In this second part of our year-end and year-ahead regulatory review, we look at hours of service (HOS), entry-level driver training (ELDT), REAL ID and many more changes, present and future, in the trucking and safety arena. (Click here to read part one.)

HOS – Motor carriers and drivers have called for more regulatory flexibility in how hours of service time is measured and constrained. PrePass has followed this concern closely:

* FMCSA Opens New Look at Trucker Hours of Service Rules

* Hours of Service, CSA, AOBRDs Top FMCSA’s Regulatory Agenda

* Changes to Truck Driver Hours of Service Rules Take Big Step Forward

FMCSA first issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM), before receiving approval by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to move forward with the formal Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). FMCSA proposed five key changes to the HOS rules and the public comment period has now closed. FMCSA announced that the effective date for any adopted changes will be set well beyond the final rule to allow adjustments needed from ELD providers, as well as law enforcement and driver training on the new HOS rules. However, depending on the outcome, legal challenges to new HOS rules are expected.

Entry-Level Driver Training – The PrePass whitepaper, “What You Need to Know About New Entry-Level Driver Training Rules,” describes how after Feb. 6, 2020, anyone seeking a Class A or Class B Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), along with Hazardous Materials (H), Passenger (P), or School Bus (S) endorsements, must obtain formal training by providers who are registered with FMCSA. The whitepaper provides details on training curriculum and student evaluation. However, FMCSA has proposed delaying by two years the requirement for training providers to upload driver data to FMCSA and for state driver licensing agencies to verify these conditions were met prior to upgrading or issuing CDLs . Most recently, it appears likely that all of the ELDT program may be similarly delayed until February 2022

REAL ID – October 1, 2020 is the deadline for all states and territories to offer driver licenses that meet the REAL ID background and security requirements. After that time, non-REAL ID driver licenses will not be accepted for boarding commercial aircraft, accessing nuclear facilities or federal buildings while on business. Other forms of identification are often accepted, depending upon the federal agency. The Transportation Workers Identification Credential (“TWIC card”) is needed to access ports, while the Enhanced Driver’s License (EDL) facilitates crossing international borders. Learn all about the identification needed in this PrePass whitepaper “New Whitepaper Details Everything Truckers Need to Know About REAL ID and Upcoming License Deadlines.”

Drug Testing – The FMCSA Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse begins January 6, 2020 (see Part 1 of this regulatory review), but it does not change drug tests itself. Two other developments may, however. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), an arm of the U.S. Health and Human Services Department) announced mandatory guidelines for federal drug testing programs using oral fluids. Adoption by federal agencies, such as FMCSA, will require separate rulemaking. Meanwhile, SAMSHA announced that its work on hair testing for drugs has been completed, with guidelines expected in early 2020.

Dockets Everywhere! – Whenever federal agencies contemplate a change in regulations they open a docket for public comment on the issue or proposal. This means there are dockets open on:

* The FMCSA survey of harassment of minority/female drivers

* The FMCSA query on detention of truck drivers

* The U.S. Department of Agriculture rulemaking for transport of industrial hemp

* An FMCSA startup project on Advanced Driver Assistance Systems

These open dockets are your chance to participate in the trucking regulatory process and to make your voice heard. Be sure to participate!