Tell DOT What You Really Think

President Obama issued an Executive Order in January requiring federal agencies to ensure that regulations protect our safety, health and environment while at the same time promoting economic growth. Obama also ordered a government-wide review of the rules already on the books to remove outdated or ineffective regulations that stifle job creation and make our economy less competitive.

The formal order from the President puts federal agencies on notice that they must avoid “unreasonable burdens on business” when making new rules, as Obama put it in an op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal.


The US Department of Transportation (DOT) is the first federal agency to implement the President’s order. To facilitate comments, DOT has created a website where users can share concerns and supporting information about agency regulations. The website is http://dotregreview.ideascale.com/

DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed a number of new regulations applicable to delivery truck drivers over the past year. Several of these proposals became final rules in 2010, others are still pending. They include:

  • Entry-level driver training for CDL drivers
  • Electronic On-Board Recorders
  • Supporting documents for hours of service compliance
  • Driver pre-employment screening
  • Drug and alcohol test results’ database for CDL holders
  • A national registry of certified medical examiners

GAWDA Government Affairs Consultant Rick Schweitzer described each of these proposed regulations in an article that was in the Spring 2010 issue of WeldingAndGasesToday. Some of these proposals have already been passed. Others are pending.

In 2010, FMCSA’s William Quade answered questions from GAWDA members related to regulatory paperwork, fingerprint requirements, background checks, crossing state lines, rule interpretation, who gets audited, nationalized licensure and more. You can read his answers to these questions in “FMCSA Answers Your Driver Questions.”

On his blog, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood wrote: “If you know of a rule that is outdated, ineffective or excessively burdensome, this is your chance to participate and point us in the right direction.”

Given that DOT regs are critically important to the business of GAWDA members, as well as the ones that provide many of our headaches, we may be able to help the agency get pointed in the right direction.

Check out the DOT feedback website and let your voice be heard.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association