MAP-21 Transportation Bill Advances Critical CMV Safety Policy
WASHINGTON, DC… The President recently signed into law legislation making critical improvements to commercial motor vehicle safety policy. The bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century, or MAP-21, is a 27-month measure, providing a steady level of funding for state safety and enforcement programs and advancing key safety initiatives supported by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA).
“The commercial vehicle safety title of MAP-21 is a victory for commercial motor vehicle safety proponents,” said Stephen A. Keppler, CVSA’s executive director. “The provisions in this bill ensure that adequate resources are available for the safety and enforcement activities delivered by the states under the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP) — activities which have been shown through research and performance statistics to have a positive impact on commercial vehicle safety and most importantly, saving lives.”
MAP-21 includes a number of CVSA-supported policy items:
· Adjustments to the Maintenance of Effort benchmark years, making them static and providing for waivers when necessary;
·Stronger requirements to help address the chameleon carrier threat;
·Several provisions to improve motorcoach safety;
·A study of the safety impacts of certain exemptions from federal safety regulations;
·An industry-wide requirement that CMVs be equipped with electronic logging devices for HOS compliance;
·A requirement for safety rating reciprocity with Canada;
·Increased penalties for violators; and,
·Tighter CDL and driver training requirements.
MAP-21 also contains critical provisions requiring the development of a drug and alcohol clearinghouse. In addition, the bill includes language calling for a comprehensive truck size and weight study and an analysis of the impact to safety and the existing regulatory framework.
Work remains to be done on a number of commercial vehicle safety initiatives, however. MAP-21 continues the proliferation of unfounded exemptions from federal safety regulations for special interest groups. The legislation also fails to address the issue of en route inspections of buses, which CVSA believes is critical to improving motorcoach safety
“CVSA applauds Congress for passing this much needed transportation legislation, and thanks House and Senate leaders for their ongoing commitment to commercial motor vehicle safety,” said David Palmer, CVSA’s president and an assistant chief with the Texas Department of Public Safety. “CVSA members look forward to working with the Administration to help implement these much needed improvements. We also look forward to working with Congress on the next round of commercial motor vehicle safety policy improvements when work begins on the next transportation bill.”
For more on CVSA, visit www.cvsa.org.