FMCSA proposes no new No-Defect DVIRs

Friday, Aug 9 2013 admin

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has put forth a proposal to void the requirement for commercial motor vehicle operators to submit -- and carriers to keep on file -- driver-vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) without any vehicle defects or deficiencies.

no-defect DVIR No-defect DVIRs submissions create a substantial paperwork burden and take up a great deal of time with no real benefits. The FMCSA estimates truck drivers spend about 47.2 million hours each year completing no-defect reports and translates those wasted hours into a monetary value of $1.7 billion per year.

“This proposed rule would remove a significant information collection burden without adversely impacting safety,” states the proposal. “This proposed rule responds in part to the President’s January 2011 Regulatory Review and Reform initiative. Finally, this proposed rule harmonizes the pre- and post-trip inspection lists.”

The current zero-defect DVIRs submissions rule is based on the requirement that drivers complete both pre-trip and post-trip vehicle condition reports. This provides a continuous record of the vehicle’s condition that is up to date. Under the new rule, drivers still must perform both inspections, but will not be required to file a report if no defects are found.

The FMCSA offers four arguments to support its request to void no-defect DVIRs:

  1. The more recent SAFETEA-LU (Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Act: A Legacy for Users) only requires DVIRs for known defects. Congress could have added a requirement to file no-defect DVIRs but did not.
  2. There is a significant risk that a large volume of no-defect DVIRs will overwhelm the 4% of DVIRs that do contain defects.
  3. Data transmission, processing, and storage requirements for no-defect DVIRs add unnecessary costs with no offsetting benefits.
  4. No-defect DVIR submissions add to driver productivity losses and delays.

Commercial vehicles will still be subject to complete periodic or annual inspections. They also will remain subject to roadside inspections under the new proposal.

“In short, the existing regulations place shared responsibility on drivers and motor carriers to ensure that CMVs used in interstate commerce are in safe and proper operating condition. This proposed rule does not change a driver’s obligation to report on the condition of the CMVs and to report to the motor carrier any defects or deficiencies that could affect the safety of its operation.”

Public comment is being accepted on the proposed rule until September 3.

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