How big is cross-border trade and how often will truck drivers be transporting goods into the US? A CBC News report lists that—with the world’s largest bi-lateral trading agreement—trade between Canada and the US totalled $501 billion (CDN) in 2010, with $1 billion traded each day. The number of trucks crossing the border daily reached 28,814 that same year.
To ensure uniformity in industry regulations, Canadian transportation companies ensure their employees are in compliance with Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)—a US agency that regulates the commercial transportation industry—guidelines.
Here’s a look into a few of the new FMCSA Truck Driving regulations and how they could impact your future career in the transportation industry.
1. Distracted Driving for Truck Drivers: What are the Rules and Violation Penalties?
New FMCSA regulations prohibit texting and hand-held mobile phone use while operating a commercial motor vehicle. Drivers caught texting or using devices can be subject to fines, disqualifications, and being put out of service. But there are exemptions.
For example, these regulations do not apply to dispatching, as long as they are used as part of the company’s fleet management system. Texting is still prohibited for all drivers, although using a hands-free option is acceptable.
As you begin your dispatcher training program, preparing to pursue your transportation industry career in positions, such as Operation Manager, Highway Dispatcher, Safety and Compliance Officer, or Fleet Maintenance Officer, you will learn how important it is to be familiar with all updated regulations.
2. New FMCSA Hours-of-Safety Regulations: Will They Apply After Your Dispatcher Training Courses?
To reduce truck driver fatigue incidents, the FMCSA has introduced new federal regulations, with potential fines to companies for allowing drivers to exceed driving limits by more than three hours. Trucking companies and passenger carriers could be hit with fines of $11,000 per offense, and drivers could also face civil penalties up to $2,750.
“Safety is our highest priority,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. “These rules make common sense, data-driven changes to reduce truck driver fatigue and improve safety for every traveler on our highways and roads.”
The new hours-of-service (HOS) rules limits the average work week for truck drivers to 70 hours to ensure they are adequately rested. But the impact may not be that critical for all transportation companies, as only extreme schedules will be affected, while more than 85 per cent of the truck driving force will experience little change. That’s good news for you and your future employer.
3. New FMCSA Entry-Level Driving Training Requirements You’ll Learn About Once Your Start Your Career
Once you’ve completed your dispatcher courses and have started your career, you might be required to learn about official training requirements, in accordance with the FMCSA, for entry-level truck drivers who will work with your future employer. In addition to the previously mentioned hours-of-service guidelines, this will include driver wellness and whistleblower protection.
Why is this happening now? Apparently, the FMCSA wants to make sure that driver training is consistent across the entire transportation industry. By making training the same for all drivers, it’ll be unlikely for one driver to know more or less about regulations than another.
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