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FMCSA Chief Safety Officer Lays Out 2015 Priorities at ATA

October 5, 2014

By Evan Lockridge

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FMCSA Chief Safety Officer Jack Van Steenberg talks about the agency's 2015 priorities. Photo by Evan Lockridge
FMCSA Chief Safety Officer Jack Van Steenberg talks about the agency's 2015 priorities. Photo by Evan Lockridge
SAN DIEGO – Even though next year is still about three months away, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has set some priorities for 2015.

Speaking at the American Trucking Associations’ Management Conference & Exhibition on Sunday, FMCSA Chief Safety Officer Jack Van Steenberg said the agency’s top five priorities include getting out rules that will eventually require the use of electronic logging devices to monitor driver compliance with hours of service rules.

“We would love to see it get to the secretary’s office in the spring of 2015 and we would love to have a final rule sometime in 2015,” he said. Steenburg said the agency has been wading through some 2,000 comments on the matter.

“There is a lot to consider when it comes to the electronic logging devices. We want to get it right and we want to get it right the first time,” he said.

Van Steenburg said many people are for the regulation, but  conceded a significant number are against it. He offered few details of what will be in the rule, because it is still under development, but added the FMCSA “believes it is the right way to go,” benefiting both carriers and drivers.

Steenburg also told the audience the agency is continuing to place a priority on developing the Unified Registration System. “Since the rule kicked off in November, there have been 102,000 carriers that have been deactivated” mostly due to them not updating their data, and in his estimation, having ceased operations. Coming in a year, he said, will be new rules that are expected to make it easier for carriers to update their UCR information, along with new tools to prevent what he called the “reincarnation of carriers who are trying to avoid some safety action by the FMCSA.”

Also on the agency’s priority list is safety fitness determination, which will be part of the agency’s Compliance, Safety and Accountability program, that will include having a rating/score of carriers.

The agency also plans to move forward with what Van Steenberg called "inspection modernization,” as part of an effort to eliminate duplicative charges against a driver that arise during an inspection, such as having more than one light out on a tractor-trailer or a driver forgetting to sign his logbook for three straight days. “It will eliminate those multiple violations that we so often hear from the industry about,” he said.

As part of this change to the CSA system, FMCSA also hopes it will be able to better target what Van Steenberg said are some 2,000 carriers a month that the agency has issued out-of-service orders to but remain running on the road.

Lastly, the agency hopes to implement next year a third phase of CSA in which agency investigators will have new tools, including software for conducting compliance reviews, including off site.

Comments

  1. 1. Gene [ October 06, 2014 @ 08:14AM ]

    The fmcsa should take a year off to study how how backwards they are. The fmsca should go to congress to see what they can do to get shippers and receivers to do there jobs that's tax dollars well spent fix what's broke and not worry about what's not. As for electronic loging devices I'm totally against it, it's should be a choice not a requirement that cost $$ . The fmsca is ruining a industry trying to safe proof the world, it can't be done. The fmsca waste to much of our money on nonsense . Here is a easy task parking there is not enough what can u do to help us try that out.

  2. 2. Barb [ October 07, 2014 @ 01:31PM ]

    Gene: The correct use of "their" "too" and "an" is appreciated. Perhaps they should spend more on education.

  3. 3. Jean [ October 10, 2014 @ 12:15PM ]

    Since we are discussing ELD's is it really necessary to comment on someone's grammer and education - Barb? That's quite a cheap shot. As for the subject at hand. ELD's as far as I can see is just a way a driver inputs his data. It still operates on the honesty system. There are too many variables for it to be considered fool proof. Having a monitoring system of the vehicle is ultimately where they are going I believe. Finally, my question and thought has always been just this: When a driver doesn't have to work 70 hours a week to make the same pay as a person working 40 hours you will have done something to make the industry better. Until you get there, you are wasting everyone's time and money.

  4. 4. Thomas J Watercott [ October 11, 2014 @ 08:01AM ]

    Again no mention of new driver training requirements, the one thing they could address that would have the highest impact on safety!

  5. 5. James Popio Jr. [ October 13, 2014 @ 11:35AM ]

    what about stopping our 14hr. Clock when we are off duty. Sometimes I'm at a shipper or receiver for 2 to 6 hrs. Waiting. That's a lot of time off my 14hr. Clock. I could make roughly another $10,000 a year or more if we could stop that part of our clock. And lastly something needs to be done about the shippers and receivers setting appt. times just to have us sit and wait for hours after our appt. time. What's the use of an appt. time if they can't honor it. These things would help the industry a great deal. Just my thoughts of the day. I LIVE TO TRUCK ANOTHER DAY!!!!!

