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Blog: DOT Seeks to Cut Paperwork, Saving Truckers Time and Money


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In January 2011, President Obama outlined a plan to create a 21st-century regulatory system -- one that protects public health and welfare while promoting economic growth, innovation, competitiveness, and job creation. Part of that plan was an unprecedented government-wide review of regulations already on the books. During my confirmation hearings, I pledged to accept the President's challenge and to make improving efficiency one of my top priorities.

And with today's announcement from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, we are delivering on that pledge.

Today, we are proposing a rule that will dramatically eliminate a major burden and save trucking companies about $1.7 billion each year.

Every day truck drivers inspect their equipment before and after a trip. Then, they submit reports, which the company they work for must keep on file. They have to do this whether or not they find a defect. And 95 percent of the time, there is nothing wrong with their truck.

If the rule we're proposing goes into effect, we'll eliminate the burden of completing and retaining reports when there is nothing to report. Truck drivers will still do the same inspections, but only file a report if there's something wrong. It's common sense, and it will save truck drivers an estimated 47.2 million hours annually that could be better spent.

It also represents the largest paperwork reduction achieved since President Obama's May 2012 Executive Order to reduce regulatory burdens on the private sector.

Last year, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also eliminated similar "no defect" inspection reports for intermodal equipment trailers and saved the intermodal industry about $54 million annually with no adverse impact on safety.

So, today's proposal is one more step toward greater efficiency and cost-savings.

And it won't be our last.

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