The Department of Transportation is proposing to reduce paperwork filing requirements for driver vehicle inspection reports or “DVIRs” to help lower compliance costs for the trucking industry – to the tune of $1.7 billion annually, according to the agency.

“President Obama challenged his Administration to find ways to cut waste and red tape, a challenge I pledged to meet during my confirmation hearing,” noted Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx in a statement. “With this proposal, we are delivering on that pledge, saving business billions of dollars while maintaining our commitment to safety.  It’s the kind of win-win solution that I hope our Department will continue to find over the coming months.”

Foxx said current federal regulations require commercial truck drivers to conduct pre- and post-trip equipment inspections and file DVIRs after each inspection, regardless of whether or not an issue requiring repairs is identified – making DVIRs are the 19th-highest paperwork burden, based on the number of hours needed to comply, imposed across all federal agencies. Yet only 5% of reports filed include defects, Foxx noted.

Under DOT’s new proposal, however, DVIRs would be required only if defects or deficiencies were discovered by or reported to the driver during the day’s operations.

“We can better focus on the 5% of problematic truck inspection reports by eliminating the 95% that report the status quo,” added Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administrator Anne Ferro in a statement. “Moving to a defect-only reporting system would reduce a significant paperwork burden facing truck drivers and save the industry billions without compromising safety.”

The American Trucking Assns. (ATA) is one industry trade group that is responding positively to DOT’s DVIR paperwork reduction proposal.

“We appreciate the Obama Administration’s proposal to provide relief on a longstanding paperwork-related burden in the trucking industry, and we look forward to working with Secretary Foxx to implement it in the near future,” said Bill Graves, ATA’s president & CEO.

“Though this step will provide modest relief to professional drivers and motor carriers," he contineud, "ATA is optimistic this signals Secretary Foxx’s willingness to provide reasonable and appropriate relief to the industry and he will quickly act to provide relief on more substantive issues.”