Tag Archive: MAP-21


trucking120Last Friday, March 14th, FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro told Congress that the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration wasn’t established to protect the trucking industry, as she appeared before them to defend the agency’s public display of trucking company safety scores and new hours-of-service rules.

Ms. Ferro was appearing at an oversight hearing on the implementation of various MAP-21 mandates. While she was there, several members of the House Transportation Subcommittee on Highways and Transit questioned Ferro about some “unintended consequences” of HOS changes and about the recent Government Accountability Office study that was critical of the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program.

Rep. Richard Hanna commented that FMCSA is “hurting the people that you are paid to help.”

He brought up inaccurate and unreliable carrier data leading to “erroneous” safety scores under CSA, and in turn to higher insurance costs, expensive litigation, and loss of business. Hanna also lambasted FMCSA’s field study regarding the changes to HOS.

These are real-world, tortuous problems that you’re putting these truckers through, and frankly the organization acts like they’ve got all the time in the world to correct these problems. I think you need to back up, ma’am, and take a look at some of this stuff. Are we so thick we can’t hear the very people whose lives we’re impacting? Is there nobody you believe except some academic who does a study?

Ferro shot back,

I’m not hired to help the industry. I’m hired to ensure the safety of the traveling public and improve the safety of the operations of trucks and buses. That’s what the agency was created to do, and as its lead I’m very proud to be a part of that.

Ferro went on to explain that the hours-of-service rule was designed to reduce the cumulative fatigue experienced by truck drivers, and that while the agency recognizes the financial impact on trucking companies, there is a “much larger safety and health benefit.”

Other members of the committee cited instances of a driver stuck in traffic, or of a female driver being forced to stop at an unsafe location when the available duty hours run out.

According to Rep. Markwayne Mullen the new hours-of-service rules are “hypocritical,”. He also challenged Ferro to do her job based on the driver HOS limits.

Drivers know when they’re tired and when they’re not…they’re professionals. Ma’am, no one regulates how many hours you can work. This is a one-size-fits all approach, and you don’t want to hear about it.

Ferro then responded that there are “significant operating opportunities” within the new rule, and that Mullen’s call to focus on lawbreakers was “the heart of CSA.”

In a similar vein, Rep. Lou Barletta asked why, given the GAO’s report of the program’s shortcomings, FMCSA isn’t “doing the right thing” by removing carrier scores from the website “until CSA is fixed.”

Ferro responded by emphasizing that the agency is committed to improving the program, but she disagreed with GAO recommendation that CSA should focus more on larger trucking companies. Additionally, she emphasized that CSA is designed to “anticipate” safety problems, and not to wait until after crashes have occurred to measure carriers, as the GOA study suggested.

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trucking93On February 12th, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced a proposed rule establishing a Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse.

This rule will lead to the creation of a database of CDL holders that have failed or refused a drug test. It will also require carriers to upload such information and consult the database when hiring drivers.

The agency was set to publish the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the Federal Register last Friday,  Feb. 14, according to a DOT report from Feb. 10. However, the Publication Date is still listed as “to Be Determined” (TBD) on their website.

The establishment of the Drug Clearinghouse is required by the MAP-21 highway funding act. The rule cleared the White House’s Office of Management and Budget Jan. 28.

According to FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro.,

We are leveraging technology to create a one-stop verification point to help companies hire drug and alcohol-free drivers. This proposal moves us further down the road toward improving safety for truck and bus companies, commercial drivers and the motoring public everywhere.

The American Trucking Associations voiced their strong support for the rule, calling it “long overdue.”

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trucking72According to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), brokers and freight forwarders have until October 1, 2013 to comply with the new broker bond requirement of $75,000.

The deadline was included in a recently released list of frequently asked questions pertaining to the mandated changes in broker and freight forwarder requirements that are a part of the new highway funding law, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, or MAP-21.

The act was signed into law on July 6, 2012, which then set into motion a number of trucking-related mandates, including the new broker and freight forwarder requirements.

All brokers and freight forwarders must register with FMCSA by Oct. 1. The act also increased the amount of the broker bond to $75,000 up from the current $10,000.

The bond companies will now be obligated to report to FMCSA when the bonds are canceled and the agency is to “immediately” suspend the registration of the broker and post notification on the agency’s website, according to another new provision included in MAP-21.

To view the full DOT Q&A Document, click here.

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Southaven, MS 38671

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trucking59Hours of Service and Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA), infrastructure funding and MAP-21 implementation are all a part of the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee’s oversight plan for the 113th Congress.

The plan was released last Wednesday as part of the overarching oversight plans for the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee of which the subcommittee is a part.

Subcommittee assignments were also announced that day.

The oversight plan mentions that the trucking industry has raised concerns that the proposed HOS changes scheduled to go into effect July 1 are “overly complex, potentially reducing productivity. Additioonally, Law enforcement personnel have questioned whether the rules will require additional training for effective enforcement.”

Of particular interest to the trucking industry is the new 34-hour restart provision, which limits the use of the restart to once every 168 hours and requires two 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. periods.

MAP-21, the current surface transportation legislation passed last July, requires the FMCSA to study the restart provision.

The subcommittee said it would maintain close oversight of the rulemaking process to ensure the process furthers FMCSA’s primary mission of safety, “while ensuring the efficient movement of freight throughout the U.S. economy.”

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The Transportation Firm, LLC

384 E. Goodman Road, Ste 242

Southaven, MS 38671

E-mail: info@transportfirm.com

“Integrity, Committment, Results”

WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS ABOUT THIS BLOG!!!