Regulatory Update FMCSA Adds Two Violations to Safety Measurement System

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has added two violations to the Compliance, Safety, Accountability Safety Measurement System. One of the violations is based on the new Hours-of-Service regulations and the other is based on a more detailed description of existing controlled substances and alcohol regulations. Both were implemented in the SMS as of July 1, 2013. If motor carriers have one or both of these violations, they will see them in the July snapshot of their SMS data, which was released in early August.

FMCSA's new HOS regulation (395.3(a)(3)(ii)) requires drivers to take a 30-minute rest break during the first eight hours of a shift. Based on a court decision, effective Aug. 2, 2013, FMCSA will no longer enforce the 30-minute break provision for drivers that qualify for either of the short haul operations exceptions outlined in 49CFR 395.1(e) or (2). Click here for access to this new regulation and guidance. The violation related to the Controlled/Substances Alcohol BASIC was added based on industry and law enforcement feedback and enables roadside inspectors to distinguish between alcohol possession and alcohol use. SMS assigns a lower severity weight to alcohol possession.

FMCSA recommends that motor carriers should discuss these violations with their drivers to make sure they understand them and how to comply with the associated regulations. FMCSA has updated Appendix A of the SMS Methodology to incorporate these violations, and it is now available on the CSA website (click here to access it.)

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