Whew! 2014 was a year of change but what’s in store for FMCSA 2015?
Let’s look back for a minute at some of the significant changes for 2014, then move on to FMCSA 2015.
Changes that took place in 2014:
- All CDL drivers must have gone to the state licensing departments and self-certified (declared if they were Non-Excepted (needed a medical certificate) or Excepted-Interstate or intrastate (did not need a medical certificate). FMCSA required this to have been done by January 30, 2014.
- The CDL drivers were required to show their Medical Card to the state at the time they self-certified. The state then put the information into the state data system so that when the CDL was pulled up by any official the medical certification was a part of the information on the CDL record.
- This new change of reporting the medical certifications to the state brought about another change, this one affecting the carrier. The carrier is now required to pull an MVR within 15 days of getting a new physical, showing the Medical Certification on the MVR. This is something that many carriers are not aware of and need to make sure they are completing anytime the driver gets a new Medical Certificate.
In May of 2014:
- All CDL drivers must only get their physicals (Medical Certifications) from a Medical Examiner on the National Register. You can check for an examiner at this link: https://nationalregistry.fmcsa.dot.gov/NRPublicUI/home.seam
Starting in December 2014 two changes took place:
- Daily Vehicles Inspection Reports (DVIRs) only need to be written up if a defect is found on any of the equipment a driver is using. This does not change the regulation requiring that inspections must be done daily before taking any equipment onto the public roadway. All inspections, Pre, Post and Walk A-Rounds, must still be completed daily. It only eliminates the need to write up equipment with no defects. If a defect is found an Inspection Report is required to be completed and kept in the file with the repair receipts and certifications for 90 days.
- The 34 hour reset rule that went into effect in July 2013 was rescinded. The rule reverted back to the old 34 hours reset that allowed a reset to be taken when needed, instead of just once every 7 days. It also eliminated the restriction that there must be two consecutive periods between 1:00 and 5:00 am. This was rescinded so a study could be done to determine if there was a safety/crash difference between the old and new rule. This is rescinded until at least September 2015, or later if the study is not completed by that date.
Those were the basic highlights of 2014.
Changes for FMCSA 2015
According to the Commercial Carrier Journal and the FMCSA website these are the projected dates and rules that we can expect for FMCSA 2015:
- Safety Fitness Determination: The projected date for us to see the proposed changes to the Safety Fitness Determination for FMCSA 2015 is June 17, 2015. “The Safety Fitness Determination rule has been in the works for nearly eight years, and the agency continues to push back its publication date. An FMCSA official told CCJ in October the rule was under review by the agency’s top officials. The latest rulemakings report shows a projected date of March 9 for the rule’s advancement to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, with OMB clearance expected in early June.” This change will involve using the actual CSA scores of a carrier to help determine the Safety Rating Determination.
- Speed Limiter Mandate: The speed limiter mandate, a joint rule between FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, is projected to see action Feb. 2. The DOT report says the rule should move to the OMB that day, with a projected publication date in May. The rule would require the installation and use of speed limiters on heavy trucks. FMCSA has not said what the limited speed would be.
- Electronic Logging Device Mandate: “The agency is projected to publish Sept. 30 a Final Rule mandating use of electronic logging devices. The enforcement of the mandate will begin two years after the rule’s publication date.” This FMCSA 2015 law says that any carrier currently doing a daily Record of Duty Status (RODS) will have to have electronic logs in the truck. It would not apply to carriers that currently run under the short haul regulation and use a time card.” (EOBR – electronic On board recording devices are on the way.)
- Driver Coercion Prohibition Rule: A Final Rule is also expected in September for the agency’s driver coercion prohibition rule. The DOT projects a publication date of Sept. 10. The rule puts in place safeguards against driver coercion by carriers, shippers and brokers and will impose fines and other penalties against those found coercing or pressuring drivers to break federal safety laws.
- CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse: A Final Rule implementing the CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is expected to be published Oct. 30. The rule will institute a database of drivers who have failed or refused to take a drug or alcohol test. Carriers will be required to upload such information to the clearinghouse and query it when making new hires.
You can see that there are some major changes coming down the pike for FMCSA 2015. Craig Safety Technologies has many programs and solutions that will help you manage and/or make those changes more easily.
Craig Safety Technologies has a great solution for improving your scores before the FMCSA 2015 changes and can help you lower your risk of being downgraded. We use a combination of Compliance Safety Manager (CSM), our cloud-based safety, compliance and risk management software, and our training program for management and drivers that includes personalized curriculums and an in-depth look at CSA best practices. Couple these with an outstanding Safety Management Plan and the implementation of progressive policies customized for your business and we can help you change your company’s future. Time is of the essence!
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Let this be the year you purchase real solutions to problems both new and old for FMCSA 2015 .