Coming in 2018!
Transport Safety Pro Advisor
During 2018, there will be a few regulatory changes that carriers, and Safety Pros, will need to be prepared for.
While the deadline to change most drivers over to electronic logs was December 18, 2017, the date that law enforcement officers will start placing drivers out of service for not having an electronic log when required is April 1, 2018. Up until then, if a driver that is supposed to be using an electronic log is not, the following will happen:
The driver will receive a violation on the roadside inspection report for not having the correct log.
The driver may be fined the amount the state fines a driver for not having a log.
The carrier and driver will have the violation for not having the correct log (basically no log) placed into its data in the Hours-of-Service Compliance BASIC in the Safety Measurement System portion of CSA.
If the carrier accumulates enough violations, it may impact the Hours-of-Service Compliance BASIC score to the point that the carrier receives an intervention (a warning letter or an investigation). As of April 1, 2018, as well as the above consequences, the driver will be placed out of service for a minimum of 10 hours if the driver is not using an electronic log when required.
Sanitary transportation of food
On April 6, 2018, small entities (any company that does less than $27.5 million in gross revenue) that transport food in packages that do not isolate the food from the environment or that require temperature control must comply with the Sanitary Transportation of Food regulations. These regulations require carriers to use vehicles and equipment that is designed for food transportation, maintain and monitor temperatures on temperature controlled shipments, share information with shippers on previous shipments and washouts/cleanouts (if requested), and have written procedures covering cleaning and sanitizing, monitoring and tracking temperatures, maintaining records of previous shipments and washouts/cleanouts, and reporting contamination. Carriers also need to train their drivers on the safe practices related to transporting food and comply with any shipper requirements, if the shipper has provided the requirements in a written agreement.
NRCME Part 2
On June 22, 2018, the process related to physical exams and CDL drivers reporting the results to the state license agencies will change. The rule change will require examiners to report all medical exams conducted to FMCSA by the end of the next business day (presently this is done monthly). FMCSA will then report the results to the state licensing agencies. The result of this process is that CDL drivers will not have to present a copy of the new medical card to the licensing agency every time an exam is passed.
URS: Dates unknown!
The final changes involved in implementing the Unified Registration System, requiring private, private hazardous materials, and exempt carriers to file additional information with FMCSA and switching existing carriers over to using URS to do their updates (rather than using an MCS-150) may occur sometime in 2018. However, FMCSA has not provided any dates for the changes.
Also, URS may see another round of changes begin in 2018. FMCSA is under instructions from Congress to make additional changes. However, these will require a proposal, comment period, and final rule to be put into place. This process can take years to complete.
Long-lead items to be aware of (and start thinking about)
There are two major rules due to go into effect in early 2020 that carriers need to remain aware of. These are:
The new entry-level driver training (ELDT) requirements.
The drug and alcohol clearinghouse.
Both of these rules will require carriers and Safety Pros to modify their processes. The change in the ELDT requirements will mean that carriers will no longer need to get an ELDT certificate from drivers they hire that have less than one year of experience. However, carriers that train entry-level drivers will need to either get onto FMCSA’s Training Provider Registry, or switch to only using training facilities that are on the Training Provider Registry.
The creation of the drug and alcohol clearinghouse will cause carriers to add a process step when a driver refuses a test, tests positive for alcohol, or the carrier is involved in an actual knowledge situation. In these cases, the carrier must enter the incident into the clearinghouse. Also, carriers will have to query the database to see if a driver-applicant has refused a test, failed a test, or been involved in an actual knowledge situation. Once the driver is hired, the carrier will need to query the database once a year to see if the driver has failed or refused a test at another carrier.
Rules that are ‘somewhere in the process’
There are several rules that are in the process of being developed that carriers and Safety Pros should keep an eye out for as well. These include:
Upgrading the rear bumper requirements on new trailers and straight trucks.
Imbedding the use of electronic documents and signatures into the regulations, rather than relying on various interpretations in various parts of the regulations to allow their use.
Allowing the medical examiner to decide if a driver that is insulin-dependent is qualified, rather than making the driver go through the present waiver process.
These rules are at various stages in the development process. As they are developed and implemented, carriers and Safety Pros will need to make any adjustments that the new rule would require.
This article was featured in the J. J. Keller
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