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FMCSA adds 2 violations to SMS

The violation for driving beyond the eight-hour limit since the last off-duty or sleeper period of at least 30 minutes carries a severity weight of seven and is driving related. (The Trucker file photo)

The Trucker Staff

8/13/2013

WASHINGTON — The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has added two violations to the Safety Measurement System (SMS), which are included in the SMS snapshot update now posted.

Carriers can check their safety assessment at http://ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms.

One of the violations is based on the new Hours of Service regulations and the other is based on a more detailed description of existing controlled substances and alcohol regulations.

Both were implemented in the SMS as of July 1, 2013.

In the HOS Compliance BASIC, driving beyond the eight-hour limit since the last off-duty or sleeper period of at least 30 minutes carries a severity weight of seven and is driving related.

In the Controlled Substance/Alcohol BASIC, driver in possession of intoxicating beverage while on duty or driving carriers a severity weight of three and is driver related.

If motor carriers have one or both of these violations, they will see them in the July snapshot of their SMS data which was just released.

The FMCSA’s new HOS regulation (395.3(a)(3)(ii)) requires drivers to take a 30-minute rest break during the first eight hours of a shift.

Based on a court decision, effective Aug. 2, 2013, FMCSA will no longer enforce the 30-minute break provision for drivers that qualify for either of the short haul operations exceptions.

The violation related to the Controlled/Substances Alcohol BASIC was added based on industry and law enforcement feedback and enables roadside inspectors to distinguish between alcohol possession and alcohol use. SMS assigns a lower severity weight to alcohol possession.

The FMCSA encouraged motor carriers to discuss these violations with drivers to make sure they understand them and how to comply with the associated regulations.

FMCSA has updated Appendix A of the SMS Methodology to incorporate these violations and it is now available on the CSA website at http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/Documents/SMS_AppendixA_ViolationsList.xlsx.

The Trucker staff can be reached to comment on this article at editor@thetrucker.com.

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