Scott Darling, acting administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, shared some of the agency’s top priorities during a luncheon at the American Trucking Associations annual conference in Philadelphia.
He began by mentioning an announcement made last week about the 2015 recipients of its commercial motor vehicle safety training grants. The grants will be assisting military veterans and their spouses with careers in the trucking industry and expand the number of CDL holders with enhanced safety training.
“Our military skills waiver training program allows graduates who drove heavy duty vehicles in the military to obtain a commercial drivers license without taking the skills portion of the CDL test,” he said. More than 10,000 have taken advantage of the waiver to date.
Looking toward 2016, he talked about a “year of partnerships” with motor carriers and drivers. One partnership started last December with the agency asking for carriers and drivers to provide data to assess the impact of the hours-of-service restart provisions.
More than 220 drivers provided the agency with data from their normal routes. The data included more than 3,000 driver duty cycles captured by electronic logs and more than 20,000 days of driver sleep data.
The study is currently in the analysis stage with a final report to be submitted to the Office of Inspector General in coming months.
He also mentioned several ongoing projects where partnerships have been essential to improve safety results:
- A negotiated rulemaking for entry level driver training that is on schedule to be published by the end of the year.
- A notice that will be published in the Federal Register this week to allow new compliance effective dates for the unified registration system.
- A final rule to be published on electronic logging devices. The rule is designed to improve compliance which will save an estimated 20 lives and prevent 400 injuries due to crashes each year.
- A safety and fitness notice of proposed rulemaking that will incorporate ongoing safety performance data and grading carriers based on their own performance. The agency will be seeking public input on this rule, he said.