Tag Archives: FMCSA

Has FMCSA Done Due Diligence To Appropriately Address Trucking Minimum Liability Insurance Question?

After a truck crash killed our daughters, AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13) on May 4, 2013, we discovered that there were many problems with truck safety, including inadequate trucking liability insurance. In 1980, Congress set the level of liability insurance for trucking companies at a MINIMUM of $750,000. If that were adjusted for inflation, it would be $2,225,643 in 2017. Yet, DOT has not once raised that level in 37 years — thereby jeopardizing the safety of the traveling public.

In fact, on June 5, 2017, the FMCSA withdrew the Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) on the Appropriateness of the Current Financial Responsibility and Security Requirements for Motor Carriers, Brokers, and Freight Forwarders, which was intended to raise that minimum. The history of that rulemaking is summarized below.

Prior to that ANPRM, the FMCSA issued a Report in April 2014 , as required (actually one year late). They are required by Congress to issue reports every four years, which means another report should have been completed by April 4, 2017 (or thereabouts). “Section 32104 of MAP-21. . . directed the Secretary [of Transportation] to determine the appropriateness of these requirements every 4 years beginning April 4, 2013.”

The Motor Carrier Act of 1980 initially established the minimum level of financial responsibility for motor carriers:

The legislative history of the MCA shows that Congress included section 30 because “the issue of financial responsibility…is inextricably bound to the entry provisions of the legislation that directly concern the ‘fitness’ of the carrier to operate in interstate commerce.”11 Further, the legislative history of the MCA indicates that the purpose of section 30 was “to create additional incentives to carriers to maintain and operate their trucks in a safe manner as well as to assure that carriers maintain an appropriate level of financial responsibility.”12

The legislative history of section 30 indicates that setting minimum levels of financial responsibility would address two concerns. First, the minimum levels would “assure that public safety is not jeopardized” in connection with the increased entry to the industry due to deregulation.13 Second, the minimum levels would ease concerns that the largely deregulated industry would put pressure on safe operators to cut costs to meet the prices of their competitors, “some of which may cut costs by operating in violation of minimum safety standards.”14


Clearly, Congress intended for the insurance industry to be the gatekeeper of the motor carrier industry to ensure the safety of the American public.

MAP-21 continued the process to ensure that appropriate increases would be put in place. A summary of the April 2014 FMCSA Report, from the Executive Summary on page 1, sheds light on the matter:

On July 6, 2012, President Obama signed into law the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21; P.L. 112-141). Section 32104 of MAP-21 directed the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) to issue a report to the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation of the Senate and the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House of Representatives on the appropriateness of the current minimum financial responsibility requirements for motor carriers of property and passengers, and the current bond and insurance requirements for freight forwarders and brokers.

Section 32104 also directed the Secretary to issue a report on the appropriateness of these requirements every 4 years starting April 1, 2013. The Secretary delegated the responsibility for this report to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA).

Interstate motor carriers and transportation intermediaries, as well as certain intrastate hazardous materials carriers, are required by law to maintain minimum levels of financial responsibility. 2 This report explains the history of these requirements, examines the current minimum insurance levels for the different sectors, provides background on the motor carrier industry, and summarizes the findings of a recent FMCSA-sponsored study on the adequacy of the Agency’s current required minimum levels of financial responsibility, as well as findings from other reports on minimums. The report does not examine the current bond and insurance requirements for freight forwarders and brokers since MAP-21 mandated these requirements to be $75,000 effective October 1, 2013, and the Agency will report on the appropriateness of these levels after it has had the opportunity to observe their impacts.

The legislative history of minimum insurance requirements for commercial motor vehicles (CMV) indicates that Congress recognized that crash costs would change over time and that DOT would periodically examine the levels and make adjustments as necessary. A variety of recent studies indicate that inflation has greatly increased medical claims costs and related expenses. In conclusion, FMCSA has determined that the current financial responsibility minimums are due for re-evaluation. The Agency has formed a rulemaking team to further evaluate the appropriate level of financial responsibility for the motor carrier industry and has placed this rulemaking among the Agency’s high priority rules. The FMCSA will continue to meet with the stakeholders, including impacted industries, safety advocacy groups, and private citizens, as it moves forward with developing a proposed rule.


