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Santa Fe Community College in conjunction with the Eight Northern Indian Pueblo Council Office of Environmental Technical Assistance is offering a Free 40 HOUR HAZWOPER course at Acoma Pueblo at Sky City Resort December 2nd-7th. A block of rooms have been reserved for this training. Guest Room Rate is $59.00 per night including hot breakfast voucher for two. Please call 505-552-7801 or 1-888-759-2489 to make reservations and ask for the "HAZWOPER Training" Room Block These HAZWOPER courses are free to individuals who apply and qualify under the Centers of Excellence grant criteria (US Department of Labor SESP funds). To apply, please go to our online application form.
8/8/12: Comment Period Extended for Oilfield Exceptions to October 5, 2012
On August 6, 2012, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published a notice in the Federal Register extending the comment period for its guidance to the oilfield exceptions to the hours of service rules until October 5, 2012. Read the flyer from the New Mexico Trucking Association.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recently issued a Notice concerning an interpretation of the hours of service for commercial motor vehicle drivers, as it relates to the oilfield exemption (click on link here to view the notice: FMCSA-2012.) The association again feels that the lack of due process and industry involvement before the Notice will lead to implementation of policies that will actually harm, rather than help address the issue. The AESC has made comments concerning this directive in terms of due process, impact on service companies, etc. Those comments submitted can be viewed here by clinking on this link: Final Letter FMCSA 7-26-2012
Also, Rep. Jeff Landry from Louisiana is petitioning fellow Congressional members to sign on to a letter he is drafting to the Secretary LaHood at the U.S. Department of Transportation Landry FMCSA waiting time exception sand and water letter.
OSHA Regional Notice for the Oil and Gas Industry 3/8/12
This Notice applies to all worksites in Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas, and those worksites in New Mexico that are under Federal Jurisdiction. Effective 10/11/2011. Read the document. Link to OSHA
Cell phone ban for commercial vehicle drivers
takes effect today 1/4/12
A new federal law banning the use of hand-held phones by commercial vehicle drivers goes into effect today. So that means truckers and bus drivers, even on local roads, aren’t supposed to be using their cell phones while driving. The new law is part of a push by federal transportation officials to cut down on the number of crashes caused by distracted driving, specifically those caused by drivers using cell phones.
Here’s the new law, enacted by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. Read the Fredricksurg.com Transportation Blog.
The final rule prohibits commercial drivers from using a hand-held mobile telephone while operating a commercial truck or bus. Drivers who violate the restriction will face federal civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense and disqualification from operating a commercial motor vehicle for multiple offenses. Additionally, states will suspend a driver’s commercial driver’s license (CDL) after two or more serious traffic violations. Commercial truck and bus companies that allow their drivers to use hand-held cell phones while driving will face a maximum penalty of $11,000. Approximately four million commercial drivers would be affected by this final rule.
The synopsis: NO TEXTING, NO DIALING, NO HAND-HELD CELL PHONE WHILE DRIVING A COMMERCIAL MOTOR VEHICLE
The National Transportation Safety Board recently said that all states should enact laws against drivers using cell phones, so that is something to watch this year. Nine states and Washington, D.C., already have laws banning cell phone use by drivers, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association. Read the final rules here.
US Department of Transportation Links:
Commercial driver's license standards; requirements and penalties
Qualifications of drivers and longer combination vehicle (LCV) driver instructors
Prohibition against texting
Drivers: 12 Hours Max Per Week - FMCSA’s New HOS Final Rule
FMCSA’s new HOS final rule reduces by 12 hours the maximum number of hours a truck driver can work within a week. Under the old rule, truck drivers could work on average up to 82 hours within a seven-day period. The new HOS final rule limits a driver’s work week to 70 hours.
In addition, truck drivers cannot drive after working eight hours without first taking a break of at least 30 minutes. Drivers can take the 30-minute break whenever they need rest during the eight-hour window.
Companies and drivers that commit egregious violations of the rule could face the maximum penalties for each offense. Trucking companies that allow drivers to exceed the 11-hour driving limit by 3 or more hours could be fined $11,000 per offense, and the drivers themselves could face civil penalties of up to $2,750 for each offense.
Commercial truck drivers and companies must comply with the HOS final rule by July 1, 2013. The rule is being sent to the Federal Register today and is currently available on FMCSA's Web site at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/HOSFinalRule.
Read the press release from U.S. Department of Transportation here.