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America Outdoors Association

February 19, 2010

America Outdoors Association Bulletin

New FMCSA Regulations

New FMCSA Regulations for 9 to 15 Passenger Vans and CMV’s Do Not Apply to Outfitters Providing Transportation Unless the Transportation Is for Direct Compensation

Outfitters, guest ranches, and resorts providing interstate transportation for recreation or related services will be exempt from new rules governing 9 to 15 passenger vans if the transportation is part of the package of services.  The new rules published February 1, 2010 only apply to operators of small commercial motor vehicles used in transportation services for “direct compensation”.  The FMSCA definition of “direct compensation means payment made to the motor carrier by the passengers or a person acting on behalf of the passengers for the transportation services provided, and not included in a total package charge or other assessment for highway transportation services.”

We are providing notice of this rule because you may receive flyers or notices from compliance assistance services and question whether the rule applies to your operation.

The new rule can be found at http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/rules-regulations/administration/rulemakings/final/Safety-Requirements-Small%20Passenger-Carrying-CMVs-in-Interstate.pdf

By June 1, 2010 motor carriers using small commercial motor vehicles with a capacity of 9 to 15 passengers providing interstate transportation for direct compensation will be subject to new rules including:
• Driver qualifications contained in 49 CFR part 391 (21 years or older, speak English, etc);
• Medical qualifications contained in 49 CFR Part 391, subpart E (medical and physical qualifications);
• Driving Motor Vehicles, Part 392 (prohibits driving under the influence, when sick or fatigued);
• Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation, Part 393;
• Hours of Service 49 CFR Part 395;
• Inspection Repair and Maintenance Part 396.

One exception should be noted.  “The FMCSA is not making the commercial driver’s license and controlled substances and alcohol testing requirements applicable to operators of small passenger-carrying CMVs, because section 4136 does not change the existing non-application of those requirements that results from the statutory definition of CMV in 49 U.S.C. 31301(4) used for those programs. Consequently, the passenger-carrying threshold for CDL and controlled substances and alcohol testing requirements remains at 16 passengers (including the driver).”

Again, this rule will not apply to outfitters providing transportation as part of a package of their services.  It will apply if you are being paid only for transportation services and crossing state lines.  Outfitters driving 15 passenger vans in interstate commerce are still required to have DOT numbers, maintain accident logs and meet other requirements contained in the 15 Passenger Van summary. http://americaoutdoors.org/files/html-article/15passengervansummary.htm

This rule should not be confused with the legislation before Congress contained in S. 554 and H.R. 1396.  Those bills will require CDL’s, inspections, and other training requirements for drivers of commercial motor vehicles carrying 9 to 15 passengers across state lines , including transportation for indirect compensation.  AOA opposes the provisions in these bills requiring CDL’s for outfitter and guide transportation.  Next week you will be getting an alert asking you to contact members of Congress opposing this legislation.
 

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