FMCSA establishes driver panel subcommittee

November 2020

Land Line Staff

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The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced in September that it was launching a new panel to its Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee comprised of commercial motor vehicle drivers. This new panel will provide direct feedback to FMCSA on important issues facing the driving community – such as safety, hours-of-service regulations, training, parking and driver experience.

“Truck drivers and other commercial vehicle operators are American heroes who have stepped up during the current public health emergency to keep our economy moving, so their input is essential to strengthening safety on the roads,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in a news release on Sept. 18.

The new panel will be comprised of 20 to 25 drivers from all sectors of the industry – tractor-trailer drivers, straight truck drivers, motor coach drivers, hazardous materials drivers, agriculture haulers, and more. FMCSA says the goal of the new panel is to capture the wide array of viewpoints and experiences within the professional driving community.

“The Department of Transportation and this administration believe in listening to our drivers and hearing their concerns directly,” FMCSA acting Administrator Wiley Deck said in the news release. “We know that many of the solutions to the challenges we face don’t come from Washington – they come from the hard-working men and women who are behind the wheel all over our nation. This new subcommittee to MCSAC will further help us hear from America’s commercial drivers.”

The news release also stated that during the Trump administration, “FMCSA has focused on hearing directly from commercial drivers and incorporating their opinions and concerns into the agency’s safety initiatives.”

In May, FMCSA announced updates to the hours-of-service rules that were based directly off the feedback the agency heard from commercial drivers regarding the need for increased flexibility and improved safety.

Applications to participate on the driver panel were due by Oct. 16. LL

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