New Motor Carriers Must Update Their Registration. Read about the Other Regulations Headed Your Way from the Highway Bill Passed by Congress this Summer.
The highway bill (MAP-21) passed this summer without a CDL requirement for drivers of 9 to 15 passenger vans. Whoopee for that! However, there are many new requirements headed your way thanks to Congress, including a requirement for minimum driver training for all new drivers of commercial motor vehicles (CMV's). The law also appears to include a requirement for companies operating on roads and highways under the authority of federal land managing agencies (Forest Service, BLM, National Park Service) to comply with federal safety standards for commercial motor vehicles even if you are driving within your state. The provisions are part of MAP-21 signed into law by the President on July 8, 2012.
Companies operating as for hire carriers (for a fee or other compensation) that transport passengers or federally regulated commodities, or arrange for their transport, in interstate commerce are required to have interstate operating authority (MC numbers). The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requires outfitters operating 9 to 15 passenger vans and buses across state lines (and maybe on highways on federal lands within a state) to have an MC number and a U.S. DOT number. Some states also require vans and buses carrying passengers for hire within the state to have DOT numbers. The medical exam, hours of service logs and maintenance record requirements for 9 to 15 passenger vans used in interstate commerce, which took effect in 2010, are only supposed to apply to CMV's in which the transportation is provided for "direct compensation" (or towing a trailer), and not transportation incidental to an outfitted trip. The FMCSA is generally trying to expand their regulatory authorities. We got some indication earlier in the year that the agency was going to try to reclassify outfitter transportation as for "direct compensation", eventhough it clearly fits the definition of indirect compnesation.
The following are among the changes coming down the pike for which you may have to be prepared. Some will take effect in short order while others require rule-making.
• Within 18 months of passage of MAP-21 the FMCSA will establish through a rulemaking a written proficiency examination for applicant motor carriers. The written proficiency examination shall test a person’s knowledge of applicable safety regulations, standards, and
• Motor carriers who do not register are subject to increased fines and immediate cessation of operations.
• MOTOR CARRIERS OF PASSENGERS will have to update registration information, including numbers of vehicles, annual mileage, and individuals responsible for compliance with Federal safety regulations quarterly for the first 2 years after being issued a registration.
• The statute mandates that all interstate motor carriers which operate commercial motor vehicles (“CMVs”) in interstate commerce, subject to hours of service record keeping, use electronic on board recorders (EOBRs”). CMV drivers will no longer be permitted to manually log their hours of service. The EOBR mandate will take a while to evolve after a rule-making is finalized and compliance within 24 months after that.
• MAP-21 requires entry level driver training for all CMV drivers.
• New motor carriers will undergo a safety fitness review within twelve (12) months of embarking upon motor carrier operations.
These are just some of the changes in store. Stay tuned for more information. We will try to have a briefing at the AOA convention in Daytona Beach. Even if you operate intrastate (do not cross state lines), you may be subject to these new federal standards since many states are often required to adopt them to qualify for federal highway grant money. Comment on this article.
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