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Commercial Vehicle Safety Center

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Resource Categories

Best Practices for Law Enforcement and Driver Licensing Agencies

Commercial Driver Licensing

  • National CDL Program Training — The goal of the National CDL Program is to reduce the number and severity of CMV crashes in the United States by ensuring that only qualified drivers are eligible to receive and retain a CDL. For every one CDL driver, there should be one record and one licensing document. This training includes 16 eLearning modules to gain insight into the background, tools, systems, and processes that provide the backbone for ensuring that only qualified drivers are operating on our Nation's roads. August 2022.
  • Assessment of the CDL Disqualification Process — A recording of a presentation by Dave Madsen, Principal Technical Advisor, US DOT Volpe Center, May 2021. View Slides.
  • The Importance of Judicial Outreach in the CMV/CDL World — A recording of a presentation by Hon. Gary Graber, Town Justice, Town of Darien and Past President, New York State Magistrates Association, May 2021. View Slides.
  • Best Practices for Citations and Crash Reporting — A recording of a presentation by Chris Turner, Director of Enforcement Data and Judicial Outreach, Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, May 2021. View Slides.
  • Report on Commercial Driver's License (CDL) Skills Testing Delays — States are required to test CDL applicants for the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary for the safe operation of the applicant's intended commercial motor vehicle. Applicants in some States face significant delays when attempting to take a skills test and thus complete their licensure requirements. This report analyzes the results of a national survey given to each State regarding their CDL skills testing programs. December 2020.
  • CDL Data Quality Assessment — Quality issues related to commercial driver license (CDL) data present ongoing challenges to state and federal transportation agencies. In a partnership between the Kentucky Transportation Center at the University of Kentucky and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, this study highlights several problems with CDL data, including a lack of standardization for state-specific traffic infractions; process and workflow difficulties that degrade the accuracy, validity, and timeliness of data; adjudication procedures that can potentially mask serious violations from CDL driver history records; inadequate recordkeeping in state law enforcement citation and court case management software applications; outdated mainframe systems in urgent need of upgrades; IT personnel who are not paid enough; and insufficient reporting requirements for federal agencies that issue traffic citations. Best practices states can adopt to resolve these issues include undertaking renewed efforts to standardize state traffic infraction codes and equivalency tables; increasing automation of data entry and reducing repetitive data entry processes; amplifying outreach efforts to law enforcement officials, prosecutors, and judges that are focused on the federal guidelines which govern the adjudication of CDL-related infractions and their application to driver history records; including a CDL indicator in citation and adjudication software so that researchers and analysts can better track how CDL-related traffic are handled; increasing investments in new IT systems as well as personnel recruitment and retention; and improving coordination between federal agencies and the Central Violations Bureau so that traffic citations are reported to state agencies quicker. October 2020.
  • Mastering Masking — An article by Elizabeth Earleywine, Attorney Advisor at FMCSA, that provides an overview of how modern-day CDL safety measures came about; discusses the prohibition against masking and defines key terms; and describes the ways in which masking can occur and some ways the court might act in conflict with the masking prohibition. This is followed by an article by Jeanine Howard, Staff Attorney at the National District Attorneys Association, describing a course that is available to provide prosecutors and other traffic safety professionals with the materials and techniques necessary to train others in their respective jurisdictions about the fundamentals of the prohibition on masking offenses. July 2019.
  • Future Trends and Updates on Commercial Driver Licensing — A presentation by Kevin Lewis, Director, Driver Programs, American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), November 2018.
  • Courts and SDLAs: Working Together for Reporting Convictions - National Center for State Courts — A presentation by Kathryn Holt, Senior Court Research Analyst and Margaret Allen, Director of National Programs, November 2018.
  • Your CDL Resource: The National District Attorneys Association — A presentation by Jeanine Howard, Staff Attorney, November 2018.
    • National Traffic Law Center CDL Resources — Resources available include a CDL Quick Reference Guide, a Prosecutor's Guide to the Basics of Commercial Motor Vehicle Licensing and Violations, and a Masking Quick Reference Guide.
  • AAMVA Best Practices and Model Legislation — Through AAMVA's Committees and Working Groups, AAMVA works with member jurisdictions to develop best practice documents and model legislation.
  • Commercial Skills Test Information Management System (CSTIMS) Training Material — CSTIMS provides a consistent way to track the scheduling and entry of test results for commercial skills tests by jurisdiction and third-party examiners.
  • CDL Resources for Judges — A website developed by the National Judicial College with Commercial Driver's License/Commercial Motor Vehicle resources for judges including webcasts, state cases and statutes, instructor videos, and in-state programs.

