Collapse to view only § 31149. Medical program

§ 31131. Purposes and findings
(a)Purposes.—The purposes of this subchapter are—
(1) to promote the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles;
(2) to minimize dangers to the health of operators of commercial motor vehicles and other employees whose employment directly affects motor carrier safety; and
(3) to ensure increased compliance with traffic laws and with the commercial motor vehicle safety and health regulations and standards prescribed and orders issued under this chapter.
(b)Congress finds—
(1) it is in the public interest to enhance commercial motor vehicle safety and thereby reduce highway fatalities, injuries, and property damage;
(2) improved, more uniform commercial motor vehicle safety measures and strengthened enforcement would reduce the number of fatalities and injuries and the level of property damage related to commercial motor vehicle operations;
(3) enhanced protection of the health of commercial motor vehicle operators is in the public interest; and
(4) interested State governments can provide valuable assistance to the United States Government in ensuring that commercial motor vehicle operations are conducted safely and healthfully.
(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 999.)
§ 31132. DefinitionsIn this subchapter—
(1) “commercial motor vehicle” means a self-propelled or towed vehicle used on the highways in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property, if the vehicle—
(A) has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross vehicle weight of at least 10,001 pounds, whichever is greater;
(B) is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation;
(C) is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or
(D) is used in transporting material found by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous under section 5103 of this title and transported in a quantity requiring placarding under regulations prescribed by the Secretary under section 5103.
(2) “employee” means an operator of a commercial motor vehicle (including an independent contractor when operating a commercial motor vehicle), a mechanic, a freight handler, or an individual not an employer, who—
(A) directly affects commercial motor vehicle safety in the course of employment; and
(B) is not an employee of the United States Government, a State, or a political subdivision of a State acting in the course of the employment by the Government, a State, or a political subdivision of a State.
(3) “employer”—
(A) means a person engaged in a business affecting interstate commerce that owns or leases a commercial motor vehicle in connection with that business, or assigns an employee to operate it; but
(B) does not include the Government, a State, or a political subdivision of a State.
(4) “interstate commerce” means trade, traffic, or transportation in the United States between a place in a State and—
(A) a place outside that State (including a place outside the United States); or
(B) another place in the same State through another State or through a place outside the United States.
(5) “intrastate commerce” means trade, traffic, or transportation in a State that is not interstate commerce.
(6) “medical examiner” means an individual licensed, certified, or registered in accordance with regulations issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as a medical examiner.
(7) “regulation” includes a standard or order.
(8) “State” means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, and, in sections 31136 and 31140–31142 1
1 See References in Text note below.
of this title, a political subdivision of a State.
(9) “State law” includes a law enacted by a political subdivision of a State.
(10) “State regulation” includes a regulation prescribed by a political subdivision of a State.
(11) “United States” means the States of the United States and the District of Columbia.
(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1000; Pub. L. 104–88, title I, § 104(f), Dec. 29, 1995, 109 Stat. 919; Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, § 4008(a), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 404; Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, § 4116(c), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1728.)
§ 31133. General powers of the Secretary of Transportation
(a)General.—In carrying out this subchapter and regulations prescribed under section 31102 of this title, the Secretary of Transportation may—
(1) conduct and make contracts for inspections and investigations;
(2) compile statistics;
(3) make reports;
(4) issue subpenas;
(5) require production of records and property;
(6) take depositions;
(7) hold hearings;
(8) prescribe recordkeeping and reporting requirements;
(9) conduct or make contracts for studies, development, testing, evaluation, and training; and
(10) perform other acts the Secretary considers appropriate.
(b)Consultation.—In conducting inspections and investigations under subsection (a) of this section, the Secretary shall consult, as appropriate, with employers and employees and their authorized representatives and offer them a right of accompaniment.
(c)Delegation.—The Secretary may delegate to a State receiving a grant under section 31102 of this title those duties and powers related to enforcement (including conducting investigations) of this subchapter and regulations prescribed under this subchapter that the Secretary considers appropriate.
(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1001; Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, § 4006(a), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 401.)
§ 31134. Requirement for registration and USDOT number
(a)In General.—Upon application, and subject to subsections (b) and (c), the Secretary shall register an employer or person subject to the safety jurisdiction of this subchapter. An employer or person may operate a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce only if the employer or person is registered by the Secretary under this section and receives a USDOT number. Nothing in this section shall preclude registration by the Secretary of an employer or person not engaged in interstate commerce. An employer or person subject to jurisdiction under subchapter I of chapter 135 of this title shall apply for commercial registration under section 13902 of this title.
(b)Withholding Registration.—The Secretary shall register an employer or person under subsection (a) only if the Secretary determines that—
(1) the employer or person seeking registration is willing and able to comply with the requirements of this subchapter and the regulations prescribed thereunder and chapter 51 and the regulations prescribed thereunder;
(2)
(A)1
1 So in original. There is no subpar. (B).
during the 3-year period before the date of the filing of the application, the employer or person is not or was not related through common ownership, common management, common control, or common familial relationship to any other person or applicant for registration subject to this subchapter who, during such 3-year period, is or was unfit, unwilling, or unable to comply with the requirements listed in subsection (b)(1); or
(3) the employer or person has disclosed to the Secretary any relationship involving common ownership, common management, common control, or common familial relationship to any other person or applicant for registration subject to this subchapter.
(c)Revocation or Suspension of Registration.—The Secretary shall revoke the registration of an employer or person issued under subsection (a) after notice and an opportunity for a proceeding, or suspend the registration after giving notice of the suspension to the employer or person, if the Secretary determines that—
(1) the employer’s or person’s authority to operate pursuant to chapter 139 of this title is subject to revocation or suspension under sections 2
2 So in original. Probably should be “section”.
13905(d)(1) or 13905(f) of this title;
(2) the employer or person has knowingly failed to comply with the requirements listed in subsection (b)(1);
(3) the employer or person has not disclosed any relationship through common ownership, common management, common control, or common familial relationship to any other person or applicant for registration subject to this subchapter that the Secretary determines is or was unfit, unwilling, or unable to comply with the requirements listed in subsection (b)(1);
(4) the employer or person refused to submit to the safety review required by section 31144(g) of this title.
(d)Periodic Registration Update.—The Secretary may require an employer to update a registration under this section not later than 30 days after a change in the employer’s address, other contact information, officers, process agent, or other essential information, as determined by the Secretary.
(e)State Authority.—Nothing in this section shall be construed as affecting the authority of a State to issue a Department of Transportation number under State law to a person operating in intrastate commerce.
(Added Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, § 32105(a), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 780.)
§ 31135. Duties of employers and employees
(a)In General.—Each employer and employee shall comply with regulations on commercial motor vehicle safety prescribed by the Secretary of Transportation under this subchapter that apply to the employer’s or employee’s conduct.
(b)Noncompliance.—
(1)Motor carriers.—Two or more motor carriers, employers, or persons shall not use common ownership, common management, common control, or common familial relationship to enable any or all such motor carriers, employers, or persons to avoid compliance, or mask or otherwise conceal non-compliance, or a history of non-compliance, with regulations prescribed under this subchapter or an order of the Secretary issued under this subchapter.
