Significant proposed rulemaking

CMV Driver Positive Controlled Substances and Alcohol Test Results Database. The rulemaking would create a central database for verified positive controlled substances and alcohol test results, as well as refusals to submit to testing. It would require employers and service agents to enter positive test results and refusals to test into the database. Prospective employers would need the applicant’s written consent to access the database to determine information on the driver applicant.

National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. The rulemaking would “establish training, testing and certification standards for medical examiners responsible for certifying that interstate commercial motor vehicle drivers meet established physical qualifications standards; provide a database of medical examiners who meet the prescribed standards for use by motor carriers, drivers, and federal and state enforcement personnel in determining whether a medical examiner is qualified to examine interstate truck and bus drivers; and require medical examiners to transmit electronically to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration the name and numerical identifier for each driver who is examined.” A final rule is expected to be published in May 2010.

Commercial Driver’s License Testing and Commercial Learner’s Permit Standards. A draft of the final rule is expected to be sent to the Office of Management and Budget by late October. Publication of the final rule is anticipated for February 2010.

Minimum Training Requirements for Entry-Level Commercial Motor Vehicle Operations. The proposed rulemaking would require behind-the-wheel and classroom training for people who must hold a commercial driver’s license to operate CMVs. FMCSA officials are considering the effectiveness of CMV driver training in reducing crashes, the appropriate types of training that should be mandated, and related costs. A draft of the final rule is expected to be sent to OMB in November 2009; if approved, the rule is expected to be published in February 2010.

Carrier Safety Fitness Determination. FMCSA officials are drafting a notice of proposed rulemaking that would revise 49 CFR Part 385 as it relates to safety fitness procedures and is in accordance with the agency’s Comprehensive Safety Analysis 2010 initiative. Under the new ruling, FMCSA would have contact with more carriers, which already undergo a very labor-intensive onsite compliance review. FMCSA would establish safety fitness determinations based on safety data consisting of crashes, inspections and violation history rather than a standard compliance review. At press time, publication of an NPRM was expected in November 2009.

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