What New Drivers Need To Know About The Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act (CMVSA):
The CMVSA was created with two goals: First, to ensure that commercial drivers were qualified to operate those vehicles, and secondly, to remove unsafe, unqualified drivers from the road.
The CMVSA of 1986 created a new national program within the Department of Transportation (DOT) to establish minimum testing and licensing standards for commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers.
Before that, standards and testing were left up to each individual state, with no centralized system of collecting driver data.
Many states either did not require a CDL to drive CMV's, or did not require testing in a vehicle.
It also established the Commercial Driver's License Information System (CDLIS), which electronically warehouses commercial driver licensing and conviction data.
What Does The CMVSA Do?
The CMVSA took what was a haphazard CMV licensing system and consolidated it within the DOT , creating a national system of standards and testing for CMV drivers.
Background and Timeline Of The CMVSA:
Before the establishment of the CMVSA in 1986, different state standards and laws and no centralized system of collecting data meant that truck drivers with poor driving records could just move on to the next state and get multiple CDL's.
In 1987,the CMVSA made it illegal for commercial drivers to hold licenses in more than one state, and illegal for employers to hire those that do.
It also established disqualification requirements for driving under the influence of alcohol, as well as other controlled substance and other serious traffic violations.
The CMVSA established minimum standards for states to follow regarding testing (knowledge and driving skills) and licensing of CMV drivers.
It also established the various class of CDL's along with the accompanying endorsements and restrictions.
Established at 0.04% the blood alcohol level at which a commercial driver would be considered impaired.
Established compliance standards for states in order to get federal highway funding.