(2)Pattern.—If the Secretary finds that a motor carrier, employer, or person engaged in a pattern or practice of avoiding compliance, or masking or otherwise concealing noncompliance, with regulations prescribed under this subchapter, the Secretary—
(A) may withhold, suspend, amend, or revoke any part of the motor carrier’s, employer’s, or person’s registration in accordance with section 13905 or 31134; and
(B) shall take into account such non-compliance for purposes of determining civil penalty amounts under section 521(b)(2)(D).
(3)Officers.—If the Secretary finds, after notice and an opportunity for proceeding, that an officer of a motor carrier, employer, or owner or operator has engaged in a pattern or practice of, or assisted a motor carrier, employer, or owner or operator in avoiding compliance, or masking or otherwise concealing noncompliance, while serving as an officer or such motor carrier, employer, or owner or operator, the Secretary may suspend, amend, or revoke any part of a registration granted to the officer individually under section 13902 or 31134.
(c)Regulations.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this subsection, the Secretary shall by regulation establish standards to implement subsection (b).
(d)Definitions.—In this section, the following definitions apply:
(1)Motor carrier.—The term “motor carrier” has the meaning such term has under section 13102.
(2)Officer.—The term “officer” means an owner, director, chief executive officer, chief operating officer, chief financial officer, safety director, vehicle maintenance supervisor, and driver supervisor of a motor carrier, regardless of the title attached to those functions, and any person, however designated, exercising controlling influence over the operations of a motor carrier.
(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1003; Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, § 4113(a), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1724; Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, § 32112, July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 783.)
§ 31136. United States Government regulations
(a)Minimum Safety Standards.—Subject to section 30103(a) of this title, the Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe regulations on commercial motor vehicle safety. The regulations shall prescribe minimum safety standards for commercial motor vehicles. At a minimum, the regulations shall ensure that—
(1) commercial motor vehicles are maintained, equipped, loaded, and operated safely;
(2) the responsibilities imposed on operators of commercial motor vehicles do not impair their ability to operate the vehicles safely;
(3) the physical condition of operators of commercial motor vehicles is adequate to enable them to operate the vehicles safely and the periodic physical examinations required of such operators are performed by medical examiners who have received training in physical and medical examination standards and, after the national registry maintained by the Department of Transportation under section 31149(d) is established, are listed on such registry;
(4) the operation of commercial motor vehicles does not have a deleterious effect on the physical condition of the operators; and
(5) an operator of a commercial motor vehicle is not coerced by a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or transportation intermediary to operate a commercial motor vehicle in violation of a regulation promulgated under this section, or chapter 51 or chapter 313 of this title.
(b)Eliminating and Amending Existing Regulations.—The Secretary may not eliminate or amend an existing motor carrier safety regulation related only to the maintenance, equipment, loading, or operation (including routing) of vehicles carrying material found to be hazardous under section 5103 of this title until an equivalent or more stringent regulation has been prescribed under section 5103.
(c)Procedures and Considerations.—
(1) A regulation under this section shall be prescribed under section 553 of title 5 (without regard to sections 556 and 557 of title 5).
(2) Before prescribing regulations under this section, the Secretary shall consider, to the extent practicable and consistent with the purposes of this chapter—
(A) costs and benefits; and
(B) State laws and regulations on commercial motor vehicle safety, to minimize their unnecessary preemption.
(d)Effect of Existing Regulations.—If the Secretary does not prescribe regulations on commercial motor vehicle safety under this section, regulations on commercial motor vehicle safety prescribed by the Secretary before October 30, 1984, and in effect on October 30, 1984, shall be deemed in this subchapter to be regulations prescribed by the Secretary under this section.
(e)Exemptions.—The Secretary may grant in accordance with section 31315 waivers and exemptions from, or conduct pilot programs with respect to, any regulations prescribed under this section.
(f)Regulatory Impact Analysis.—
(1)In general.—Within each regulatory impact analysis of a proposed or final major rule issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the Secretary shall, whenever practicable—
(A) consider the effects of the proposed or final rule on different segments of the motor carrier industry; and
(B) formulate estimates and findings based on the best available science.
(2)Scope.—To the extent feasible and appropriate, and consistent with law, an analysis described in paragraph (1) shall—
(A) use data that is representative of commercial motor vehicle operators or motor carriers, or both, that will be impacted by the proposed or final rule; and
(B) consider the effects on commercial truck and bus carriers of various sizes and types.
(g)Public Participation.—
(1)In general.—If a proposed rule under this part is likely to lead to the promulgation of a major rule, the Secretary, before publishing such proposed rule, shall—
(A) issue an advance notice of proposed rulemaking; or
(B) proceed with a negotiated rulemaking.
(2)Requirements.—Each advance notice of proposed rulemaking issued under paragraph (1) shall—
(A) identify the need for a potential regulatory action;
(B) identify and request public comment on the best available science or technical information relevant to analyzing potential regulatory alternatives;
(C) request public comment on the available data and costs with respect to regulatory alternatives reasonably likely to be considered as part of the rulemaking; and
(D) request public comment on available alternatives to regulation.
(3)Waiver.—This subsection does not apply to a proposed rule if the Secretary, for good cause, finds (and incorporates the finding and a brief statement of reasons for such finding in the proposed or final rule) that an advance notice of proposed rulemaking is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest.
(h)Rule of Construction.—Nothing in subsection (f) or (g) may be construed to limit the contents of an advance notice of proposed rulemaking.
(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1003; Pub. L. 104–59, title III, § 344, Nov. 28, 1995, 109 Stat. 610; Pub. L. 104–287, § 5(60), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3394; Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, § 4007(c), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 403;
§ 31137. Electronic logging devices and brake maintenance regulations
(a)Use of Electronic Logging Devices.—Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act of 2012, the Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe regulations—
(1) requiring a commercial motor vehicle involved in interstate commerce and operated by a driver subject to the hours of service and the record of duty status requirements under part 395 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, be 1
1 So in original. Probably should be preceded by “to”.
equipped with an electronic logging device to improve compliance by an operator of a vehicle with hours of service regulations prescribed by the Secretary; and
(2) ensuring that an electronic logging device is not used to harass a vehicle operator.
(b)Electronic Logging Device Requirements.—
(1)In general.—The regulations prescribed under subsection (a) shall—
(A) require an electronic logging device—
(i) to accurately record commercial driver hours of service;
(ii) to record the location of a commercial motor vehicle;
(iii) to be tamper resistant; and
(iv) to be synchronized to the operation of the vehicle engine or be capable of recognizing when the vehicle is being operated;
(B) allow law enforcement to access the data contained in the device during a roadside inspection; and
(C) except as provided in paragraph (3), apply to a commercial motor vehicle beginning on the date that is 2 years after the date that the regulations are published as a final rule.
(2)Performance and design standards.—The regulations prescribed under subsection (a) shall establish performance standards—
(A) defining a standardized user interface to aid vehicle operator compliance and law enforcement review;
(B) establishing a secure process for standardized—
(i) and unique vehicle operator identification;
(ii) data access;
(iii) data transfer for vehicle operators between motor vehicles;
(iv) data storage for a motor carrier; and
(v) data transfer and transportability for law enforcement officials;
(C) establishing a standard security level for an electronic logging device and related components to be tamper resistant by using a methodology endorsed by a nationally recognized standards organization; and
(D) identifying each driver subject to the hours of service and record of duty status requirements under part 395 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations.
