FMCSA Releases Updated Rulemakings Report
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently released its February significant rulemakings report. The significant rulemakings report provides a summary and the status for all significant rulemakings that FMCSA currently has pending or has issued recently. The Agency updates the report every month, and the information in the report is not intended to commit FMCSA to specific conclusions or actions.
The following rulemakings TIA will be closely monitoring and providing industry comments where necessary. The rulemakings include:
Carrier Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) NPRM
FMCSA proposes to amend the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) to adopt revised methodologies that would result in a safety fitness determination (SFD). The proposed methodologies would determine when a motor carrier is not fit to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) in or affecting interstate commerce based on:
1. the carrier’s performance in relation to five of the Agency’s Behavioral Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs);
2. an investigation; or
3. a combination of on-road safety data and investigation information.
The intended effect of this action is to reduce crashes caused by CMV drivers and motor carriers, resulting in death, injuries, and property damage on U.S. highways, by more effectively using FMCSA data and resources to identify unfit motor carriers and to remove them from the Nation’s roadways.
The notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) is scheduled to be released for public view on July 1, 2015. This date has been continuously delayed due to what the Agency calls, “additional coordination necessary” and “unanticipated issues requiring further analysis.” What this means in simple terms, is industry concerns with the integrity of the BASIC data. In the January report it had the NPRM scheduled for June 2015.
Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) Final Rule
This rulemaking would establish:
1. minimum performance and design standards for hours-of-service (HOS) electronic logging devices (ELDs);
2. requirements for the mandatory use of these devices by drivers currently required to prepare HOS records of duty status (RODS);
3. requirements concerning HOS supporting documents; and
4. measures to address concerns about harassment resulting from the mandatory use of ELDs.
This final rule is scheduled to be published on November 9, 2015. This date has been pushed back over a month (January report September 30, 2015, due to additional coordination necessary.
MAP-21 Enhancements and other updates to the Unified Registration System (URS) NPRM
In accordance with Section 32106 of MAP-21, FMCSA proposes to:
1. adjust the URS registration fee for new interstate motor carriers, freight forwarders, brokers, intermodal equipment providers (IEPs), hazardous materials safety permit (HMSP) applicants, and cargo tank facilities under FMCSA jurisdiction that must register with the Agency to operate in interstate commerce;
2. implement several MAP-21 provisions that require changes to the URS regulations, the online Application for USDOT Number/Operating Authority Registration (Form MCSA-1) and MCSA-1 Instructions;
3. prohibit transfers of operating authority registration; and
4. make several technical amendments to the MCSA-1 Form and Instructions for purposes of clarification.
This NPRM is currently scheduled to be released for public comment on April 19, 2016. The date has not changed between the January and February reports.
Prohibition of Coercion Final Rule
Section 32911 of MAP-21 amended 49 U.S.C. § 31136(a) to require that regulations governing commercial motor vehicle safety ´ensure ... an operator of a commercial motor vehicle is not coerced by a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or transportation intermediary to operate a commercial vehicle in violation of a regulation promulgated under 49 U.S.C. § 31136 or chapters 51 or 313 of title 49, U.S.C.´
This Final Rule is scheduled to be released on September 10, 2015. This date has not changed between the January and February reports. TIA filed formal comments to the NPRM and has concerns about vicarious liability concerns and the employer/employee relationship established by this rulemaking.
Financial Responsibility for Motor Carriers, Freight Forwarders and Brokers ANPRM
The FMCSA announces that it is considering a rulemaking to increase the minimum levels of financial responsibility for motor carriers, including liability coverage for bodily injury or property damage in the case of freight and passenger motor carriers. The legislative history of the Federal minimum insurance requirements strongly suggests that Congress recognized that crash costs would change and that DOT would regularly examine the levels and make adjustments as necessary. In completing the report Congress required under section 32104 of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), FMCSA has determined that the current financial responsibility minimums are inadequate to fully cover the costs of some crashes in light of increased medical costs and DOTs revised value of statistical life estimates.
The FMCSA is also considering extending the financial responsibility requirements to private motor carriers, as authorized by section 4120 of the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU).
In addition, FMCSA is considering financial responsibility requirements for passenger carrier brokers, implementation of certain MAP-21 provisions concerning broker and freight forwarder financial responsibility, revisions of the rules concerning self-insurance and trip insurance.
The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) was published for public comments on November 28, 2014. TIA through its Highway and Logistics Conference has developed comments to the ANPRM which will be filed before the February 26th deadline. It is unclear at the time, how long the Agency will review the comments before issuing a NPRM.
If you have any questions about any of the rulemakings, contact Chris Burroughs (firstname.lastname@example.org, 703.299.5705.)