DOT May Issue Rule Mandating Annual Inspections of Passenger-Carrying Commercial Vehicles

FMCSA must assess: the risks associated with improperly maintained or inspected CMVs designed or used to transport passengers; the effectiveness of existing federal inspection standards in mitigating the risks associated with improperly maintained vehicles and ensuring safe and proper operation; and the costs and benefits of a mandatory inspection program.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would require states to set up a program for annual inspections of commercial motor vehicles that are designed or used to transport passengers, and the agency is taking comments on it for the next 60 days. FMCSA said it plans to assess the risks associated with improperly maintained or inspected passenger-carrying CMVs by reviewing the effectiveness of existing federal inspection standards that are applicable to such vehicles.

Section 32710 of Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act of 2012, which was enacted as part of MAP-21, the surface transportation funding bill enacted for fiscal years 2013 and 2014, requires that DOT complete a rulemaking to consider requiring states to establish a program for annual inspections of vehicles designed or used to transport passengers. As part of this proceeding, FMCSA must assess: the risks associated with improperly maintained or inspected CMVs designed or used to transport passengers; the effectiveness of existing federal inspection standards in mitigating the risks associated with improperly maintained vehicles and ensuring safe and proper operation; and the costs and benefits of a mandatory inspection program.

FMCSA asks parties with knowledge of the industry and existing state inspection programs to provide information about the impact that such a rule would have on current regulations, operating costs, business practices, safety, and any other areas that would be affected.

To submit a comment, visit www.regulations.gov and search for Docket No. FMCSA-2014-0470.

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