The following bulletin was forwarded to Overdrive from the desk of Trans Products Trans Services Regulatory Manager Richard Wilson.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration would like to take this opportunity to apologize to all the children who will not be getting their Christmas presents on time this year. Regulators have determined that Santa Clause operates a commercial motor vehicle weighing more than 26,000 lbs. and which does not meet current emission standards. They have classified him as a common carrier of household goods as well as general commodities. However, Claus has no DOT or MC number. He is not medically qualified and so has had his CDL reduced to a Class D. (There is not a certified medical examiner in the North Pole.)
Santa has a neck with a circumference greater than 17.5 inches, with a body mass index measurement well north of 35, and he has not taken a 10-hour break before starting his run because he’s been hard at work checking his list twice and seeing who’s naughty and nice — these kinds of activities are classifiable as on-duty not driving, therefore Santa has more than exhausted his 14-hour clock. Regulators have deemed Santa an imminent hazard to the motoring public and ordered Claus to cease operations effective immediately, for these and other reasons (his CSA scores: through the roof, his sleigh: overdue for an annual inspection).
If the Claus operation can develop a suitable cooperative safety plan and implement it with regulators, perhaps next year Christmas will come on time.
Merry Christmas from the FMCSA!
Editor’s note: Children, do not despair. Overdrive editors suspect that, given the global nature of Santa’s operations, unlike the vast majority of U.S. carriers, Claus will find a way to make it happen. In the words of one legal advisor, also, “the FMCSA does not have jurisdiction over the airlanes and rooftops of the U.S. of A.”