It is perhaps unsurprising that the trucking industry does not often embrace change when change is presented in the form of a federal mandate. This is not to say that the trucking industry is not flexible in some ways and is unwilling to do what is necessary in order to keep the nation’s roads safe. However, federal mandates can be expensive, intrusive, and time-consuming. So, if federal regulators insist that change is necessary before the trucking industry is willing to initiate it on its own, the industry tends to push back.
Most recently, the trucking industry has raised objections to a proposal issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This proposed rule would affect the ways in which inspection data is utilized when Safety Fitness Determinations are made for motor carriers. This is a particularly important proposed rule because it could affect the ability of certain carriers and fleets to remain operational.
A coalition of eight separate organizations which are stakeholders in the trucking industry has questioned the validity of the proposed rule. This coalition has insisted that the “FMCSA plans to ignore the clear mandates of the FAST Act when it opens a rule making this month that would change existing standards for determining the safety fitness of individual motor carriers.”
Ordinarily, this kind of dry legal distinction is neither something that the public nor the press cares about particularly. However, the presence of unsafe commercial trucks on American roads is a problem that affects every American who travels on these roads. As a result, the FMCSA’s proposal and the trucking industry’s resistance to it is a saga that should be closely observed as it progresses.
Source: TruckingInfo, “Not So Fast: Truck Groups Contend Safety Fitness Proposal Violates FAST Act,” David Cullen, Jan. 13, 2016