FMCSA issues revised commercial bus rule

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Department of Transportation officials said a recent commercial bus rule revision via the agency’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) would annually reduce regulatory costs by $74 million.

FMCSA is rescinding the requirement commercial bus drivers submit, and their motor carriers retain, driver-vehicle inspection reports (DVIRs) when the driver has neither found nor been made aware of any vehicle defects or deficiencies.

“This rule will remove outdated and overly burdensome reporting requirements on commercial buses that don’t contribute to improving safety,” Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said.

Current regulations require commercial bus drivers to submit DVIRs even if there are no vehicle defects to report, officials said, adding the new rule eliminates the need for a driver to file, and a motor carrier to maintain, a no-defect DVIR.

“This straightforward rule is reflective of the agency and Department’s approach to reducing unneeded regulatory costs while ensuring safety,” FMCSA Deputy Administrator Jim Mullen said. “Eliminating regulatory burdens and saving commercial drivers valuable time is helpful to support the commercial bus industry – especially during our nation’s economic recovery. The bus industry plays a critical role in connecting our nation’s people and communities, and this commonsense rule change will make a difference for commercial bus companies around the country.”

FMCSA personnel maintain passenger-carrying commercial motor vehicle drivers spend 2.4 million hours yearly completing no-defect DVIRs, adding the revision would result in an annual industry cost savings of $74 million.