The U.S. Department of Transportation’s (DOT’s) Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued guidance to organizations and businesses that transport passengers in interstate commerce, clarifying existing FMCSA regulations and requirements that have been changed over the years through legislation, rulemaking and litigation.
“Passengers traveling by motorcoaches, buses and vans have every right to expect that the vehicle is safe and that their driver is fully qualified, without exception,” said Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Motor carriers that are hired and that receive payment to transport passengers must thoroughly understand and fully comply with safety regulations that exist to protect everyone traveling on our nation’s roadways.”
In providing this guidance, FMCSA has also constructed an online resource page (www.fmcsa.dot.gov/upcr) to help advise businesses and organizations that provide interstate passenger transportation services, including: hotel-related shuttle bus or van operations; employer-related services; education-related institutions; faith-based organizations; and passengers using multiple transportation modes (e.g., arriving by plane or train, then taking a shuttle van to an interstate bus or motorcoach).
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) set minimum safety standards for motor carriers, vehicles and drivers operating in interstate commerce—defined generally as trade, traffic or transportation in the United States traveling across state lines. An organization or a business operating a commercial motor vehicle in interstate commerce, unless otherwise specifically excepted, is subject to FMCSRs. These regulations, which may or may not apply depending on the operation, include FMCSA registration requirements, minimum levels of insurance, random drug and alcohol testing, driver licensing, hours-of-service limitations to prevent fatigued driving, vehicle safety inspection and maintenance and other requirements.
“Travel by motorcoach, bus, van or shuttle is among the safest forms of transportation in the country,” said FMCSA Administrator T.F. Scott Darling, III. “This guidance will help improve safety by clarifying which federal safety rules apply to certain passenger carrier operations.”
The regulatory guidance provides clarity about DOT operating authority registration requirements, minimum levels of financial responsibility and the applicability of safety and commercial regulations.
Click on the following link to read the passenger carrier guidance Federal Register notice and to submit comments: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/federal-register-notice-passenger-carrier-guidance.
Public comments will be accepted to the docket for 60 days. FMCSA wants motor carriers of passengers and the public to be aware of applicable regulations and requirements now, however, as the statutes, regulations and policies are currently in effect.
Click on the following link to learn more about federal passenger carrier regulations and determine if these regulations apply to your organization or business: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/upcr.