(3)Exception.—A motor carrier, when transporting a motor home or recreation vehicle trailer within the definition of the term “driveaway-towaway operation” (as defined in section 390.5 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations), may comply with the hours of service requirements by requiring each driver to use—
(A) a paper record of duty status form; or
(B) an electronic logging device.
(c)Certification Criteria.—
(1)In general.—The regulations prescribed by the Secretary under this section shall establish the criteria and a process for the certification of electronic logging devices to ensure that the device meets the performance requirements under this section.
(2)Effect of noncertification.—Electronic logging devices that are not certified in accordance with the certification process referred to in paragraph (1) shall not be acceptable evidence of hours of service and record of duty status requirements under part 395 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations.
(d)Additional Considerations.—The Secretary, in prescribing the regulations described in subsection (a), shall consider how such regulations may—
(1) reduce or eliminate requirements for drivers and motor carriers to retain supporting documentation associated with paper-based records of duty status if—
(A) data contained in an electronic logging device supplants such documentation; and
(B) using such data without paper-based records does not diminish the Secretary’s ability to audit and review compliance with the Secretary’s hours of service regulations; and
(2) include such measures as the Secretary determines are necessary to protect the privacy of each individual whose personal data is contained in an electronic logging device.
(e)Use of Data.—
(1)In general.—The Secretary may utilize information contained in an electronic logging device only to enforce the Secretary’s motor carrier safety and related regulations, including record-of-duty status regulations.
(2)Measures to preserve confidentiality of personal data.—The Secretary shall institute appropriate measures to preserve the confidentiality of any personal data contained in an electronic logging device and disclosed in the course of an action taken by the Secretary or by law enforcement officials to enforce the regulations referred to in paragraph (1).
(3)Enforcement.—The Secretary shall institute appropriate measures to ensure any information collected by electronic logging devices is used by enforcement personnel only for the purpose of determining compliance with hours of service requirements.
(f)Definitions.—In this section:
(1)Electronic logging device.—The term “electronic logging device” means an electronic device that—
(A) is capable of recording a driver’s hours of service and duty status accurately and automatically; and
(B) meets the requirements established by the Secretary through regulation.
(2)Tamper resistant.—The term “tamper resistant” means resistant to allowing any individual to cause an electronic device to record the incorrect date, time, and location for changes to on-duty driving status of a commercial motor vehicle operator under part 395 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, or to subsequently alter the record created by that device.
(g)Brakes and Brake Systems Maintenance Regulations.—The Secretary shall maintain regulations on improved standards or methods to ensure that brakes and brake systems of commercial motor vehicles are maintained properly and inspected by appropriate employees. At a minimum, the regulations shall establish minimum training requirements and qualifications for employees responsible for maintaining and inspecting the brakes and brake systems.
(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1004; Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, §§ 32301(b), 32931(a), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 786, 829; Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, §§ 5507, 5508(b)(2), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1553, 1554.)
§ 31138. Minimum financial responsibility for transporting passengers
(a)General Requirement.—
(1)Transportation of passengers for compensation.—The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe regulations to require minimum levels of financial responsibility sufficient to satisfy liability amounts established by the Secretary covering public liability and property damage for the transportation of passengers for compensation by motor vehicle in the United States between a place in a State and—
(A) a place in another State;
(B) another place in the same State through a place outside of that State; or
(C) a place outside the United States.
(2)Transportation of passengers not for compensation.—The Secretary may prescribe regulations to require minimum levels of financial responsibility sufficient to satisfy liability amounts established by the Secretary covering public liability and property damage for the transportation of passengers for commercial purposes, but not for compensation, by motor vehicle in the United States between a place in a State and—
(A) a place in another State;
(B) another place in the same State through a place outside of that State; or
(C) a place outside the United States.
(b)Minimum Amounts.—The level of financial responsibility established under subsection (a) of this section for a motor vehicle with a seating capacity of—
(1) at least 16 passengers shall be at least $5,000,000; and
(2) not more than 15 passengers shall be at least $1,500,000.
(c)Evidence of Financial Responsibility.—
(1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, financial responsibility may be established by evidence of one or a combination of the following if acceptable to the Secretary of Transportation:
(A) insurance, including high self-retention.
(B) a guarantee.
(C) a surety bond issued by a bonding company authorized to do business in the United States.
(2) A person domiciled in a country contiguous to the United States and providing transportation to which a minimum level of financial responsibility under this section applies shall have evidence of financial responsibility in the motor vehicle when the person is providing the transportation. If evidence of financial responsibility is not in the vehicle, the Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of the Treasury shall deny entry of the vehicle into the United States.
(3)
(4)Other persons.—The Secretary may require a person, other than a motor carrier (as defined in section 13102), transporting passengers by motor vehicle to file with the Secretary the evidence of financial responsibility specified in subsection (c)(1) in an amount not less than the greater of the amount required by subsection (b)(1) or the amount required for such person to transport passengers under the laws of the State or States in which the person is operating; except that the amount of the financial responsibility must be sufficient to pay not more than the amount of the financial responsibility for each final judgment against the person for bodily injury to, or death of, an individual resulting from the negligent operation, maintenance, or use of the motor vehicle, or for loss or damage to property, or both.
(d)Civil Penalty.—
(1) If, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing, the Secretary of Transportation finds that a person (except an employee acting without knowledge) has knowingly violated this section or a regulation prescribed under this section, the person is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each violation. A separate violation occurs for each day the violation continues.
(2) The Secretary of Transportation shall impose the penalty by written notice. In determining the amount of the penalty, the Secretary shall consider—
(A) the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation;
(B) with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior violations, the ability to pay, and any effect on the ability to continue doing business; and
(C) other matters that justice requires.
(3) The Secretary of Transportation may compromise the penalty before referring the matter to the Attorney General for collection.
(4) The Attorney General shall bring a civil action in an appropriate district court of the United States to collect a penalty referred to the Attorney General for collection under this subsection.
(5) The amount of the penalty may be deducted from amounts the Government owes the person. An amount collected under this section shall be deposited in the Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit Account).
(e)Nonapplication.—This section does not apply to a motor vehicle—
(1) transporting only school children and teachers to or from school;
(2) providing taxicab service (as defined in section 13102);
(3) carrying not more than 15 individuals in a single, daily round trip to and from work; or
(4) providing transportation service within a transit service area under an agreement with a Federal, State, or local government funded, in whole or in part, with a grant under section 5307, 5310, or 5311, including transportation designed and carried out to meet the special needs of elderly individuals and individuals with disabilities; except that, in any case in which the transit service area is located in more than 1 State, the minimum level of financial responsibility for such motor vehicle will be at least the highest level required for any of such States.
(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1005; Pub. L. 104–88, title I, § 104(c), (d), Dec. 29, 1995, 109 Stat. 919; Pub. L. 107–298, § 3(b)(2), Nov. 26, 2002, 116 Stat. 2343; Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, §§ 4120(a), 4121, Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1733, 1734; Pub. L. 110–244, title III, § 305(a), June 6, 2008, 122 Stat. 1619.)
§ 31139. Minimum financial responsibility for transporting property
(a)Definitions.—In this section—
(1) “farm vehicle” means a vehicle—
(A) designed or adapted and used only for agriculture;
(B) operated by a motor private carrier (as defined in section 10102 of this title); and
(C) operated only incidentally on highways.
(2) “interstate commerce” includes transportation between a place in a State and a place outside the United States, to the extent the transportation is in the United States.
