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USDOT Awards Nearly $80 Million In Grants To Improve Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s FMCSA – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced an award of nearly 80 million in grants to state and educational institutions to enhance the safety of commercial motor vehicle (CMV). The grants awarded are so far the highest ever funding level for the commercial motor vehicle and road safety.

Highlights of FMCSA grants include:

  • $45 million in high Priority (H.P.) grants – to enhance the commercial motor vehicle safety efforts of state, along with advanced technological capabilities within the states.
  • $32.7 million in improving the Commercial Driver’s License Program Implementation (CLDP) grants to enhance efforts by states – to improve the national commercial driver’s license (CDL) program.
  • $2 million in Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training (CMVOST) grants – to 20 educational institutions for helping veterans for jobs as commercial bus and truck drivers.

This award will support FMCSA’s state and local safety partners and illustrates the Trump-led administration’s commitment to reduce truck crashes and improve safety on America’s roadways.

Where do the funds go?

These funds go directly to the neediest group – the states, local communities and educational institutions. The H.P. grants provide money to the state commercial vehicle safety efforts, such as state DOT inspections and enforcement. They also help the states to implement technology for better improvement of the state’s transportation system of CMV operations in the borders. States and territories receiving this funding include Kentucky, Massachusetts and Puerto Rico.

The CDLPI grant program help states comply with the FMCSA’s standards and regulations regarding commercial motor vehicle driver’s licenses. Recipients of CDLPI grant include state Supreme Courts and state governments themselves. The group also extends to non-profit organizations that help further in this cause – Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance. The CVSA will be conducting an International Roadcheck in September.

The CMVOST grant program awards money to various educational institutions that provide commercial truck and bus driving training. These schools are often public and non-profit, in which some cases, the award possibly goes to private and even profit-educational organizations. These include post-secondary educational institutions, truck driver training schools’ associations, accredited public or private colleges, universities, vocational-technical schools and state and local governments including federally recognized Native American tribal governments.

In short, nearly 60% of FMCSA’s funding is provided to states and local communities through grant funding, which in general aims at enhancing commercial motor vehicle safety.

About FMCSA grant opportunities – who are eligible?

  • The FMCSA – Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration safety grant opportunities are beneficial and available to the State and local government agencies in one of the 50 states, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
  • Eligible applicants for FMCSA funding opportunities should be working on commercial motor vehicle safety activities.
  • They should demonstrate a capacity to work with highway traffic safety stakeholders, which may include, but are not limited to.
  • State and local enforcement agencies, State departments of public safety.,
  • Associations that aims at providing safety on the commercial motor vehicle and training issues and other industry stakeholders.

The FMCSA State and local government grant recipients often work in conjunction with for-profit and non-profit organizations including businesses, public and private institutions of higher education, and independent contractor consultants.

An overview of High Priority (H.P) Grant

The H.P. grant by FMCSA is to provide federal financial assistance to:

  • Enhance the MCSAP commercial vehicle safety plan (CVSP) activities.
  • Maintain innovative technology or new projects that are not included in the CVSP, but will have a positive impact on CMV safety.
  • HP CMV safety-related activities and projects include:
  • supporting the participation in performance and registration information systems management.
  • Conducting safety data improvement projects.
  • Increasing public awareness and educating on CMV safety
  • Targeting the unsafe driving of CMV and non-CMV in high-risk crash areas.
  • Improving the safe transportation of goods and services in foreign commerce.
  • Improving CMV safety and compliance with CMV safety regulations.

An overview of the Commercial Driver License (CDL) grant program

The CDL program implementation grant program provides financial assistance to entities capable of executing national projects that aid states in their compliance efforts.

CDL grant program activities include:

  • Ensuring that only qualified drivers receive and retain a CDL.
  • Maintaining the concept that there is only one driving record and one licensing document is there for every driver.
  • Conducting knowledge and skill tests before issuing a CDL
  • To impose appropriate disqualifications against any driver who violates specific regulations and commits serious offences.
  • To work in conjunction with the FMCSA’s combined efforts of reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities between trucks and buses.

An overview of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Operator Safety Training (CMVOST) grant

Under this grant program, the primary funding priority is given to regional or multi-state educational or non-profit organizations that recruit and train current and former members of the U.S Armed Forces and their spouses in receiving training to transition to the CMV operation industry. The eligible candidates for CMVOST grant program include state or local governments, accredited post-secondary educational institutions as well.

CMVOST grant objectives include:

  • To expand the number of CDL holders to help reduce the CMV crashes and associated severities on U.S. roads.
  • To assist the current or former members of the United States Armed Forces and their spouses to receive training to the CMV operation industry.

The FMCSA not only provides rules and regulations for CMV operations, but it also acts as a funder of small entities. As per the numbers, almost 60% of all the FMCSA funding passes to states and local communities through grant funding. The rest is spent on federal affairs. With these 80 million grants, the state can expect to see a reduced number of crashes along with safer roads for everyone.

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