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6/11/2013
Feds tee up rule to eliminate 'defect-free' vehicle inspection reports
By David Tanner, Land Line associate editor

Acting on a White House directive to cut red tape, the FMCSA wants to eliminate the need for carriers to keep post-trip inspection reports if no equipment defects are found. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration estimates the elimination of defect-free reports will save the trucking industry more than $1 billion per year.

Currently, motor carriers with more than one truck are required to keep driver-vehicle inspection reports, or DVIRs, on file, regardless of whether the reports, which are filled out by the drivers, show any vehicle defects. One-truck operators are not required to file DVIRs.

The FMCSA has teed up a notice of proposed rulemaking to eliminate the need for DVIRs if no vehicle defects are found.

“This rulemaking would rescind the requirement that commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers operating in interstate commerce submit, and motor carriers retain, driver-vehicle inspection reports when the driver has neither found nor been made aware of any vehicle defects or deficiencies,” the agency states in the proposal.

“Specifically, this rulemaking would remove a significant information collection burden without adversely impacting safety.”

The agency filed a similar rule for intermodal equipment haulers in 2012, saying it saves the intermodal industry $54 million a year. The billion-dollar figure for the rest of the trucking industry stems from a similar formula for filing and retaining records.

The U.S. House Small Business Committee held a hearing May 8 on cost-saving measures and White House executive orders to cut red tape.

According to an FMCSA official who testified at the hearing, drivers would still conduct post-trip inspections under a new rule, but carriers would only have to keep the ones that show vehicle defects.

See related story:
FMCSA to eliminate ‘defect-free’ equipment reports for motor carriers

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