Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said his department would formally propose eliminating a requirement that truck drivers file daily inspection reports when they do not find any problems with their vehicles, a decision he said would save the industry $1.7 billion a year.
Due to a rule implemented in the 1930s and now enforced by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, truck drivers are required to inspect their equipment and file reports at the end of each day Carriers must store the reports for at least three months.
The reports were established as an attempt to ensure carriers learn about truck and trailer defects and fix them. But 95 percent of the 1.09 million inspection reports filed annually show no defects.
The pre-trip and end-of-day inspections will still be required, and drivers will still have to file reports when they find defects. Drivers do not need to file reports for pre-trip inspections.
As part of Obama’s May 2012 initiative, the FMCSA also has eliminated the no defect inspection report requirement for truck drivers operating intermodal chassis and removed the mandate that commercial drivers report out-of-state convictions to the states where they are licensed.
The American Trucking Associations applauded the new plan last week but also said federal regulators could go further in reducing unnecessary burdens on trucking.
The ATA also has asked that the FMCSA establish a crash accountability process in its Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, rescind the latest changes to the hours of service rule and give drivers more flexibility in using their sleeper berths to comply with resting requirements.
The FMCSA is expected to publish the proposal soon in the Federal Register, at which point the public will be allowed to comment for 60 days. The agency will consider those comments before making the change final.
Source: Transport Topics