Bus inspection rule is progressing, FMCSA agenda shows

States could be required to have annual bus inspection programs

Posted September 18, 2015

Federal regulators are making progress toward a congressional demand to investigate whether states should have annual bus inspection programs.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) says it expects to gather public input on the issue next January in advance of actually proposing any new rules.

In a law enacted in 2012, Congress asked the FMCSA to consider requiring the states to establish programs for the annual inspection of commercial vehicles designed or used to transport passengers. The law says the FMCSA must assess:

  • The risks associated with improperly maintained or inspected passenger-carrying vehicles,
  • The effectiveness of existing federal inspection standards, and
  • The costs and benefits of mandatory state inspection programs.

Under federal rules in 49 CFR Sec. 396.17, all commercial motor vehicles operating in interstate commerce are required to undergo an annual inspection.

The FMCSA was required to have its assessment done by October 2015, but the agency will miss that deadline.

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