CVSA Mulls Another Personal Conveyance Guidance Request

FMCSA Has Denied Petitions in 2020 and 2022
Getty Image of truck driver
CVSA's formal petitions have sought revised rulemaking to add time or mileage maximums to curb improper —or even illegal — use of conveyance policy. (xavieramau/Getty Images)

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In two attempts over four years, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance has failed to persuade federal trucking regulators to strengthen guidance for stopping a rise in truck drivers improperly using personal conveyance to stretch the hours they drive.

So far, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has twice denied CVSA formal petitions seeking a revised rulemaking to add time or mileage maximums to curb improper, even illegal, use of conveyance policy intended for such reasons as drivers making it home to see their family, finding a restaurant or hotel, or being told to move their vehicle by a law enforcement officer.

One of the requirements of personal conveyance use is that drivers cannot use it to advance their load after their driving hours are done.

Now the trade organization representing roadside inspectors could be taking another shot over the bow: A CVSA committee was expected to meet in a private phone session this week to possibly fashion another effort to persuade FMCSA to reconsider its regulatory reluctance.

Adrienne Gildea


“Something is definitely in the hopper on this,” said Adrienne Gildea, CVSA’s deputy executive director. “We did our data collection in the fall. We’ve looked at the data and analyzed it — made some conclusions — and also identified our baseline request that FMCSA establish a cap for either time or distance.”

Gildea added, “In doing the data collection we did last fall, we also identified a handful of other areas that we’re seeing people misusing personal conveyance, intentionally or unintentionally, but consistently.

CVSA logo

“We’re going to see if we can come up with a couple of other clarifying requests of the agency to include in our next petition. That’s assuming the committee can agree on future requests of regulators. But we will be submitting a petition, either way. It’s just a matter of the scope that it may grow.”

In its petition, CVSA has said under the existing guidance, a driver could, in theory, drive hundreds of miles over the course of several hours all under the designation of personal conveyance.

“This presents the opportunity for increased driver fatigue and risk on our roadways, as drivers may decide to travel hundreds of miles in order to strategically relocate to an alternate location after driving a full day,” CVSA said.

FMCSA logo

But FMCSA has been consistent in respectfully rejecting CVSA’s suggested solutions in formal petition denials in 2020 and 2022.

“While we acknowledge the CVSA’s concerns, we do not believe there is a sufficient safety basis for initiating a rulemaking,” the agency wrote in the denial of the first petition. “We continue to believe FMCSA’s 2018 regulatory guidance is an appropriate response to the issue, given the lack of research and data to support the adoption of specific restrictions.

“A rulemaking would propose certain time or distance limits on the use of personal conveyance status without data to determine its economic impact. The rulemaking would essentially propose arbitrary limits without any evidence of safety critical events avoided.”


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But in its revised petition filed with the agency in March 2022, CVSA stepped up the rhetoric.

“Since our original petition, inspectors are seeing an increased misuse of this provision,” CVSA wrote. “In some instances, inspectors are able to identify this misuse and cite a driver for false record-of-duty status.

“As a result, the number of false log violations are increasing. In 2021, false records-of-duty-status violations represented the third-most documented driver violation, as compared to it being the sixth most frequent violation in 2019.”

However, FMCSA did not blink, also denying CVSA’s second petition.

“While we appreciate the preliminary data pertaining to violation of [the conveyance regulation], FMCSA continues to lack sufficient data to initiate a rulemaking,” the agency said in its September 2022 denial. “FMCSA would need data showing the extent to which drivers’ violation result in safety critical events.

“In addition, the preliminary violation data suggests enforcement officials already identify drivers with hours-of-service violations relating to personal conveyance misuse, without a time or distance limit.”

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