Posts Tagged ‘FMCSA’

FMCSA requires electronic logging devices

FMCSAWASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced the adoption of a final rule that will improve roadway safety by employing technology to strengthen commercial truck and bus drivers’ compliance with hours-of-service regulations that prevent fatigue. 

“Since 1938, complex, on-duty/off-duty logs for truck and bus drivers were made with pencil and paper, virtually impossible to verify,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This automated technology not only brings logging records into the modern age, it also allows roadside safety inspectors to unmask violations of federal law that put lives at risk.”

The final rule requiring the use of electronic logging devices (ELD) will result in an annual net benefit of more than $1 billion – largely by reducing the amount of required industry paperwork. It will also increase the efficiency of roadside law enforcement personnel in reviewing driver records. Strict protections are included that will protect commercial drivers from harassment.  

On an annual average basis, the ELD Final Rule is estimated to save 26 lives and prevent 562 injuries resulting from crashes involving large commercial motor vehicles.

“This is a win for all motorists on our nation’s roadways,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “Employing technology to ensure that commercial drivers comply with federal hours-of-service rules will prevent crashes and save lives.”

An ELD automatically records driving time. It monitors engine hours, vehicle movement, miles driven and location information. 

Federal safety regulations limit the number of hours commercial drivers can be on-duty and still drive, as well as the number of hours spent driving. These limitations are designed to prevent truck and bus drivers from becoming fatigued while driving, and require that drivers take a work break and have a sufficient off-duty rest period before returning to on-duty status.

 The four main elements of the ELD Final Rule include: 

  • Requiring commercial truck and bus drivers who currently use paper log books to maintain hours-of-service records to adopt ELDs within two years. It is anticipated that approximately three million drivers will be impacted. 
  • Strictly prohibiting commercial driver harassment. The Final Rule provides both procedural and technical provisions designed to protect commercial truck and bus drivers from harassment resulting from information generated by ELDs. [A separate FMCSA rulemaking further safeguards commercial drivers from being coerced to violate federal safety regulations and provides the agency with the authority to take enforcement actions not only against motor carriers, but also against shippers, receivers and transportation intermediaries.]
  • Setting technology specifications detailing performance and design requirements for ELDs so that manufacturers are able to produce compliant devices and systems – and purchasers are enabled to make informed decisions. 
  • Establishing new hours-of-service supporting document (shipping documents, fuel purchase receipts, etc.) requirements that will result in additional paperwork reductions. In most cases, a motor carrier would not be required to retain supporting documents verifying on-duty driving time.

The ELD Final Rule permits the use of smart phones and other wireless devices as ELDs, so long as they satisfy technical specifications, are certified and are listed on an FMCSA website. Canadian- and Mexican-domiciled drivers will also be required to use ELDs when operating on U.S. roadways. 

Motor carriers who have previously installed compliant Automatic On-Board Recording Devices may continue to use the devices for an additional two years beyond the compliance date.

A copy of the ELD Final Rule announced today is available at: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/hours-service/elds/electronic-logging-devices-and-hours-service-supporting-documents.

Further information, including a comprehensive, searchable list of frequently asked questions, and a calendar of upcoming free training webinars, is available https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/elds.

FMCSA publishes final rule prohibiting coercion

FMCSAWASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s 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. 

For more information on what constitutes coercion and how to submit a complaint to FMCSA, see: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/coercion. Please note: the Final Rule takes effect 60 days following its publication in the Federal Register.

This rulemaking was authorized by Section 32911 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) and the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 (MCSA), as amended.  

For a copy of today’s Federal Register announcement, see: www.federalregister.gov/articles/2015/11/30/2015-30237/prohibiting-coercion-of-commercial-motor-vehicle-drivers.

* * *

The public, commercial drivers, motor carriers, and other industry members may file a safety, service, or discrimination complaint against a household goods moving company, bus, or truck company, including hazardous materials hauler or a cargo tank facility, by calling toll free 1-888-DOT-SAFT (1-888-368-7238) from 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, Eastern Time. Complaints may also be submitted through FMCSA’s National Consumer Complaint website at: http://nccdb.fmcsa.dot.gov.

FMCSA was established as a separate administration within the U.S. Department of Transportation on January 1, 2000, pursuant to the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999. Its primary mission is to reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses. For more information on FMCSA’s safety programs and activities, visit: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov.

