Safety & Compliance Updates

FMCSA Publishes Updated List of Hazmat Routes

FMCSA published an updated listing of all designated and restricted road and highway routes for transportation of highway route controlled quantities (HRCQ) of Class 7 (radioactive) materials and nonradioactive hazardous materials (NRHMs) transportation. 80 Fed. Reg. 23859 (April 29, 2015). The new listing supersedes the prior notice published on July 14, 2014, and includes current route limitations and allowances, and information on State and Tribal Government routing agency contacts reported to FMCSA as of March 30, 2015. To find the most up-to-date listing of hazmat routes, companies may access the National Hazardous Materials Route Registry directly at the FMCSA website.

DOT Proposes Changes to Hazmat BASIC in CSA

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration proposed changes to the Safety Measurement System methodology, including three changes to the use of the Hazardous Materials Compliance BASIC, under the agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program. 80 Fed. Reg. 37037 (June 29, 2015). According to FMCSA, revisions would include changing some of the SMS intervention thresholds to better reflect BASIC’s correlation to crash risk, reclassifying violations for operating while out-of-service to the Unsafe Driving BASIC, and adjustments to the Utilization Factor. The proposal would adjust the HM Compliance BASIC by splitting up cargo tank and non-cargo tank carriers into different categories. FMCSA said that non-cargo tank hazmat carriers have difficulty improving their HM Compliance BASIC scores because they are being unfairly compared to cargo tank hazmat carriers. This change should help many GAWDA members improve their relative scores. In addition, FMCSA proposed to make the HM BASIC scores available to the public for the first time on the CSA website. Currently, scores for five BASICs are available to the public, but not the Crash or HM BASICs. The agency proposed to adjust the intervention threshold for the HM Compliance BASIC from 80% to 90%, to reflect the low correlation between compliance with the Hazmat Regulations and crash risk. A carrier would have to have worse scores than 90% of the rated carriers for HM Compliance to receive an intervention from FMCSA.

CDL Drivers Must Prove Citizenship or Legal Residence

A new rule went into effect as of July 8, 2015, that requires an applicant who seeks a new CDL or a renewal of a CDL, or who seeks to obtain a CDL Learner’s Permit, to prove U.S. citizenship or lawful legal residence. 49 CFR §383.71. The regulations list the following documents that will be accepted by a state driver’s licensing agency to prove U.S. Citizenship: a valid, unexpired U.S. Passport; certified copy of birth certificate filed with a State Office of Vital Statistics or equivalent agency in the individual’s state of birth, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa or the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands; certified copy of a birth certificate filed with a state; Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) issued by the U.S. Department of State; Certificate of Naturalization issued by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS); Certificate of Citizenship issued by DHS.

To prove Lawful Permanent Resident, a valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card, issued by USCIS or INS, will be accepted.

CVSA Publishes New Edition of Inspection Handbook

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has published a new edition of its North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria Handbook. The 2015 edition replaces and supersedes all previous editions. Part I details violations which would place a driver out-of-service. Part II identifies Critical Vehicle Inspection Items and provides direction on identifying the point at which a CMV can no longer be safely operated due to the risk of causing an accident or breakdown. Part III provides guidance for unsafe hazardous materials transportation, including conditions which fail to communicate a hazard and those which are themselves hazards. Part IV establishes criteria for placing a motor carrier out of service.

FMCSA Issues Guidance on Employer Notification Systems for Driver Record Inquiries

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued revised guidance on using state-operated employer notification systems (ENS) for the annual inquiry and review of driving records required by 49 CFR 391.25. 80 Fed. Reg. 13069 (March 12, 2015). The guidance explains the use of state-operated ENS that provide motor carriers with a department of motor vehicle report for every state in which the driver held either an operator’s license, a commercial driver’s license or permit when a driver is enrolled in the system. Many state driver-licensing agencies provide ENS that either automatically update requestors (push-system) on license status, crashes and convictions of laws or regulations governing the operation of motor vehicles, or allow the requestor to regularly query the record (pull-system) for this information. The guidance provides that use of these systems to check the driving record, at least annually, satisfies the requirement for an annual review of each driver’s record. This includes when a third-party is used to accumulate the records for a motor carrier.

Gases and Welding Distributors Association