Connected and Autonomous Vehicles

  • Issues in Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Deployment — A report released by the U.S. Congressional Service that discusses advances in vehicle technology, issues in federal safety regulation, state concerns, and implications for highway infrastructure. April 2021.
  • Automated Vehicles (AV) Comprehensive Plan — Building upon the principles stated in AV 4.0, this plan defines three goals to achieve USDOT's vision for Automated Driving Systems (ADS). These goals are to promote collaboration and transparency, modernize the regulatory environment, and prepare the transportation system for the safe integration of automated driving systems. January 2021.
  • Societal Benefit-Cost Analysis and Return on Investment (ROI) Calculator for Large Truck Safety Technologies — In a partnership with stakeholders of the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), National Surface Transportation Safety Center for Excellence (NSTSCE), equipping large trucks with lane departure warning (LDW) and video-based on-board safety systems were found to be cost effective on a societal level for all combinations of costs, efficacy, and economic discount rates examined in the study, for both new and existing trucks. Results for automatic emergency braking (AEB) were mixed. The AEB system was analyzed as cost effective considering societal benefits when equipping new trucks and retrofitting existing trucks at the $500 system cost level. However, all three systems were considered cost effective with an assumed 28 percent efficacy rate, when limiting to the case of only equipping new large trucks. In an attempt to increase the adoption of large truck advanced safety technologies, researchers developed an Excel-based ROI calculator and accompanying user manual. October 2020.
  • Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance - Automated Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Working Group — This report represents an initial step to understand the Automated Driving Systems (ADS)-equipped CMV universe, identify use-scenarios that enforcement officials are likely to face in the next three to five years, and recommend changes to policy and procedures to ensure that enforcement officials are able to identify safety issues while not unduly burdening industry. September 2020.
  • Synthesis of State-Level Planning and Strategic Actions on Automated Vehicles — This report prepared by the University of California Institute of Transportation Studies with support from the State of California provides a summary and comparative analysis of actions states across the United States are taking in response to automated vehicles (AVs). September 2020.
  • Autonomous Road Vehicles and Law Enforcement — This report identifies high-priority problems and needs related to autonomous vehicles (AVs) within the next five years and explores scenarios involving AVs that have occurred or will occur, and offers potential technical options for addressing such situations. Three themes were identified: (1) designing a means of communicating with AVs that also maintains cybersecurity; (2) improving stakeholder communication and collaboration; and (3) developing standard procedures, guidelines and training for law enforcement interacting with AVs. July 2020.
  • Issues in Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Deployment — A report from the U.S. Congressional Research Service that describes legislation, as well as obstacles to passing legislation, regarding autonomous vehicles. February 2020.
  • Redefining the Role of Government Activities in Automated Trucking — The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) released new research that identifies both the positive and negative impacts associated with numerous government policies, programs and regulations that target autonomous truck development and testing. January 2020.
  • Ensuring American Leadership in Automated Vehicle Technologies: Automated Vehicles (AV) 4.0 — AV 4.0 builds upon AV 3.0 by expanding the scope to 38 relevant United States Government (USG) components which have direct or tangential equities in safe development and integration of AV technologies. AV 4.0 is structured around three key areas: USG AV Principles, Administration Efforts Supporting AV Technology Growth and Leadership, and USG Activities and Opportunities for Collaboration. January 2020.
  • Automated Driving Systems (ADS) Policy Development for Commercial Vehicle Operations — A presentation by Larry Minor, FMCSA Associate Administrator, Office of Policy, January 2020.
  • FMCSA's Automated Vehicle Research — A presentation discussing Accelerating the Adoption of ADAS and ADS and the Automated CMV Evaluation Program by Nicole Michel, Automated CMV Evaluation Program Manager, FMCSA Research Division, January 2020.
  • Safe Trucking is Good Business - Embrace Automation — Ways to make trucking safer were discussed in a recent meeting with the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board and the National Private Truck Council. In particular, it was suggested to companies to embrace automation including speed control, adaptive braking, stability control, and advanced driver-assist safety features, such as collision warning, automatic emergency braking, and lane departure warning. These are all currently available and make a big difference in mitigating driver mistakes. October 2019.
  • Automated Vehicles & State Law Enforcement Summit — The Colorado State Patrol (CSP) partnered with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to host a summit on state law enforcement issues and autonomous vehicles. The intention of the conference was to bring stakeholders together to begin conversations related to the advancement of technology and how these changes impact the law enforcement environment. September 2019.
  • A Pathway to Secure Connections — USDOT is leading the way for research, design, and implementation of a security system for connected and automated vehicle networks. Summer 2019.
  • Automated Vehicles' Effects on State Highway Safety Offices and Law Enforcement — A panel discussion about how automated vehicles (AVs) may affect law enforcement agencies and state highway safety offices is summarized in this report from the Governors' Highway Safety Association. The panel's charge was to discuss the most important issues and to provide recommendations on steps that they should take, in cooperation with other stakeholders involved with AV testing and deployment, to address these issues. August 2019.
  • NHTSA, FMCSA Issue Pre-Rulemaking Proposals for Autonomous Vehicles — An article in Roads & Bridges magazine, June 2019.
  • Automated CMV Policy Development — A presentation by Larry Minor, FMCSA Associate Administrator for Policy, January 2019.
  • FMCSA's Automated Vehicle Research Program Overview — A presentation by Jeff Loftus, FMCSA Division Chief, Technology Division, January 2019.
  • Collaboration between Government and the Private Sector on Advancing Connected and Autonomous Vehicle Testing and Operation in Arizona — A presentation by Kevin Biesty, Deputy Director for Policy, Arizona DOT, November 2018.
    • Arizona DOT Autonomous Vehicles — Overview of testing or operation of self-driving vehicles equipped with an automated driving system on Arizona public roads.
  • Wyoming Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program: Development and Assessment of Human-Machine Interface — A presentation by Mohamed Ahmed, Associate Professor, University of Wyoming, November 2018.
    • Connected Vehicle Pilot Deployment Program — Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Research and Technology (OST-R), Intelligent Transportations Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO), this program seeks to spur innovation among early adopters of connected vehicle application concepts using the best available and emerging ITS and communications technologies.
    • Wyoming DOT Connected Vehicle Pilot — The US DOT selected Wyoming as one of three locations to test and deploy advanced dedicated short-range communication (DSRC) technology to improve safety and mobility. The Wyoming DOT will use vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I), and infrastructure-to-vehicle (I2V) connectivity to improve monitoring and reporting of road conditions to vehicles on I-80.
  • Colorado's Autonomous Mobility Task Force — A presentation by Amy Ford, Chief of Advanced Mobility, Colorado DOT, November 2018.
    • Colorado DOT Mobility Technology — This program focuses on guiding Colorado's strategy and policy on connected, autonomous and emerging transportation technologies.
  • California DMV Autonomous Vehicle Portal — The California DMV has the authority to issue permits for driverless testing or deployment of autonomous vehicles. There are three autonomous vehicle permit options, each with different requirements. A manufacturer can apply for a testing permit, which requires a driver; a driverless testing permit; or a deployment (public use) permit.
  • Preparing for the Future of Transportation: Automated Vehicle (AV) 3.0 — AV 3.0 was developed through the input from a diverse set of stakeholder engagements throughout the Nation. It is structured around three key areas - advancing multi-modal safety, reducing policy uncertainty, and outlining a process for working with U.S. DOT. The U.S. DOT sees AV 3.0 as the beginning of a national discussion about the future of our on-road surface transportation system.
  • Autonomous Maintenance Technology — A partnership between Colorado State University (CSU), the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), and others to support and promote collaborative research efforts in the field of autonomous technologies in work zone applications. One recent example is the first-of-its kind work zone vehicle designed to advance safety for roadway maintenance crews. Customarily positioned behind road construction crews in order to protect workers from the traveling public, the Autonomous Impact Protection Vehicle (AIPV) increases work zone safety by removing the driver from a truck that is actually designed to be hit. CDOT has provided its Validation Data Report and its Testing Information Packet that provide details regarding the testing of this vehicle in partnership with CSU.

