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FMCSA Adds Two New Violations To SMS


Today, the FMCSA announced that two new violations have been added to the Safety Measurement System (SMS).  One of the violations is based on the new HOS regulations and the other is a detailed description of controlled substances and alcohol regulations.

Both of the additions were implemented in the SMS on July 1, 2013.

The table below includes descriptions of the new violations, the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) they relate to, and how they are weighted in the SMS.

BASIC Violations Added to the SMS
BASICViolation CodeDescriptionSeverity WeightViolation GroupDriver-Related (Y/N)
HOS Compliance395.3(a)(3)(ii)Driving beyond 8-hour limit since the end of the last off-duty or sleeper period of at least 30 minutes(Note: Does not apply to short haul drivers)7HoursY
Controlled Substances/Alcohol392.5(a)(3)Driver in possession of intoxicating beverage while on duty or driving3Alcohol PossessionY

FMCSA’s new HOS regulation (395.3(a)(3)(ii)) requires drivers to take a 30-minute rest break during the first eight hours of a shift.

Based on a court decision, effective August 2, 2013, FMCSA will no longer enforce the 30-minute break provision for drivers that qualify for either of the short haul operations exceptions outlined in 49CFR 395.1(e) or (2). This new regulation and guidance can be found at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/topics/hos/index.htm.

The violation related to the Controlled/Substances Alcohol BASIC was added based on industry and law enforcement feedback and enables roadside inspectors to distinguish between alcohol possession and alcohol use. SMS assigns a lower severity weight to alcohol possession. Motor carriers should discuss these violations with their drivers to make sure they understand them and how to comply with the associated regulations.

FMCSA has updated Appendix A of the SMS Methodology to incorporate these violations and it is now available on the Compliance, Safety, Accountability Website athttp://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/Documents/SMS_AppendixA_ViolationsList.xlsx.


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