Final Rule Marks Obama Administration’s Largest Paperwork Reduction
WASHINGTON – U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx announced today that, effective Dec. 18, 2014, 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 Secretary 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 announced today removes the requirement that drivers file a report for approximately 95 percent 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 Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) estimates that professional truck drivers spend approximately 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.
“We are committed to improving efficiency so that drivers can stay focused on their safety and the safety of everyone they share the road with,” said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. “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.”
FMCSA’s No-Defect DVIR rule will be effective on the date it is published in the Federal Register, which is scheduled for Dec. 18, 2014.
President Obama launched the Administration’s Regulatory Review and Reform initiative in January 2011 by issuing Executive Order 13563. The order commenced an unprecedented government-wide review of regulations with the goal of eliminating or modifying out-of-date, ineffective or overly-burdensome rules and reducing regulatory burdens on the private sector. The retrospective review effort to date includes actions that will save more than $20 billion dollars over the next few years, with more savings in the future.
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.