Turn Signals – Issue 67

Two annual highway enforcement programs have been scheduled for this summer. First, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance announced that Roadcheck 2018 will be conducted from Tuesday, June 5th through Thursday, June 7th. During this 72-hour period, highway officials across North America will be performing intensive “Level 1” inspections at a rate of about 17 heavy vehicles per minute. This year’s focus will be on hours of service with an emphasis on ELD compliance. CVSA also said this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week is set for Sunday, July 15th through Saturday, July 21st. Officers across the US, Canada, and Mexico will be looking at all drivers, including in cars, who are violating any traffic laws. Speeding and seat belt violators will be prime targets.

Interstate motor carriers: Do you also have intrastate operations in states with driver logging rules which deviate from federal hours-of-service regulations? Perhaps the state allows 12 hours of driving per day instead of 11. If so, beware! – There is a secret unwritten regulation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration: After a driver performs any interstate hauling, he is not allowed to use more lenient intrastate logging rules until there are no more interstate hours used in his 70-hours/8-days calculation (60-hours/7-days for some carriers), or until the driver resets his hours with a 34-hour break. FMCSA has no rule stating this position. There is no published guidance. Yet the agency’s compliance manual instructs both federal and state auditors to cite carriers for any noncompliance. This directive could cause a company to fail an audit, be penalized, and receive a Conditional safety rating if enough intrastate logs violated this secret regulation. FMCSA bases its position on an opinion written in the early 1980’s by an agency predating FMCSA’s creation. Companies who have drivers performing both interstate and intrastate work should train them on these requirements, including not converting ELDs, AOBRDs, and logging apps to intrastate rules until the appropriate time.

FMCSA has established CSA points in the Hours of Service Compliance Basic for ELD violations that have occurred since April 1st. The most severe new assessment is 7 points for a driver refusing to provide supporting documents upon request. Several 5-point violations pertain to not operating an ELD when required, being unable to show the ELD display outside the vehicle, using an ELD not registered with FMCSA, failing to note a malfunction requiring the use of paper logs, and failing to assume or decline unassigned driving time. There are numerous 1-point violations for failing to enter ‘form-and-manner’ information such as equipment numbers and shipping information, or not having onboard required manuals and blank paper logs. A new one-point violation is failing to mount the ELD in a fixed position visible to the driver. Another is failing to annotate an ELD when required, such as noting periods when the device lost connectivity. Except for not having an ELD, other ELD violations before April 1st should not be listed on a carrier’s CSA record.

Did you know…. FMCSA officials are hinting at various forums that the June 22nd date for medical examiners to begin electronically transmitting driver physicals directly to the driver’s state licensing agency will be postponed. Expect an announcement on this soon.

Published by Nicholas Wingerter and TRUCK SAFETY
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