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Changes to CSA Basic Categories 4-1-2012

New Medical Card requirements for CDL holders
2-1-2012

Hours of Service revisions 12-22-2011


USDOT Bans hend held cell phone use for drivers effective 1-3-2012
 
FMCSA Updates CSA Categories and Violations

Updates include Cargo, HazMat, IEPs and more.

FMCSA has issued the following revisions to the CSA/SMS process which are planned to take effect sometime in summer 2012.

1. Strengthening the Vehicle Maintenance Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Category (BASIC) by incorporating cargo/load securement violations from today's Cargo-Related BASIC.

2. Changing the Cargo-Related BASIC to the Hazardous Materials (HM) BASIC to better identify HM-related safety problems.

3. Better aligning the SMS with Intermodal Equipment Provider (IEP) regulations.

4. Aligning violations that are included in the SMS with Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) inspection levels by eliminating vehicle violations derived from driver-only inspections and driver violations from vehicle-only inspections.

5. More accurately identifying carriers involved in transporting HM.

6. More accurately identifying carriers involved in transporting passengers.

7. Modifying the SMS display to:
• Change current terminology, “inconclusive” and “insufficient data,” to fact-based descriptions.
• Separate crashes with injuries and crashes with fatalities.

This release is the first in a series of revisions that FMCSA says will take place up to twice a year.

For more information see the following:

Detailed description of CSA changes

Updated SMS Methodolgy 3.0
  1. What must I do to comply with the new requirements for making my medical certification part of my CDL driving record?
  2. How do I determine which type of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operation I should self-certify to my SDLA?
  3. What if I am an existing CDL holder who does not have a license renewal, upgrade or transfer between January 30, 2012 and January 30, 2014?
  4. After I provide my SDLA with my unexpired medical examiner’s certificate, do I still have to carry an original or copy of my medical examiner’s certificate?
  5. What should I do with the medical examiner’s certificate beginning on January 30, 2014?
  6. What if I do not provide my SDLA with my self-certification and if required, my medical examiner’s certificate and any required variance document by January 30, 2014?
  7. What should I do when my medical certificate and/or variance is about to expire?
  8. What happens if my medical examiner’s certificate or variance expires before I provide my SDLA with a new one?
  9. How can I get back my CDL privileges?

1.

What must I do to comply with the new requirements for making my medical certification part of my CDL driving record?

 

Starting on January 30, 2012, when you:

  • Apply for a CDL;
  • Renew a CDL;
  • Apply for a higher class of CDL;
  • Apply for a new endorsement on a CDL; or
  • Transfer a CDL from another State

You will be required to self certify to a single type of commercial operation on your driver license application form. Based on that self certification, you may need to provide your SDLA with a current medical examiner’s certificate and show any variance you may have to obtain or keep your CDL.

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2.

How do I determine which type of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) operation I should self-certify to my SDLA?

 

For the purpose of complying with the new requirements for medical certification, it is important to know how you are using the CMV. To help you decide, follow these steps:

Step 1: Do you, or will you, use a CDL to operate a CMV in interstate or intrastate commerce?

Interstate commerce is when you drive a CMV:

  • From one State to another State or a foreign country;
  • Between two places within a State, but during part of the trip, the CMV crosses into another State or foreign country; or
  • Between two places within a State, but the cargo is part of a trip that began or will end in another State or foreign country.

Intrastate commerce is when you drive a CMV within a State and you do not meet any of the descriptions above for interstate commerce.

If you operate in both intrastate commerce and interstate commerce, you must choose interstate commerce.

Step 2: Once you decide you operate or will operate in interstate commerce or intrastate commerce, you must decide whether you operate (or expect to operate) in a non-excepted or excepted status. This decision will tell you to which of the four types of commerce you must self-certify.

Interstate Commerce:

You operate in excepted interstate commerce when you drive a CMV in interstate commerce only for the following excepted activities:

  • To transport school children and/or school staff between home and school;
  • As Federal, State or local government employees;
  • To transport human corpses or sick or injured persons;
  • Fire truck or rescue vehicle drivers during emergencies and other related activities;
  • Primarily in the transportation of propane winter heating fuel when responding to an emergency condition requiring immediate response such as damage to a propane gas system after a storm or flooding;
  • In Response to a pipeline emergency condition requiring immediate response such as a pipeline leak or rupture;
  • In custom harvesting on a farm or to transport farm machinery and supplies used in the custom harvesting operation to and from a farm or to transport custom harvested crops to storage or market;
  • Beekeeper in the seasonal transportation of bees;
  • Controlled and operated by a farmer, but is not a combination vehicle (power unit and towed unit), and is used to transport agricultural products, farm machinery or farm supplies (no placardable hazardous materials) to and from a farm and within 150 air-miles of the farm;
  • As a private motor carrier of passengers for non-business purposes ; or
  • To transport migrant workers.