  6. 6. Wesley Purkey [ October 13, 2014 @ 06:09PM ]

    E logs sucks if a driver is close to home that driver Gona go home not sit for 10 hrs Togo an hr up the rd home that's bull crap there for the shippers n recv holds us up we brk dwn that count against us the 14 hr rule just sucks u all need todo our job n see how hard it is to be away from home away from our family while u all r at home every night member trucks moves America not u n it bill shit we can't make money out here anymore because of these strict rules we just need to park all trucks n see how long this country last u all sitting back pushing a pencil markeing double pay then what we r and that's not right when e log gets in my truck I'm done with driving I'm not Gona stay out here n put up with bull n don't understand y drivers likes e log trucking needs Togo bk like it was no computer no strict rules n let us do our job n the drivers that can't compile n do there job right pull there ass off the rd top of that rookies aren't getting enough training n the rag heads am candiana don't care if they run over u or not they can't drive n Mexicans ant no better trucking has just went down hill bad over the years if u all can't get out n do our jobs than I all don't have no right hurting like u all do it's bull shit u all come out here n put your feet in our shoes for a month or so I garentie u will change your mind n top of that lot if the prob is people in the 4 wheelers mostly causing the wrecks n we get the blame they cut me off all the time out here bill crap the way we get treated out here

  7. 7. tony scovell [ October 13, 2014 @ 06:24PM ]

    really seems theres a lot of pencil pushers out there trying to tell drivers how to do thier job.has pushed a lot of old timers out not wanting to put up with the bs.all these rookies an supertruckers coming into the buisness really dont know how godd it was before all these special interest groups started there bs an the goverment decided to think they knew better than the drivers that have been out here for years,ye theres gonna be drivers that think things are better but i guess they are the ones thatplay politics .we know the world moves on with electronic age but come on man the politicians an ass kissers are ruining itfor the drivers having to put up with all the crap that happening.putting drivers out of work changing rules an regulations.sending drivers now to special dot doctors.id luv to see these people live by the rules as a driver an make a decent living.

  8. 8. colby [ October 13, 2014 @ 07:47PM ]

    Does your eld acknowledge my oilfield exemptions???? Your laws and designs will shut down a lot of smaller trucking companies and owner operators. How about targeting the illegals in my state that have dropped rates so low they are the only ones working????

  9. 9. Doug [ October 13, 2014 @ 07:56PM ]

    If my company gets them that's the day I get out of trucking I don't need no machine to tell me how long I can drive or tell me when I have to sleep, bulls*** good luck

  10. 10. Mark [ October 14, 2014 @ 06:38AM ]

    A lock keeps a thief honest. An e-log keeps a truck driver honest. As a new driver I hear how it was in the past and those are the only drivers complaining about it. I would rather E-Logs be in every truck no questions asked. If a driver is found not using E-Logs then him/her down until the problem is fixed. If you as a driver doesn't want to adhere to change then find a desk to sit behind and driver a pencil. You can forge a paper logbook and even have 2. With E-Logs you get one and that's it. Work and drive within the rules set forth. Yes the appointment times need to be honored at a shipper/rcvr but, that's not the subject matter. It's about being LEGAL & SAFE.

  11. 11. isaac [ October 14, 2014 @ 07:26AM ]

    Electronic logs will save lives for sure. Double logging and drivers driving tired all the time will be out of the roads. Those drivers that do not agree with this are the ones who drive out of service and dont care about anybody else but making more money. My wife drives out there with my kids and i dont want those drivers out there sharing the same road.

  12. 12. Chiperi [ October 14, 2014 @ 11:37AM ]

    You E-logs drivers don't know what means to work for real... I hear you in truck stop "I did 500 miles today, I'm so proud, I'm a hero, bla bla bla" wtf? Have you ever drove a 1700 miles straight? No? Because you are fuckin lazy and after you complain there's not enough money.... I would stick those elogs in yours and politicians asses... why I have to limit myself at 500 if I can do double or triple? You newbies first learn to park and behave on the road and after shout for e-logs.... fuckin professional drivers....

  13. 13. ray [ October 14, 2014 @ 05:41PM ]

    Why don't the fmcsa leave us alone. And male rules for four wheelers there the real problem on the road. When it comes to safety. .

  14. 14. ray [ October 14, 2014 @ 05:41PM ]

    4q fmcsa

  15. 15. Travis Johnston [ November 09, 2014 @ 04:28PM ]

    I agree with Chiperi. These e-logs take away from my income. They make you more tired. Espeacially if you get held up at a shipper or reciever for 3-6 hrs and then have to drive say 4-5 hrs then stop because your 14 hr clock is up for the next 10 hrs. Im a grown ass man. I dont need uncle sam telling me when to sleep. I sleep when I get tired. Not everyone is engineered the same ya know. Some people get tired after driving 5 hrs. Some like me can go for 14-18 hrs without stopping. More miles more money. Why dont the damn shippers and recievers have to obey by our rules also? Or better, just get politicans that dont know shit about trucking out of trucking completely!

 

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