Although the Secretary delegated the responsibility for this report to the FMCSA, Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) stated to us in person on August 12, 2013 – three months after our tragic truck crash – that the Secretary of Transportation has the authority to act administratively to increase the minimum financial responsibility levels.

In fact, FMCSA, subsequent to publishing their initial report in April 2014, issued an ANPRM on November 28, 2014, to continue study of this issue. Following that, FMCSA took these actions:

  1. The Agency formed a rulemaking team to evaluate the appropriate level of financial responsibility for the motor carrier industry and placed this rulemaking amontgthe Agency’s high priority rules.

  2. This study was discussed at the FMCSA Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee (MCSAC).

  3. FMCSA asked for Public Comments.

  4. FMCSA reportedly did not receive the substantive information — through the Public Comment process – which they have stated is necessary for them to do the required cost benefit analysis (according to their interpretation of EO 12866) in order to move the rulemaking process forward (for signature by the Secretary and approval by the OMB/OIRA).

  5. FMCSA asked for voluntary compliance from the insurance industry. However, there has been no information provided from the insurance industry to verify the claim that the insurance premiums for trucking companies would skyrocket to $20,000/year when the minimum liability levels are raised (as reported to independent owner-operators by the OOIDA, who is in fact an insurer for many OOIDA members http://www.landlinemag.com/Story.aspx?StoryId=29050 ) and that “the only winners would be trial attorneys and large motor carriers.” This allegation has never been substantiated.

  6. The next step by FMCSA, according to an email which we received on June 11, 2015, from an administrator in the FMCSA, was to try another tactic to get the information from the insurance industry:

    FMCSA does not have information to estimate the increase in insurance premiums if the Agency increased the current $750,000 limit (for property carriers transporting general freight) to $4.2 million. As part of the rulemaking process, the Agency would need to gather this thpe of information to determine the costs of requiring carriers to increase their coverage. We just published a rulemaking on “Confidential Business Information” to help encourage insurance companies to share some of their proprietary information with the Agency for our use in the rulemaking process, without disclosing to the general public the confidential information. Hopefully, the new rules on confidential information will help us get the data we need.        

  1. The final step was taken by the FMCSA to formally withdraw the ANPRM on June 5, 2017.

It should be noted that, if the Secretary of Transportation merely raised the minimum level to adjust for inflation, the $750,000 set in 1980, using the latest U.S. Government CPI data (http://www.usinflationcalculator.com/), would be equivalent to $2,225,643.20 in 2017. Additionally, the Value of Statistical Life set by the Department of Transportation is currently listed as $9.6 million as of August 8, 2016.


It must therefore be asked, Has the FMCSA done due diligence to obtain the required information to do the study mandated by Congress? In fact, could they have gone a step further, as we have been told by a former DOT administrator, and issued a subpoena to the insurance industry to obtain this information? Could FMCSA even have requested Congress to hold a formal hearing – as we have requested numerous times — to obtain information from the insurance industry?

Where do we go from here? What are the options at this point for resolving this issue? Given that it has been over 30 years since the current level was set, and that the FMCSA has had adequate time to act and report on this supposedly priority rulemaking, it now seems prudent to:

  1. Call upon Elaine Chao, as the Secretary of Transportation, to do what no other Secretary since 1980 has done and act upon her authority to set a new minimum level of financial responsibility for the motor carrier industry and immediately raise it from $750,000 to $2,225,000.

  2. Following that decisive action, FMCSA should then:

  • Ask Congress to hold a public hearing to obtain the necessary information from the insurance industry;  OR

  • Subpoena the insurance industry to provide the required information.

  • Then immediately proceed with NPRM rulemaking – setting it as a top priority to determine future actions which should be taken to raise the minimum levels according to other calculations besides adjustment for inflation, both now and in the future as mandated by Congress.