If you answered yes to one or more of the above activities as the only operation in which you drive, you operate in excepted interstate commerce and do not need a Federal medical examiner’s certificate.

If you answered no to all of the above activities, you operate in non-excepted interstate commerce and are required to provide a current medical examiner’s certificate (49 CFR 391.45),commonly referred to as a medical certificate or DOT card, to your SDLA. Most CDL holders who drive CMVs in interstate commerce are non-excepted interstate commerce drivers.

If you operate in both excepted interstate commerce and non-excepted interstate commerce, you must choose non-excepted interstate commerce to be qualified to operate in both types of interstate commerce.

Intrastate Commerce:

You operate in excepted Intrastate commerce when you drive a CMV only in intrastate commerce activities for which your State of licensure has determined do not require you to meet the State’s medical certification requirements.

You operate in non-excepted intrastate commerce when you drive a CMV only in intrastate commerce and are required to meet your State of licensure’s medical certification requirements.

If you operate in both excepted intrastate commerce and non-excepted intrastate commerce, you must choose non-excepted intrastate commerce.

Step 3: Provide your SDLA with your self-certification of your operating status. If you self-certify to non-excepted interstate on or after January 30, 2012, you must provide your SDLA with either the original or copy of your current medical examiner’s certificate as required by your SDLA.

If your medical examiner’s certificate is only valid with a vision, diabetes or a skills performance evaluation variance granted by FMCSA, you may also be asked by your SDLA to provide a copy of that variance document.

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3.

What if I am an existing CDL holder who does not have a license renewal, upgrade or transfer between January 30, 2012 and January 30, 2014?

 

You are responsible for following the three steps above and providing your SDLA with your self-certification of operating status by January 30, 2014. If required, you must also provide your current medical examiner’s certificate and any variance document by January 30, 2014. Your SDLA will tell you how you can provide this information.

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4.

After I provide my SDLA with my unexpired medical examiner’s certificate, do I still have to carry an original or copy of my medical examiner’s certificate?

 

Yes. Until the program is fully implemented on January 30, 2014, you will still have to carry an original or copy of the medical examiner’s certificate and provide a copy to your employer for your driver qualification file.

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5.

What should I do with the medical examiner’s certificate beginning on January 30, 2014?

 

After you provide your SDLA and your employer with the medical examiner’s certificate, the medical examiner’s certificate will only be valid for the first 15 days after it was issued. Your medical examiner’s certificate will be recorded on your driving record and will become the valid version of your medical certification.

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6.

What if I do not provide my SDLA with my self-certification and if required, my medical examiner’s certificate and any required variance document by January 30, 2014?

 

Your SDLA will notify you that you are no longer medically certified to operate a CMV in non-excepted Interstate commerce. The SDLA will then remove all your CDL privileges from your license.

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7.

What should I do when my medical certificate and/or variance is about to expire?

 

You must have a new medical examination and obtain a new medical certificate. You must then provide the SDLA the new medical examiner’s certificate. You are also responsible for applying to FMCSA for a renewal of your variance.

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8.

What happens if my medical examiner’s certificate or variance expires before I provide my SDLA with a new one?

 

Your SDLA will notify you that you are no longer medically certified to operate a CMV in non-excepted Interstate commerce. The SDLA will then remove all your CDL privileges from your license.

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9.

How can I get back my CDL privileges?

 

If the medical examiner’s certificate has expired, you must obtain a new one and provide it to your SDLA. If the variance has expired, you must renew it with FMCSA. Your State may require retesting and additional fees to get back your CDL privileges. If allowed by your SDLA, you may also change your self-certification to an operating category that does not require a medical certificate.

 12-22-2011

U.S. Department of Transportation Takes Action to Ensure Truck Driver Rest Time and Improve Safety Behind the Wheel

WASHINGTON - U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood today announced a final rule that employs the latest research in driver fatigue to make sure truck drivers can get the rest they need to operate safely when on the road. The new rule by the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) revises the hours-of-service (HOS) safety requirements for commercial truck drivers.

FMCSA's new HOS final rule reduces by 12 hours the maximum number of hours a truck driver can work within a week. Under the old rule, truck drivers could work on average up to 82 hours within a seven-day period. The new HOS final rule limits a driver's work week to 70 hours.

In addition, truck drivers cannot drive after working eight hours without first taking a break of at least 30 minutes. Drivers can take the 30-minute break whenever they need rest during the eight-hour window.