OSHA enforces the whistleblower provisions of the Occupational Safety and Health Act and 21 other statutes protecting employees who report violations of various workplace, commercial motor vehicle, airline, nuclear, pipeline, environmental, railroad, public transportation, maritime, consumer product, motor vehicle safety, health care reform, corporate securities, food safety, and consumer financial reform regulations. Additional information is available at: http://www.whistleblowers.gov

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education, and assistance. For more information, visit: http://www.osha.gov.

Rule prohibiting driver coercion clears White House

whitehouselogoA congressionally mandated regulation to prevent coercing drivers from violating the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Regulations is close to becoming reality.

The final rule was cleared by the White House Office of Management and Budget on Thursday, Nov. 12.

The regulation has been much anticipated by truckers, who often find themselves forced with violating regulations because of pressure from shippers, receivers, brokers, etc.

Read more from Land Line mag.com.

FMCSA issues regulatory guidance

FMCSAFMCSA has issued regulatory guidance concerning the editing of records created by automatic on-board recording devices (AOBRD) to make clear that drivers may review or edit their AOBRD records, annotate and correct incorrect records, and certify the accuracy of the information.

 This guidance revises Question 2 of the regulatory guidance for §395.15 which prohibits CMV drivers from “amending” AOBRD records (65 FR 16370, 1997). FMCSA notes that the prohibition was put in place because technology at the time did not allow for distinguishing legitimate amendments to the records from falsified ones. With modern information technology systems and controls, and the ability for records to reflect both the original and edited entry, FMCSA believes that this no longer represents as much of a concern.

 Further, FMCSA states that drivers may need to make legitimate changes to their AORBD record, and should be able to do so. This revision will allow drivers to edit entries as long as the AOBRD record reflects both the original entry, the revised entry, information on who made the revision, the time and the reason. Drivers may only make edits relating to driving time in cases of unidentified or team drivers, or if an entry was assigned to the wrong driver. Finally, motor carrier staff may request a driver make an edit, in which case the driver must choose to accept or reject the change, and resubmit and re-certify the corrected record.

This guidance is retroactively effective October 2, 2015. Click here to read FMCSA’s regulatory guidance as published in the Federal Register. 

FMCSA, FRA begin work on sleep apnea rulemaking

FMCSA-LogoWASHINGTON – If left untreated, sleep apnea poses serious risks to anyone who sits behind the wheel of a commercial motor vehicle or climbs into the cab of a locomotive.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) recently initiated a rulemaking project to evaluate – and treat, when applicable – workers who exhibit risk factors for sleep apnea. The agencies began work Oct. 1 on an advance notice of proposed rulemaking, according to a Department of Transportation regulatory report.

Read more from Safety + Health Magazine.

Click here for symptoms of sleep apnea from the FMCSA.

FMCSA awards grants for veterans as bus drivers

FMCSA-LogoWASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced nearly $2.3 million in grants, double the amount provided in 2014, to 13 technical and community colleges across the country to help train veterans and their families for jobs as commercial bus and truck drivers.  The funding is provided through FMCSA’s Commercial Motor Vehicle – Operator Safety Training (CMV-OST) grant program.

“We support job opportunities for Veterans who have served our country, but not only because it is the right thing to do, it also makes good sense,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.  “One of the most important, fastest growing employment sectors is for qualified commercial vehicle drivers and Veterans bring invaluable experience to the industry and can enter the workforce quickly.”

“We doubled the amount we have previously provided through this grant program because of the important role qualified commercial truck and bus drivers hold in moving our economy forward,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “The men and women who complete these commercial driver training programs also serve our country in a vital way by making safety their top priority every mile, every day.” 

FMCSA awards CMV-OST grants to a variety of educational institutions that provide truck driving training, including accredited public or private colleges, universities, vocational-technical schools, post-secondary educational institutions, truck driver training schools, associations, and state and local governments, including federally-recognized Native American tribal governments.  
 
The 2015 FMCSA grants announced today will provide training for hundreds of new students.  The awards were made to the following organizations:

  • California – West Hills Community College District, Coalinga, $199,460
  • Georgia – Central Georgia Technical College, Macon, $146,771
  • Maryland – Cecil College, North East, $101,825
  • New York – Erie 2 Chautauqua Cattaraugus BOCES, Angola, $105,201
  • North Carolina – North Carolina Department of Transportation, Raleigh, $200,000
  • Ohio – Cuyahoga Community College District, Cleveland, $195,040
  • Oklahoma – Central Technical Center, Drumright, $200,000
  • Pennsylvania – Lancaster County Career & Technology Center, Willow Street, $194,811
  • Pennsylvania – Northampton County Area Community College, Bethlehem, $134,400
  • Pennsylvania – The Sage Corporation, Camp Hill, $198,504
  • South Carolina – Orangeburg-Callhoun Technical College, Orangeburg, $197,399
  • Texas – Alamo Colleges/ St. Phillip’s College, San Antonio, $196,680
  • Virginia – Tidewater Community College, Norfolk, $199,879

The Commercial Motor Vehicle – Operator Safety Training Grant Program was established by Congress in 2005 through the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), to expand the number of commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders possessing enhanced operator safety training to help reduce the severity and number of crashes on U.S. roads involving large trucks and buses.