If we do nothing to address this problem, then we will continue to expose the traveling public to greater risk of truck crash tragedies. Who should we hold responsible for the resulting deaths? And who will bear the economic burden of this negligence?

Jerry and Marianne Karth

June 4, 2017

Sign a Petition Asking for Immediate Action: Protect Vulnerable Travelers: Demand Immediate Increase in Trucking Liability Insurance

Demand for Due Diligence Action by FMCSA.pdf

Further Information on this issue: FMCSA will withdraw rule to raise truck min. liability ins. Who is responsible & who will pay the price?

FMCSA will withdraw rule to raise truck min. liability ins. Who is responsible & who will pay the price?

Please pray for us to have wisdom on how to respond to the upcoming action (on Monday, June 5, 2017) by the DOT/FMCSA to WITHDRAW RULEMAKING on trucking minimum liability insurance  — which has not been raised in over 30 years.

This issue is one of the three #trucksafety issues which we included in our 2014 AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up For Truck Safety Petition. FMCSA responded with rulemaking in November 2014. The 11,000+ petition signatures were added to the Public Comments for this Proposed Rule.

The AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up For Truck Safety Petition: http://www.thepetitionsite.com/957/501/869/stand-up-for-truck-safety/

The signtures were posted on the Federal Register hereThe is a Comment on the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Proposed Rule: Financial Responsibility for Motor Carriers, Freight Forwarders and Brokers: AnnaLeah and Mary Karth – Comments

Articles on this upcoming action:

  1. FMCSA Yanks Minimum Insurance Rulemaking, Heavy Duty Trucking, Truckinginfo.com, David Cullen, June 2, 2017
  2. FMCSA officially nixes rule on increasing minimum liability insurance required for carriers, Overdrive|June 02, 2017
  3. FMCSA Drops Plans to Study Raising Insurance Minimums for Motor Carriers, Brokers  This article even mentions that our 11,366 petition signatures were included in the Public Comments considered by FMCSA .
Who bears responsibility for this decades-long delay?
  1. The trucking industry for acting to delay progress on this important issue.
  2. FMCSA for not using their authority to subpoena the insurance industry to provide the necessary information for the required cost/benefit analysis.
  3. The insurance industry for not providing the requested information.
  4. The Secretary of Transportation for not using his/her authority to sign in an increase — as was originally intended.
  5. Congress for not acting to make sure that this issue is properly addressed.
  6. The President for not signing a Vision Zero Executive Order to ensure that safety rules are not delayed or diluted by cost/benefit analysis that does not give appropriate value to the preservation of human life and health.

See the April 2014 FMCSA Report on this issue: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/Financial-Responsibility-Requirements-Report-Enclosure-FINAL-April%202014.pdf

Read more about this issue here:

Fortunately we plan on submitting a public comment to the upcoming FMCSA Motor Carrier Safety Advisory Committee public meeting on June 12 in D.C.

Despite our requests for Congress to hold a hearing to force the insurance industry to provide the necessary financial information, no one has been willing to do this. As Jerry says, it is a very one-sided situation: The FMCSA is apparently accepting the information that the rates will sky-rocket and trucking companies will go out of business  — although no one has been able to offer proof of this. At the same time, the FMCSA is apparently not accepting the proof that the current liability level is not adequate to cover the costs to society of these truck crashes.

Furthermore, this issue not only impacts the compensation for truck crash tragedies to the victims and the cost to society, but it also limits the ability of the market to ensure that trucking companies are held accountable for their safety practices.

 What will break through this roadblock?

FMCSA Releases Large Truck & Bus Crash Statistics for 2014

Large Truck and Bus Crash Facts 2014 – PDF

DSC00917Photo button 003

Opposition to DOT’s attempts to prevent driver fatigue get tiresome. Take a tip from FAA pilot rules.

It sure would be refreshing to find that there was no more opposition to finding the best solution for truck driver fatigue–instead of a continuous battle to get this right. Maybe they should take a tip from the airline industry.

