Posts Tagged ‘commercial drivers license’

FMCSA Wants Drug-Test Database for CDL Holders

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced a proposed rule to establish a drug and alcohol clearinghouse for all national commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders. The clearinghouse would help improve roadway safety by making it easier to determine whether a truck or bus driver is prohibited from operating a commercial motor vehicle for failing to comply with federal drug and alcohol regulations, including mandatory testing.

“Safety is our highest priority, and we will continue to embrace new tools and opportunities that protect the travelers on our nation’s roads,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Today’s proposal will help ensure dangerous drivers stay off the road, while encouraging the employment of the many safe drivers who follow our drug and alcohol requirements.”

Current federal regulations require employers to conduct mandatory pre-employment screening of a CDL driver’s qualifications based upon his or her driving record. However, there has not been a single federal repository recording positive drug and alcohol tests by CDL holders that employers would be able to search to ensure that the driver is able to perform safety-sensitive duties.

The proposed rule announced today would create such a repository and require employers to conduct pre-employment searches for all new CDL drivers and annual searches on current drivers.

“We are leveraging technology to create a one-stop verification point to help companies hire drug and alcohol-free drivers,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “This proposal moves us further down the road toward improving safety for truck and bus companies, commercial drivers and the motoring public everywhere.”

Under the proposed rule announced today, FMCSA-regulated truck and bus companies, Medical Review Officers, Substance Abuse Professionals, and private, third party USDOT drug and alcohol testing laboratories would be required to record information about a driver who:

Fails a drug and/or alcohol test;

Refuses to submit to a drug and/or alcohol test; and

Successfully completes a substance abuse program and is legally qualified to return to duty.

Private, third-party USDOT drug and alcohol testing laboratories also would be required to report summary information annually. This information would be used to help identify companies that do not have a testing program.

To ensure the privacy of drivers involved, each CDL holder would need to provide his or her consent, before an employer could access the clearinghouse.

Drivers who refuse to provide this information could still be employed by the truck or bus company; however, they could not occupy safety-sensitive positions, such as operating a commercial motor vehicle.

It is a violation of federal regulations to drive a truck or bus under the influence of controlled substances or alcohol. Federal safety regulations require that truck and bus companies that employ CDL drivers conduct random drug and alcohol testing programs. Carriers must randomly test 10 percent of their CDL drivers for alcohol and 50 percent of their CDL drivers for drugs each year.

For each of the past three years, federal and state safety inspectors have conducted approximately 3.5 million random roadside inspections of commercial vehicles and of their drivers.

In 2013, on 2,095 occasions, or in 0.23 percent of the unannounced inspections, a CDL holder was immediately placed out-of-service and cited for violating federal regulations governing alcohol consumption. In 2012, FMCSA records show that there were 2,494 violations of this regulation.

In 2013, on 1,240 occasions, or in 0.13 percent of the unannounced inspections, a CDL holder was placed immediately out-of-service and cited for violating federal regulations governing controlled substances. In 2012, FMCSA records show that there were 1,139 violations of this regulation.

In addition to random testing, truck and bus companies are further required to perform drug and alcohol testing on new hires, drivers involved in significant crashes, and whenever a supervisor suspects a driver of using drugs or alcohol while at work.

The proposed rule announced today was directed by Congress in the most recent transportation bill, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.

For a copy of the Federal Register announcement, click here.

FMCSA wants drug-test database for CDL holders

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced a proposed rule to establish a drug and alcohol clearinghouse for all national commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders. The clearinghouse would help improve roadway safety by making it easier to determine whether a truck or bus driver is prohibited from operating a commercial motor vehicle for failing to comply with federal drug and alcohol regulations, including mandatory testing.

“Safety is our highest priority, and we will continue to embrace new tools and opportunities that protect the travelers on our nation’s roads,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Today’s proposal will help ensure dangerous drivers stay off the road, while encouraging the employment of the many safe drivers who follow our drug and alcohol requirements.”

Current federal regulations require employers to conduct mandatory pre-employment screening of a CDL driver’s qualifications based upon his or her driving record. However, there has not been a single federal repository recording positive drug and alcohol tests by CDL holders that employers would be able to search to ensure that the driver is able to perform safety-sensitive duties.

The proposed rule announced today would create such a repository and require employers to conduct pre-employment searches for all new CDL drivers and annual searches on current drivers.

“We are leveraging technology to create a one-stop verification point to help companies hire drug and alcohol-free drivers,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “This proposal moves us further down the road toward improving safety for truck and bus companies, commercial drivers and the motoring public everywhere.”

