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Too many exemptions! CVSA Writes to FMCSA

by Charlotte Freed | Jan 11, 2019
ELD exemptions causing headaches

Things are getting confusing for roadside commercial vehicle inspectors – and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) is making sure federal trucking regulators know it. In a letter to FMCSA Administrator, Ray Martinez, CVSA Executive Director, Collin Mooney, says too many motor carriers are being given exemption from the electronic logging device (ELD) mandate.

Mooney says these exemptions cause further rifts “when motor carriers are aware of an exemption before the enforcement community, setting up a scenario where conflict may arise roadside.” He continues that the near-50 exemptions the FMCSA has granted result in  “confusion and inconsistency in enforcement” and these exceptions bypass “a critical safety requirement designed to help combat fatigue on our nation’s roadways and designed to level the playing field for motor carriers seeking to operate safely within the hours-of-service rules.” A longtime opponent of exemptions from the mandate, the CVSA says “in short, exemptions should be the exception, not the rule”. The organization also requests more influence in the decision-making process along with their local and state partners. 

In a separate letter, the CVSA asked the FMCSA to put a limit on driver personal conveyance mileage and/or time, arguing that the agency’s revised guidance is open to interpretation dependent on the inspector, increasing the potential for “driver fatigue and risk on our roadways.” The FMCSA has confirmed receipt of the requests and are currently under review.

The American Trucking Associations (ATA) spokesperson, Sean McNally, says they believe “the best way to address exemptions to the hours-of-service rules is by moving forward with their ongoing review of the current rules” and that “ensuring the rules are flexible and recognizing the trucking industry’s diversity is the best way to reduce the number and scope of exemption requests.” The ATA will continue reviewing the CVSA’s petition on personal conveyance and will provide feedback upon request.

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