Thanks to federal regulations, pilots never fly more than nine hours at a time, always have backup “relief pilots” and designated beds on long flights, and have limits on the number of weekly hours they can work. This means pilots are among the best-rested people working in commercial transportation — certainly more so than truck drivers, for instance — and rarely deal with the issue of drowsy or sleep-deprived performance. 

The Federal Aviation Administration announced a sweeping overhaul of pilot scheduling rules in 2011 in order to ensure that pilots have more time for rest before they enter the cockpit. Among other changes, the minimum mandatory downtime between flights was increased from eight hours to ten hours. One Reason Airplanes Are Far Safer Than Buses and Trucks

When will we get this right?


An Amazing Week in Truck Safety Progress

We had some really good news this week. Progress was made on 2 out of the 3 requests which we made to Secretary Foxx in our original AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up For Truck Safety Petition (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/957/501/869/stand-up-for-truck-safety/):
  1. On December 7, 2015, NHTSA announced the next step in the Underride Guard rulemaking: http://annaleahmary.com/2015/12/unexpected-events-progress-in-underride-protection/ & http://annaleahmary.com/2015/12/a-moms-knee-jerk-reaction-to-nhtsas-proposed-rule-to-improve-rear-underride-protection/ & http://www.wsbtv.com/videos/news/new-rules-help-keep-you-safer-behind-big-rigs/vDf9Rt/
  2. On December 10, 2015, FMCSA announced that the Final Rule was being released for the Electronic Logging Devices to log trucker hours of service (to help combat driver fatigue): http://annaleahmary.com/2015/12/fmcsa-finally-releases-the-electronic-logging-devices-rule-to-track-trucker-hours/.  http://americansleepandbreathingacademy.com/the-dots-war-on-drowsy-driving/
We want to thank everyone, who signed the ALMSUFTS petition. You helped to make this impact on highway safety. Please continue to support our efforts as we wage battle and move toward a goal of Zero Crash Deaths and Zero Serious Crash Injuries through our Vision Zero Petitionhttp://www.thepetitionsite.com/417/742/234/save-lives-not-dollars-urge-dot-to-adopt-vision-zero-policy/ and Underride Research:  https://www.fortrucksafety.com/
Thank you in memory of Mary & AnnaLeah and countless others,
Jerry and Marianne Karth
Petition Photo Bags at DOT, best
AnnaLeah, Mary at Muskegon
Washington DC 129

NTSB: Trucker’s Use of Synthetic Marijuana Caused Fatal Crash of Texas Students on Sept. 26, 2014

From HDT Trucking Info.

NTSB: Trucker’s Use of Synthetic Marijuana Caused Fatal Crash

November 18, 2015,  By David Cullen

“As a result of its investigation of a truck crash that killed four college athletes last year, the National Transportation Safety Board issued recommendations on Nov. 17 aimed at helping motor carriers address ‘impairing substances’ that are not tested for under federal regulations.

NTSB said it has determined that the truck driver charged with killing four members of the North Central Texas College softball team by crashing his tractor-trailer into the bus they were riding in caused the accident ‘due to incapacitation stemming from his likely use of a synthetic cannabinoid,’ commonly known as synthetic marijuana. . .

NTSB pointed out that while federal law prohibits CDL drivers from operating a vehicle while impaired, federal regulations require testing for only a few impairing substances.

The board said this crash investigation highlights the challenges that disconnect presents to both employers and law enforcement. ‘Motor carriers need to know about this emerging class of drugs, and they need better tools to detect driver impairment,’ said NTSB Chairman Christopher Hart.”

See more at: http://www.truckinginfo.com/news/story/2015/11/ntsb-trucker-s-use-of-synthetic-marijuana-caused-fatal-crash.aspx


Numbers are funny: 1 (crash story) is a tragedy; 1 million (crash stories) is a statistic

What a Vision Zero policy means to me: Towards Zero. While at a Sorrow to Strength Conference sponsored by the Truck Safety Coalition this weekend in Washington, DC, I experienced support and understanding by being with other truck crash victim families. But at the same time, I felt the frustration of the same scenario playing out year after year on the roads of our nation while there continues to be a tug of war over truck safety measures.

