Editor’s note: Some links below are to government website and they may be off-line at times.

What are the sources of proposed regulations by agencies like the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration?

Professional staff and administration officials may recommend some new regulations while others may come via petition by private entities, such as trade associations, motor carriers or drivers. However, Congress remains the primary source of new regulations. For FMCSA and NHTSA, the infrastructure legislation now under debate on Capitol Hill will also provide increased regulatory direction.

Regardless of the source, the Unified Regulatory Agenda captures all regulatory activity  which is maintained by the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) within the White House Office of Management and Budget. The White House updates that listing twice a year, spring and fall. OIRA just release the 2021 spring update..

These Unified Regulatory Agenda updates offer a good opportunity to see what is “on the plate” at FMCSA, NHTSA or any other agency. The “Agency Rule List – Spring 2021” for the U.S. Department of Transportation, for example, shows 19 entries for FMCSA, seven in the “proposed rule” stage and 12 in the “final rule” stage.

For example, FMCSA has begun the rulemaking process for updates to the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse procedures. At the same time, FMCSA is near finalization of how state driver licensing agencies must treat commercial driver’s licenses where the CDL holder has a controlled substance (drug) and alcohol program violation.

Scrolling to the right-hand side of the rule list and clicking on the highlighted Regulation Identifier Number (RIN) will bring up:

The entries for NHTSA include even more items, as this agency regulates standards for new motor vehicles at all levels, not just trucks. Currently, NHTSA is working on Heavy Vehicle Automatic Emergency Braking.

Both the House and Senate infrastructure bills would require automatic emergency braking on trucks, a technology already required on passenger cars. The “Drive-Safe Act” (S. 659) apprenticeship program for under-21 truck drivers and the “Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act” (H.R. 3523) on speed limiters also requires automatic emergency braking. The NHTSA rulemaking on automatic emergency braking for trucks would propose test procedures for measuring performance, beginning April 2022.

Keep an eye on the PrePass Blog for discussion of many proposed regulations. And return to the Unified Regulatory Agenda for new listings and updates on agency activity.