Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation

Photo: U.S. Department of Transportation

The Department of Transportation’s Inspector General has initiated an audit of commercial motor vehicle loading and unloading delays in response to provisions of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act highway bill, which became law late last year.

The DOT IG said that the FAST Act directs the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to issue regulations on collecting data on loading and unloading delays. The law also directs DOT to report on the impact of loading and unloading delays in areas such as the economy and efficiency of the transportation system.

“Accordingly, we are initiating this audit,” said DOT IG in a statement issued June 16. “Our objectives will be to (1) assess available data on motor carrier loading and unloading delays and (2) provide information on measuring the potential effects of loading and unloading delays.”

DOT noted that while hours-of-service regulations limit the number of hours a driver can work per day to 14 hours, “delays at shipping and receiving facilities during cargo loading and unloading may result in travel delays and lost wages for drivers. Truckers who experience these delays may then drive faster to make deliveries within hours-of-service limits or operate beyond these limits and improperly log their driving time, thus increasing the risk of crashes and fatalities.”