(3) “State” means a State of the United States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands.
(b)General Requirement and Minimum Amount.—
(1) The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe regulations to require minimum levels of financial responsibility sufficient to satisfy liability amounts established by the Secretary covering public liability, property damage, and environmental restoration for the transportation of property by motor carrier or motor private carrier (as such terms are defined in section 13102 of this title) in the United States between a place in a State and—
(A) a place in another State;
(B) another place in the same State through a place outside of that State; or
(C) a place outside the United States.
(2) The level of financial responsibility established under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be at least $750,000.
(c)Filing of Evidence of Financial Responsibility.—The Secretary may require a motor private carrier (as defined in section 13102) to file with the Secretary the evidence of financial responsibility specified in subsection (b) in an amount not less than the greater of the minimum amount required by this section or the amount required for such motor private carrier to transport property under the laws of the State or States in which the motor private carrier is operating; except that the amount of the financial responsibility must be sufficient to pay not more than the amount of the financial responsibility for each final judgment against the motor private carrier for bodily injury to, or death of, an individual resulting from negligent operation, maintenance, or use of the motor vehicle, or for loss or damage to property, or both.
(d)Requirements for Hazardous Matter and Oil.—
(1) The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe regulations to require minimum levels of financial responsibility sufficient to satisfy liability amounts established by the Secretary covering public liability, property damage, and environmental restoration for the transportation by motor vehicle in interstate or intrastate commerce of—
(A) hazardous material (as defined by the Secretary);
(B) oil or hazardous substances (as defined by the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency); or
(C) hazardous wastes (as defined by the Administrator).
(2)
(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B) of this paragraph, the level of financial responsibility established under paragraph (1) of this subsection shall be at least $5,000,000 for the transportation—
(i) of hazardous substances (as defined by the Administrator) in cargo tanks, portable tanks, or hopper-type vehicles, with capacities of more than 3,500 water gallons;
(ii) in bulk of class A explosives, poison gas, liquefied gas, or compressed gas; or
(iii) of large quantities of radioactive material.
(B) The Secretary of Transportation by regulation may reduce the minimum level in subparagraph (A) of this paragraph (to an amount not less than $1,000,000) for transportation described in subparagraph (A) in any of the territories of Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam, and the Northern Mariana Islands if—
(i) the chief executive officer of the territory requests the reduction;
(ii)
(iii) insurance of $5,000,000 is not readily available.
(3) The level of financial responsibility established under paragraph (1) of this subsection for the transportation of a material, oil, substance, or waste not subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection shall be at least $1,000,000. However, if the Secretary of Transportation finds it will not adversely affect public safety, the Secretary by regulation may reduce the amount for—
(A) a class of vehicles transporting such a material, oil, substance, or waste in intrastate commerce (except in bulk); and
(B) a farm vehicle transporting such a material or substance in interstate commerce (except in bulk).
(e)Foreign Motor Carriers and Private Carriers.—Regulations prescribed under this section may allow foreign motor carriers and foreign motor private carriers (as those terms are defined in section 10530 of this title) providing transportation of property under a certificate of registration issued under section 10530 to meet the minimum levels of financial responsibility under this section only when those carriers are providing transportation for property in the United States.
(f)Evidence of Financial Responsibility.—
(1) Subject to paragraph (2) of this subsection, financial responsibility may be established by evidence of one or a combination of the following if acceptable to the Secretary of Transportation:
(A) insurance.
(B) a guarantee.
(C) a surety bond issued by a bonding company authorized to do business in the United States.
(D) qualification as a self-insurer.
(2) A person domiciled in a country contiguous to the United States and providing transportation to which a minimum level of financial responsibility under this section applies shall have evidence of financial responsibility in the motor vehicle when the person is providing the transportation. If evidence of financial responsibility is not in the vehicle, the Secretary of Transportation and the Secretary of the Treasury shall deny entry of the vehicle into the United States.
(3) A motor carrier may obtain the required amount of financial responsibility from more than one source provided the cumulative amount is equal to the minimum requirements of this section.
(g)Civil Penalty.—
(1) If, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing, the Secretary of Transportation finds that a person (except an employee acting without knowledge) has knowingly violated this section or a regulation prescribed under this section, the person is liable to the United States Government for a civil penalty of not more than $10,000 for each violation. A separate violation occurs for each day the violation continues.
(2) The Secretary of Transportation shall impose the penalty by written notice. In determining the amount of the penalty, the Secretary shall consider—
(A) the nature, circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violation;
(B) with respect to the violator, the degree of culpability, any history of prior violations, the ability to pay, and any effect on the ability to continue doing business; and
(C) other matters that justice requires.
(3) The Secretary of Transportation may compromise the penalty before referring the matter to the Attorney General for collection.
(4) The Attorney General shall bring a civil action in an appropriate district court of the United States to collect a penalty referred to the Attorney General for collection under this subsection.
(5) The amount of the penalty may be deducted from amounts the Government owes the person. An amount collected under this section shall be deposited in the Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit Account).
(h)Nonapplication.—This section does not apply to a motor vehicle having a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 10,000 pounds if the vehicle is not used to transport in interstate or foreign commerce—
(1) class A or B explosives;
(2) poison gas; or
(3) a large quantity of radioactive material.
(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1006; Pub. L. 104–88, title I, § 104(e), Dec. 29, 1995, 109 Stat. 919; Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, §§ 4120(b), 4121, Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1733, 1734; Pub. L. 110–244, title III, §§ 301(f), 305(b), June 6, 2008, 122 Stat. 1616, 1620.)
[§ 31140. Repealed. Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, § 4008(d), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 404]
§ 31141. Review and preemption of State laws and regulations
(a)Preemption After Decision.—A State may not enforce a State law or regulation on commercial motor vehicle safety that the Secretary of Transportation decides under this section may not be enforced.
(b)Submission of Regulation.—A State receiving funds made available under section 31104 that enacts a State law or issues a regulation on commercial motor vehicle safety shall submit a copy of the law or regulation to the Secretary immediately after the enactment or issuance.
(c)Review and Decisions by Secretary.—
(1)Review.—The Secretary shall review State laws and regulations on commercial motor vehicle safety. The Secretary shall decide whether the State law or regulation—
(A) has the same effect as a regulation prescribed by the Secretary under section 31136;
(B) is less stringent than such regulation; or
(C) is additional to or more stringent than such regulation.
(2)Regulations with same effect.—If the Secretary decides a State law or regulation has the same effect as a regulation prescribed by the Secretary under section 31136 of this title, the State law or regulation may be enforced.
(3)Less stringent regulations.—If the Secretary decides a State law or regulation is less stringent than a regulation prescribed by the Secretary under section 31136 of this title, the State law or regulation may not be enforced.
(4)Additional or more stringent regulations.—If the Secretary decides a State law or regulation is additional to or more stringent than a regulation prescribed by the Secretary under section 31136 of this title, the State law or regulation may be enforced unless the Secretary also decides that—
(A) the State law or regulation has no safety benefit;
(B) the State law or regulation is incompatible with the regulation prescribed by the Secretary; or
(C) enforcement of the State law or regulation would cause an unreasonable burden on interstate commerce.
