January 17, 2022

MSCI, Drive Safe Coalition Comment On Implementation Of Trucking Pilot Program

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has been working to implement the DRIVE Safe pilot program that was part of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) President Joe Biden signed into law last fall. This pilot program would allow 18 to 21 year old commercially licensed drivers to operate across state lines following participation in a rigorous 400-hour apprenticeship program. (Currently, 18 to 21 year old drivers may obtain a commercial driver license in each of the 48 contiguous states, but federal law prevents them from driving across state lines or transporting interstate goods.)

On January 7, 2022, FMCSA published a Federal Register notice with an Information Collection Request (ICR).

While encouraged by FMCSA’s movement to implement the pilot program, the DRIVE Safe Coalition, which MSCI is a member of, had concerns with ICR’s requirements. Specifically, the coalition said it believes these requirements, outlined below, will create unnecessary administrative burdens and may cause organizations and drivers to not participate in the program.

The ICR’s requirements, which were not included in the IIJA, state:

  • All motor carriers who are approved for the program by FMCSA also will be required to become Registered Apprenticeships (RAs) before they can submit information on their experienced drivers and apprentices.
  • Data collected under the program will include crash data (incident reports, police reports, insurance reports), inspection data, citation data, safety event data (as recorded by all safety systems installed on vehicles, to include advanced driver assistance systems, automatic emergency braking systems, onboard monitoring systems, and forward-facing and in-cab video systems) as well as exposure data (record of duty status logs, on-duty time, driving time, and time spent away from home terminal).
  • Data will be submitted monthly through participating motor carriers.

To address these burdensome, non-statutory requirements, the coalition submitted comments responding to the ICR. Members of the coalition, including MSCI, were included as signatories. The coalition advised, “In order not to discourage robust participation in the pilot program, FMCSA should implement requirements that mirror the statutory provisions, which received broad bipartisan congressional support and the endorsement of the undersigned organizations, and not raise additional barriers.”

Read the full comments here. MSCI is grateful to its partners at the DRIVE Safe Coalition for organizing this effort.

In other infrastructure news: On January 14, the U.S. Department of Transportation launched the Bridge Replacement, Rehabilitation, Preservation, Protection, and Construction Program made possible by the IIJA. The program represents the single largest dedicated bridge investment since the construction of the interstate highway system. It will provide $26.5 billion to states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico over five years and $825 million for Tribal transportation facilities. Read more from the White House about IIJA implementation here.

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