May 4, 2001
The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today proposed a requirement that drivers of large trucks or buses who are subject to the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1986 (CMVSA) be disqualified from driving if convicted of certain offenses while driving any vehicle.
"It makes perfect sense to hold CMV drivers accountable for driving convictions while operating any type of motor vehicle," Acting Deputy FMCSA Administrator Julie Anna Cirillo said. "Because of the importance of their job, these drivers should be held to the highest standard of safety. This requirement would improve truck safety and support the Bush Administration's goal to reduce the number of truck-related fatalities."
The proposed rulemaking would require states to disqualify a driver's commercial drivers license (CDL) upon conviction, and employers would be required to prohibit these disqualified drivers from operating commercial motor vehicles (CMV). The purpose of the proposal is to improve safety by ensuring that only safe drivers operate large trucks and buses. The FMCSA estimates that nearly 500 CMV-related crashes would be avoided annually as a resultof these disqualifications.
Offenses that would disqualify a convicted driver include drunken driving, leaving the scene of an accident, committing a general or substance-related felony, violating railroad-highway grade crossing signs, excessive speeding, and reckless driving. Disqualification would mean suspension, revocation or cancellation of a CDL by the issuing state. The time period for disqualification would vary according to the offense involved.
The FMCSA proposed that CDL holders convicted of serious traffic violations and other offenses in either a non-CMV or CMV serve the same period of disqualification that would occur had the convicted driver been driving a CMV.
This proposal responds to a requirement of the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act, which in turn amended the CMVSA.
Written comments on this notice of proposed rulemaking should be sent by Aug. 4, 2001, to the USDOT Docket Facility, Attn: Docket No. FMCSA-00-7382, Room PL-401, 400 Seventh Street, SW, Washington, D.C. 20590-0001; FAX: (202) 493-2251. The rule also is posted on the Internet and can be viewed after searching at: http://dms.dot.gov/. Comments may be submitted electronically at http://dmses.dot.gov/submit.
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