The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recapped its 2019 achievements and key priorities for improving safety on the nation’s roadways with buses and large trucks.
Over the past year, FMCSA has advanced key initiatives that promote safety, reduce burdensome regulations, provide critical safety funding, and help more Americans find a job in commercial motor carrier industries.
Some of these key achievements include:
- Historic Hours of Service Proposal: In August 2019, FMCSA proposed historic reforms to the existing hours of service regulations to improve safety and increase flexibility for commercial vehicle drivers. The proposal contains five key updates to hours of service rules, which are directly based on the feedback FMCSA has received from drivers across the country. The proposal is also estimated to provide $274 million in savings for the U.S. economy.
- Improving Regulatory Efficiency: Over the year, FMCSA proposed several important regulatory reforms that result in over $366 million in savings for the American economy. In March, the agency proposed updating Entry-Level Driver Training regulations to save $18 million; published its hours of service proposed rule that is estimated to save $274 million in August; and proposed $74 million in regulatory savings by reducing burdensome rules on commercial buses in September.
- Critical Grant Funding: In 2019, FMCSA awarded $77.3 million in grants to states and educational institutions to enhance commercial motor vehicle (CMV) safety. In September, the agency awarded $43.3 million in High Priority (HP) grants, and $32 million in Commercial Driver’s License Program Implementation (CDLPI) grants throughout the country. FMCSA also awarded $2 million in Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training grants to 16 education institutions to help train veterans for jobs as commercial bus and truck drivers.
- Supporting Military Servicemembers: In June 2019, FMCSA officially launched its Under-21 Military Driver Program — a pilot program to permit 18-20-year old’s who possess the U.S. military equivalent of a commercial driver’s license (CDL) to operate large trucks in interstate commerce. The program is designed to help men and women who serve the nation the opportunity to explore quality job prospects in interstate trucking. In October, the agency announced the creation of a new job opportunities listing page, which contains approved motor carriers who are currently hiring under-21 military drivers as part of the pilot program.
- Fighting Human Trafficking: In July 2019, FMCSA announced a final rule that permanently bans drivers convicted of human trafficking from operating a commercial vehicle for which a commercial driver’s license or a commercial learner’s permit is required.
- Raising Awareness of Large Truck & Bus Safety: In 2019, FMCSA’s “Our Roads, Our Safety” partnership for responsible driving grew to 27 partner organizations across industry, safety, and driver education stakeholders. The agency also released its “Voices of Safety” campaign — a video series and national public awareness campaign designed to raise awareness among all road users about sharing the road safely with large trucks and buses. The 2019 public awareness campaign achieved an overall reach of more than 359 million views in markets and platforms across the nation.