New Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse

The US Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is a secure online database where employers, FMCSA, State Driver Licensing Agencies, and State law enforcement can access real-time information pertaining to U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) on CDL drivers drug and alcohol testing program. 

Carriers will be required to report drug and alcohol violations and check their employees records if prohibited from performing certain functions, including operating a commercial vehicle, due to a program violation which a driver has not successfully completed the return-to-duty (RTD) process.  

Canadian carriers who operate into the U.S. are required to register and comply with the new Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse. Registration for the clearinghouse will open this fall and go into effect January 2020.

All records of drug and alcohol program violations will remain in the clearinghouse for five years or until the driver has completed the return-to-duty process. 

Source: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/commercial-drivers-license-drug-and-alcohol-clearinghouse

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Long Awaited HOS Changes

The FMCSA released the HOS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). The proposal is designed to increase safety and not increase driving time. The FMCSA believes these changes will save an estimated $274 million for the U.S. economy and American consumers.

Based on public comments the FMCSA proposed to revise the following rules:

  1. 30-Minute Rest Break
    • Required after 8 hours of driving time. Previously was 8 hours on duty.
    • The break will be allowed while on-duty, not driving. Previously had to be off-duty.
  2. Split Sleeper Berth
    • 7/3 hour splits are permissible. Previously drivers were required to split 10 hours off duty into two periods. 
    • NPRM requests research on further splits
  3. Adverse Driving Conditions
    • On-duty time can be extended to accommodate 2 additional hours of driving during adverse conditions. 
  4. Short-Haul Drivers 
    • Short haul CDL drivers can now operate within 150 air-mile radius and up to 14 hours. Previously 100 air-mile radius and 12 hours. 
  5. 14 Hour Clock 
    • Drivers will be allowed to “pause” their 14 hour on-duty clock once, for up to 3 hours during their duty day. 

The FMCSA is currently seeking public feedback on the proposed revisions. If you’d like to leave a comment, click here

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City Issuing Truck Drivers More Fines

The Police Department of Shamokin Dam, Pennsylvania, has been authorized by the mayor to issue more citations to truck drivers for illegally driving on municipal roads. 

The Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee at the Greater Susquehanna Valley, said truck drivers ignore the roads weight limits and often get stuck in neighborhoods, “and police officers have to stop traffic to help them navigate out of the community,” according to committee chair McGranaghan. 

McGranaghan also suggested that officers “throw all you can”, implying to issue as many tickets and fines to truck drivers as they can, in hopes the area will gain a reputation they won’t tolerate such behavior. 

McGranaghan and engineer Art Thomas for Monroe Township, who claimed township has similar issues, both warned they’ll be in contact with National Beef Packing Company, LLC., in regards to their drivers being majority of truckers getting stuck on municipal streets.

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Cash Reward for Missing Truck

A Missouri based company, Prime Inc., sought help from their customers and social media page to find their missing truck. The vehicle was last seen on August 8th, in the Columbia, SC area. The company assured their customers in their Facebook post the driver is safe.

The company is offering a $2,500 reward for any information leading to the missing truck. The company also stated the truck may be missing decals to properly identify it.

Call Prime Inc, security department, at (417)521-3911 if you know any information that could lead them to retrieve their vehicle.

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Surprise Inspection Blitz Placed 1,600 Trucks Out of Service

On May 15, an unannounced break-focused inspection blitz placed over 1,600 trucks out of service in the U.S and Canada, in a single day. The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) announced that the commercial vehicle inspectors conducted more than 10,358 inspections which placed 1,667 (16.1%) of those vehicles out of service. 

Inspectors paid close attention to break hoses/tubing. According to the CVSA, 996 trucks were issued violations for chafed rubber hoses, 185 trucks were issued violations for chafed thermoplastic hoses. Totalling, 1,125 violations for chafed rubber hoses and 124 violations for damaged thermoplastic hoses. 

CVSA President Chief Jay Thompson stated to the Arkansas Highway Police, “Brake hoses and tubing must be properly attached, undamaged, without leaks and appropriately flexible,” Thompson concluded, “because they are such an important part of the braking system, the failure of hoses or tubing can cause problems for the entire braking system.” 

Top five brake-related violations are:

  • Clamp or roto type brake out of adjustment
  • CMV manufactured after Oct. 19, 1994, has an automatic brake adjustment system that fails to compensate for wear 
  • Brake hose or tubing chafing and/or kinking 
  • No or defective ABS malfunction indicator lamp for trailer manufactured after March 1, 1998 
  • Inoperative/defective brakes

The CVSA will have another brake-focused inspection blitz next month, scheduled for September 15-21.

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FMCSA Proposed Permanent Crash Prevention Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s FMCSA proposed a permanent crash preventability determination program to receive additional data for recognizing possible safety risks. The program will examine the feasibility, costs, and benefits of determining and displaying the preventability of specific types of accidents.