(5)Consideration of effect on interstate commerce.—
(d)Waivers.—
(1) A person (including a State) may petition the Secretary for a waiver of a decision of the Secretary that a State law or regulation may not be enforced under this section. The Secretary shall grant the waiver, as expeditiously as possible, if the person demonstrates to the satisfaction of the Secretary that the waiver is consistent with the public interest and the safe operation of commercial motor vehicles.
(2) Before deciding whether to grant or deny a petition for a waiver under this subsection, the Secretary shall give the petitioner an opportunity for a hearing on the record.
(e)Written Notice of Decisions.—Not later than 10 days after making a decision under subsection (c) of this section that a State law or regulation may not be enforced, the Secretary shall give written notice to the State of that decision.
(f)Judicial Review and Venue.—
(1) Not later than 60 days after the Secretary makes a decision under subsection (c) of this section, or grants or denies a petition for a waiver under subsection (d) of this section, a person (including a State) adversely affected by the decision, grant, or denial may file a petition for judicial review. The petition may be filed in the court of appeals of the United States for the District of Columbia Circuit or in the court of appeals of the United States for the circuit in which the person resides or has its principal place of business.
(2) The court has jurisdiction to review the decision, grant, or denial and to grant appropriate relief, including interim relief, as provided in chapter 7 of title 5.
(3) A judgment of a court under this subsection may be reviewed only by the Supreme Court under section 1254 of title 28.
(4) The remedies provided for in this subsection are in addition to other remedies provided by law.
(g)Initiating Review Proceedings.—To review a State law or regulation on commercial motor vehicle safety under this section, the Secretary may initiate a regulatory proceeding on the Secretary’s own initiative or on petition of an interested person (including a State).
(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1008; Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, § 4008(e), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 404.)
§ 31142. Inspection of vehicles
(a)Inspection of Safety Equipment.—On the instruction of an authorized enforcement official of a State or of the United States Government, a commercial motor vehicle is required to pass an inspection of all safety equipment required under the regulations issued under section 31136.
(b)Inspection of Vehicles and Record Retention.—The Secretary of Transportation shall prescribe regulations on Government standards for inspection of commercial motor vehicles and retention by employers of records of an inspection. The standards shall provide for annual or more frequent inspections of a commercial motor vehicle unless the Secretary finds that another inspection system is as effective as an annual or more frequent inspection system. Regulations prescribed under this subsection are deemed to be regulations prescribed under section 31136 of this title.
(c)Preemption.—
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (2) of this subsection, this subchapter and section 31102 of this title do not—
(A) prevent a State or voluntary group of States from imposing more stringent standards for use in their own periodic roadside inspection programs of commercial motor vehicles;
(B) prevent a State from enforcing a program for inspection of commercial motor vehicles that the Secretary decides is as effective as the Government standards prescribed under subsection (b) of this section;
(C) prevent a State from participating in the activities of a voluntary group of States enforcing a program for inspection of commercial motor vehicles; or
(D) require a State that is enforcing a program described in clause (B) or (C) of this paragraph to enforce a Government standard prescribed under subsection (b) of this section or to adopt a provision on inspection of commercial motor vehicles in addition to that program to comply with the Government standards.
(2) The Government standards prescribed under subsection (b) of this section shall preempt a program of a State described in paragraph (1)(C) of this subsection as the program applies to the inspection of commercial motor vehicles in that State. The State may not enforce the program if the Secretary—
(A) decides, after notice and an opportunity for a hearing, that the State is not enforcing the program in a way that achieves the objectives of this section; and
(B) after making a decision under clause (A) of this paragraph, provides the State with a 6-month period to improve the enforcement of the program to achieve the objectives of this section.
(d)Inspection To Be Accepted as Adequate in All States.—A periodic inspection of a commercial motor vehicle under the Government standards prescribed under subsection (b) of this section or a program described in subsection (c)(1)(B) or (C) of this section that is being enforced shall be recognized as adequate in every State for the period of the inspection. This subsection does not prohibit a State from making random inspections of commercial motor vehicles.
(e)Effect of Government Standards.—The Government standards prescribed under subsection (b) of this section may not be enforced as the standards apply to the inspection of commercial motor vehicles in a State enforcing a program described in subsection (c)(1)(B) or (C) of this section if the Secretary decides that it is in the public interest and consistent with public safety for the Government standards not to be enforced as they apply to that inspection.
(f)Application of State Regulations to Government-Leased Vehicles and Operators.—A State receiving financial assistance under section 31102 of this title in a fiscal year may enforce in that fiscal year a regulation on commercial motor vehicle safety adopted by the State as the regulation applies to commercial motor vehicles and operators leased to the Government.
(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1010; Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, § 4008(f), (g), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 405.)
§ 31143. Investigating complaints and protecting complainants
(a)Investigating Complaints.—The Secretary of Transportation shall conduct a timely investigation of a nonfrivolous written complaint alleging that a substantial violation of a regulation prescribed under this subchapter is occurring or has occurred within the prior 60 days. The Secretary shall give the complainant timely notice of the findings of the investigation. The Secretary is not required to conduct separate investigations of duplicative complaints.
(b)Protecting Complainants.—Notwithstanding section 552 of title 5, the Secretary may disclose the identity of a complainant only if disclosure is necessary to prosecute a violation. If disclosure becomes necessary, the Secretary shall take every practical means within the Secretary’s authority to ensure that the complainant is not subject to harassment, intimidation, disciplinary action, discrimination, or financial loss because of the disclosure.
(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1012.)
§ 31144. Safety fitness of owners and operators
(a)In General.—The Secretary shall—
(1) determine whether an owner or operator is fit to operate safely commercial motor vehicles, utilizing among other things the accident record of an owner or operator operating in interstate commerce and the accident record and safety inspection record of such owner or operator—
(A) in operations that affect interstate commerce within the United States; and
(B) in operations in Canada and Mexico if the owner or operator also conducts operations within the United States;
(2) periodically update such safety fitness determinations;
(3) make such final safety fitness determinations readily available to the public; and
(4) prescribe by regulation penalties for violations of this section consistent with section 521.
(b)Procedure.—The Secretary shall maintain by regulation a procedure for determining the safety fitness of an owner or operator. The procedure shall include, at a minimum, the following elements:
(1) Specific initial and continuing requirements with which an owner or operator must comply to demonstrate safety fitness.
(2) A methodology the Secretary will use to determine whether an owner or operator is fit.
(3) Specific time frames within which the Secretary will determine whether an owner or operator is fit.
(c)Prohibited Transportation.—
(1)In general.—Except as provided in section 521(b)(5)(A) and this subsection, an owner or operator who the Secretary determines is not fit may not operate commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce beginning on the 61st day after the date of such fitness determination and until the Secretary determines such owner or operator is fit.
(2)Owners or operators transporting passengers.—With regard to owners or operators of commercial motor vehicles designed or used to transport passengers, an owner or operator who the Secretary determines is not fit may not operate in interstate commerce beginning on the 46th day after the date of such fitness determination and until the Secretary determines such owner or operator is fit.
(3)Owners or operators transporting hazardous material.—With regard to owners or operators of commercial motor vehicles designed or used to transport hazardous material for which placarding of a motor vehicle is required under regulations prescribed under chapter 51, an owner or operator who the Secretary determines is not fit may not operate in interstate commerce beginning on the 46th day after the date of such fitness determination and until the Secretary determines such owner or operator is fit. A violation of this paragraph by an owner or operator transporting hazardous material shall be considered a violation of chapter 51, and shall be subject to the penalties in sections 5123 and 5124.
