On July 8, 3:30-4:30 p.m. EDT, FMCSA will host a webinar to answer questions about the new HOS final rule. We encourage attendees to watch the recorded HOS presentation, and then submit questions here.
Register for the question and answer webinar.
FMCSA's new hours-of-service rule--which provides greater flexibility for commercial drivers--goes into effect on September 29, 2020. You can learn more about the new rule here: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/HOSFinalRule
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 2020 Operation Safe Driver Week will go on as scheduled, July 12-18. During this week-long traffic enforcement safety initiative, law enforcement personnel throughout North America will be looking for drivers who are engaging in unsafe driving behaviors on our roadways. Identified drivers will be pulled over by law enforcement and may be issued a warning or citation.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, less traffic may be encouraging some drivers to ignore traffic safety laws, including speed limits. Despite there being far fewer vehicles on the road due to COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, many jurisdictions are seeing a severe spike in speeding.
As the number of vehicles on roadways decreased in March and April, average speeds measured during the first week of April increased significantly in the five largest U.S. metropolitan areas. According to recent data, the average speed on interstate highways, state highways and expressways in those areas increased by as much as 75% compared to January and February.
To address this alarming trend of increased speeding on our roadways during the pandemic, CVSA selected speeding as the focus area for this year’s Operation Safe Driver Week.
“It’s essential that this enforcement initiative, which focuses on identifying and deterring unsafe driving behaviors, such as speeding, go on as scheduled,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police. “As passenger vehicle drivers are limiting their travel to necessary trips and many commercial motor vehicle drivers are busy transporting vital goods to stores, it’s more important than ever to monitor our roadways for safe transport.”
Historically, drivers’ actions have contributed to 94% of all traffic crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Traffic Safety Facts report. And although NHTSA’s 2018 highway crash fatality data showed a 2.4% decline in overall fatalities, the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks increased by 0.9%.
“While, of course, we’re pleased to see a decrease in the overall number of fatalities, it was also devastating to learn that the number of fatalities involving large trucks increased. Any increase whatsoever in roadway fatalities is unacceptable,” said Sgt. Samis.
Data shows that traffic enforcement interactions between drivers and law enforcement reduces targeted problematic behaviors. CVSA’s Operation Safe Driver Week aims to reduce high-risk driving behaviors through traffic enforcement strategies.
In addition to a focus on speeding, examples of other dangerous driver behaviors that law enforcement will track during Operation Safe Driver Week include distracted driving, failure to use a seatbelt, following too closely, improper lane change, reckless or aggressive driving, failure to obey traffic control devices, evidence of drunk or drugged driving, etc.
To find out about Operation Safe Driver Week enforcement events going on in your area, contact the agency or department responsible for overseeing commercial motor vehicle safety within your jurisdiction.
The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released comprehensive research that confirms that large verdicts against trucking fleets are increasing dramatically, both in number and in size of awards. ATRI’s research is partially based on a newly created trucking litigation database that provides detailed information on 600 cases between 2006 and 2019. In the first five years of the data, there were 26 cases over $1 million, and in the last five years of the data, there were nearly 300 cases.
This study was identified as the highest research priority for the industry by ATRI’s Research Advisory Committee in 2019.
In response to arguments that nuclear verdicts reflect real-world cost increases, the research documents that from 2010 to 2018, the size of verdict awards grew 51.7 percent annually at the same time that standard inflation grew 1.7 percent and healthcare costs grew 2.9 percent.
The research also surveyed and interviewed dozens of defense and plaintiff attorneys as well as insurance and motor carrier experts, and generated a qualitative analysis for why the litigation landscape has changed, recommendations for modifying pre-trial preparations, litigation strategies and mediation approaches, and how large verdict awards impact both safety and insurance.
“This issue has had a stifling impact on motor carriers and industry stakeholders – well beyond those involved in a truck crash”, said Rob Moseley, Founding Partner with Mosely Marcinak Law Group. “ATRI’s research on litigation provides important guidance on leveling the playing field between truckers and trial lawyers, both in and outside of the court room.”
“Runaway verdicts are increasing in both size and numbers. This study documents a frequency in excessive awards that, while not surprising, tells us that the trial system has gotten off track. Foundational changes are needed in the way we determine non-economic and punitive damages,” said Clay Porter, Partner at Porter Rennie Woodard and Kendall.
The report – Understanding the Impact of Nuclear Verdicts on the Trucking Industry – is available for download on ATRI’s website by clicking here.
The IRS has temporarily suspended the ability for taxpayers to pay the tax due on Form 2290 returns using a credit card or debit card. Form 2290 will not be revised to remove the Credit or Debit Card check box on line 6. The ability to make credit card and debit card payments for tax due on Form 2290 returns is expected to resume on January 1, 2021. See the section titled How To Pay the Tax in the Instructions for Form 2290 for information on alternative methods to pay the tax.
This July 2020 revision is for the tax period beginning on July 1, 2020, and ending on June 30, 2021. Don’t use this revision if you need to file a return for a tax period that began on or before June 30, 2020. To obtain a prior revision of Form 2290 and its separate instructions, visit www.irs.gov/Form2290.
