UPDATE: On Monday, February 28th, TSA confirmed that we should be following the CDC for school bus transportation and not the TSA. You will recall there has been an overlap between the CDC and TSA on this issue as the TSA Security Directive covers airports, airplanes, buses, bus terminals, train stations, trains, and other forms of transportation. That overlap is no longer our concern.
This afternoon the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued updated masking guidelines. In general, in areas were COVID is posing a low or medium threat to hospitals, people can stop wearing masks.
With respect to masking on school buses, please note the following from the CDC: Effective February 25, 2022, CDC is exercising its enforcement discretion to not require that people wear masks on buses or vans operated by public or private school systems, including early care and education/child care programs. CDC is making this change to align with updated guidance that no longer recommends universal indoor mask wearing in K-12 and early education settings in areas with a low or medium COVID-19 Community Level.
To read the entire updated masking statement from the CDC, please go here: https://www.cdc.gov/quarantine/masks/mask-travel-guidance.html
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued revised guidance on the use of the term “medical treatment” in the reporting of accidents. The revised guidance explains that an x-ray examination is a diagnostic procedure and should no longer be considered ‘‘medical treatment’’ in determining whether a crash should be included on a motor carrier’s accident register. This guidance is applicable as of February 25, 2022 and expires February 25, 2027.
The guidance may be found here: 2022-03997.pdf (www.govinfo.gov).
All entities that provide entry-level driver training, as defined by the Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) regulations (see 49 CFR part 380 subparts F and G), must now access the Training Provider Registry to submit driver training certification records within two business days of a driver’s training completion. Log in to your Training Provider Portal to get started or download the instructions.
All CDL applicants who are required to take entry-level driver training must use the Training Provider Registry to search for a registered training provider. The interactive provider search is now available.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has released the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program website (www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safedriver). FMCSA will continue to build out the site and plan to post FAQs by the end of the month. Should you wish to communicate with FMCSA about this program, the email address is: email@example.com.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will issue guidance tomorrow, Thursday, February 3, 2022, explaining that FMCSA’s current statutory regulations do not prohibit third party testers from administering the commercial driver’s license knowledge tests for all classes and endorsements. SDLAs may accept the results of the knowledge tests administered by third party testers under this guidance and in accordance with the requirements set forth in 49 CFR part 383, subparts G and H. Here is the link to the guidance: 2022-02165.pdf (federalregister.gov).
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will publish a Final Rule in the Federal Register on Friday, January 21, 2022, amending regulations permitting individuals who do not satisfy, with the worse eye, either the existing distant visual acuity standard with corrective lenses or the field of vision standard, or both, to be physically qualified to operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce under specified conditions. Currently, such individuals are prohibited from driving commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce unless they obtain an exemption from FMCSA. This new alternative vision standard replaces the current vision exemption program. The Final Rule can be found here: https://public-inspection.federalregister.gov/2022-01021.pdf.
Presentations for the December and January Annual Conference Sessions are now available online. Recordings of the January workshops will be uploaded next week. These are in the members only section of the website, so you will need to log in.
CLICK HERE to view.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is set to publish the following notice in tomorrow’s Federal Register on the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program: https://www.federalregister.gov/public-inspection/2022-00733/safe-driver-apprenticeship-pilot-program-allow-persons-ages-18-19-and-20-to-operate-commercial-motor.
In summary, On September 10, 2020, FMCSA proposed a pilot program to allow persons ages 18, 19, and 20 to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in interstate commerce. That pilot was never implemented. However, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which was signed into law on November 15, 2021, requires FMCSA to establish a pilot program that would allow employers to establish an apprenticeship program for certain 18-, 19-, and 20-year-old drivers to operate commercial vehicles in interstate commerce. This notice addresses the comments received on the September 10, 2020 notice, and provides the details on the establishment of the Safe Driver Apprenticeship Pilot Program required by the IIJA.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued a Final Rule for motorcoaches establishing Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) No. 227, ‘‘Bus rollover structural integrity,’’ to enhance the rollover structural integrity of motorcoaches, and other buses with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) greater than 26,000 pounds to exclude school buses. This final rule requires motorcoaches, among other requirements, provide a ‘‘survival space’’ in a rollover test to protect occupants from the possible collapse of the bus structure; prohibit emergency exits from opening in the rollover test to reduce the likelihood of ejection; and ensure that bus roofs and side wall panels will resist deformation and intrusion into the occupant space. The effective date of this Final Rule is December 30, 2024. The full Final Rule can be found here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2021-12-29/pdf/2021-27538.pdf.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued an exemption request notice from Rosco for their digital camera monitor systems for school buses installed as an alternative to the two rear-vision mirrors required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). The notice can be found here: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2021-12-21/pdf/2021-27528.pdf. If you are interested in commenting on this waiver request, comments are due to the FMCSA by January 20, 2022.
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