The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance sent a letter to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration expressing concern over the number of regulatory exemptions the agency has granted over the past year.
The organization argued that inspectors face a growing burden in keeping track of exemptions and how and when they are applied. Moreover, training agencies are required to making sure inspectors are up-to-date with new exemptions, increasing the costs of training and time inspectors are taken away from their duties.
“It is believed that with the allowance of such a large number of exemptions, the likelihood of achieving a level of safety equivalent to, or greater than, the level that is expected by the current regulation is in jeopardy,” reads the letter, signed by CVSA Executive Director Collin B. Mooney. “With so many exemptions, beyond those within the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, it is possible that roadside inspectors will no longer accurately enforce the regulations or may stop enforcing certain regulations all together.”
CVSA suggests that state and local enforcement agencies be included in new rule-making and exemption decisions because those entities perform most roadside inspections. The alliance also encouraged FMCSA to reduce the total number of exemptions it grants.
“While CVSA does not object to these exemptions on an individual basis, exemptions complicate the enforcement process, causing confusion and inconsistency in enforcement,” says the letter, “which undermines the very foundation of the federal commercial motor vehicle enforcement program: uniformity.”