FMCSA rejects CVSA’s petition to set limits on personal conveyance

October 14, 2022

Mark Schremmer

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The FMCSA has denied CVSA’s petition to add a maximum distance or time to a truck driver’s personal conveyance provision.

CVSA requested changes to the provision in March, and the agency has formally denied the petition.

Personal conveyance is the movement of a commercial motor vehicle for personal use while off-duty.

FMCSA has issued guidance for claiming the use of the provision in recording hours of service:

“A driver may record time operating a (commercial motor vehicle) for personal conveyance (i.e., for personal use or reasons) as off-duty only when the driver is relieved from work and all responsibility for performing work by the motor carrier. The CMV may be used for personal conveyance even if it is laden, since the load is not being transported for the commercial benefit of the carrier at that time. Personal conveyance does not reduce a driver’s or motor carrier’s responsibility to operate a CMV safely. Motor carriers can establish personal conveyance limitations either within the scope of, or more restrictive than, this guidance, such as banning use of a CMV for personal conveyance purposes, imposing a distance limitation on personal conveyance, or prohibiting personal conveyance while the CMV is laden.”

 

In its March petition, CVSA asked FMCSA to add a definition of personal conveyance to the regulation and to remove all interpretative guidance.

CVSA said in its letter that the FMCSA guidance is incomplete, because it does not provide a maximum distance and/or time that a driver can travel under the provision.

That “adversely affects safety by allowing drivers to utilize personal conveyance to legally drive many hours beyond the hours-of-service limits and by making it difficult for inspectors to identify the misuse of the provision,” according to the CVSA letter.

CVSA also petitioned FMCSA to make this change in December 2018. FMCSA denied that petition in September 2020.

FMCSA said its regulatory guidance was appropriate considering the available data.

“While we acknowledge the CVSA’s concerns, we do not believe there is a sufficient safety basis for initiating a rulemaking,” FMCSA wrote in its 2020 denial. “The agency is unable to estimate the extent to which drivers may be circumventing the hours-of-service requirements by claiming personal conveyance status or to the extent to which drivers’ violations result in safety-critical events.” LL

 

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Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.