The New Year rings in some new industry regulations to be aware of in 2018.
The Federal Motor Carrier Association’s (FMCSA) Electronic Logging Device (ELD) mandate is noted by industry experts to have the biggest industry impact in 2018. While roadside inspectors have begun issuing warnings since the mandate went into effect December 18, 2017, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) says they will not declare ELD out-of-service violations until April 1, 2018. The CVSA says setting the April 1 effective date provides the industry, shippers and the enforcement community time to adjust to the new rule before vehicles are placed out of service for ELD violations. The goal of the ELD mandate is to keep professional drivers to the maximum 70 hours of service per every eight days.
Synthetic Opioid Testing
After January 1, 2018, professional drivers being administered random, pre-employment and post-accident drug tests will be screened for four additional, highly abused synthetic opioids. The new requirement from U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) will include testing for hydrocodone, hydromorphone, oxymorphone and oxycodone.
The DOT says the new drug testing rule is a “direct effort to enhance safety, prevent opioid abuse and combat the nation’s growing opioid epidemic.”
Electronic Medical Card Filing
In June 2018, medical providers will start electronically filing drivers’ medical cards to the Federal Motor Carriers Association. Starting June 22 medical providers will file the driver’s medical card with the FMCSA, in turn the FMCSA will file the card with the driver’s state licensing agency.
Drivers will still be required to carry a paper copy of their medical cards for the first 15 days after obtaining a new medical card, however with the new process, they will no longer have to fax their card to their individual state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).