FMCSA Announces Clarifying Regulatory Guidance for Transportation of Agricultural Commodities, Personal Conveyance
By Dan Horvath
Director, Safety Policy | American Trucking Associations
On Thursday, May 31, 2017, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced new regulatory guidance clarifying the longstanding 150 air-miles hours-of-service agricultural commodity exemption, as well as providing additional explanatory detail of the “personal conveyance” provision. The guidance will be applicable once it is published in the federal register, which is expected sometime in the next week.
“Due to input from commercial vehicle stakeholders and the public, the Department has taken steps to provide greater clarity and flexibility regarding the intent and effect of these regulations, for the agricultural and other sectors,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.
FMCSA published Federal Register notices proposing regulatory guidance for the transportation of agricultural commodities and the use of personal conveyance in December, 2017 and requested public comment. FMCSA is providing clarity on the use of the agricultural exemption and personal conveyance to both industry and law enforcement along with providing as much flexibility as possible for the industry, while maintaining safety.
“We are dedicated to finding effective solutions to challenges, exploring new opportunities for innovation and constantly seeking ways to improve,” said FMCSA Administrator Raymond P. Martinez.
In all, nearly 850 public comments were submitted to the Federal Register dockets on the proposed guidance pertaining to the transportation of agricultural commodities, as well as on the personal conveyance provision. A copy of the guidance can be found here.
Likewise, the new regulatory guidance outlines under what circumstances a commercial motor vehicle driver may operate the truck or bus for personal conveyance. A copy of this guidance can be found here.