during a 72- hour period. During the annual three-day event, CVSA-certified inspectors conduct compliance, enforcement and educational initiatives targeted at various elements of motor carrier, vehicle, driver, and cargo safety and security.
Each year, International Roadcheck places special emphasis on a category of violations. The special emphasis for International Roadcheck 2015 is cargo securement. While checking for compliance with safe loading regulations is always part of roadside inspections, CVSA is highlighting cargo safety as a reminder to drivers and carriers. The proper loading and securing of cargo on vehicles is a matter of public safety. For many types of loads, particularly those that are not sealed or otherwise inaccessible to the driver, regulations require the driver to stop within the first several miles of a trip and recheck the tie downs and other load securing equipment.
Inspectors will primarily be conducting the North American Standard Level I Inspection, which is the most thorough roadside inspection. It is a 37-step procedure that includes an examination of both the driver and vehicle. Drivers will be asked to provide items such as their license, endorsements, medical card and hours-of-service documentation, and will be checked for seat belt usage and the use of alcohol and/or drugs. The vehicle inspection includes checking items such as the braking system, coupling devices, exhaust system, frame, fuel system, lights, safe loading, steering mechanism, drive line, suspension, tires, van and open-top trailer bodies, wheels and rims, windshield wipers, and emergency exits on buses.
International Roadcheck is a program of the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance with participation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators, Transport Canada and the Secretariat of Communications and Transportation (Mexico).
Since its inception in 1988, roadside inspections conducted during Roadcheck have numbered over 1.4 million, resulting in an estimated 318 lives saved and 5,840 injuries avoided. It also provides an opportunity to educate industry and the general public about the importance of safe commercial vehicle operations and the roadside inspection program.
Cargo Securement Tips
Anything and everything carried on a truck must be properly secured to prevent loss of control or falling cargo and injuring drivers, passengers, or pedestrians. While safe cargo securement principles (and of course regulations) apply to every single item carried for delivery, they also apply to anything else on the truck, including dunnage, tools, and equipment needed to get the job done. Shovels, blocks, webbing, chains, spare tires, brooms, forklifts, pallet jacks, winches, ratchets, etc., all must be secured.
1. Know the regulations-Cargo securement standards represent the minimum safety requirements for general cargo and some specific commodities. They are available at no charge from FMCSA in the U.S. and from Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators in Canada.
2. Invest in the illustrated cargo securement handbook, which includes both U.S. and Canadian regulations for reference. Click on CVSA's store at www.cvsa.org and order a copy of Practical Cargo Securement: Guidelines for Drivers, Carriers & Shippers, 406 pages, $30.
3. Properly secure all equipment as well as the load-one of the most frequently cited violations is for improper securement of dunnage or equipment, such as tarps, blocks, chains or other tie downs, spare tires, brooms, forklifts, pallet jacks, winches, ratchets, etc.
4. Inspect tie downs for wear and damage. CVSA's North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria includes the tie down defect tables for chain, wire rope, cordage, synthetic webbing, steel strapping, fittings or attachments and anchor points. If worn out, tie downs should be discarded.
5. Brace and block cargo properly within sided or van trailers. Loads that shift can cause not only crashes but damage to equipment. And they indicate violations that will affect company's safety rating.
6. Use best practices or due diligence. There may be best practices, established by consensus by others hauling the same materials, that are worth following. If a shipment is more unique, do research, as the rules are established for a reason. Ensure the load is contained, immobilized or secured so that it cannot: (a) leak, spill, blow off, fall from, fall through or otherwise be dislodged from the vehicle, or (b) shift upon or within the vehicle to such an extent that the vehicle's stability or maneuverability is affected. If needed, hire a professional specializing in vehicle loading.