Two former Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration officials recently revealed their thoughts on top trucking regulatory issues in the new presidential administration. The informative discussion happened during a recent PrePass webinar hosted by Transport Topics.
Annette Sandberg, former FMCSA administrator, and Warren Hoemann, her deputy and now a PrePass consultant, agreed that the alignment of Congress and the executive branch under one political party will streamline the adoption of regulatory changes by FMCSA and other agencies.
One example may be driver detention. They pointed out electronic logging devices provide better visibility for the supply chain, highlighting where delays occur, leaving drivers unable to continue their work. If the administration deems it necessary to regulate of shipper and receiver practices, they said Congress will need to provide that power. Currently, FMCSA lacks jurisdiction over shippers and receivers.
An increase in the minimum level of insurance motor carriers must carry sites high on the list of likely new regulations. The current minimum of $750,000 for non-hazardous cargo remained the same for many years. Recent “nuclear verdicts” against trucking companies has the industry seeking tort reform in return for an increase in the insurance minimum. The Senate may take up that debate.
Regulatory changes in trucking equipment also appear likely with speed limiters facing consideration. The prior administration opened the door to speed limiters by requiring them in the Under-21 Pilot Project. FMCSA will have to address whether to require only new trucks to have speed limiters and what would be the maximum speed.
Sandberg and Hoemann also provided unique insight on:
- Reforms to the FMCSA’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program, including possibly making CSA scores public
- Changes in medical regulations for truck drivers, including mandating sleep apnea testing for truck drivers
- Mandating tougher rear underride guards and requiring side guards on new trailers