Truck Drivers Catch a Break on Paperwork Part 2

The current proposal to reduce paperwork on the trucking and moving industry may have a great impact on businesses and consumers by reducing costs.

Currently, commercial drivers are required to fill out Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs) on pre- and post-trip inspections. The new proposal will eliminate this paperwork for trucks with no defects upon inspection.

According to the Department of Transportation, the proposal represents the largest paperwork reduction accomplished by the administration since Obama’s executive order in May of 2012 to reduce costly and strenuous regulations on the private sector. DVIRs are ranked as the nineteenth-highest paperwork burden when based on the number of hours necessary to comply. In addition, only five-percent of these reports across all federal agencies show any defects.

Anne Ferro, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator, says the new ruling will allow more attention to be paid to the 5 percent of problematic truck reports and eliminate the 95 percent that meet safety standards. She went on to says that changing to a defect-only system will substantially reduce paperwork to the industry saving billions of dollars and will maintain safety.

Current federal safety regulations will still be in place. Every commercial vehicle in the U.S. must go through a safety inspection every year by a certified commercial vehicle mechanic. State and federal inspectors will continue to randomly inspect commercial vehicles at terminals, weigh stations, truck stops, on the roadside, and at destinations. About 3.5 million random inspections were made in 2012. Any vehicle failing these random inspections will be placed out of service promptly and remain out of service until safety problems are addressed.

Similar proposals have worked in the past. For instance, in June 2012, a defect-only inspection reporting system was established by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration for truck drivers using intermodal equipment trailers. It is estimated that this industry saved $54 million each year without sacrificing safety.

The FMCSA is currently reviewing comments on the DVIR proposed ruling, which can be found at under Rules and Regulations and Proposed Rules.