Even though many have shared their tragic stories on The  Hill and at DOT countless times over the years, still the battle continues unabated. One participant quoted Joseph Stalin in order to describe the attitude that seems to prevail, “A Single Death is a Tragedy; a Million Deaths is a Statistic.”

Don’t get me wrong: I don’t naively believe that something could be done to result in never ever any crash deaths. What I believe is that a Vision Zero policy–with a vision statement of Zero Crash Deaths & Zero Serious Crash Injuries–would impact decision-making to the extent that, when options were identified, choices would be made and strategies would be followed which would lead ever closer to that vision of zero.

The opposite attitude always ends up compromising human life and health. It gives power to the lure of the almighty dollar and the promise of efficiency and an improved economy. It means that too many people like my daughters, AnnaLeah (17) and Mary (13), are unnecessarily cheated of the opportunity to naturally live out their lives because their lives were deemed too costly to spare.

Yesterday, I was at Panera Bread in Arlington, Virginia, having some breakfast before going to The Hill with other Truck Safety Coalition volunteers to talk with my U.S. Representative and Senator about safety concerns. I saw a poster about Panera’s clean food vision statement/strategy and quickly memorized it:

“No Compromises.

“By the end of 2016, we ‘re removing all artificial preservatives, colors, sweeteners, and flavors from our food.  Learn about our clean food journey and our No No List.”  https://www.panerabread.com/en-us/company/food-policy-no-no-list.html

Are we, as a nation, really more concerned about healthy foods than about the safety of our roads? What will happen with our Truck Safety Legislative No No List?

No no list 003

I shared those thoughts with my Democrat congressman’s office staff and it was well-received along with this 33-second video:

There was not quite as much openness to the Vision Zero idea from my Republican senator’s staff. Hmmm . . . wonder what’s up with that?

I thought that we generally had a productive visit to my nation’s capital but came home yesterday with too many frustrations. And aftergoing out for breakfast with my husband this morning to update him on what he had missed (because he had left DC before I did), I drove home and weeped and yelled as I passed by the entrance to I-95 where we had started our fateful journey on the morning of May 4, 2013–wishing desperately that that day had never unfolded and taken my girls from me.

I also wished that somebody had let me cast a vote for Vision Zero when it might have meant the difference between life and death for Mary and AnnaLeah.

Please sign & share our Vision Zero Petition:  http://www.thepetitionsite.com/417/742/234/save-lives-not-dollars-urge-dot-to-adopt-vision-zero-policy/


FMCSA Ready to Study New Data on Trucker Hours of Service & Fatigue

FMCSA has been collecting data on truck driver hours of service; now they will analyze the data. Let’s hope that they will find clear answers to the driver fatigue dilemma.

“DOT enters next phase of 34-hour restart study” http://tinyurl.com/ppfwfpx

Driving While Fatigued (DWF) is definitely dangerous!

For more information on driver fatigue:


This is a photo which the Georgia State Patrol took when they arrived at the scene of our truck crash.  Truck driver fatigue may have been a factor; we never saw his paper log books.

Face-to-face with our congressman, George Holding, to discuss truck safety concerns

photo with George Holding

Earlier this month, I met with Congressman George Holding’s Constituent Services Representative, Doug Wegman, in Sharpsburg, North Carolina. I was the only one at the “Town Hall meeting” and was able to share the story of our truck crash and some of our concerns about truck safety. It seemed like a productive meeting.

I had emailed Congressman Holding’s office in June asking for an opportunity to meet with him while he was in recess in North Carolina. That never came about until I emailed my contact again early this week and repeated my request. I was then asked if I could meet with him in Raleigh on Friday, August 21, at 11:00 a.m.

Actually, that worked out very well (couldn’t have planned it better myself) because I was dropping our son off at the airport to go back to college in Texas that morning and then proceeded to the meeting with Holding. Doug Wegman was also there along with Holding’s District Director, Alice McCall.

