FMCSA to begin enforcing 391.11(b)(2)

eTruckerThe Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced that a driver unable to meet the English-language requirement set forth in 391.11(b)(2) now may be placed out of service, not merely cited.

Up to now, enforcement personnel have been told to cite the driver, but not to place him out of service.

Under the new FMCSA policy, inspectors are instructed to converse with the driver in English on a minimum of the following areas:

  • His origin and destination.
  • His record of duty status, on-duty time and driving time.
  • His driver’s license.
  • Any vehicle components and systems regulated by FMCSA.Inspectors are told that they must conduct a portion of the road inspection in English, specifically the driver interview. Drivers must respond appropriately in English to demonstrate proficiency. Failure to respond appropriately to basic questions will result in an out-of-service violation.

    Inspectors are instructed to speak slowly but naturally. They are not to rush through questions and may paraphrase in English.

    Mexican carriers that operate exclusively in the border commercial zones are exempt from the change in policy. Drivers for those carriers who fail the English-language requirement within the border zone will continue to be cited only.

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