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Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability

Performance Audit of the Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Enforcement Program Administered by the Department of Transportation , Report No. 94-14, December 1994

  • The Florida Department of Transportation's effectiveness in enforcing commercial motor vehicle safety laws has been hindered by several problems. There are substantial variations in the enforcement actions performed by its 10 field offices. Contributing factors include limited training, lack of a system to aggregate and analyze field office activity data, and lack of a statewide procedures manual. The Motor Carrier Compliance Office (MCCO) also lacks a method for monitoring whether carriers correct vehicle defects cited during safety inspections. MCCO needs vehicles that can be used when assigned patrol cars are being repaired. MCCO's radio systems are outdated and officers are frequently unable to contact field offices, perform background checks on drivers and vehicles, or to request emergency backup. Furthermore, the current statutory penalty for failing to correct violations will not conform to levels the Federal Highway Administration is requiring states to implement by 1996.
  • Current statutory requirements precluded Florida from receiving approximately $1.4 million in federal funding for the Program in federal fiscal year 1994-95. These statutory provisions allow Florida intrastate drivers to exceed federal regulations on the number of hours that drivers may operate their vehicles. For several years MCCO has been approved for a federal grant to study whether these provisions result in excessive driver fatigue but has not yet started this research. This study, if completed, would help resolve the issue of whether Florida's driving time regulations create safety hazards.

    Copies of this report in print or alternate accessible format may be obtained by telephone (850/488-0021), by FAX (850/487-9213), in person, or by mail (OPPAGA Report Production, Claude Pepper Building, Room 312, 111 W. Madison St., Tallahassee, FL 32399-1475).
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