Decriminalization of Marijuana

Distracted, Impaired, or Unsafe Driving

  • New Ways to Measure Driver Cellphone Use — New studies from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety suggest that roadside cameras and telematics data could provide a more complete picture of driver cellphone use. October 2023.
  • Sharing the Road with Commercial Vehicles — In this report, the National Distracted Driving Coalition (NDDC) draws attention to the unique safety concerns that all drivers should keep in mind while sharing the road with large commercial vehicles, while also highlighting existing educational programs that can be integrated into employee training programs. September 2023.
  • Zero Distractions Campaign — Founded by the National Tank Truck Carriers, the goal is to partner with other campaigns and organizations to build awareness for distracted driving while changing driver and passenger behavior through pledges to have zero distractions while driving.

FMCSA Rulemakings and Programs

Impacts of COVID-19

Research and Partnerships between Government, Universities, and Industry

Work Zone Safety

  • FHWA Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) Safety in Work Zones — This Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) site contains information about CMV-involved fatal work zone crashes over the past 10 years, noteworthy practices, and resources. The site also provides links to the National Work Zone Safety Information Clearinghouse, the CMV Safety in Work Zones Targeted Action Plan, the Identification of National Work Zone Safety Objectives and Activities Report, and the Work Zone Traffic Management site.
NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050