2003 proved to be busy for the U.S. Department of Transportation
(DOT), and activity surrounding transportation issues promises to
be just as intense for 2004 and 2005 on federal and state levels.
Drivers' hours of service (HOS), commercial driver's license (CDL)
disqualifications and hazardous material (hazmat) endorsements,
hazmat security plans and masking of violations by states are some
areas affected by recent or imminent DOT rule changes. (Masking is
the practice of concealing convictions issued to CDL drivers so the
convictions do not appear on records inspected or requested by
other states' law-enforcement agencies.) These changes may
dramatically affect how the roofing industry conducts business.
HOS rule changes had been considered by DOT for 10 years before
the publication of the proposed rules in May 2000.
Driver fatigue was identified early as a major safety issue and
the leading impetus for HOS rule changes. Similarly, a 1999 DOT
report to Congress documented several vulnerabilities in the
current CDL program that impeded highway safety and subsequently
were addressed in the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of
New rules related to hazmat security plan requirements and
Transportation Security Administration (TSA) review of CDL hazmat
endorsements originated after...
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