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In this monthly roundup video, we’ll review the most impactful safety and transportation news.

Hello, The monthly roundup video series will review the month’s most impactful regulatory proposals and changes, and we will also discuss what we are working on to help you stay compliant. Please view the content links in the transcript to take a deeper dive into the topics I’ll be covering today. With that said, let’s get started!

Roadside inspection violations for 395.24(d), not being able to transfer ELD records to an officer, will now be scored in CSA. The violation will be assigned a severity of 3 in the Hours-of-Service Compliance BASIC. Previously, this was an unscored violation. It is a common violation written during roadside inspections, coming in at number 14 in the list of the top 20 driver violations for 2022, being written almost 23,000 times.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has added a new section to its Training Provider Registry (TPR) website for drivers who need to complete entry-level driver training (ELDT). The new section includes:

  • Recommended steps drivers can take when selecting a training provider from those listed on the TPR,
  • Information on the training topics required for each class of commercial driver's license (CDL) and endorsement, and
  • Tips and updates on the ELDT process.

FMCSA strongly urges entry-level drivers to use care when selecting a training provider to help meet their specific training requirements.

Here’s a timely reminder for anyone traveling into Connecticut:

As of New Year’s day, any carrier operating an eligible motor vehicle in Connecticut is subject to the new highway use fee. Affected carriers must:

  • Register with Department of Revenue Services (DRS) and obtain a permit,
  • Place a copy of the permit in each eligible vehicle operated in Connecticut,
  • File returns and remit the tax to the DRS on a monthly basis, and
  • Keep records to support the information reported on each monthly return.
The first highway use fee return is due on or before February 28, 2023, for miles driven in January. Interest and penalties apply to any tax not paid on or before the due date of the return. The stakes are high, since any person who knowingly violates the new rules will be subject to a fine of $1,000.

On January 6, 2023, several administrations within the Department of Transportation (DOT), including the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Increased civil penalty amounts that are imposed for violations of DOT regulations. PHMSA’s 2023 civil penalty adjustments for noncompliance with the Hazardous Materials Regulations (HMR) are summarized below:

  • Max penalty for hazmat violation: Increased from $89,678 to $96,624
  • Max penalty for hazmat violation resulting in death: Increased from $209,249 to $225,455
  • Minimum penalty for hazmat training violation: Increased from $540 to $582
Effective January 6, 2023, and after, employers must not use the Safety Performance History (SPH) to request drug and alcohol testing violations from FMCSA-regulated employers, but must send the SPH form to verify DOT crashes, employment dates, and vehicles operated.

Prior employers must be contacted for DOT drug and alcohol information when:

  • The driver used to work for an employer regulated by an agency other than FMCSA such as air (FAA), Pipeline & Hazardous Materials (PHMSA), or railroad (FRA); or
  • The driver has not completed the return to duty or follow-up testing process with an employer under any DOT agency, including FMCSA. The carrier must determine where the process left off.
DOT fines have increased by nearly 8 percent for 2023, one of the largest annual increases ever. The increase provides additional incentives for motor carriers and drivers to avoid violations. An FMCSA safety violation that might have cost $16,800 last year may now result in a fine of over $18,000. The increase is tied to inflation, which has been high.  

The FMCSA announced on January 11, 2023, the requirement for certified medical examiner (CME) five-year refresher and ten-year recertification training and timelines.  CMEs due (or overdue) for the five-year refresher in 2022 were supposed to complete the training by December 31, 2022. This year and beyond, CMEs should complete the refresher training between years four and five before the five-year deadline. CMEs due for the ten-year recertification in 2023 must successfully complete the course by December 31, 2023.

The FMCSA and DOT will be issuing a variety of new rules and proposals in 2023 and beyond, according to the latest rulemaking agenda. This includes new rules for the use of saliva for drug testing; changes to the “tank vehicle” definition, affecting drivers who need a tank endorsement; changes to the cargo securement rules; revisions to the Drug & Alcohol Clearinghouse and Electronic Logging Device (ELD) rules; and a rule on the use of speed limiters.

That’s it for this month’s roundup. Stay safe, and thanks for watching.