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FMCSA Plans to Drop Driver Inspection Reports if no Defects

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Owner Operators: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration plans to ease the regulatory burden on drivers by dropping the requirement that they file inspection reports even when there are no defects in the truck.

Right now, drivers must turn in vehicle inspection reports whether or not the truck has defects.

The agency estimates the industry could save $1.5 billion a year without affecting safety, said Polly Trottenberg, Under Secretary for Policy at the Department of Transportation.

“The savings from each report is modest, but when you consider it provides almost daily savings for millions of drivers it has a large impact,” said Trottenberg in testimony before the House Small Business Committee earlier this month.

The agency plans to publish the proposal in September, as part of the Obama administration’s regulatory reform initiative.

The proposed change follows a similar change the agency adopted last year for a small segment of the industry. In June, at the request of intermodal chassis groups, the agency dropped the report requirement for chassis with no defects.

Because the pending change will affect a much larger group of drivers, the agency decided to seek comments, Trottenberg said.

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