In July 2014, FMCSA announced that the Military Skills Test Waiver Program had been expanded to include all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  

Under this program, state licensing agencies have authority to waive the skills test portion of the CDL application for active duty or recently separated veterans who possess at least two years of safe driving experience operating a military truck or bus. Waiving the skills test expedites the civilian commercial drivers licensing application process and reduces expenses for qualified individuals and operating costs to state licensing agencies.

FMCSA last year also announced that, beginning with Virginia residents, returning military service personnel who possess a state-issued Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) certificate due to a limb impairment will automatically be recognized as equivalent to an FMCSA-issued SPE certificate and allowed to obtain an interstate commercial driver’s license (CDL).  FMCSA encourages other state licensing agencies to establish comparable equivalency SPE programs.

To learn more about the Commercial Motor Vehicle – Operator Safety Training Grant Program, please visit https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/grants/cmv-operator-safety-training-grant/commercial-motor-vehicle-cmv-operator-safety-training.

For a listing of last year’s CMV – OST grant recipients, please visit https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/fmcsa-awards-1-million-help-train-and-place-veterans-careers-commercial-truck-and-bus.

To learn more about the Military Skills Test Waiver Program, please visit https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/commercial-drivers-license/military.

To learn more about the U.S. Department of Transportation’s dedication to our nation’s veterans, please visit http://www.dot.gov/veteranstransportationcareers.

FMCSA: commercial motor vehicle study concludes

FMCSA-LogoWASHINGTON – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced today that the Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Driver Restart Study has concluded data collection for the congressionally-mandated naturalistic study of the operational, safety, health, and fatigue impacts of two provisions of the hours-of-service (HOS) restart regulations.  
 
Following the study requirements set forth by Congress, the study team collected data to compare five-month work schedules of drivers to assess safety critical events (e.g., crashes, near-crashes, and crash-relevant conflicts), operator fatigue/alertness, and short-term health outcomes of drivers who operate under the HOS restart provisions in effect between July 1, 2013 and December 15, 2014, and those drivers who operate under the provisions as in effect prior to July 1, 2013.
 
Drivers from a wide variety of fleet sizes and operations provided a substantial amount of data throughout the course of the study period.  More than 220 participating drivers contributed data as they drove their normal, revenue-producing routes, including:

  • More than 3,000 driver duty cycles, as captured by electronic logging devices
  • More than 75,000 driver alertness tests
  • More than 22,000 days of driver sleep data

Data analysis has commenced, and the agency is working toward completing the final report by the end of the year.  The agency does not have preliminary study findings; however, FMCSA is pleased with the high volume of data collected from participating drivers and expects this data will help inform future activities by the agency as well as the current study.
 
The Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015 (P.L. 113-235), enacted December 16, 2014, suspended enforcement of sections 395.3(c) and 395.3(d) of the HOS regulations.  Section 395.3(c) requires a CMV driver who wants to restart his/her weekly driving window (of 60 hours on duty in 7 consecutive days, or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days) to take two consecutive periods off duty from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. as part of the 34-hour (or longer) restart.  Section 395.3(d) allows the voluntary 34-hour restart to be used only once every seven days.  These provisions were enacted following extensive research and public comment with the goal of reducing excessively long work hours that increase both the risk of fatigue-related crashes and long-term health problems for drivers.  Enforcement of these sections will remain suspended as required by Congress until the Secretary of Transportation submits the CMV Driver Restart Study final report to Congress.
 
For additional information and to view an updated list of Frequently Asked Questions, click here.