(4)Secretary’s discretion.—Except for owners or operators described in paragraphs (2) and (3), the Secretary may allow an owner or operator who is not fit to continue operating for an additional 60 days after the 61st day after the date of the Secretary’s fitness determination, if the Secretary determines that such owner or operator is making a good faith effort to become fit.
(5)Transportation affecting interstate commerce.—Owners or operators of commercial motor vehicles prohibited from operating in interstate commerce pursuant to paragraphs (1) through (3) of this section may not operate any commercial motor vehicle that affects interstate commerce until the Secretary determines that such owner or operator is fit.
(d)Determination of Unfitness by State.—If a State that receives motor carrier safety assistance program funds under section 31102 determines, by applying the standards prescribed by the Secretary under subsection (b), that an owner or operator of a commercial motor vehicle that has its principal place of business in that State and operates in intrastate commerce is unfit under such standards and prohibits the owner or operator from operating such vehicle in the State, the Secretary shall prohibit the owner or operator from operating such vehicle in interstate commerce until the State determines that the owner or operator is fit.
(e)Review of Fitness Determinations.—
(1)In general.—Not later than 45 days after an unfit owner or operator requests a review, the Secretary shall review such owner’s or operator’s compliance with those requirements with which the owner or operator failed to comply and resulted in the Secretary determining that the owner or operator was not fit.
(2)Owners or operators transporting passengers.—Not later than 30 days after an unfit owner or operator of commercial motor vehicles designed or used to transport passengers requests a review, the Secretary shall review such owner’s or operator’s compliance with those requirements with which the owner or operator failed to comply and resulted in the Secretary determining that the owner or operator was not fit.
(3)Owners or operators transporting hazardous material.—Not later than 30 days after an unfit owner or operator of commercial motor vehicles designed or used to transport hazardous material for which placarding of a motor vehicle is required under regulations prescribed under chapter 51, the Secretary shall review such owner’s or operator’s compliance with those requirements with which the owner or operator failed to comply and resulted in the Secretary determining that the owner or operator was not fit.
(f)Prohibited Government Use.—A department, agency, or instrumentality of the United States Government may not use to provide any transportation service an owner or operator who the Secretary has determined is not fit until the Secretary determines such owner or operator is fit.
(g)Safety Reviews of New Operators.—
(1)Safety review.—
(A)In general.—Except as provided under subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall require, by regulation, each owner and each operator granted new registration under section 13902 or 31134 to undergo a safety review not later than 12 months after the owner or operator, as the case may be, begins operations under such registration.
(B)Providers of motorcoach services.—The Secretary shall require, by regulation, each owner and each operator granted new registration to transport passengers under section 13902 or 31134 to undergo a safety review not later than 120 days after the owner or operator, as the case may be, begins operations under such registration.
(2)Elements.—In the regulations issued pursuant to paragraph (1), the Secretary shall establish the elements of the safety review, including basic safety management controls. In establishing such elements, the Secretary shall consider their effects on small businesses and shall consider establishing alternate locations where such reviews may be conducted for the convenience of small businesses.
(3)Phase-in of requirement.—The Secretary shall phase in the requirements of paragraph (1) in a manner that takes into account the availability of certified motor carrier safety auditors.
(4)New entrant authority.—Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, any new operating authority granted after the date on which section 31148(b) is first implemented shall be designated as new entrant authority until the safety review required by paragraph (1) is completed.
[(5) Repealed. Pub. L. 114–94, div. A, title V, § 5101(e)(1), Dec. 4, 2015, 129 Stat. 1525.]
(6)Additional requirements for household goods motor carriers.—
(A)In general.—In addition to the requirements of this subsection, the Secretary shall require, by regulation, each registered household goods motor carrier to undergo a consumer protection standards review not later than 18 months after the household goods motor carrier begins operations under such authority.
(B)Elements.—In the regulations issued pursuant to subparagraph (A), the Secretary shall establish the elements of the consumer protections standards review, including basic management controls. In establishing the elements, the Secretary shall consider the effects on small businesses and shall consider establishing alternate locations where such reviews may be conducted for the convenience of small businesses.
(h)Recognition of Canadian Motor Carrier Safety Fitness Determinations.—
(1) If an authorized agency of the Canadian federal government or a Canadian Territorial or Provincial government determines, by applying the procedure and standards prescribed by the Secretary under subsection (b) or pursuant to an agreement under paragraph (2), that a Canadian employer is unfit and prohibits the employer from operating a commercial motor vehicle in Canada or any Canadian Province, the Secretary may prohibit the employer from operating such vehicle in interstate and foreign commerce until the authorized Canadian agency determines that the employer is fit.
(2) The Secretary may consult and participate in negotiations with authorized officials of the Canadian federal government or a Canadian Territorial or Provincial government, as necessary, to provide reciprocal recognition of each country’s motor carrier safety fitness determinations. An agreement shall provide, to the maximum extent practicable, that each country will follow the procedure and standards prescribed by the Secretary under subsection (b) in making motor carrier safety fitness determinations.
(i)Periodic Safety Reviews of Owners and Operators of Interstate For-hire Commercial Motor Vehicles Designed or Used to Transport Passengers.—
(1)Safety review.—
(A)In general.—The Secretary shall—
(i) determine the safety fitness of each motor carrier of passengers who the Secretary registers under section 13902 or 31134 through a simple and understandable rating system that allows passengers to compare the safety performance of each such motor carrier; and
(ii) assign a safety fitness rating to each such motor carrier.
(B)Applicability.—Subparagraph (A) shall apply—
(i) to any provider of motorcoach services registered with the Administration after the date of enactment of the Motorcoach Enhanced Safety Act of 2012 beginning not later than 2 years after the date of such registration; and
(ii) to any provider of motorcoach services registered with the Administration on or before the date of enactment of that Act beginning not later than 3 years after the date of enactment of that Act.
(2)Periodic review.—The Secretary shall establish, by regulation, a process for monitoring the safety performance of each motor carrier of passengers on a regular basis following the assignment of a safety fitness rating, including progressive intervention to correct unsafe practices.
(3)Enforcement strike forces.—In addition to the enhanced monitoring and enforcement actions required under paragraph (2), the Secretary may organize special enforcement strike forces targeting motor carriers of passengers.
(4)Periodic update of safety fitness rating.—In conducting the safety reviews required under this subsection, the Secretary shall—
(A) reassess the safety fitness rating of each motor carrier of passengers not less frequently than once every 3 years; and
(B) annually assess the safety fitness of certain motor carriers of passengers that serve primarily urban areas with high passenger loads.
(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1012; Pub. L. 104–88, title I, § 104(g), Dec. 29, 1995, 109 Stat. 920; Pub. L. 105–178, title IV, § 4009(a), June 9, 1998, 112 Stat. 405; Pub. L. 106–159, title II, § 210(a),
§ 31145. Coordination of Governmental activities and paperwork

The Secretary of Transportation shall coordinate the activities of departments, agencies, and instrumentalities of the United States Government to ensure adequate protection of the safety and health of operators of commercial motor vehicles. The Secretary shall attempt to minimize paperwork burdens to ensure maximum coordination and to avoid overlap and the imposition of unreasonable burdens on persons subject to regulations under this subchapter.

(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1012.)
