Anthony Foxx, U.S. transportation secretary, has announced a proposal to eliminate a “burdensome” daily paperwork requirement for professional truck drivers, in order to reduce costs to the industry by an estimated $1.7 billion.
Current federal regulations require commercial truck drivers to conduct pre- and post-trip equipment inspections and file driver vehicle inspection reports after each inspection, regardless of whether or not an issue requiring repairs is identified. However, under the proposed change, commercial truck drivers would continue conducting pre- and post-trip inspections, but DVIRs would only be required if defects or deficiencies were discovered by or reported to the driver.
“President Obama challenged his administration to find ways to cut waste and red tape, a challenge I pledged to meet during my confirmation hearing,” Foxx said. “With today’s proposal, we are delivering on that pledge, saving business billions of dollars while maintaining our commitment to safety.”
“We can better focus on the 5 percent of problematic truck inspection reports by eliminating the 95 percent that report the status quo,” added Anne S. Ferro, Federal Motor Carrier Safety administrator. “Moving to a defect-only reporting system would reduce a significant paperwork burden facing truck drivers and save the industry billions without compromising safety.”
The FMCSA will collect and review comments on the proposed rule.
The American Trucking Associations has applauded the proposal as a “good first step,” saying it will provide a “much-needed” reduction in paperwork for the industry:
“ATA appreciates the Obama administration’s proposal to provide relief on a longstanding paperwork-related burden in the trucking industry, and we look forward to working with Secretary Foxx to implement it in the near future,” said Bill Graves, ATA president and CEO, in a written statement. “Though this step will provide modest relief to professional drivers and motor carriers, ATA is optimistic this signals Secretary Foxx’s willingness to provide reasonable and appropriate relief to the industry and he will quickly act to provide relief on more substantive issues.”