The FMCSA conducted a survey in August 2017, where they reviewed over 5,600 accidents involving semi-trucks and bus companies to determine if a crash was preventable. An estimated 94% of the crashes reviewed were found not to be preventable by the motor carrier or commercial driver.

Elaine Chao

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, announced on March 29, during a Mid-American Trucking show the department plans to make the current program permanent. In addition, the agency has proposed to remove the “not preventable crashes” from the Safety Measurement System (SMS) Crash Indicator Behavior Analysis Safety Improvement Category (BASIC), a more extensive evaluation of crashes from eight to fifteen. 

FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez, said the data received from the original program informed the industry to take action to expand and improve the program. Martinez stated, “Data drives our agency’s decisions…We’ve listened to carriers, drivers, and other commercial motor vehicle stakeholders throughout each step of this process, and strongly encourage all interested parties to submit comments on our proposed changes.” 

The FMCSA is currently seeking public comment on the proposal, the comment period is open for 60 days ending on October 4, 2019.

Source: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/us-department-transportation-proposes-permanent-crash-preventability-determination-program

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Increased Fines for Truck Driving Violations

On Tuesday July 31, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) increased fines for federal trucking violations. The Federal Civil Penalties Inflation Adjustment Act requires the FMCSA to adjust fines every year due to inflation. The final rule published on July 31 was effective immediately.  

In order to adjust the fines adequately the DOT multiplies the penalty by the difference from October 2017 to October 2018. The percentage difference this year is 1.02522. 

All fines increased as seen below:

ViolationNew Penalty ValueFormer Penalty Value
Failure to respond to
Agency subpoena to
appear and testify or
produce records
(minimum)
$1,093$1,066
Failure to respond to
Agency subpoena to
appear and testify or
produce records
(maximum)
$10,932$10,663
Out-of-service order:
Operation of CMV by
driver
$1,895$1,848
Out-of-service order:
Requiring or
permitting operation
of CMV by driver
$18,943$18,477
Out-of-service order:
Operation by driver of CMV or
intermodal equipment that was
placed out-of-service
$1,895$1,848
Out-of-service order:
Requiring or
permitting operation
of CMV or intermodal
equipment that was
placed out-of-service
$18,943$18,477
Out-of-service order:
Failure to return
written certification or correction
$947$924
Out-of-service order:
Failure to cease
operations as ordered 
$27,331$26,659
Out-of-service order:
Operating in
violation of order
$24,017$23,426
Out-of-service order:
Conducting
operations during
suspension or
revocation for failure
to pay penalties
$15,419$15,040
Out-of-service order:
Conducting operations during
suspension or revocation
$24,017$23,426
Record-keeping:
Maximum penalty per day
$1,270$1,239
Record-keeping:
Maximum total
penalty
$12,695$12,383

Violation
New Penalty ValueFormer Penalty Value
Knowing falsification of records $12,695$12,383
Non-recordkeeping
violations
$15,419$15,404
Non-recordkeeping
violations by drivers
$3,855$3,760
Alcohol prohibition
violations
(first offense)
$3,174$3,096
Alcohol prohibition
violations (second or
subsequent
conviction)
$6,348$6,192
Commercial driver’s
license violations
$5,732$5,591
Special penalties
pertaining to
violation of OOS orders
(first conviction)
$3,174$3,096
Special penalties
pertaining to
violation of OOS orders
(second or subsequent
conviction)
$6,348$6,192
Knowingly allowing,
authorizing employee violations of OOS order (minimum)
$5,732$5,591
Knowingly allowing,
authorizing employee violations of OOS order (maximum)
$31,737$30,956
Special penalties
pertaining to railroad-highway
grade crossing violations
$16,453$16,048
Financial
responsibility
violations
$16,915$16,499
Violations of
Hazardous Materials
Regulations and Safety Permitting
Regulations
(transportation or
shipment of hazmat)
$81,993$79,976
Violations of Hazardous Materials Regulations and Safety
Permitting
Regulations (training)
(minimum penalty)
$493$481
Violations of
Hazardous Materials
Regulations and Safety
Permitting
Regulations (training)
(maximum penalty)
$81,993$79,976
ViolationsNew Penalty ValueFormer Penalty Value
Violations of
Hazardous Materials
Regulations and Safety
Permitting
Regulations
(packaging or
container)
$81,993$79,976
Violations of
Hazardous Materials
Regulations and Safety Permitting
Regulations (compliance with FMCSRs)
$81,993$79,976
Violations of
Hazardous Materials
Regulations and Safety Permitting
Regulations (death,
serious illness, severe
injury to persons;
destruction of
property)
$191,316$186,610
Operating after being declared unfit by
assignment of a final “unsatisfactory”
safety rating
(generally)
$27,331$26,659
Operating after being declared unfit by
assignment of a final “unsatisfactory”
safety rating (hazmat maximum penalty)
$81,993$79,976
Operating after being declared unfit by
assignment of a final “unsatisfactory”
safety rating –
hazardous materials (maximum penalty if death, serious illness, severe injury to
persons; destruction
of property)
$191,316$186,610
Violations of the
commercial
regulations,
property carriers
$10,932$10,663
Violations of the CRs, brokers$10,932$10,663
Violations of the CRs, passenger carriers$27,331$26,659
Violation of the CRs,
foreign carriers,
foreign motor
private carriers 
$10,932$10,663

