Spring 2021 Regulatory Agenda: FMCSA Seeks to “Streamline and Improve” Database of Drivers Who Fail Drug and Alcohol Tests | 2021-06-23


Washington – A proposal to “streamline and improve error correction procedures, queries and consent requirements” within the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is among the agency’s planned actions listed in the regulatory program of the Ministry of Transport for spring 2021.

Posted on June 11, the agenda – released by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs twice a year – provides the status and expected dates for all potential regulations listed in three stages: pre-rule, proposed rule and final rule. Ads marked “long term” should not be processed for at least six months.

The potential move to change the clearinghouse protocol is one of seven regulations listed in the proposed rule stage, with a regulatory proposal notice expected in February.

The FMCSA fully implemented the clearing-house mechanism in January 2020, unveiling a national online database aimed at improving road safety by providing – in real time – the names of commercial vehicle drivers who have failed road tests. drug and alcohol testing.

Federal regulations require motor carriers to perform pre-hire drug testing in addition to random testing. Employees who test positive are prohibited from performing any safety-sensitive duties, including operating a VMC.

As of May 1, marijuana was the most common substance found in positive substance abuse tests among CMV drivers, having been detected in 40,053 of the 75,522 positive tests reported to the clearinghouse since January 6, 2020 Cocaine (10,626) and methamphetamine (6,969) were the most frequently identified substances. Several substances can show up in positive tests, notes the FMCSA.

Among the 12 regulations that the FMCSA lists in the final regulatory phase, there is an item regarding the addition of rear impact protectors to the list of components to be considered during the mandatory annual CMV inspections.

Designed to prevent “run-in”, which occurs when a passenger vehicle hits the back of an CMV and slides under it, rear impact protection has been required on CMVs for nearly 70 years, says an advisory. of regulatory proposal published in the December 29. Federal Register. However, guards are excluded from the list of components in Appendix G for required inspections, which means that a VMC can pass an annual inspection with missing or damaged rear impact protection, according to the FMCSA.

The agency is also proposing to change the labeling requirements for protectors “and exclude road construction-controlled horizontal unloading (RCC) trailers from rear impact protection requirements,” the NPRM says.

“The inclusion of rear impact guards and rear protection in the periodic inspection requirements of Annex G will draw additional attention to this critical safety component and help ensure that every vehicle is checked at least once.” per year, improving compliance and helping prevent fatalities and injuries when rear end collisions occur, ”says the NPRM. In addition, the inclusion of rear impact protection and rear protection in the annual periodic inspection standards will harmonize the US regulations with those of Canada and Mexico, which include rear impact protection and rear protection in as part of their annual inspection programs. “

A final regulation is expected to be published in November.


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