The final rule retains the current 11-hour daily driving limit. FMCSA will continue to conduct data analysis and research to further examine any risks associated with the 11 hours of driving time.

The rule requires truck drivers who maximize their weekly work hours to take at least two nights' rest when their 24-hour body clock demands sleep the most - from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. This rest requirement is part of the rule's "34-hour restart" provision that allows drivers to restart the clock on their work week by taking at least 34 consecutive hours off-duty. The final rule allows drivers to use the restart provision only once during a seven-day period.

Companies and drivers that commit egregious violations of the rule could face the maximum penalties for each offense. Trucking companies that allow drivers to exceed the 11-hour driving limit by 3 or more hours could be fined $11,000 per offense, and the drivers themselves could face civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense.

Commercial truck drivers and companies must comply with the HOS final rule by July 1, 2013. The rule is being sent to the Federal Register today and is currently available on FMCSA's Web site at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/HOSFinalRule.
A comparison chart is available here.

EFFECTIVE January 3, 2012

U.S. Transportation Secretary LaHood Announces Final Rule That Bans Hand-Held Cell Phone Use by Drivers of Buses and Large Trucks

The final rule prohibits commercial drivers from using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a commercial truck or bus. Drivers who violate the restriction will face federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle for multiple offenses. Additionally, states will suspend a driver's commercial driver's license (CDL) after two or more serious traffic violations. Commercial truck and bus companies that allow their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving will face a maximum penalty of $11,000.The regulation will take effect thirty days after it has been published in the Federal Register.

Summary of FMCSR changes:
Adds definition of Mobile telephone
Parts 383 and 390 and Use of a hand held mobile telephone in Part 390.
Adds prohibition of using hand held mobile telphone in Part 392.
Adds violations of hand held mobile telephone restrictions to serious traffic violations in Parts 383 and disqualification in 391.
Changes definition of texting to include dialing and other actions that require the driver to press more than one button.

Amend § 177.804 by adding a new paragraph (c) to read as follows:
§ 177.804 Compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations
* * * * *
(c) Prohibition against the use of hand-held mobile telephones
. In accordance with
§ 392.82 of the FMCSRs, a person transporting a quantity of hazardous materials requiring
placarding under Part 172 of the 49 CFR or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or
toxin in 42 CFR Part 73 may not engage in, allow, or require use of a hand-held mobile
telephone while driving.

Amend § 383.5 by adding the definition ”mobile telephone” in alphabetical order and
revising the definition of “texting” to read as follows:

§ 383.5 Definitions
* * * * *
Mobile telephone - means a mobile communication device that falls under or uses any
commercial mobile radio service, as defined in regulations of the Federal Communications
Commission, 47 CFR 20.3. It does not include two-way or Citizens Band Radio services.

Texting - means manually entering alphanumeric text into, or reading text from, an
electronic device.
(1) This action includes, but is not limited to, short message service, e-mailing, instant
messaging, a command or request to access a World Wide Web page, pressing more than a
single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication using a mobile telephone, or
engaging in any other form of electronic text retrieval or entry, for present or future
communication.
(2) Texting does not include:
(i) Inputting, selecting, or reading information on a global positioning system or
navigation system; or
(ii) Pressing a single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication using a mobile
telephone; or
(iii) Using a device capable of performing multiple functions (e.g., fleet management
systems, dispatching devices, smart phones, citizens band radios, music players, etc.) for a
purpose that is not otherwise prohibited in this part.


Amend § 383.51 by adding a new paragraph (c)(10) to Table 2 and revising footnote 2
to read as follows:

§ 383.51 Disqualifications of drivers
* * * * *
(10)
Violating a State or local law or ordinance on motor vehicle traffic control restricting or prohibiting the use of
a handheld mobile telephone while driving a CMV. See footnote 2
 60 days not applicable 120 days not applicable
Footnote 2 - Driving, for the purpose of this disqualification, means operating a commercial motor vehicle
on a highway, including while temporarily stationary because of traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays. Driving does not include operating a commercial motor vehicle when the driver has moved the vehicle to the side of, or off, a highway and has halted in a location where the vehicle can safely remain stationary.

Amend § 390.3 by revising paragraphs (f)(1) and (f)(6) to read as follows:
§ 390.3 General applicability
***
(f) * * *
(1) All school bus operations as defined in § 390.5, except for the provisions of
§§ 391.15(f), 392.80, and 392.82 of this chapter.
* * * * *
(6) The operation of commercial motor vehicles designed or used to transport between 9
and 15 passengers (including the driver), not for direct compensation, provided the vehicle does
not otherwise meet the definition of a commercial motor vehicle, except that motor carriers and
drivers operating such vehicles are required to comply with §§ 390.15, 390.19, 390.21(a) and
(b)(2), 391.15(f), 392.80 and 392.82.