FMCSA has updated the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse to allow employers to link their Clearinghouse accounts with their FMCSA Portal accounts. This will enable employers to associate Clearinghouse activity (reporting violations, conducting queries, purchasing query plans, and designating consortia/third-party administrators (C/TPAs)) with a specified USDOT Number in their Portal account.
To complete this process, employers must enter their FMCSA Portal User ID and password. Any employer having trouble accessing their Portal account should contact the FMCSA Portal Registration Call Center at 800-724-2811 (hours are Monday thru Friday, 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. ET).
Employers with multiple USDOT Numbers in their Portal account will need to ensure they have the correct Clearinghouse Portal user role for each USDOT Number. For more information, see the Clearinghouse Portal User Roles job aid.
To add a USDOT Number (or USDOT Numbers) to a Clearinghouse employer account:
1. Log in to the Clearinghouse.
2. Go to My Dashboard > My Profile.
3. Click the button that says Add USDOT# at the top of the My Employer Profile screen.
4. Follow the instructions provided by the Clearinghouse.
Don’t have an FMCSA Portal account?
Each Clearinghouse user whose company has a USDOT Number should have their own personal FMCSA Portal Account. To request an account, visit the FMCSA Portal page.
Don’t have a USDOT Number?
Not all entities registered in the Clearinghouse will have a USDOT Number. For more information visit the Do I Need a USDOT Number? page on the FMCSA website.
Employers who have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) have the option to add their CDL information. This will create an additional “Driver” role in their Clearinghouse account.
To add CDL information to an employer account, click the Add CDL# button at the top the My Profile page (under My Dashboard) and follow the system instructions. If you have already added a CDL, this button will say “Update CDL#.”
If you have inadvertently entered incorrect CDL information, click the Update CDL# button on your My Profile page and click Remove CDL.
Actual KnowledgeWhat It Is, And What It Isn’t
An employer’s actual knowledge of a violation must be based on one of the following:
• Employer’s direct observation of an employee.
• Information provided by the driver’s previous employer(s).
• A traffic citation for driving a CMV while under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances.
•An employee’s admission of alcohol or controlled substance use, except as provided in § 382.121.
A verified positive drug test result does not qualify as actual knowledge. Employers and C/TPAs do not report verified positive test results to the Clearinghouse, as these are reported by the medical review officer (MRO).
For more details on what qualifies as actual knowledge of a violation, see § 382.107.
The American Transportation Research Institute today issued a call for motor carriers to participate in ATRI’s annual update to its Operational Costs of Trucking report.
Now in its 12th year, ATRI’s annual Operational Costs of Trucking collects cost information derived directly from trucking fleets and owner-operators, and is among the most requested ATRI research studies. ATRI’s annual analysis is used as a key benchmarking tool by motor carriers of all sizes. Public sector agencies also utilize ATRI’s real-world data analysis to make better-informed transportation planning and infrastructure investment decisions.
Among the for-hire fleet metrics being requested by ATRI are driver pay, fuel costs, insurance premiums and lease or purchase payments. Carriers and owner-operators are asked to provide full-year 2019 cost per mile and/or cost per hour data using the easy-to-use online data entry form.
“We constantly strive to improve. In our quest for competitive excellence, one of our most valuable resources is ATRI’s annual report,” said Cari Baylor, Baylor Trucking President. “ATRI provides us with the detail to understand how our operations and costs compare to our industry peers.”
Stolen from Elizabeth NJ either on Sunday, April 12 or Monday, April 13.
Container CAIU 958440-0
Chassis METZ 5118712
Please call Accent Trucking at 908-858-1000 if seen and ask for Bob.
Starting today, April 1, 2020, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance’s (CVSA) 2020 North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria is now in effect. The 2020 out-of-service criteria replaces and supersedes all previous versions.
The North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria (OOSC) is the pass-fail criteria for roadside safety inspections. The purpose of the criteria is to identify critical safety violations. Those violations render the driver, vehicle and/or motor carrier out of service until the condition(s) or violation(s) are corrected or repaired.
In accordance with CVSA Bylaws, the proposed changes were communicated to the voting members of the Alliance on Oct. 15, 2019, and were ratified on Nov. 1, 2019. There was an additional ballot clarification regarding OOSC Ballot Item #2 which was communicated to the membership on Dec. 10, 2019, and ratified on Dec. 20, 2019. The following changes were made to the out-of-service criteria:
For more information, CVSA provides a document that outlines each of the above-mentioned amendments, along with a detailed description of the rationale behind each change.
The CVSA Training Committee, the Education Quality Assurance Team in Canada and the National Training Center in the U.S. will incorporate these changes, as appropriate, into North American Standard Inspection Program training materials, along with updated inspection bulletins, inspection procedures, operational policies and training videos.
The North American Standard Out-of-Service Criteria is updated annually, effective April 1 of each year. There are several versions (print, electronic, other languages, etc.) of the 2020 out-of-service criteria currently available for purchase through the CVSA online store and the app will soon be available. Once it's available, it can be found by searching "CVSA" in Apple or Google Play stores.
