Regs czar touts eased trucker rule as success in ‘lookback’ effort

His blog post comes a week after the Transportation Department issued new draft rules that would save the trucking industry as much as $1.7 billion annually.

Under current rules, big rig drivers are required to conduct daily inspections of their trucks — both before and after trips — and file Driver Vehicle Inspection Reports (DVIRs) after each inspection.

“They put in long days on the road. And at the beginning and end of every one of those days, they have to inspect their trucks and file a report — even if they don’t find any problems,” Shelanski wrote, noting that the paperwork burden fills roughly 50 million hours every year.

Yet only about 5 percent of the reports identify problems.

Under the new draft regulations, the inspection requirements would remain in place, but drivers would only have to file reports if they find problems.

Shelanski said the new rules reflect only the latest success of the government-wide look-back initiative begun in 2011. The White House has said agencies have identified hundreds of areas where regulations can be improved in ways that could help save billions of dollars.

Shelanski said the administration is intent on further institutionalizing the initiative.