Motorcoach

FMCSA’s Final Rule protects bus drivers from being forced to violate safety regs

Posted on December 1, 2015

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced the publication in the Federal Register of a Final Rule to help further safeguard commercial truck and bus drivers from being compelled to violate federal safety regulations. The rule provides FMCSA with the authority to take enforcement action not only against motor carriers, but also against shippers, receivers and transportation intermediaries.

“Our nation relies on millions of commercial vehicle drivers to move people and freight, and we must do everything we can to ensure that they are able to operate safely,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This Rule enables us to take enforcement action against anyone in the transportation chain who knowingly and recklessly jeopardizes the safety of the driver and of the motoring public.”

The Final Rule addresses three key areas concerning driver coercion: procedures for commercial truck and bus drivers to report incidents of coercion to the FMCSA, steps the agency could take when responding to such allegations and penalties that may be imposed on entities found to have coerced drivers.

“Any time a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, freight-forwarder, or broker demands that a schedule be met, one that the driver says would be impossible without violating hours-of-service restrictions or other safety regulations, that is coercion,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “No commercial driver should ever feel compelled to bypass important federal safety regulations and potentially endanger the lives of all travelers on the road.”

In formulating this rule, the agency heard from commercial drivers who reported being pressured to violate federal safety regulations with implicit or explicit threats of job termination, denial of subsequent trips or loads, reduced pay, forfeiture of favorable work hours or transportation jobs, or other direct retaliations.

Some of the FMCSA regulations drivers reported being coerced into violating included: hours-of-service limitations designed to prevent fatigued driving; commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements; drug and alcohol testing; the transportation of hazardous materials; and commercial regulations applicable to, among others, interstate household goods movers and passenger carriers.

Commercial truck and bus drivers have had whistle-blower protection through the Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) since 1982, when the Surface Transportation Assistance Act (STAA) was adopted. The STAA and OSHA regulations protect drivers and other individuals working for commercial motor carriers from retaliation for reporting or engaging in activities related to certain commercial motor vehicle safety, health, or security conditions. STAA provides whistleblower protection for drivers who report coercion complaints under this Final Rule and are then retaliated against by their employer.

In June 2014, FMCSA and OSHA signed a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen the coordination and cooperation between the agencies regarding the anti-retaliation provision of the STAA. The Memorandum allows for the exchange of safety, coercion, and retaliation allegations, when received by one agency, that fall under the authority of the other.

To view a copy of the Federal Register announcement, click here.

 

View comments or post a comment on this story. (0 Comments)

More News

Mobile Awareness unveils complete ELD compliance solution

MobileTRAQ® ELD consists of a mobile application installed on any Android device and the web-based MobileTRAQ® platform.

MCI opens new S.F. Bay Area sales and service center

The Hayward complex features the latest diagnostic equipment, nine service bays, a state-of-the-art parts inventory system, paint booth and OEM trained technicians.  

Seat belt usage by motorcoach drivers hits record levels

Since 2007, FMCSA, in collaboration with the NHTSA has conducted the Safety Belt Usage by Commercial Motor Vehicle Drivers Survey six times. In each survey, safety belt usage by commercial drivers has been shown to be steadily increasing.

ABA urges Congress to fund intercity bus security grant program

In the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, Congress recognized the need to address security risks threatening the surface transportation network, specifically identifying the intercity bus industry as a vital mode of transportation through establishment of the IBSGP in the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007.

NTSB: Lack of oversight, sleep-deprived driver led to 2016 Calif. bus crash

A motorcoach operated by Fresno-based Autobuses Coordinados USA Inc., traveling from Los Angeles to Modesto on State Route 99, drifted out of its travel lanes, striking a barrier system and a highway signpost shortly after 3 a.m., Aug. 2, 2016, near Livingston, Calif.

See More News

Post a Comment

Post Comment

Comments (0)

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher

Automotive Fleet

The Car and truck fleet and leasing management magazine

Business Fleet

managing 10-50 company vehicles

Fleet Financials

Executive vehicle management

Government Fleet

managing public sector vehicles & equipment

TruckingInfo.com

THE COMMERCIAL TRUCK INDUSTRY’S MOST IN-DEPTH INFORMATION SOURCE

Work Truck Magazine

The number 1 resource for vocational truck fleets

Schoolbus Fleet

Serving school transportation professionals in the U.S. and Canada

LCT Magazine

Global Resource For Limousine and Bus Transportation

Please sign in or register to .    Close