The US Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator (FMCSA) announced the launch of a new panel to its Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC) comprised of commercial motor vehicle drivers. This panel will provide direct feedback to FMCSA on key issues facing the industry through the eyes of actual drivers Such as safety, hours-of-service regulations, training, parking, and driver experience.
The Covid-19 pandemic has laid bare many of these issues. As per Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, “truck drivers and other commercial vehicle operators are American heroes who have stepped up during the current public health emergency to keep our economy moving, so their input is essential to strengthening safety on the roads”.
The panel shall be comprised of 20 to 25 drivers from all sectors of the commercial vehicle industry such as tractor-trailer drivers, straight truck drivers, motorcoach drivers, hazardous materials drivers, agriculture haulers, and more. FMCSA’s goal with the new driver panel is to capture the wide array of viewpoints and experiences within the community.
Thousands of drivers across the nation implored FMCSA to make changes to HOS to restore much-needed flexibility to the industry and improve safety conditions on our nation’s roads. Finally, in May of 2020 FMCSA published the final HOS rules update (Though Teamsters and some safety groups are challenging it). Hopefully, the model that yielded a commonsense solution to the HOS issue can lead to similar results for education, training, parking, and other issues that have plagued the industry for too long. The parking issue is a major one across the nation and it is twofold. On one hand, truckers need safe, available overnight parking. Also, in dense urban areas, there is not nearly enough curbside parking to allow for the efficient delivery of goods.
More information on the MCSAC is available here.