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FMCSA Finalizes ELD Rule

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 22, 2015

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on December 10 announced a final rule requiring commercial trucks to be equipped with Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs). Commercial trucks not equipped with ELDs have two years to comply with the regulation. Trucks equipped with older technology to track Hours-of-Service (HOS) compliance will have until late 2019, two years beyond the compliance date, to upgrade and meet the new standard.

 

FMCSA estimates that three million vehicles will be affected by the ELD mandate. In most instances, a truck equipped with an ELD will not be required to retain supporting documents verifying on-duty driving time. The final rule also permits the use of smartphones and other wireless devices for use as ELDs, as long as they satisfy technical specifications and are certified by FMCSA (Fleet Owner).

Tags:  Electronic Logging Devices  FMCSA  HOS 

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FMCSA Pulls Carrier Safety Data from Public Website

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 22, 2015

As a result of the recently enacted highway law, Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, or FAST Act, FMCSA will no longer publicly display most information involving motor carriers' safety performances. Although the new law allows FMCSA to continue to display some safety performance data, the agency has decided to pull all information while changes are made. Safety data will continue to be made available to motor carriers and enforcement users who submit proper login information (Safety and Health Magazine).  

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Congress Sends White House Surface Transportation Board Reform Bill

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Legislation that has been sent to President Obama will increase the Surface Transportation Board (STB) from three to five members and take the Agency out of the Department of Transportation (DOT). The bill also would seek to reduce litigation costs for small businesses, provide certainty to railroads and shippers in the decision-making timeline, and process and expand options for service dispute resolutions (Transport Topics). 

Tags:  DOT  House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee  President Obama’s transportation plan 

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For-Hire Freight Shipments on the Rise

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Following a decline in September, DOT's Freight Transportation Services Index (TSI) rebounded in October. The improvement in October pushed the index to 123.2, just 0.2 percent below the all-time high level of 123.5 in November 2014 and 30.1 percent above the April 2009 low during the most recent recession. Freight shipments measured by the index were up 0.5 percent in October compared to the end of 2014, while October 2015 freight shipments were up 0.7 percent from a year earlier (Trucking Info).  

Tags:  DOT  Freight TSI  TSI 

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Survey Finds Rail Shippers Opposed to Merger

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Seventy-one percent of rail shippers oppose the proposed merger between Canadian Pacific Railway and Norfolk Southern, according to a survey by Cowen and Co. Fearing fewer options and higher prices, about half of those opposed said they would officially express their objections to the Surface Transportation Board (STB). Canadian Pacific continues to pursue a merger despite the Norfolk Southern Board unanimously rejecting a $28 billion offer for the company (The Wall Street Journal).

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Push for Twin 33s Continues

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 8, 2015

NASSTRAC is encouraging lawmakers to include a provision allowing for twin 33-foot trailer combinations, or Twin 33s for short, as part of the fiscal year 2016 government spending bill. House and Senate negotiators continue to negotiate on an omnibus spending bill to fund the federal government through September 30, 2016. The current short-term funding agreement expires on December 11.

 

Both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees earlier this year approved Twin 33s as part of the transportation spending bill.

 

According to data from the Coalition for Efficient and Responsible Trucking (CERT), allowing Twin 33s will result in 6.6 million fewer truck trips per year — a 1.3-billion-mile reduction in truck traffic. The reduction in traffic will economize 204 million gallons of fuel annually and reduce carbon emissions by 4.4 billion pounds per year. The reduced congestion would prevent 912 crashes.

Tags:  House Appropriations Committee  Twin 33s 

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Ports Performance Statistics Program to Be Established

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Included as part of the long-term highway bill Congress is set to approve this week is a provision establishing a Port Performance Statistics Program under the DOT's Bureau of Transportation Statistics (BTS). The provision requires BTS to form a working group to include private and public sector participants to develop an agreed upon set of metrics to be included in an annual report. BTS will have 60 days to establish the group and develop the metrics.

 

NASSTRAC has pushed to have the provision included in the highway bill and is pleased to see an important step being made to provide better information concerning performance at the busiest U.S. ports.

Tags:  BTS  DOT  Long-term Transportation Bill 

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National Motor Carrier Standard Cut from Highway Bill

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Although the long-term highway bill to be voted on this week makes some needed reforms to FMCSA, a TIA sponsored and NASSTRAC-supported provision creating a National Carrier Hiring Standard was stripped from the conference report. Despite the setback, NASSTRAC will continue to work with TIA on a legislative solution to reduce negligent selection lawsuits based on flawed data. There is a silver lining, though. The FAST Act does remove all scoring and "analysis" within CSA from public view; however, inspection data, violations, out-of-service orders and absolute measures will remain publicly available within the initiative. 

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34-Hour Restart Provision to Extend Through February

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The hours-of-service (HOS) restart rules for truck drivers likely will remain suspended through February, a few months longer than expected. FMCSA has said it will provide the U.S. Department of Transportation's (DOT) Office of Inspector General (OIG) its review of the restart rules in mid-December, which then has 60 days to conduct a review.

 

The restart rules are required to remain suspended until a final study is presented to Congress, according to a fiscal 2015 funding law enacted in December 2014. That law suspended FMCSA's rule requiring truck drivers to take off two consecutive periods of 1 a.m. to 5 a.m. during a 34-hour restart.

 

NASSTRAC supports the continued moratorium of the 34-hour restart provision until FMCSA provides data showing that it improves safety (Transport Topics). 

Tags:  DOT  FMCSA  HOS 

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Driver Coercion Rule Finalized

Posted By Administration, Tuesday, December 8, 2015
FMCSA has issued a final Driver Coercion rule that will take effect on January 29, 2016. It prohibits carriers, shippers and brokers from coercing truck drivers to violate hours-of-service (HOS) and other safety regulations. Carriers, shippers and brokers are not required to monitor driver HOS compliance as part of the rule, and drivers are required to report incidents of driver coercion within 90 days. Violators of the rule can be fined up to $16,000 per incident. (Transport Topics)

Tags:  FMCSA  HOS 

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