Veterans transition into civilian jobs as bus drivers

FMCSA-LogoWASHINGTON – More than 10,000 veterans and active duty personnel have now taken advantage of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Military Skills Test Waiver Program. In the first three years of the Military Skills Test Waiver Program, approximately 6,000 former military personnel obtained a civilian commercial driver’s license (CDL).  In the past 12 months alone, another 4,000 individuals, including Reserves, National Guard, and U.S. Coast Guard service members, have taken advantage of the Program.
“It is our duty to help returning veterans transition into civilian life, and I am proud that so many have used this program to secure careers in the transportation sector,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Just as important, we want to put their valuable skills and experience to work driving the Nations’ economy.”
The Military Skills Test Waiver Program, which began in 2011, grants state licensing agencies, including the District of Columbia, the authority to waive the skills test portion of the CDL application for active duty or recently separated veterans who possess at least two years of safe driving experience operating a military truck or bus.  Waiving the skills test expedites the civilian CDL application process and reduces expenses for qualified individuals and operating costs to state licensing agencies.
“In the near future, the need for skilled truck drivers is expected to grow dramatically,” said FMCSA Chief Counsel Scott Darling.  “Having skillful and experienced drivers operating on our roadways will lead to increased safety for every member of the motoring public.”
The USDOT/FMCSA Military Skills Test Waiver Program has been conducted in close cooperation with the Department of Defense and the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA).  
Additional information, including a standardized application form accepted in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, is available by clicking here

DOT to audit FMCSA oversight of high-risk carriers

DOT_Logo_150pxThe Department of Transportation’s Inspector General is conducting an audit into concerns about the “timeliness and effectiveness” of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s reviews of carriers that pose a greater risk.

The IG audit, announced in a May 5 memo, cited investigations in 2013 by the National Transportation Board of four motor carriers involved in crashes that resulted in a total of 25 fatalities and 83 injuries.

“The investigations revealed that FMCSA conducted safety reviews of these motor carriers prior to their crashes, one carrier only five days before, yet did not uncover or act on certain preexisting safety deficiencies until after the crashes,” the IG memo said.

Read more from Transport Topics.

FMCSA to maintain random drug testing rates in 2015

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) reported that the annual minimum random controlled substances testing rates for employees in safety sensitive positions, including tractor-trailer and bus drivers, will remain at 50 percent through 2015.  The agency’s decision to maintain the current testing rate was based on data from motor carrier industry controlled substance lab test results, the 2012 drug and alcohol testing survey, and additional investigations, which showed that:

  • Positive test rates following an initial positive result increased by 4.1 percent from 2011 to 2012;
  • Reasonable suspicion positive test rates continued to rise sharply from 5.6 percent in 2010, to 15.7 percent in 2011 and 37.2 percent in 2012, marking a five-fold increase over the 3-year period;
  • The rate of total positive drug test results reported to DOT from independent Health and Human Services-certified laboratories increased from 95,427 positives in 2011 to 97,332 positives in 2012.  FMCSA-regulated industries comprise approximately 80 percent of the reported tests;
  • Serious controlled substance and alcohol testing violations were identified in 24 percent of recent compliance investigations; and 
  • A two-week 2014 Strike Force focusing on the identification of drivers who tested positive resulted in 205 driver enforcement cases, and 138 enforcement cases against carriers for violations relating to drivers with positive test results operating a commercial motor vehicle.  These include drivers operating passenger carrying vehicles and transporting hazardous materials.

While results for FMCSA’s 2012 Drug and Alcohol Testing Survey of approximately 2,000 carriers indicate that positive random drug testing results have decreased for a second year, the agency is committed to seeking additional information related to driver test rates and will continue to monitor industry testing programs before re-evaluating the controlled substances random test rate for 2016. 

FMCSA promotes safety belt use in kids' contest

bus2WASHINGTON – On Nov. 1, the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will kick-off the 2015 “Be Ready. Be Buckled.” student art contest organized by the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Belt Partnership. Open to students in kindergarten through sixth grade with relatives or sponsors in the commercial truck and bus industries, the contest educates kids about highway safety and urges commercial drivers to buckle up on every trip.

“Buckling your safety belt should be an automatic practice for every driver and passenger since it’s the simplest and most effective way to save your life in the event of a crash,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “The purpose of this art contest is to engage children and their parents in discussing safety and to provide a calendar of kids’ artwork that serves as a year-round reminder to always buckle-up.”

In just the last three years, safety belt use has continued to rise among medium-to-heavy truck and bus drivers to an all-time high of 84 percent, according to a 2013 FMCSA study. While good news, there is room for improvement. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s most recent data from 2012 showed that 697 occupants of large trucks were killed in crashes; approximately 40 percent were not wearing safety belts.

“The good news is that overall safety belt use for professional bus and truck drivers has steadily increased each year and as a direct result, more lives are being saved,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “We are focused on reminding every driver that there is never an excuse to skip the important step of buckling up.”