I shared with Congressman Holding that I had grown up as a Republican and was quite surprised after our crash to find out that, in general, the Republican party line related to truck safety legislation consistently appeared to be pro-trucking industry and anti-safety. I am puzzled why there cannot be bipartisan solutions to these issues.


His response — a typical one — was that Republicans generally oppose government involvement and regulation. The problem I have with that is the reality which I have painfully discovered that “safety is not an accident” — it doesn’t just happen by itself. Without rules and regulations and enforcement and justice and requirements, chaos and injury and death are more likely to occur.

At least I have not seen a better alternative. Have you?

However, thankfully, I came away from the meeting feeling that it was productive — a thought echoed by another son who attended with me. We had the opportunity to raise several truck safety concerns, including driver fatigue (electronic logging devices and hours of service), underride guards, and the minimum liability insurance for truckers.

We concentrated on the minimum insurance issue — which has not been raised — for 30 years and therefore certainly has not kept up with inflation. (Is that any surprise?!) The current level, $750,000, set in in the 1980s — adjusted for inflation — would now be more like $3.2 million for  the medical CPI adjusted level according to p. 11 from this document:  http://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/Financial-Responsibility-Requirements-Report-Enclosure-FINAL-April%202014.pdf .

And the statistical value of life is $9.2 millionVSL Guidance-2013-2 DOT value of life

I had a binder put together to leave with Congressman Holding. It had numerous articles about the insurance issue, including what the opposition (the trucking industry) has been saying about premiums skyrocketing if the minimum liability is raised — from $5,000 to $20,000. I showed him what I had found out from a couple of insurance companies which indicates that it would be more likely to go up to maybe $9,000. A bit of a difference.

This kind of potentially inaccurate and misleading information has been publicly disseminated and has influenced many truckers (most vociferously by representatives of OOIDA, Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which by the way happens to sell insurance to truckers,  http://www.ooidatruckinsurance.com/) and legislators. In fact, I showed him the House Roll Call in which he had voted to freeze the funding for FMCSA to study this issue — even though Congress had previously authorized them to do so.

I was gratified that Holding took the time to look over the roll call and examine the 10 Republicans who had supported the need to allow FMCSA to proceed with rulemaking on this issue. He indicated that he intends to make some contacts for us, asked Doug to write down some of the names and the people both in the Senate and House with whom he is willing to connect us so that we can continue to shed light on this concern and ensure that the truth of the matter is uncovered.

I was also appreciative of the District Director’s input. When we discussed our pursuit of underride research to support the improvement of underride guards, Alice McCall mentioned that they could help with some contacts at universities, among other things.

In addition, she asked me how to pronounce AnnaLeah’s name (An-na-Le-ah) and said that it was beautiful. I told her that AnnaLeah loved her name and its uniqueness–although she had planned on publishing any written works under a pen name. I had showed them Mary’s braids and said that I was thankful that the nurse saved them and gave them to us. I had also brought along a shoulder bag which AnnaLeah had knit from a pattern in her head.

It reminded me of the many triggers which daily life brings of the loss we bear; as we drove to Raleigh I had seen a car on the side of the road. There was something sitting on top of the trunk of the car and for some reason that reminded me of our car after the crash — demolished with broken bodies inside. And it took my breath away once more to think of AnnaLeah’s life instantly snatched away. And the joy and creativity that were abruptly cut short.


Alice also mentioned that she has several daughters. And, I had noted that Congressman Holding has 3 young daughters and a son himself. It is helpful to know that people understand that this is not just a matter of corporate profit but a life and death matter which could happen to anyone at any time.

Interesting articles, letters, and documents on the minimum insurance topic:

All in all, we felt that we were heard and are hopeful that Congressman Holding is likely to make decisions and take actions in the future to positively affect road safety as a result of the time which we spent with him.

p.s. Just read an Op-Ed (by a former executive of the American Trucking Associations) in today’s New York Timeshttp://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/22/opinion/the-trucks-are-killing-us.html?emc=edit_tnt_20150821&nlid=37926955&tntemail0=y&_r=0

p.p.s. Just scanned this OOIDA brochure–found at a truck stop while we were on a road trip.