Under the proposed rule announced today, FMCSA-regulated truck and bus companies, Medical Review Officers, Substance Abuse Professionals, and private, third party USDOT drug and alcohol testing laboratories would be required to record information about a driver who:

  • Fails a drug and/or alcohol test;
  • Refuses to submit to a drug and/or alcohol test; and
  • Successfully completes a substance abuse program and is legally qualified to return to duty.

Private, third-party USDOT drug and alcohol testing laboratories also would be required to report summary information annually. This information would be used to help identify companies that do not have a testing program.

To ensure the privacy of drivers involved, each CDL holder would need to provide his or her consent, before an employer could access the clearinghouse.

Drivers who refuse to provide this information could still be employed by the truck or bus company; however, they could not occupy safety-sensitive positions, such as operating a commercial motor vehicle.

It is a violation of federal regulations to drive a truck or bus under the influence of controlled substances or alcohol. Federal safety regulations require that truck and bus companies that employ CDL drivers conduct random drug and alcohol testing programs. Carriers must randomly test 10 percent of their CDL drivers for alcohol and 50 percent of their CDL drivers for drugs each year.

For each of the past three years, federal and state safety inspectors have conducted approximately 3.5 million random roadside inspections of commercial vehicles and of their drivers.

In 2013, on 2,095 occasions, or in 0.23 percent of the unannounced inspections, a CDL holder was immediately placed out-of-service and cited for violating federal regulations governing alcohol consumption. In 2012, FMCSA records show that there were 2,494 violations of this regulation.

In 2013, on 1,240 occasions, or in 0.13 percent of the unannounced inspections, a CDL holder was placed immediately out-of-service and cited for violating federal regulations governing controlled substances. In 2012, FMCSA records show that there were 1,139 violations of this regulation.

In addition to random testing, truck and bus companies are further required to perform drug and alcohol testing on new hires, drivers involved in significant crashes, and whenever a supervisor suspects a driver of using drugs or alcohol while at work.

The proposed rule announced today was directed by Congress in the most recent transportation bill, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act.

For a copy of the Federal Register announcement, click here.

 

Administration drops redundant driver’s license rule

cdl-drivers-manual_webThe federal government is relaxing a rule for drivers of buses and large trucks who are involved in out-of-state traffic violations. ??

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, an office of the Department of Transportation, is eliminating a requirement that drivers notify their state’s licensing agency when they are convicted of a traffic offense in another state. ??

In its final rule published in the Federal Register April 26, FMCSA amends its commercial driver’s license (CDL) rules to eliminate the requirement for drivers to notify the state licensing agency that issued their commercial learner’s permit (CLP) or CDL of out-of-state traffic convictions when those convictions occur in states that have a certified CDL program in substantial compliance with FMCSA’s rules.

Current regulations require both CDL holders and states with certified CDL programs to report a CDL holder’s out-of-state traffic conviction to the driver’s state of licensure.

This final rule amends the CDL rules to eliminate this reporting redundancy for those cases in which the conviction occurs in a state that has a certified CDL program in substantial compliance with FMCSA’s regulations. This change will reduce a regulatory burden on individual CLP and CDL holders and state driver licensing agencies.

“The anticipated benefits of the rule will take the form of reduced paperwork burden hours and expenditures for the reporting of out-of-state traffic convictions,” the agency said in the new rule.

Under the rule, which will take effect in 30 days, states will continue sending reports to each other, but no action will be required from drivers.

“This is a favorable change to this rule, however, it does not eliminate a commercial driver, especially a bus driver, from following a carrier’s policy of reporting traffic or moving violations to the company once convicted, or based on the individual company policy,” said SMART Transportation Bus Vice President Bonnie Morr. “Drivers still need to report a violation based on their employer’s policy.”

The change comes as result of an Obama administration initiative to reduce regulatory burdens. ??

In 2011, the Transportation Department asked the public for suggestions on possible ways to cut back on unnecessary rules.

The SMART Transportation Division’s Legislative Office in offered suggestions to the FMCSA in February 2011.

The federal government has set minimum national standards for drivers of commercial vehicles since the 1986 enactment of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act, but each state has its own procedures and rules for the licenses. ??

In order to receive highway and grant funding, states must meet the benchmarks of the commercial driver’s license program, which includes a requirement that states report commercial drivers’ out-of-state traffic convictions to their home state within 10 days. Drivers were required to report the convictions within 30 days.