U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced recently that professional truck drivers will no longer have to comply with a burdensome daily paperwork requirement, saving the trucking industry an estimated $1.7 billion annually without compromising safety.
“We delivered big on President Obama’s call to cut red tape and waste,” said Foxx. “America’s truckers should be able to focus more on getting their goods safely to store shelves, constructions sites, or wherever they need to be instead of spending countless hours on unnecessary paperwork that costs the industry nearly $2 billion each year. This is a far better way to do business.”
Commercial truck drivers are required to conduct pre- and post-trip inspections of their vehicles to identify any safety defects or maintenance concerns. The final rule effective December 18, 2014, removes the requirement that drivers file a report for approximately 95% of inspections when equipment problems or safety concerns are not identified.
“Ensuring regulatory flexibility for businesses and reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens through the retrospective review process are top priorities for President Obama and the Office of Management and Budget,” said OMB Director Shaun Donovan. “I commend Secretary Foxx and the Department of Transportation for their work on this effort, which is one of the largest paperwork reduction rules in the last decade. We look forward to working with the Department of Transportation and other agencies on ways to further institutionalize retrospective review as an essential component of government regulatory policy.”
The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that professional truck drivers spend about 46.7 million hours each year completing Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs). Eliminating DVIRs when no safety defects or mechanical deficiencies are identified will result in time savings valued at $1.7 billion dollars annually.
FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling said, “Until now, truck driver vehicle inspection reports were the 19th-highest paperwork burden across all federal agencies. By scrapping the no-defect inspection reports, the burden is reduced to 79th, marking the most significant paperwork reduction achievement thus far in the Obama administration.”
In June 2012, FMCSA eliminated a comparable requirement for truck drivers operating intermodal equipment trailers used for transporting containerized cargo shipments. The cost savings to the intermodal industry was estimated to be $54 million annually.