Motor carrier safety assistance program

CurrencyCurrent through P.L. 118-13 (published on on 08/07/2023)
Citation49 U.S.C. § 31102

(a) IN GENERAL.-The Secretary of Transportation shall administer a motor carrier safety assistance program funded under section 31104.

(b) GOAL.-The goal of the program is to ensure that the Secretary, States, local governments, other political jurisdictions, federally recognized Indian tribes, and other persons work in partnership to establish programs to improve motor carrier, commercial motor vehicle, and driver safety to support a safe and efficient surface transportation system by-

(1) making targeted investments to promote safe commercial motor vehicle transportation, including the transportation of passengers and hazardous materials;

(2) investing in activities likely to generate maximum reductions in the number and severity of commercial motor vehicle crashes and in fatalities resulting from such crashes;

(3) adopting and enforcing effective motor carrier, commercial motor vehicle, and driver safety regulations and practices consistent with Federal requirements; and

(4) assessing and improving statewide performance by setting program goals and meeting performance standards, measures, and benchmarks.


(1) IN GENERAL.-In carrying out the program, the Secretary shall prescribe procedures for a State to submit a multiple-year plan, and annual updates thereto, under which the State agrees to assume responsibility for improving motor carrier safety by adopting and enforcing State regulations, standards, and orders that are compatible with the regulations, standards, and orders of the Federal Government on commercial motor vehicle safety and hazardous materials transportation safety.

(2) CONTENTS.-The Secretary shall approve a State plan if the Secretary determines that the plan is adequate to comply with the requirements of this section, and the plan-

(A) implements performance-based activities, including deployment and maintenance of technology to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of commercial motor vehicle safety programs;

(B) designates a lead State commercial motor vehicle safety agency responsible for administering the plan throughout the State;

(C) contains satisfactory assurances that the lead State commercial motor vehicle safety agency has or will have the legal authority, resources, and qualified personnel necessary to enforce the regulations, standards, and orders;

(D) contains satisfactory assurances that the State will devote adequate resources to the administration of the plan and enforcement of the regulations, standards, and orders;

(E) provides a right of entry (or other method a State may use that the Secretary determines is adequate to obtain necessary information) and inspection to carry out the plan;

(F) provides that all reports required under this section be available to the Secretary on request;

(G) provides that the lead State commercial motor vehicle safety agency will adopt the reporting requirements and use the forms for recordkeeping, inspections, and investigations that the Secretary prescribes;

(H) requires all registrants of commercial motor vehicles to demonstrate knowledge of applicable safety regulations, standards, and orders of the Federal Government and the State;

(I) provides that the State will grant maximum reciprocity for inspections conducted under the North American Inspection Standards through the use of a nationally accepted system that allows ready identification of previously inspected commercial motor vehicles;

(J) ensures that activities described in subsection (h), if financed through grants to the State made under this section, will not diminish the effectiveness of the development and implementation of the programs to improve motor carrier, commercial motor vehicle, and driver safety as described in subsection (b);

(K) ensures that the lead State commercial motor vehicle safety agency will coordinate the plan, data collection, and information systems with the State highway safety improvement program required under section 148(c) of title 23;

(L) ensures participation in appropriate Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration information technology and data systems and other information systems by all appropriate jurisdictions receiving motor carrier safety assistance program funding;

(M) ensures that information is exchanged among the States in a timely manner;

(N) provides satisfactory assurances that the State will undertake efforts that will emphasize and improve enforcement of State and local traffic safety laws and regulations related to commercial motor vehicle safety;

(O) provides satisfactory assurances that the State will address national priorities and performance goals, including-

(i) activities aimed at removing impaired commercial motor vehicle drivers from the highways of the United States through adequate enforcement of regulations on the use of alcohol and controlled substances and by ensuring ready roadside access to alcohol detection and measuring equipment;

(ii) activities aimed at providing an appropriate level of training to State motor carrier safety assistance program officers and employees on recognizing drivers impaired by alcohol or controlled substances; and

(iii) when conducted with an appropriate commercial motor vehicle inspection, criminal interdiction activities, and appropriate strategies for carrying out those interdiction activities, including interdiction activities that affect the transportation of controlled substances (as defined in section 102 of the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 ( 21 U.S.C. 802 ) and listed in part 1308 of title 21, Code of Federal Regulations, as updated and republished from time to time) by any occupant of a commercial motor vehicle;

(P) provides that the State has established and dedicated sufficient resources to a program to ensure that-

(i) the State collects and reports to the Secretary accurate, complete, and timely motor carrier safety data; and

(ii) the State participates in a national motor carrier safety data correction system prescribed by the Secretary;

(Q) ensures that the State will cooperate in the enforcement of financial responsibility requirements under sections 13906, 31138, and 31139 and regulations issued under those sections;

(R) ensures consistent, effective, and reasonable sanctions;

(S) ensures that roadside inspections will be conducted at locations that are adequate to protect the safety of drivers and enforcement personnel;

(T) provides that the State will include in the training manuals for the licensing examination to drive noncommercial motor vehicles and commercial motor vehicles information on best practices for driving safely in the vicinity of noncommercial and commercial motor vehicles;

(U) provides that the State will enforce the registration requirements of sections 13902 and 31134 by prohibiting the operation of any vehicle discovered to be operated by a motor carrier without a registration issued under those sections or to be operated beyond the scope of the motor carrier's registration;

(V) provides that the State will conduct comprehensive and highly visible traffic enforcement and commercial motor vehicle safety inspection programs in high-risk locations and corridors;

(W) except in the case of an imminent hazard or obvious safety hazard, ensures that an inspection of a vehicle transporting passengers for a motor carrier of passengers is conducted at a bus station, terminal, border crossing, maintenance facility, destination, or other location where a motor carrier may make a planned stop (excluding a weigh station);

(X) ensures that the State will transmit to its roadside inspectors notice of each Federal exemption granted under section 31315(b) of this title and sections 390.23 and 390.25 of title 49, Code of Federal Regulations, and provided to the State by the Secretary, including the name of the person that received the exemption and any terms and conditions that apply to the exemption;

(Y) except as provided in subsection (d), provides that the State-

(i) will conduct safety audits of interstate and, at the State's discretion, intrastate new entrant motor carriers under section 31144(g); and

(ii) if the State authorizes a third party to conduct safety audits under section 31144(g) on its behalf, the State verifies the quality of the work conducted and remains solely responsible for the management and oversight of the activities;

(Z) provides that the State agrees to fully participate in the performance and registration information systems management under section 31106(b) not later than October 1, 2020, by complying with the conditions for participation under paragraph (3) of that section, or demonstrates to the Secretary an alternative approach for identifying and immobilizing a motor carrier with serious safety deficiencies in a manner that provides an equivalent level of safety;

(AA) in the case of a State that shares a land border with another country, provides that the State-

(i) will conduct a border commercial motor vehicle safety program focusing on international commerce that includes enforcement and related projects; or

(ii) will forfeit all funds calculated by the Secretary based on border-related activities if the State declines to conduct the program described in clause (i) in its plan; and

(BB) in the case of a State that meets the other requirements of this section and agrees to comply with the requirements established in subsection (l)(3), provides that the State may fund operation and maintenance costs associated with innovative technology deployment under subsection (l)(3) with motor carrier safety assistance program funds authorized under section 31104(a)(1).


(A) IN GENERAL.-Subject to subparagraph (B), the Secretary shall publish each approved State multiple-year plan, and each annual update thereto, on a publically accessible Internet Web site of the Department of Transportation not later than 30 days after the date the Secretary approves the plan or update.

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