Inspectors ask FMCSA to alter inspection report requirements

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The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has petitioned federal regulators to amend a rule related to the requirement for motor carriers to return inspection reports to the issuing agency certifying that all violations have been corrected.

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Currently, 49 Code of Federal Regulations Part 396.9(d)(3) requires that motor carriers and intermodal equipment providers return inspection reports to the issuing agency within 15 days of issuance, certifying that all necessary repairs have been made. The regulation also requires that carriers and intermodal equipment providers retain a copy of the report at their principal place of business, or where the vehicle is housed, for 12 months from the date of inspection.

CVSA petitioned the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to remove the requirement that reports be returned and only require carriers to keep the reports for 12 months. CVSA also proposed that FMCSA add that the agency that issues the inspection report “has the option to require the motor carrier or intermodal equipment provider to return the completed roadside inspection form to the issuing agency as indicated on the form within 15 days following the date of the inspection.”

CVSA said that, according to FMCSA data, jurisdictions issued 2,937,535 inspection reports in 2023, of which 1,666,282 included at least one violation, and motor carriers were required to sign and return those 1,666,282 reports. CVSA received a request from the North Carolina State Highway Police asking the alliance to consider petitioning FMCSA to remove that requirement.

“While the regulations require the motor carrier sign and return the inspection report, there is no corresponding requirement that the issuing agency do anything with the returned form,” CVSA said. “As such, the majority of jurisdictions simply file the forms away or dispose of them, without taking any additional action that would benefit or improve safety.”

The alliance added that because the state jurisdictions have access to the Query Central system to view past inspections, the requirement to return inspection reports is “antiquated and redundant.”

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CVSA noted, however, that it wants to keep the option open for jurisdictions to require the reports to be returned, as some may “use the forms as a mechanism to identify motor carriers that require additional intervention.”

[Related: Register to attend May 1 live Q&A session session with CVSA ahead of Roacheck