Amend § 390.5 by adding the definitions "mobile telephone” and “use a hand-held
mobile telephone” in alphabetical order and revising the definition of “texting” to read as
follows:

§ 390.5 Definitions
* * * * *
Mobile telephone - means a mobile communication device that falls under or uses any commercial
mobile radio service, as defined in regulations of the Federal Communications Commission, 47
CFR 20.3. It does not include two-way or Citizens Band Radio services.

Texting - (1) This action includes, but is not limited to, short message service, e-mailing, instant
messaging, a command or request to access a World Wide Web page, pressing more than a
single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication using a mobile telephone, or
engaging in any other form of electronic text retrieval or entry, for present or future
communication.
means manually entering alphanumeric text into, or reading text from, an
electronic device.
(2) Texting does not include:
(i) Inputting, selecting, or reading information on a global positioning system or
navigation system; or
(ii) Pressing a single button to initiate or terminate a voice communication using a mobile
telephone; or
(iii) Using a device capable of performing multiple functions (e.g., fleet management
systems, dispatching devices, smart phones, citizens band radios, music players, etc.) for a
purpose that is not otherwise prohibited in this part.
* * * * *
Use a hand-held mobile telephone means: (1) using at least one hand to hold a mobile
telephone to conduct a voice communication; (2) dialing or answering a mobile telephone by
pressing more than a single button, or (3) reaching for a mobile telephone in a manner that
requires a driver to maneuver so that he or she is no longer in a seated driving position,
restrained by a seat belt that is installed in accordance with 49 CFR 393.93 and adjusted in
accordance with the vehicle manufacturer’s instructions.

Amend § 391.15 by adding a new paragraph (g) to read as follows:
§ 391.15 Disqualification of drivers.
* * * * *
(g) Disqualification for violation of a restriction on using a hand-held mobile telephone
while driving a commercial motor vehicle —
(1) General rule. A driver who is convicted of violating the restriction on using a handheld
mobile telephone in § 392.82(a) of this chapter is disqualified from driving a commercial
motor vehicle for the period of time specified in paragraph (g)(2) of this section.
(2)Duration. Disqualification for violation of a restriction on using a hand-held mobile
telephone while driving a commercial motor vehicle —
(i)Second violation. A driver is disqualified for 60 days if the driver is convicted of two
violations of § 392.82(a) of this chapter in separate incidents committed during any 3-year
period.
(ii)Third or subsequent violation. A driver is disqualified for 120 days if the driver is
convicted of three or more violations of § 392.82(a) of this chapter in separate incidents
committed during any 3-year period.

Revise § 391.2 to read:
§ 391.2 General exceptions.
(a) Farm Custom Operation. The rules in this part, except for § 391.15 (e) and (g), do not
apply to a driver who drives a commercial motor vehicle controlled and operated by a person
engaged in custom-harvesting operations, if the commercial motor vehicle is used to****

(b) Apiarian industries. The rules in this part, except for § 391.15 (e) and (g), do not
apply to a driver who is operating a commercial motor vehicle controlled and operated by a
beekeeper engaged in the seasonal transportation of bees.

(c) Certain farm vehicle drivers. The rules in this part, except for § 391.15 (e) and (g), do
not apply to a farm vehicle driver except a farm vehicle driver who drives an articulated
(combination) commercial motor vehicle, as defined in § 390.5. For limited exemptions for farm
vehicle drivers of articulated commercial motor vehicles, see § 391.67.

Amend § 392.80 by revising paragraph (d) to read as follows:
§ 392.80 Prohibitions against texting.
* * * * *
(d) Emergency exception. Texting while driving is permissible by drivers of a
commercial motor vehicle when necessary to communicate with law enforcement officials or
other emergency services.

Amend part 392, subpart H, by adding a new § 392.82 to read as follows:
§ 392.82 Using a hand-held mobile telephone.
(a)(1) No driver shall use a hand-held mobile telephone while driving a CMV.
(2) No motor carrier shall allow or require its drivers to use a hand-held mobile telephone
while driving a CMV.
(b) Definitions. For the purpose of this section only, driving means operating a
commercial motor vehicle on a highway, including while temporarily stationary because of
traffic, a traffic control device, or other momentary delays. Driving does not include operating a
commercial motor vehicle when the driver has moved the vehicle to the side of, or off, a
highway and has halted in a location where the vehicle can safely remain stationary.
(c) Emergency exception. Using a hand-held mobile telephone is permissible by drivers
of a CMV when necessary to communicate with law enforcement officials or other emergency
services.
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