Overheard at CVSA: Take a selfie

By Jami Jones, managing editor

Recently, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance held its spring meeting. This group attempts to provide uniformity in enforcement across North America. For example, CVSA sets the out-of-service criteria for roadside enforcement.

Currently, with recent changes to the medical certification requirements on truck drivers, there has been some confusion.

In December 2008, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration issued a final rule that requires drivers to present proof of medical certification to their state driver’s licensing agency each time they get their medical card renewed. The states are required to enter the certification into the Commercial Drivers License Information System for law enforcement to access on the roadside.

That reg was supposed to go into effect in 2011. But there were states that weren’t ready to enter the certification information into the system. So FMCSA delayed the requirement until Jan. 30, 2015, even though truckers still had to present their cards to the DMV.

Now that the state reporting requirement has kicked in, truckers are required to retain their medical card for only 15 days to give the states time to enter the certification into the mega database. But, given the patchwork of ways states handle accepting certification and what proof they provide, OOIDA recommends hanging onto the medical card anyway.

At the CVSA meeting, OOIDA representatives in attendance said problems with some states either not providing receipts or not entering the medical certification info into the database were brought up. Because it’s leaving drivers on the roadside unable to prove compliance with the regulation.

Seeking some sort of guidance from the FMCSA, the question was asked of FMCSA Associate Administrator for Enforcement and Program Delivery Bill Quade: What should drivers do to prove they went to the DMV and provided a copy of the medical certificate?

His response was to “take a selfie.”

A selfie? Really? Then what? Post it to Facebook and Tumblr? Maybe Tweet it out to @CVSA while you’re at it? Why don’t you just work with the states to fix the problem?

To borrow another phone-era phenomenon, texting slang, I’m just going to leave this at SMH.*

*For those who don’t know, SMH means Shaking My Head. LL