OOIDA brochure


p.p.p.s. Mary’s braids: 49 Mary's braids 016

p.p.p.p.s. AnnaLeah knitting one of her many creations. AnnaLeah at Lake Michigan 11

ELDs for Trucker Hours; Minimum Liability; & Underride Guards: AL&MSUFTS Petition Update

AnnaLeah & Mary Stand Up For Truck Safety Petition

Petition Request

Current Rulemaking Stage

Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs)

The Petition’s 11,000+ signatures were added to the Public Comments for the Electronic Logging Device Rule.  The comment period ended May 27, 2014.

Final Rule is scheduled to be published by 9/30/15.

Companies would then have 2 years from that date to comply.

Minimum Liability Insurance

ANPRM was issued on 11/28/14 meaning: FMCSA announced that it is considering a rulemaking that would increase the minimum levels of financial responsibility for motor carriers.


Public Comments closed on 2/26/15.

Those Comments are now being reviewed.

Trucking industry has attempted to get an amendment passed this summer on the THUD Appropriations Bill which would take away funding from FMCSA for continuing the rulemaking process.

Underride Guards

Based on the petition, available information, and the agency’s analysis in progress, NHTSA has decided that the Petitioners’ request related to rear impact guards merits further consideration. Therefore, the agency grants the Petitioners’ request to initiate rulemaking on rear impact guards. NHTSA is planning on issuing two separate notices—an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking pertaining to rear impact guards and other safety strategies for single unit trucks, and a notice of proposed rulemaking focusing on rear impact guards on trailers and semitrailers. NHTSA is still evaluating the Petitioners’ request to improve side guards and front override guards and will issue a separate decision on those aspects of the petition at a later date.

Proposed Rulemaking was issued for rear impact guards on tractor-trailers on July 10, 2014. This is the rulemaking stage in which an agency proposes to add to or change its existing regulations and solicits public comment on this proposal. Recommendations for revision of existing regulations are expected to be issued for Public Comments before the end of 2015.


The Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) for Single Unit Trucks was issued on 7/23/15, with the Public Comments Period closing on September 21, 2015. This will be followed by an analysis of the Comments and a determination about whether or not, or how best, to initiate a rulemaking.


Here is an outline of the rulemaking process:  https://www.federalregister.gov/uploads/2011/01/the_rulemaking_process.pdf

Update on Electronic Logging Devices: “FMCSA advances e-log mandate, rule sent to OMB for approval”


This means that the Electronic Logging Devices rule could be going into effect by September 30 and the industry would have to comply with it within two years.

“Still seemingly on target for its projected Sept. 30 publication, a Final Rule to mandate the use of electronic logging devices has been sent from the DOT to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget for final approval before being published.

The DOT’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration sent the e-log rule to the OMB July 30, along with a Final Rule that will implement stiffer penalties for carriers, shippers, brokers and others who coerce or pressure drivers to not abide by federal safety standards like hours-of-service limits.

The OMB legally has 90 days to approve the rules or send them back to FMCSA to be changed, which is unlikely.

The rule, which will take effect two years following its publication in the Federal Register, will require all truck drivers who are required to keep records of duty status to use an electronic logging device, formerly known as electronic onboard recorders.”

Battle over Truckers’ Hours of Servicehttp://www.overdriveonline.com/report-fmcsa-cant-effectively-study-2013-hours-of-service-safety-conclusions-likely-skewed/

“In responding to the report, the DOT noted the GAO had recognized achievements associated with the hours rule: A decrease in the frequency of long work schedules, lower risk of driver fatigue generally, and reduced fatal truck crashes. It agreed with the GAO recommendation to adopt guidance outlining research standards for future analyses and promised a detailed response to the entire effort within the next 60 days.”

Petition Photo Bags at DOT, best