Every year, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) sets inspection and enforcement initiatives, such as International Roadcheck, which is scheduled for May 5-7. However, with public health and safety as its top concern, CVSA has decided to postpone International Roadcheck to later in the year. The Alliance will monitor the status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and appropriately select the new dates when it’s safe and reasonable to do so. Once the rescheduled dates have been selected, CVSA will notify the commercial motor vehicle enforcement community, the motor carrier industry, the press and the public.
It is important to note that International Roadcheck, as a high-visibility, high-volume inspection and regulatory enforcement event, will no longer take place on May 5-7; however, roadside safety inspections and traffic enforcement will continue to be conducted every day, with enforcement personnel following their departmental health and safety policies and procedures, as appropriate.
“As we urgently respond to this time-sensitive crisis, we must remain diligent and committed to ensuring that the commercial motor vehicles and drivers providing essential goods and services to our communities are following motor carrier safety regulations,” said CVSA President Sgt. John Samis with the Delaware State Police. “Safety doesn’t take a break. It is always our top priority.”
“International Roadcheck has run on-schedule for the past 32 years so its postponement was thoroughly and thoughtfully discussed before we made this decision, but it wasn’t a difficult decision to make,” said Sgt. Samis. “This experience is unprecedented in our modern society and we need to do all that we can to help stop the spread of this global pandemic.”
At this time, International Roadcheck is the only public enforcement initiative that has been postponed. Operation Safe Driver Week is still scheduled for July 12-18 and Brake Safety Week is still set for Aug. 23-29.
CVSA will closely monitor the coronavirus outbreak, follow guidance from public health expert leadership, and promptly notify the membership and industry stakeholders of the rescheduled International Roadcheck dates and the status of future scheduled enforcement campaigns.
For up-to-date information on coronavirus and guidance on this rapidly evolving situation, visit the website for the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For Canada, visit the Public Health Agency of Canada’s website. In Mexico, visit the government of Mexico’s website. Visit the World Health Organization’s website for a worldwide update on the coronavirus pandemic.
For more information or if you have any questions, contact CVSA.
PA Turnpike Temporarily Will Not Accept Cash To Safeguard Employee and Traveler Health
Cash customers should NOT stop at tollbooths; they’ll be invoiced by mail starting at 8 p.m.
HARRISBURG, PA (MARCH 16, 2020) – The Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission (PTC) is alerting motorists that cash will not be accepted at any interchange statewide beginning tonight at 8 p.m. This is a temporary safety measure to keep travelers moving with no need to stop at tollbooths or interact with tolling personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic.
During this time, cash and credit cards will not be accepted anywhere on the PA Turnpike’s ticket system. All tolls will be assessed electronically via E-ZPass or the PA Turnpike TOLL BY PLATE program as vehicles travel at posted speed limits through tolling points.
“This temporary measure is critical to enable us to support the Commonwealth in its efforts to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said PA Turnpike CEO Mark Compton. “I want to be clear that we will return to normal toll-collection operations as soon as it becomes practical.”
Customers who do not have an E-ZPass account should continue to use lanes marked “Tickets” on entry and “Cash” on exit, however they should keep moving through the lane at the posted speed without stopping. Instead of paying their toll on the roadway, they will receive a PA Turnpike TOLL BY PLATE invoice through the mail.
With the PA Turnpike TOLL BY PLATE option, high-speed cameras capture license-plate images as vehicles pass by. The registered owner receives an invoice within 30 days for trips made through the tolling point. Invoices can be paid online, by phone or by mail.
Customers who receive a TOLL BY PLATE invoice will be charged the “cash” toll rate. However, when paying their invoice, they will have the option to open an E-ZPass account to receive the discounted rate at time of payment.
Customers have 20 days to pay invoices before a second invoice is issued. If the first invoice is not paid, the second invoice will include an additional fee of $5 or the equivalent of 1.5% of the total amount owed, whichever is higher.
Cash tolls will still be in place on the Mon-Fayette Expressway (PA Turnpike 43) via the current Automated Payment Machines.
All customers should be prepared for possible confusion around the toll plaza areas as drivers adjust to the temporary measure. Drivers should slow down when approaching a tolling point or interchange, pay attention and proceed with caution.
For more information on how all-electronic tolling works, visit nocashzone.com.
Additionally, late last week, the PA Turnpike announced the added precaution of limiting services at the King of Prussia Service Plaza in Montgomery County and the Valley Forge and Peter J. Camiel service plazas in Chester County. All fast food dining and public restrooms are closed inside the service plazas. Portable toilets are available for the traveling public.
For other service plaza locations and amenities, visit https://www.paturnpike.com/pdfs/travel/PTC_Service_Plaza_Guide.pdf.
For more information on operational changes due to further COVID-19 guidance, visit PATurnpike.com.
New Jersey Motor Truck Association | 160 Tices Lane, East Brunswick, NJ 08816 | 732-254-5000