Two federal regulatory agencies are asking for input regarding data collection on important trucking topics.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently published four Information Collection Requests (ICRs) in the Federal Register. Each renew existing ICRs that, by law, agencies must re-open for comment at least once every three years.
Congress established ICRs in the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 to “minimize the paperwork burden” on the public and “ensure the greatest possible public benefit from… the information… collected.” Agencies must publish their ICRs in the Federal Register for comment.
Why comment on an existing ICR? Isn’t that data collection already underway?
- Perhaps the information already collected turned out not to be needed.
- Or possibly the agency has discovered another source of the data – a source that doesn’t burden the public.
Here, then, are four opportunities to make sure that FMCSA and NHTSA continue to get the right information in the right way. These ICRs also provide a chance to suggest changes, such as in the content or in the mechanics of data collection.
Hours of Service (HOS) of Drivers Regulations. The HOS regulations require a motor carrier to install and require each of its drivers subject to records of duty status (RODS) rules to use, an electronic logging device (ELD). Two types of information are collected under this ICR: (1) drivers’ RODS, commonly referred to as a logbook, and (2) supporting documents, such as fuel and toll receipts. Motor carriers use this data to verify the accuracy of RODS and document expense deductions for income tax filing purposes.
Motor Carrier Identification Report. FMCSA requires all motor carriers beginning operations to file a Form MCS-150 titled, “Motor Carrier Identification Report,” or MCS-150B titled, “Combined Motor Carrier Identification Report and HM Permit Applications.” All motor carriers file this report that conduct operations in interstate commerce, in intrastate commerce when transporting hazardous materials, or in international commerce before beginning operations. Existing motor carriers use the MCS-150 or MCS-150B to update their information in the Motor Carrier Management Information System. The information collected is readily available to the public.
Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill required a commercial driver apprenticeship pilot program allowing holders of commercial driver’s licenses between the ages of 18 and 21 to operate in interstate commerce under certain conditions. Those conditions include two probationary periods under the supervision of an experienced driver in the passenger seat, during which competency evaluations in several functions must occur. Participating motor carriers must provide monthly reports, as well as data on the safety of apprentice operations. All this data collection was approved on an emergency basis and is now open for public comment for continued data collection.
National Driver Register. NHTSA maintains a National Driver Register (NDR) containing identification information regarding any individual denied a driver’s license for cause, whose license is withdrawn for cause, or who is convicted of certain serious motor vehicle related offenses. States must submit an inquiry to the NDR on all driver’s licenses applicants. The records include name, date of birth, sex, driver license number, and reporting state. FMCSA also uses this information during accident investigations.
Comments on each of these four ICRs are due by Aug. 10, 2022.