DOT Cutting Truckers' Paperwork

Secretary Anthony Foxx said the proposed change will save the trucking industry $1.7 billion annually.

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx announced a proposed rule by the agency will ease a daily paperwork requirement for professional truck drivers, thereby cutting the industry's costs by an estimated $1.7 billion annually.

"President Obama challenged his Administration to find ways to cut waste and red tape, a challenge I pledged to meet during my confirmation hearing," he said. "With today's proposal, we are delivering on that pledge, saving business billions of dollars while maintaining our commitment to safety. It's the kind of win-win solution that I hope our department will continue to find over the coming months."

Current federal regulations require commercial truck drivers to conduct pre- and post-trip equipment inspections and file Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs) after every inspection, even if they find no issue requiring repairs. "DVIRs are the 19th-highest paperwork burden, based on the number of hours needed to comply, imposed across all federal agencies and only 5 percent of reports filed include defects. Today's announcement represents the largest paperwork reduction achieved since President Obama's May 2012 Executive Order to reduce regulatory burdens on the private sector," according to DOT's news release.

While pre- and post-trip inspections still will be required, the proposed change would require DVIRs only if defects or deficiencies were discovered by or reported to the driver during the day's operations.

"We can better focus on the 5 percent of problematic truck inspection reports by eliminating the 95 percent that report the status quo," Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne Ferro said. "Moving to a defect-only reporting system would reduce a significant paperwork burden facing truck drivers and save the industry billions without compromising safety."

FMCSA eliminated a similar requirement for truckers operating intermodal equipment trailers used for transporting containerized cargo shipments in June 2012.

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