Driver qualification, detention among DOT 2020 priorities
Story by: John Gallagher, Washington Correspondent @FreightWaves I
Management at the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will be pressured to address several affecting commercial drivers and their companies in 2020 based on a set of priorities unveiled by the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
“DOT’s Fiscal Year 2020 Top Management Challenges,” released on October 23, calls on the agency to tackle truck driver qualification, driver detention, and high-risk motor carrier interventions.
“We considered several criteria in identifying DOT’s top management challenges for the fiscal year 2020, including their impact on safety, documented vulnerabilities, large dollar implications, and the ability of the department to effect change,” according to DOT’s Office of Inspector General (OIG).
The OIG’s priority report asserts that weaknesses in “timely information sharing” between FMCSA and state driver licensing agencies has led to unqualified commercial drivers remaining on roads, including those involved in fatal crashes after previously being arrested for operating a truck while under the influence. The OIG announced on October 22 that it would be auditing FMCSA oversight of state commercial driver’s license agencies.
FMCSA must also ensure that commercial drivers maintain valid medical certificates, the OIG states, as well as crack down on medical certification fraud. In addition, “our investigations have uncovered numerous instances of fraud committed by State Departments of Motor Vehicles’ examiners, driving schools, and third-party examiners.”
Last year the OIG estimated that driver detention is associated with reductions in annual earnings of $1.1 billion to $1.3 billion for for-hire commercial motor vehicle drivers in the truckload sector. But without accurate and representative data, “FMCSA faces challenges in accurately describing how the diverse trucking industry experiences driver detention,” the OIG report contends.
“FMCSA concurred with our recommendation to collaborate with industry stakeholders to develop and implement a plan to collect and analyze reliable data on the frequency and severity of driver detention. According to the article in freightwaves.com and its author John Gallagher
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Source and credits: freightwaves.com / John Gallagher, Washington Correspondent / iTrucker / Mario Pawlowski