§ 31146. Relationship to other laws

Except as provided in section 31136(b) of this title, this subchapter and the regulations prescribed under this subchapter do not affect chapter 51 of this title or a regulation prescribed under chapter 51.

(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1013.)
§ 31147. Limitations on authority
(a)Traffic Regulations.—This subchapter does not authorize the Secretary of Transportation to prescribe traffic safety regulations or preempt State traffic regulations. However, the Secretary may prescribe traffic regulations to the extent their subject matter was regulated under parts 390–399 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, on October 30, 1984.
(b)Regulating the Manufacturing of Vehicles.—This subchapter does not authorize the Secretary to regulate the manufacture of commercial motor vehicles for any purpose, including fuel economy, safety, or emission control.
(Pub. L. 103–272, § 1(e), July 5, 1994, 108 Stat. 1013.)
§ 31148. Certified motor carrier safety auditors
(a)In General.—Not later than 1 year after the date of the enactment of this section, the Secretary of Transportation shall complete a rulemaking to improve training and provide for the certification of motor carrier safety auditors, including private contractors, to conduct safety inspection audits and reviews described in subsection (b).
(b)Certified Inspection Audit Requirement.—Not later than 1 year after completion of the rulemaking required by subsection (a), any safety inspection audit or review required by, or based on the authority of, this chapter or chapter 5, 313, or 315 of this title and performed after December 31, 2002, shall be conducted by—
(1) a motor carrier safety auditor certified under subsection (a); or
(2) a Federal or State employee who, on the date of the enactment of this section, was qualified to perform such an audit or review.
(c)Extension.—If the Secretary determines that subsection (b) cannot be implemented within the 1-year period established by that subsection and notifies the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives of the determination and the reasons therefor, the Secretary may extend the deadline for compliance with subsection (b) by not more than 12 months.
(d)Application With Other Authority.—The Secretary may not delegate the Secretary’s authority to private contractors to issue ratings or operating authority, and nothing in this section authorizes any private contractor to issue ratings or operating authority.
(e)Oversight Responsibility.—The Secretary shall have authority over any motor carrier safety auditor certified under subsection (a), including the authority to decertify a motor carrier safety auditor.
(Added Pub. L. 106–159, title II, § 211(a), Dec. 9, 1999, 113 Stat. 1765.)
§ 31149. Medical program
(a)Medical Review Board.—
(1)Establishment and function.—The Secretary of Transportation shall establish a Medical Review Board to provide the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration with medical advice and recommendations on medical standards and guidelines for the physical qualifications of operators of commercial motor vehicles, medical examiner education, and medical research.
(2)Composition.—The Medical Review Board shall be appointed by the Secretary and shall consist of 5 members selected from medical institutions and private practice. The membership shall reflect expertise in a variety of medical specialties relevant to the driver fitness requirements of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
(b)Chief Medical Examiner.—The Secretary shall appoint a chief medical examiner who shall be an employee of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and who shall hold a position under section 3104 of title 5, United States Code, relating to employment of specially qualified scientific and professional personnel, and shall be paid under section 5376 of title 5, United States Code, relating to pay for certain senior-level positions.
(c)Medical Standards and Requirements.—
(1)In general.—The Secretary, with the advice of the Medical Review Board and the chief medical examiner, shall—
(A) establish, review, and revise—
(i) medical standards for operators of commercial motor vehicles that will ensure that the physical condition of operators of commercial motor vehicles is adequate to enable them to operate the vehicles safely; and
(ii) requirements for periodic physical examinations of such operators performed by medical examiners who have, at a minimum, self-certified that they have completed training in physical and medical examination standards and are listed on a national registry maintained by the Department of Transportation;
(B) require each such operator to have a current valid medical certificate;
(C) conduct periodic reviews of a select number of medical examiners on the national registry to ensure that proper examinations of such operators are being conducted;
(D) not later than 1 year after enactment of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act of 2012, develop requirements for a medical examiner to be listed in the national registry under this section, including—
(i) the completion of specific courses and materials;
(ii) certification, including, at a minimum, self-certification, if the Secretary determines that self-certification is necessary for sufficient participation in the national registry, to verify that a medical examiner completed specific training, including refresher courses, that the Secretary determines necessary to be listed in the national registry;
(iii) an examination that requires a passing grade; and
(iv) demonstration of a medical examiner’s willingness to meet the reporting requirements established by the Secretary;
(E) require medical examiners to transmit electronically, on a monthly basis, the name of the applicant, a numerical identifier, and additional information contained on the medical examiner’s certificate for any completed medical examination report required under section 391.43 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, to the chief medical examiner;
(F) periodically review a representative sample of the medical examination reports associated with the name and numerical identifiers of applicants transmitted under subparagraph (E) for errors, omissions, or other indications of improper certification; and
(G) annually review the implementation of commercial driver’s license requirements by not fewer than 10 States to assess the accuracy, validity, and timeliness of—
(i) the submission of physical examination reports and medical certificates to State licensing agencies; and
(ii) the processing of the submissions by State licensing agencies.
(2)Monitoring performance.—The Secretary shall investigate patterns of errors or improper certification by a medical examiner. If the Secretary finds that a medical examiner has issued a medical certificate to an operator of a commercial motor vehicle who fails to meet the applicable standards at the time of the examination or that a medical examiner has falsely claimed to have completed training in physical and medical examination standards as required by this section, the Secretary may remove such medical examiner from the registry and may void the medical certificate of the applicant or holder.
(d)National Registry of Medical Examiners.—The Secretary, acting through the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration—
(1) shall establish and maintain a current national registry of medical examiners who are qualified to perform examinations and issue medical certificates;
(2) shall remove from the registry the name of any medical examiner that fails to meet or maintain the qualifications established by the Secretary for being listed in the registry or otherwise does not meet the requirements of this section or regulation issued under this section;
(3) shall accept as valid only medical certificates issued by persons on the national registry of medical examiners; and
(4) may make participation of medical examiners in the national registry voluntary if such a change will enhance the safety of operators of commercial motor vehicles.
(e)Regulations.—The Secretary shall issue such regulations as may be necessary to carry out this section.
(Added Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, § 4116(a), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1726; amended Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, § 32302(b), (c)(1), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 789.)
§ 31150. Safety performance history screening
(a)In General.—The Secretary of Transportation shall provide persons conducting preemployment screening services for the motor carrier industry electronic access to the following reports contained in the Motor Carrier Management Information System:
(1) Commercial motor vehicle accident reports.
(2) Inspection reports that contain no driver-related safety violations.
(3) Serious driver-related safety violation inspection reports.
(b)Conditions on Providing Access.—Before providing a person access to the Motor Carrier Management Information System under subsection (a), the Secretary shall—
(1) ensure that any information that is released to such person will be in accordance with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (15 U.S.C. 1681 et seq.) and all other applicable Federal law;
(2) ensure that such person will not conduct a screening without the operator-applicant’s written consent;
(3) ensure that any information that is released to such person will not be released to any person or entity, other than the motor carrier requesting the screening services or the operator-applicant, unless expressly authorized or required by law; and
(4) provide a procedure for the operator-applicant to correct inaccurate information in the System in a timely manner.
(c)Design.—The process for providing access to the Motor Carrier Management Information System under subsection (a) shall be designed to assist the motor carrier industry in assessing an individual operator’s crash and serious safety violation inspection history as a preemployment condition. Use of the process shall not be mandatory and may only be used during the preemployment assessment of an operator-applicant.
