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July Snapshot Includes Two New Violations



August 12, 2013

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has added two violations to the Safety Measurement System (SMS). One of the violations is based on the new Hours-of-Service (HOS) regulations and the other is based on a more detailed description of existing controlled substances and alcohol regulations. Both were implemented in the SMS as of July 1, 2013. If motor carriers have one or both of these violations, they will see them in the July snapshot of their SMS data which was released in early August.

The table below includes descriptions of the new violations, the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) they relate to, and how they are weighted in the SMS.

BASIC Violations Added to the SMS
BASIC Violation Code Description Severity Weight Violation Group Driver-Related (Y/N)
HOS Compliance 395.3(a)(3)(ii) Driving beyond 8-hour limit since the end of the last off-duty or sleeper period of at least 30 minutes

(Note: Does not apply to short haul drivers)
7 Hours Y
Controlled Substances/Alcohol 392.5(a)(3) Driver in possession of intoxicating beverage while on duty or driving 3 Alcohol Possession Y

FMCSA’s new HOS regulation (395.3(a)(3)(ii)) requires drivers to take a 30-minute rest break during the first eight hours of a shift. Based on a court decision, effective August 2, 2013, FMCSA will no longer enforce the 30-minute break provision for drivers that qualify for either of the short haul operations exceptions outlined in 49CFR 395.1(e) or (2). This new regulation and guidance can be found at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/topics/hos/index.htm.

The violation related to the Controlled/Substances Alcohol BASIC was added based on industry and law enforcement feedback and enables roadside inspectors to distinguish between alcohol possession and alcohol use. SMS assigns a lower severity weight to alcohol possession. Motor carriers should discuss these violations with their drivers to make sure they understand them and how to comply with the associated regulations.

FMCSA has updated Appendix A of the SMS Methodology to incorporate these violations and it is now available on the Compliance, Safety, Accountability Website at http://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/Documents/SMS_AppendixA_ViolationsList.xlsx.


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