A bill has been introduced to streamline the truck driver certification process

Trucking news and briefs for Thursday, February 3, 2022:

Two Bills Introduced To Ease Entry Burden For Truckers

Two bills were introduced in Congress this week that would streamline the licensing process for truck drivers.

A bill, the Transportation Security Administration Security Threat Assessment Application Modernization Act, was introduced by Representatives Adam Smith (D-Washington) and John Katko (R-New York). If passed, it would allow truckers to use a valid background check from a TSA security threat assessment to meet the requirements for participation in any TSA program, including Transportation Worker Identification (TWIC), Hazardous Materials Approval and Pre-Check.

The second bill, the Licensing Individual Commercial Exam-takers Now Safely and Efficiently Act, or LICENSE Act, would make permanent two waivers issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration seven times during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Under the provisions of the bill, third-party CDL skills test examiners would be permitted to administer a state CDL knowledge test, in addition to the skills test. It would also allow states to administer the driving skills test to out-of-state CDL applicants, regardless of where they received their training. Finally, the legislation would allow Commercial Learner’s Permit holders who have already passed the required CDL skills test, but have not yet received their physical credentials, to drive with a CDL holder anywhere in the truck, rather than having them sit in the front. seat next to the qualified CLP holder.

The licensing bill was introduced in the House by Reps. Darin LaHood (R-Illinois), Troy Balderson (R-Ohio), Josh Harder (D-California), and Henry Cuellar (D-Texas), and in the Senate by Sense. Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyoming) and Mark Kelly (D-Arizona).

The American Trucking Associations welcomed the introduction of both bills.

“With a shortage of approximately 80,000 drivers, we should make the process of becoming a professional truck driver as user-friendly as possible,” said Chris Spear, ATA President and CEO. “By making common-sense changes to the CDL testing process and eliminating redundant background checks, we can cut red tape so these hard-working men and women can hit the road navigating the highways of our country. instead of navigating its bureaucracies.”

FMCSA Issues Guidelines for Third-Party CDL Testers

In regulatory guidance that goes into effect Thursday, Feb. 3, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has fulfilled one of the provisions of the licensing law introduced in Congress this week (see above).

In its guidelines, the FMCSA explains that its current statutory authorities and regulations do not prohibit third-party testers from administering CDL knowledge tests for all classes and endorsements.

The agency says state driver licensing agencies (SDLAs) can accept knowledge test results administered by third-party testers.

The updated guidelines were prompted by an April 2020 request from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles to allow third-party non-government testers to administer knowledge tests due to DMV sites being closed at the time due of COVID-19.

In response to the Virginia DMV’s request, the FMCSA advised that applicable laws and regulations do not currently prohibit states from authorizing a third party to administer the CDL and CLP knowledge tests.

Previous guidelines first issued in 1993 and reissued in 2019 stated that third-party testers could only administer knowledge tests if an authorized state employee was present.

The FMCSA said it reviewed the guidelines and concluded that nothing in its current authorities prohibits states from allowing third-party testers to administer CDL knowledge tests.

FMCSA noted that the updated guidance is intended only to provide clarification to the public regarding existing requirements under the law.

Averitt sets corporate record with donation to St. Jude

Setting a corporate record for its greatest ever contribution, truckers and other employees of Averitt Express (CCJ Top 250#30) raised $1,050,001 in 2021 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

The amount is $50,000 more than Averitt’s previous record. The increase is in honor of Averitt’s 50th anniversary. This also marks the third consecutive year that Averitt has donated more than $1 million to St. Jude, and the seventh consecutive year that Averitt employees have tied or broken a fundraising record. .

This milestone was made possible through weekly contributions from Averitt employees participating in Averitt Cares for Kids, the company’s charitable employee giving program. More than 95% of Averitt associates are members of Averitt Cares for Kids, donating $1 a week to help St. Jude and other important causes. In addition to employee contributions, the company makes contributions to Averitt Cares for Kids in honor of associate achievements, life events and participation in community service projects.

Since Averitt Cares for Kids began in 1987, it has donated nearly $13 million in total to numerous charities, including more than $10 million to St. Jude. Averitt Cares for Kids has completed a $1.5 million endowment to help fund the initial construction of the St. Jude Leukemia and Lymphoma Clinic at the hospital.

Montgomery pays tribute to deceased driver

Montgomery Entities, parent company of Birmingham, Alabama-based flatbed carrier Montgomery Transport, remembers the life of truck driver Shane Macon among other things by supporting his family through the sale of his Peterbilt truck.

Macon, an early employee of RM Logistics, one of Montgomery’s transportation companies, died in September 2021.

In 2018, Macon was named RM Logistics Driver of the Year and as part of that award he received a brand new 2019 Peterbilt 389, which he described as his “pride and joy”. Following Macon’s death, the Montgomery Societies honored his life with a final drive from their terminal to Forest Crest Cemetery in Birmingham, where he was laid to rest.

Macon’s RM Logistics Rider of the Year, Peterbilt, led the motorcade, led by his dear friend and colleague, Jerry Williams, and followed by several of his closest teammates as well as motorcycles, the riding having been l one of Macon’s passions.

RM Logistics sold the Peterbilt last week and donated the proceeds to Macon’s estate, which will help his five children.

Macon began his career in 2008 at Rollins Montgomery before joining RM Logistics as one of the company’s first employees in 2010.

“Shane was a fantastic driver, as well as one of the company’s most loyal and hardworking employees and a close friend to many,” said Rollins Montgomery of Montgomery Entities. “I’ve seen a lot of sincere things in my career, but the presence of riders and riders for Shane’s last race says a lot about Shane. It’s a real honor to be able to recognize Shane as one of the company’s first employees and now help him support his children. We sorely miss him.

About Frances R. Smith

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