The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, or FMCSA, is tasked with implementing hours-of-service and other safety regulations for the trucking industry. However, such regulations are complex; many with allowable exemptions.
As a result, these multifaceted regulations are seemingly backfiring on officials and their ultimate goal of heightening safety for those traveling on U.S. roadways.
First, there are a large number of exemptions that are available-and the list keeps expanding. Inspectors are finding it difficult to keep up with CMV drivers and entities that fall outside of normal regulations.
According to a letter sent to the FMCSA, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance Executive Director, Collin B. Mooney, stated that there's an "undue training burden on agencies that must be diligent in informing all inspectors of the new exemptions and ensuring they understand and apply the exemptions properly."
Second, more and more truckers are applying for exemption status, which means that inspectors not only need to know the exemptions but apply them properly to the right parties involved.
As a result, "the likelihood of achieving a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that is expected by the current regulation is in jeopardy," Mooney says.
The bottom line: Trucking regulations that are meant to keep America's roadways safe may actually be counterproductive, potentially increasing the risk of accidents on highways all across the nation.
Mooney suggests that scaling back on the exemptions is one action the FMCSA could take, benefiting all parties involved including inspectors but also the public at large.