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December 17, 2009 - New Bus, Truck Carrier Laws in Effect

New truck and bus companies must meet stricter safety requirements under rules enacted Wednesday by a U.S. Transportation Department agency.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration began enforcing its rules that raise compliance standards for passing new entrant safety audits and require new carriers to correct safety deficiencies before being granted permanent registration, the Transportation Department said in a release.

"This new rule helps to ensure that only the safest carriers can enter the industry and continue to operate on our roadways," safety Administrator Anne Ferro said of the New Entrant Safety Assurance Process. "By strengthening the new entrant process, our agency supports new carriers as they establish and maintain critical safety management controls that enable them to operate in full compliance with federal safety regulations."

Now, she said, a newly registered truck or bus company automatically will fail its safety audit if violations of any one of 16 essential federal regulations are discovered. These regulations cover controlled substances and alcohol testing, hours-of-service rules, driver qualifications, vehicle condition and carrier insurance responsibility.

Failure to pass a new entrant safety audit could result in revocation of a carrier's registration, unless corrective action is taken within a time period specified by the administration.


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