ViolationNew Penalty ValueFormer Penalty Value
Violations of the CRs,
foreign motor carriers, foreign motor private carriers before
implementation of
North America Free
Trade Agreement land transportation
provisions (maximum penalties for
intentional violation)
$15,034$14,664
Violations of the CRs,
foreign motor carriers, foreign motor private carriers before
implementation of
North America Free
Trade Agreement land transportation
provisions (maximum penalties for a pattern of international
violations)
$37,587$36,662
Violations of the CRs, motor carrier or
broker for
transportation of
hazardous wastes
(minimum)
$21,885$21,327
Violations of the CRs, motor carrier or broker for transportation of hazardous wastes (maximum)$43,730$42,654
Violations of the CRs, household goods carrier or freight forwarder, or their receiver or trustee$1,644$1,604
Violation of the CRs, weight of HHG shipment, charging for services (minimum or first violation)$3,291$3,210
Violation of the CRs, weight of HHG shipment, charging for services (subsequent violations)$8,227$8,025
Tariff violations$164,531$160,484
Additional tariff violations, rebates or concessions (first violation)$328$320
Additional tariff violations, rebates or concessions (subsequent violations)$411$401
Tariff violations, freight forwarders (max penalty for first violation)$823$803
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Ezlogz New Features!

At Ezlogz we strive to provide the best service possible for our customers. We’ve always said that Ezlogz is made by truckers for truckers, so we know what it’s like to be on the road. 

This month Ezlogz released a new feature that notifies our technical support team when an event occurs. Either the driver isn’t connected to the scanner, the app isn’t updated, the incorrect vin number was entered, or the driver tries to connect to a scanner not from his company, the list goes on! 

We’re dedicated to providing the best service. When an event occurs our technical support team is notified and calls each driver within 5 minutes of the event trigger. We solve the problem immediately to save you hassle and stress.

Your drivers will be back on the road in no time! No more having to call in to speak with a representative because Ezlogz provides the best service.

We have 24/7 customer support, feel free to give us a call at 1(800)670-7807 or email us at sales@ezlogz.com

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CTA’s request to provincial ministers

The Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA) wrote to each provincial transportation minister, urgently requesting them to endorse the ELD mandate for provincially-regulated carriers.

In remembrance of the Humboldt Bronco bus crash on April 6, 2018 when sixteen people were killed and thirteen people injured due to a semi truck traveling 60 MPH who failed to yield at a flashing stop sign. In support with Transport Canada’s announcement last month regarding the rules covering federal regulated carriers. The CTA is requesting that all jurisdictions in Canada have ELD rules set for provincial carriers as well so that both federal and provincial carriers transition from paper-based compliance to an electronic one. 

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In the letter to each provincial transportation minister, the CTA wrote, “Non-compliant behaviour that leads to road safety risks knows no boundaries and certainly does not distinguish between provincially and federally regulated carriers when it comes to hours of service regulations,” the letter continues to say, “the events and timeframes in the days prior to the Humboldt collision would have been much more transparent under an ELD regime.  We must end the opportunities for this egregious and unsafe behaviour regardless of whether the trucking company crosses provincial/territorial boundaries or offers services within a jurisdiction.” 

The CTA president Stephen Laskowski stated that now is the time to make the compliance regulations more efficient and improve overall safety. Carriers should be in compliance no matter what territory they’re in or traveling to.

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FMCSA Survey on Harassment and Assault on Female Drivers

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) plans on administering a survey to better understand the harassment and assault of minority and female truck drivers. The agency stated it needs to better understand the, “prevalence, seriousness, and nature of the problem of harassment and assaults against minority and female truckers.” As well as why these crimes are underreported.

Image result for semi truck

The FMCSA currently doesn’t provide training to truckers on how to protect themselves from being stalked, harassed, assaulted or robbed. Before any preventative solution can be established the FMCSA must analyze all aspects of these crimes and ways drivers can protect themselves. 

The proposed study will require a maximum 440 female truck drivers and 440 minority truck drivers. The study will conduct a combination of in-person interviews and online surveys. Eligible participants must be a female or minority professional truck driver in the past two years. Eligible respondents who complete both the interview and survey will receive a $25 incentive.  

Image result for Ellen Voie
Ellen Voie

President of Women in Trucking, Ellen Voie, said her members have been working with the FMCSA for the past 18 months. Voie told Transport topics, “You see lawsuits popping up every once in while, especially with trainers and trainees,” Voie added, “We want to know where is it happening, how often is it happening and what can we do to stop it.” Voie explained that because there’s a shortage of truck drivers by addressing these issues head on, could draw more truck drivers from these groups to alleviate the shortage. 

The FMCSA is currently seeking public comment ending on September 23.

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