(d)Serious Driver-Related Safety Violation Defined.—In this section, the term “serious driver-related violation” means a violation by an operator of a commercial motor vehicle that the Secretary determines will result in the operator being prohibited from continuing to operate a commercial motor vehicle until the violation is corrected.
(Added Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, § 4117(a), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1728.)
§ 31151. Roadability
(a)Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance of Intermodal Equipment.—
(1)In general.—The Secretary of Transportation shall maintain a program to ensure that intermodal equipment used to transport intermodal containers is safe and systematically maintained.
(2)Intermodal equipment safety regulations.—The Secretary shall issue the regulations under this section as a subpart of the Federal motor carrier safety regulations.
(3)Contents.—The regulations issued under this section shall include, at a minimum—
(A) a requirement to identify intermodal equipment providers responsible for the inspection and maintenance of intermodal equipment that is interchanged or intended for interchange to motor carriers in intermodal transportation;
(B) a requirement to match intermodal equipment readily to an intermodal equipment provider through a unique identifying number;
(C) a requirement that an intermodal equipment provider identified under subparagraph (A) systematically inspect, repair, and maintain, or cause to be systematically inspected, repaired, and maintained, intermodal equipment described in subparagraph (A) that is intended for interchange with a motor carrier;
(D) a requirement to ensure that each intermodal equipment provider identified under subparagraph (A) maintains a system of maintenance and repair records for such equipment;
(E) requirements that—
(i) a specific list of intermodal equipment components or items be identified for the visual or audible inspection of which a driver is responsible before operating the equipment over the road; and
(ii) the inspection under clause (i) be conducted as part of the Federal requirement in effect on the date of enactment of this section that a driver be satisfied that the intermodal equipment components are in good working order before the equipment is operated over the road;
(F) a requirement that a facility at which an intermodal equipment provider regularly makes intermodal equipment available for interchange have an operational process and space readily available for a motor carrier to have an equipment defect identified pursuant to subparagraph (E) repaired or the equipment replaced prior to departure;
(G) a program for the evaluation and audit of compliance by intermodal equipment providers with applicable Federal motor carrier safety regulations;
(H) a civil penalty structure consistent with section 521(b) of title 49, United States Code, for intermodal equipment providers that fail to attain satisfactory compliance with applicable Federal motor carrier safety regulations; and
(I) a prohibition on intermodal equipment providers from placing intermodal equipment in service on the public highways to the extent such providers or their equipment are found to pose an imminent hazard;
(J) a process by which motor carriers and agents of motor carriers shall be able to request the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to undertake an investigation of an intermodal equipment provider identified under subparagraph (A) that is alleged to be not in compliance with the regulations under this section;
(K) a process by which equipment providers and agents of equipment providers shall be able to request the Administration to undertake an investigation of a motor carrier that is alleged to be not in compliance with the regulations issued under this section;
(L) a process by which a driver or motor carrier transporting intermodal equipment is required to report to the intermodal equipment provider or the provider’s designated agent any actual damage or defect in the intermodal equipment of which the driver or motor carrier is aware at the time the intermodal equipment is returned to the intermodal equipment provider or the provider’s designated agent;
(M) a requirement that any actual damage or defect identified in the process established under subparagraph (L) be repaired before the equipment is made available for interchange to a motor carrier and that repairs of equipment made pursuant to the requirements of this subparagraph and reports made pursuant to the subparagraph (L) process be documented in the maintenance records for such equipment; and
(N) a procedure under which motor carriers, drivers and intermodal equipment providers may seek correction of their motor carrier safety records through the deletion from those records of violations of safety regulations attributable to deficiencies in the intermodal chassis or trailer for which they should not have been held responsible.
(b)Inspection, Repair, and Maintenance of Intermodal Equipment.—The Secretary or an employee of the Department of Transportation designated by the Secretary may inspect intermodal equipment, and copy related maintenance and repair records for such equipment, on demand and display of proper credentials.
(c)Out-of-Service Until Repair.—Any intermodal equipment that is determined under this section to fail to comply with applicable Federal safety regulations may be placed out of service by the Secretary or a Federal, State, or government official designated by the Secretary and may not be used on a public highway until the repairs necessary to bring such equipment into compliance have been completed. Repairs of equipment taken out of service shall be documented in the maintenance records for such equipment.
(d)Preemption Generally.—Except as provided in subsection (e), a law, regulation, order, or other requirement of a State, a political subdivision of a State, or a tribal organization relating to commercial motor vehicle safety is preempted if such law, regulation, order, or other requirement exceeds or is inconsistent with a requirement imposed under or pursuant to this section.
(e)Pre-Existing State Requirements.—
(1)In general.—Except as provided in paragraph (2), a State requirement for the periodic inspection of intermodal chassis by intermodal equipment providers that was in effect on January 1, 2005, shall remain in effect only until the date on which requirements prescribed under this section take effect.
(2)Nonpreemption determinations.—
(A)In general.—Notwithstanding subsection (d), a State requirement described in paragraph (1) is not preempted by a Federal requirement prescribed under this section if the Secretary determines that the State requirement is as effective as the Federal requirement and does not unduly burden interstate commerce.
(B)Application required.—Subparagraph (A) applies to a State requirement only if the State applies to the Secretary for a determination under this paragraph with respect to the requirement before the date on which the regulations issued under this section take effect. The Secretary shall make a determination with respect to any such application within 6 months after the date on which the Secretary receives the application.
(C)Amended state requirements.—Any amendment to a State requirement not preempted under this subsection because of a determination by the Secretary under subparagraph (A) may not take effect unless—
(i) it is submitted to the Secretary before the effective date of the amendment; and
(ii) the Secretary determines that the amendment would not cause the State requirement to be less effective than the Federal requirement and would not unduly burden interstate commerce.
(f)Definitions.—In this section, the following definitions apply:
(1)Intermodal equipment.—The term “intermodal equipment” means trailing equipment that is used in the intermodal transportation of containers over public highways in interstate commerce, including trailers and chassis.
(2)Intermodal equipment interchange agreement.—The term “intermodal equipment interchange agreement” means the Uniform Intermodal Interchange and Facilities Access Agreement or any other written document executed by an intermodal equipment provider or its agent and a motor carrier or its agent, the primary purpose of which is to establish the responsibilities and liabilities of both parties with respect to the interchan
(3)Intermodal equipment provider.—The term “intermodal equipment provider” means any person that interchanges intermodal equipment with a motor carrier pursuant to a written interchange agreement or has a contractual responsibility for the maintenance of the intermodal equipment.
(4)Interchange.—The term “interchange”—
(A) means the act of providing intermodal equipment to a motor carrier pursuant to an intermodal equipment interchange agreement for the purpose of transporting the equipment for loading or unloading by any person or repositioning the equipment for the benefit of the equipment provider; but
(B) does not include the leasing of equipment to a motor carrier for primary use in the motor carrier’s freight hauling operations.
(Added Pub. L. 109–59, title IV, § 4118(a), Aug. 10, 2005, 119 Stat. 1729; amended Pub. L. 110–244, title III, § 301(e), June 6, 2008, 122 Stat. 1616; Pub. L. 112–141, div. C, title II, § 32931(b), July 6, 2012, 126 Stat. 829.)