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U.S. Department of Transportation Proposes $74 Million in Cost Savings By Reducing Burdensome Rules on the Commercial Buses

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) today announced that it has published a proposed rule to reduce regulatory costs by $74 million per year by removing an information collection burden for commercial buses, without adversely impacting safety on the nation’s roadways.

“This proposal is a commonsense way to reduce unnecessary burdensome regulatory costs while ensuring the highest level of safety on our roads,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao. 

As part of the agency’s ongoing effort to review existing regulations to evaluate their continued necessity and effectiveness, FMCSA is proposing to rescind the requirement that drivers of commercial buses submit – and their motor carriers retain – driver-vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) when the driver has neither found nor been made aware of any vehicle defects or deficiencies.

“Reducing regulatory burdens and saving commercial drivers valuable time is helpful to bolster the commercial motor vehicle industry, without compromising safety.  This straightforward proposal is reflective of the agency and Department’s approach to reducing unneeded regulatory costs.  We encourage everyone to review this proposal and provide public comments,” said FMCSA Deputy Administrator Jim Mullen.

Current regulations require commercial bus drivers to submit DVIRs even if there are no vehicle defects to report. The proposed rule would eliminate the need for a driver to file, and a motor carrier to maintain, a no-defect DVIR.

The agency estimates that passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers spend approximately 2.4 million hours each year completing no-defect DVIRs, and that the proposed rule would result in a cost savings of $74 million per year.

FMCSA has focused on reducing regulatory burdens, without impacting safety.  In August 2019, the agency published a proposed rule on hours of service changes that are estimated to save the motor carrier industry $274 million per year. 

Additionally, in March 2019, the agency authored a final rule streamlining the process and reducing costs to upgrade from a Class B to Class A commercial driver’s license (CDL) – a deregulatory action that will save eligible driver trainees and motor carriers $18 million annually.

The proposed rule will have a 60-day public comment period.  A copy of the proposal, which includes information on submitting comments to the Federal Register Docket, is available at https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/newsroom/passenger-carrier-no-defect-driver-vehicle-inspection-reports.

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Updated: Monday, November 4, 2019
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