CVSA’s personal transportation request lacks data, says FMCSA
If the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance wants to limit a truck driver’s use of personal transportation, the FMCSA says it must first provide data on negative safety outcomes.
“FMCSA continues to lack sufficient data to initiate regulation,” the agency wrote. “The FMCSA would need data showing the extent to which driver violations lead to safety-critical events.”
In March, the CVSA asked the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to create a maximum distance or time for how a truck driver operates a personal-use utility vehicle outside of work hours.
The FMCSA officially rejected the petition in the fall. However, Land Line recently obtained more details regarding the agency’s reasoning for the denial.
CVSA said that since violation code 395.8E1PC was added to roadside inspection software in June 2021, law enforcement officials have cited 3,041 violations using that code through Jan. 28. According to CVSA, 61% of these violations were an attempt to conceal hours of service violations.
However, the FMCSA said the data shows violations for misuse of personal transportation are already being enforced.
“Preliminary data on violations suggests that law enforcement officials are already identifying drivers with hours of service violations related to misuse of personal transportation, with no time or distance limits,” wrote FMCSA in its rejection letter. “Under June 17, 2018 FMCSA regulatory guidance, a driver who travels hundreds of miles in a direction that enhances motor carrier operational readiness is not permitted to record that time as personal transportation.”
FMCSA published tips for requesting the use of the provision in the hours of service record:
“A driver may record time spent driving a (commercial vehicle) for personal transportation (i.e. for personal use or reasons) as off-duty only when the driver is relieved from work and any liability for the motor carrier’s performance of the work.The VMC may be used for personal transportation even if loaded, since the load is not being transported for the business benefit of the carrier at the time. personal transportation does not reduce the driver’s or motor carrier’s responsibility to operate a commercial vehicle safely Motor carriers may establish personal transportation limitations either within these guidelines or more restrictive than these guidelines, such as prohibiting the use of a commercial vehicle for personal transportation, imposing a distance limit on personal transportation, or prohibiting action of personal transport when the utility vehicle is loaded. .”
The CVSA also asked the FMCSA to create personal transportation limitations in December 2018. The FMCSA denied this request in September 2020.
“While we acknowledge the concerns of the CVSA, we do not believe there is a sufficient basis of security to initiate regulation,” the FMCSA wrote in its 2020 denial. “The agency is unable to to estimate the extent to which drivers can circumvent hours of service requirements by claiming personal vehicle status, or the extent to which driver violations result in safety-critical events.” LL