LAS VEGAS. Long-awaited final rules regarding entry level driver training standards and the establishment of a drug & alcohol test results “clearinghouse” should be issued by the end of 2016, according to a presentation given by T. F. Scott Darling, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), here at the American Trucking Associations (ATA) annual convention.
He said both of those rules “are currently at OMB [the Office of Management and Budget] under review and should be published by year’s end” as OMB review “is the last step” before they become active regulations.
Darling stressed that those and other regulations – particularly the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate, which he called a “landmark rule” that FMCSA is currently “working to implement” – is part of his agency’s overall goal of working towards zero highway deaths as well as creating a “safer” trucking industry.
“Safe trucking moves our economy,” Darling emphasized. “Whether you are a [motor] carrier, [truck] OEM, ELD provider, broker, or shipper, you have a direct role to play in highway safety. We need all of you to be partners as we work towards zero deaths on our highways.”
He went on to point out that 2015 crash fatality numbers “disturbing to say the least” with the rise in commercial truck and bus crash fatalities particularly worrisome.
“These are not numbers; each represents a human life,” Darling stressed. “We want to do better. That’s why we must band together [as] collaboration is the only to move towards zero deaths.”
A few other issues he touched on in his remarks include:
- The speed limiter rules FMCSA is working on in conjunction with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) will “save lives, increase fuel efficiency and reduce emissions,” Darling noted. “We want to thank all of you for helping push us out that rule.”
- To make it easier for military veterans to transition into truck driving jobs, FMCSA is looking to work with Department of Veterans Affairs’s doctors to become certified DOT medical professionals.
- Darling expects a final National Academy of Sciences report regarding the efficacy of the agency’s Compliance Safety Accountability (CSA) and Crash Management System (CMS) programs to be issued in 2017, with FMCSA then quickly developing an “action plan” to implement its recommendations.