Federal Update
FMCSA names 16 deadly sins for new entrant motot carriers

By Jami Jones
senior editor


New motor carriers face losing their authority if they commit any one of the newly identified 16 deadly sins that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration outlines in a recently unveiled final rule.

The final rule was published in the Federal Register mid-December. The regulation goes into effect Feb. 17, 2009, with a compliance deadline of Dec. 16, 2009.

“This new regulation makes getting your authority and having everything in place to fully comply with the regulations a little bit more complicated,” said Doreen Weakley, team leader in the Authority Division of OOIDA’s Business Services Department.

The Association’s Business Services Department assists members with getting their own authority and setting up necessary programs in order to comply with FMCSA regs.

“This will add a few more hoops and hurdles, but it’s something we’re ready to help members with,” Weakley said. “And, on down the road, we’ll be here for when those audits happen or when they have questions in the future. It’s a long-term relationship.”

The key safety regulations, quickly dubbed the “16 deadly sins” by industry insiders, are:

  • Failing to implement an alcohol and/or controlled substances testing program.
  • Using a driver known to have an alcohol content of 0.04 percent or greater to perform a safety-sensitive function.
  • Using a driver who has refused to submit to an alcohol or controlled substances test required under Part 382.
  • Using a driver known to have tested positive for a controlled substance.
  • Failing to implement a random controlled substances and/or alcohol testing program.
  • Knowingly using a driver who does not possess a valid CDL.
  • Knowingly allowing, requiring, permitting, or authorizing an employee with a commercial driver’s license which is suspended, revoked, or canceled by a state or who is disqualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle.
  • Knowingly allowing, requiring, permitting, or authorizing a driver to drive who is disqualified to drive a commercial motor vehicle.
  • Operating a motor vehicle without having in effect the required minimum levels of financial responsibility coverage.
  • Operating a passenger carrying vehicle without having in effect the required minimum levels of financial responsibility.
  • Knowingly using a disqualified driver.
  • Knowingly using a physically unqualified driver.
  • Failing to require a driver to make a record of duty status.
  • Requiring or permitting the operation of a commercial motor vehicle declared ‘‘out-of-service’’ before repairs are made.
  • Failing to correct out-of-service defects listed by driver in a driver vehicle inspection report before the vehicle is operated again.
  • Using a commercial motor vehicle not periodically inspected.

Once the reg is in effect, truckers and trucking companies will have their authority yanked if they are found to have violated one of the regs during the new entrant safety audit. If one of the violations is found during a roadside inspection, that can trigger an “expedited action,” which is a safety audit or compliance review.

Any motor carrier that doesn’t prove the violations were corrected will lose its operating authority. Once the FMCSA revokes the authority and issues an out-of-service order, the new entrant will have to wait 30 days before applying for authority again and starting the process all over. LL