The Feral Motor Carrier Safety Administration has adopted as final several amendments to its regulations as required by SAFETEA-LU, the highway legislation passed in 2005.
Published in the Federal Register on July 5, 2007, the amendments cover a variety of issues, including state compliance plans; penalties for states that do not comply with the federal CDL program; and civil penalties for violation of out-of-service orders.
In an effort to improve the national database of carrier safety statistics, states must now meet stricter guidelines for monitoring carrier safety and reporting the information to DOT in a timely manner in order to qualify for MCSAP funding.
Stiffer penalties have been established for drivers and carriers violating OOS orders, including an increase in the minimum CDL disqualification period and higher fines.
Hazmat carriers will face higher maximum penalties if violation of an OOS order results in death, serious illness or injury, or severe destruction of property. Under the new regulations, they will now be subject to penalties established by Hazardous Materials Regulations, which are higher than those set by FMCSRs. Other issues addressed include exemptions from hours-of-service rules for drivers in specific operations or in emergency situations.
The new regulations become effective September 4, 2007. However, states have until September 4, 2010 to come into compliance with the CDL program, giving them time to pass legislation and make systems changes to implement the new requirements.
For details, go to www.access.gpo.gov/su_docs/fedreg