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CVSA wants Hours of Service (HOS) and other exemptions scaled back

Written by Steve Gursten Posted April 14th, 2016

Regulatory exemptions are causing roadside inspectors of commercial motor vehicles confusion

hours of service exemptions, image

The increasing number of regulatory exemptions approved by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMSCA) is causing major confusion in enforcement by roadside inspectors, according to the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).

In a letter sent to FMCSA last week, CVSA Executive Director Collin B. Mooney said there were way too many exemption applications or renewal requests granted in 2015, including some for vehicle equipment, hours-of-service and more, which are “placing an excessive on inspectors to ensure all active exemptions are being followed properly.” Mooney continued to say that the extra exemptions further puts an undue training burden on agencies that must inform inspectors of the new exemptions.

What CVSA fears

The CVSA fears:

  • An increase in exemptions will decrease the level of safety expected by the current regulations
  • Roadside inspectors may no longer enforce the regulations.
  • Roadside inspectors may stop enforcing certain regulations all together.

CVSA solutions

The CVSA is proposing the following:

  • State and local law enforcement be included in new rulemaking and exemption decisions, since they perform most roadside inspections.
  • FMCSA reduce the total number of exemptions it grants.

While CVSA opposes frequent exemptions, it does not object to these exemptions on an individual basis. However, when abused, Mooney argued that exemptions complicate the enforcement process, causing major inconsistency in enforcement.

FMCSA Spokesman Duane DeBruyne said the letter is currently under review by the agency.

At the Roundtable, our truck attorneys believe that excessive exemptions do, without a doubt, complicate the system. Furthermore, what’s the point of having rules and regulations in place if so many commercial drivers are excluded from following them? There needs to be consistency.

Otherwise, innocent people on the roadway ultimately pay the price when a serious truck wreck occurs.

Related info:

FMSCA validates new HOS rules

Steven Gursten Photo

About Steve Gursten

Attorney Steven Gursten is president of the Motor Vehicle Trial Lawyers Association and past president of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group. He has been named a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Leader in the Law" for his efforts to prevent truck accidents and promote national truck safety. Steve was also a Michigan Lawyers Weekly "Lawyer of the Year" for a record settlement in a truck accident case. He has received the top reported truck accident jury verdict and top reported truck accident settlement in Michigan for multiple years, according to published year-end compilations of all jury verdicts and personal injury settlements by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He has been named a "Top 50 Super Lawyer," by SuperLawyers, is listed in Best Lawyers in America, and has been awarded an AV-rating by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating for legal ability and ethics. Steve speaks to lawyers throughout the country on truck accident litigation. He is a founding member of the Truck Accident Attorneys Roundtable, head of Michigan Auto Law, and has dedicated his legal career to making our roads safer.