FMCSA will accept contest submissions through Feb. 28, 2015. Students can submit their artwork by mail to the following address:

CMV Safety Belt Partnership
c/o CVSA
Attention: Nicole Leandro
6303 Ivy Lane, Suite 310
Greenbelt, MD 20770

Artwork will be evaluated in two categories: one for kindergarten through second grade, and another for third through sixth grade.

Twelve winners will be selected in April 2015, and their artwork will appear in the 2016 “Be Ready. Be Buckled.” contest calendar.

All 12 students will also be honored at a ceremony at USDOT headquarters to be held in the spring. To see last year’s winners and learn more about the “Be Ready. Be Buckled.” contest, visit: http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety-security/safety-belt/index.htm.

FMCSA awards $1M to help train vets as bus operators

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Oct. 21 announced it has awarded $1 million in grants to nine technical and community colleges across the country to help train returning military veterans for jobs as commercial bus and truck drivers. The funding is provided through FMCSA’s Commercial Motor Vehicle – Operator Safety Training (CMV-OST) grant program.

“Those that we entrust to protect and serve our nation deserve opportunities that utilize the skills and training they received on the job on military bases overseas and at home,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We can think of none more appropriate to safeguard our highways as commercial vehicle drivers than the thousands of veterans who have already proven they can safely handle large vehicles under extremely stressful circumstances.”

“These unique grants are designed to help recruit, train and place veterans and their spouses in good jobs that are in high demand and in an industry that is vitally important in keeping our national economy moving forward,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “Graduates of these training programs are continuing to serve our nation by ensuring that the goods and products we depend on are delivered professionally, efficiently and, most importantly, safely.”

FMCSA awards CMV-OST grants to organizations that provide truck driving training, including accredited public or private colleges, universities, vocational-technical schools, post-secondary educational institutions, truck driver training schools, associations, and state and local governments, including federally-recognized Native American tribal governments. The funds are used to recruit, train, and provide students job placement assistance after graduation.

The 2014 FMCSA grants announced today will provide training for nearly 400 new students. The awards were made to the following organizations:

  • Florida – South Florida State College, Avon Park, Fla., $58,003
  • Illinois – Joliet Junior College, Joliet, Ill., $165,800
  • Minnesota – Century College in White Bear Lake, Minn., $91,080
  • Missouri – Crowder College, Neosho, Mo., $72,160
  • Nebraska – Metropolitan Community College, Omaha, Ne., $47,614
  • Pennsylvania – Northampton County Area Community College, Bethlehem, Pa., $134,400
  • Pennsylvania – The Sage Corporation, Camp Hill, Pa., $249,968
  • Texas – Lone Star College-North Harris, Houston, Texas, $73,704
  • Virginia – Tidewater Community College, Norfolk, Va., $107,271

The Commercial Motor Vehicle – Operator Safety Training Grant Program was established by Congress in 2005 through the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act – A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU), to expand the number of commercial driver’s license (CDL) holders possessing enhanced operator safety training to help reduce the severity and number of crashes on U.S. roads involving large trucks and buses.

In July 2014, FMCSA announced that the Military Skills Test Waiver Program had been expanded to include all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Under this program, state licensing agencies have authority to waive the skills test portion of the CDL application for active duty or recently separated veterans who possess at least two years of safe driving experience operating a military truck or bus. Waiving the skills test expedites the civilian commercial drivers licensing application process and reduces expenses for qualified individuals and operating costs to state licensing agencies.

FMCSA also announced this summer that, commencing with Virginia residents, returning military service personnel who possess a state-issued Skill Performance Evaluation (SPE) certificate due to a limb impairment will automatically be recognized as equivalent to an FMCSA-issued SPE certificate and allowed to obtain an interstate commercial driver’s license (CDL). FMCSA encourages other state licensing agencies to establish comparable equivalency SPE programs.

To learn more about the Commercial Motor Vehicle – Operator Safety Training Grant Program, please visit http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/grants/cmv-operator-safety-training-grant/commercial-motor-vehicle-cmv-operator-safety-training.

For a listing of last year’s CMV – OST grant recipients, please visit http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/federal-motor-carrier-safety-administration-announces-almost-1-million-train-veterans.

To learn more about the Military Skills Test Waiver Program, please visit http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/registration/commercial-drivers-license/military.

To learn more about the U.S. Department of Transportation’s dedication to our nation’s veterans, please visit http://www.dot.gov/veteranstransportationcareers.