The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a new Significant Rulemaking Report and in it are several items of great interest to both truck drivers and motor carriers.

A “significant” rulemaking is defined in the Congressional Review Act as:

“one that has resulted in or is likely to result in (1) an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more; (2) a major increase in costs or prices for consumers, individual industries, federal, state, or local government agencies, or geographic regions; or (3) significant adverse effects on competition, employment, investment, productivity, or innovation, or on the ability of United States-based enterprises to compete with foreign-based enterprises in domestic and export markets.”

The Congressional Review Act allows Congress to disapprove of a major (“significant”) regulation, and that is the reason the DOT publishes a separate Significant Rulemaking Report. All other rulemakings, significant and nonsignificant under that definition, are published in the spring and fall editions of the Unified Regulatory Agenda.

The February 2024 DOT Significant Rulemaking Report updates several of the regulatory developments projected by PrePass for this year:

  • Automatic Emergency Braking. The Final Rule from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is expected this April.
  • Safety Fitness Procedures. Also referred to as Safety Fitness Determination under the “CSA Overhaul” umbrella, Safety Fitness Procedures had an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) last year. June 2025 will bring the actual proposal, the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM).
  • New Entrant Exams. FMCSA will issue a Supplemental ANPRM this July.
  • Heavy Vehicle Speed Limiters. The DOT Significant Rulemaking Report calls for the Supplemental NPRM in May this year. It confirms that the speed limiters will be required of trucks 26,001 pounds and heavier, operated in interstate commerce, equipped with electronic engine control units (ECU) capable of governing the maximum speed and that the ECU setting be maintained for the service life of the vehicle. The maximum speed and specific model year trucks affected are not mentioned.

After the release of the February 2024 DOT Significant Rulemaking Report, some industry observers noted the absence of “broker transparency” among the expected rulemakings. FMCSA quickly confirmed that “broker transparency” is still in the works, it may just not have met the technical definition of a “significant” rulemaking.

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