Five Republicans in the U.S. House have introduced a bill that would require shippers, brokers, freight forwarders and others to vet carriers prior to hiring them. The bill also aims to remove the public assumption that carrier rankings in the DOT’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program should be used as a tool to hire carriers.
The bill would require those hiring carriers to: (1) check their registration status with the DOT, (2) ensure they hold the proper amount of liability insurance and (3) ensure they have not been given “unsatisfactory” safety ratings.
A similar bill was introduced last year, but did not make it out of committee.
H.R. 1220 was introduced Feb. 26 by Reps. John Duncan (R-Tenn.), Rodney Davis (R-Ill.), Richard Hanna (R-N.Y.), Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) and Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.), and they’ve billed it as one that would “enhance interstate commerce by creating a national hiring standard for motor carriers.”
Part of the enhancements to safety, the lawmakers say, will be removing the “confusing and conflicting vagaries” of CSA’s BASIC rankings — a move pushed in this bill by the broker trade group Transportation Intermediaries Association.
“TIA will continue to advocate that the CSA initiative is a valuable internal tool for the Agency, but until the Safety Fitness Determination rulemaking is complete, the BASIC data should not be used as a tool for carrier selection,” according to the lawmakers’ announcement of the bill.
Major trucking groups like the American Trucking Associations and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association have made a call in recent months to take it a step further than TIA’s bill. They have asked FMCSA and lawmakers to remove the CSA rankings from public view so they could not be used as against carriers, either hiring or otherwise.
The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance — the group representing the enforcement community — has also asked FMCSA to remove the scores from public view until the agency can shore up concerns from industry stakeholders regarding its data quality and its methodology.
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ARLINGTON, Va., Friday, Feb. 27 – A federally appointed committee tasked with negotiating a future driver-training rule for entry-level truck and bus drivers has wrapped up its first two-day meeting. Land Line Magazine Managing Editor Jami Jones says the committee has its ground rules in place to move forward and has formed subcommittees tasked with finding a consensus on a training curriculum, accreditation and cost-benefit analysis.
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s 26 member Entry-Level Driver Training Advisory Committee consists of representatives from Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, American Trucking Associations, trucking schools, bus and motor coach groups, unions, law enforcement, FMCSA and more.
Congress required FMCSA to form the committee to negotiate a rulemaking.
“On the first day of meeting, they wrapped up some key issues that the committee is going to have to overcome or just resolve during this process, from what skills test is going to be required at the end of driver training to what would be the process for determining the adequacy of training,” Jones told “Land Line Now.”
“They moved forward in developing committees to address all of those different key items that they identified either as problematic or issues that need to be addressed,” she said. Some of the subcommittees will tackle cost-benefit analysis of a driver-training rule, certification/accreditation for training facilities, and an entry-level driver training curriculum.
Jones says it’s interesting that FMCSA is focusing so intently on cost-benefit for a training rule.
“The agency seems more bent on justifying this one through a cost-benefit than they have on other rulemakings like insurance minimums where they just grabbed at whatever research was out there and said, yep, we’re good to go,” she said.
“It’s interesting to see them be so methodical on this rulemaking that’s so commonsense that nobody in the room can argue against it.”
Data, she said, has never been collected that follows a driver candidate through a training school and tracks the candidate’s performance on the road. Subcommittee work could help determine a way forward on that issue.
“They are tasked with coming to a consensus of the framework of what a curriculum should be, how it should be measured, how it should be tracked – all of those things,” Jones said.
“The ground rules allow for three dissenting votes, so essentially they can go forward with 23 out of 26 agreeing,” she said. “And the agency can go forward with a notice of proposed rulemaking based on what this committee develops.”
“It’s an interesting dynamic to see people from differing point of views, knowing that we’re going to have some Survivor Island-kind of moves where there will be deals made and positions dropped in hopes that they get support on another one. It will be an interesting process to see what they come up with in the end.”
The committee is scheduled to meet five more times: March 19-20, April 9-10, April 23-24, May 14-15 and May 28-29. Committee members were asked to complete their work by May 29 and have a written statement ready for the agency by mid-June.
“Land Line Now” News Anchor Reed Black contributed to this story.
- See more at: http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryID=28572#.VPSitPnF9PJ
Arlington, Va. – The American Trucking Associations is asking the estimated 46.3 million motorists that are expected to take to the highways this Thanksgiving to drive safely and follow several simple tips in order to keep this a safe and joyous holiday season.
“The only turkeys we want to see are on the table, not on the highway,” said Share the Road Professional Driver, Byron Bramwell with YRC Freight. “The roads will be especially busy with people visiting family for Thanksgiving or starting their holiday shopping. Leave yourself a little extra time and space, slow down and be attentive while you’re driving.”
Among the tips Bramwell and his fellow Share the Road professionals offer to motorists are:
“This is a season where many professional drivers, including the ones that delivered an estimated 46 million turkeys for Thanksgiving, are away from home, so in addition to sharing the road safely, make sure you give them a little extra thought and thanks as you travel this year,” ATA President and CEO Bill Graves said.
The Share the Road Professional Drivers would like to remind the motoring public that from driveway to highway, safety requires patience and dedication.
*Editors: Share the Road Professional Drivers in your area are available to speak about Thanksgiving and Winter safe driving tips during the holiday weekend.
Share the Road is a highway safety outreach program of the American Trucking Associations that educates all drivers about sharing the roads safely with large trucks. An elite team of professional truck drivers with millions of accident-free miles deliver life-saving messages to millions of motorists annually. The safety program is sponsored by Mack Trucks Inc. and Michelin North America Inc. www.atastr.org. Follow the Share the Road on Twitter and Facebook.
Great video showing how trucks move the nation's goods. This example is with strawberries
www.TruckloadOfRespect.com re-launched with three key features:
· Select a Route allows you to pick up the lane(s) best for your organization.
· Donate a Wreath allows you to support the 150th Anniversary of Arlington National Cemetary by placing a wreath at every gravestone.
· Sponsor a Load matches your funds to an owner operator needing assistance to haul a load.
You determine your level of giving.
Trucking plays an essential role in WAA’s annual wreath-laying event. Every year, professional truck drivers donate their time and motor carriers donate their trucks and fuel to deliver the wreaths. In 2013 alone, more than 500,000 wreaths were delivered to almost 900 veterans cemeteries across the United States. Since 2012, TCA has coordinated this nationwide effort, as well as raised money for the placement of wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery.
The goal is to place a wreath on every gravestone at Arlington National Cemetary in honor of its 150th Anniversary.
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