Pennsylvania is in danger of losing as much as $40 million
in federal highway money if it fails to meet a Sept. 30 deadline for compliance
with the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration could also
take away the state’s authority to issue and renew commercial driver’s licenses
if the deadline is not met.
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the
Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to must comply with the regulations
in several areas, including:
out-of-state driving records for the past 10 years for CDL applicants and reflecting
their driving histories electronically;
traffic violations committed in personal vehicles such as a car the same
as if the violation had occurred in a commercial vehicle. These violations
include improper passing, reckless driving and traveling more than 15 mph
over the speed limit; and
convictions for any violation (except parking tickets) of state and local
traffic laws in the state on permanent record for CDLs. For example, a
record of entering an Accelerated Rehabilitative Disposition program for
drunk driving would not be removed from a driver’s record.
While Pennsylvania still has several months to comply, the
regulations have sparked a dispute between Republicans and Democratic lawmakers
in the state.
The Post-Gazette reported that each political party
is blaming the other for not implementing the changes sooner and that the
changes could cost as much as $5 million to make.
Pennsylvania is not alone in this situation either.
According to the FMCSA, there are still 22 states with three or more items of
noncompliance, while nine states still had just one or two items to address.
Only 14 states are in compliance.