Part of the reality of running a business within a highly-regulated industry like trucking is that government regulations and legislation frequently reshape the operating landscape. As a leading provider of fleet management solutions to transportation and logistics companies, it’s our job to help navigate these current and pending rulings, to better equip fleets, drivers and other industry players with the tools they need to adjust, adapt and evolve.
Below, we’ve outlined a high-level snap-shot of just some of the regulatory and legislative developments to watch:
- Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) Mandate – Expected to publish September 30, 2015, this mandate was recently sent from the Department of Transportation to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget and awaits final approval. Initiated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the rule would require the use of electronic logging devices in place of paper logbooks to record driver compliance with their Hours of Service rules. Upon approval of the mandate, fleets will have two years to implement certified ELDs to ensure compliance.
- Anti-Coercion Rule – As part of the discussion surrounding the ELD Mandate, we also have the Anti-Coercion Rule, more formally known as Prohibition of Coercion, which seeks to ensure that motor carriers, shippers, receivers, etc., do not coerce a commercial motor vehicle operator to violate or operate outside of governing regulations. Anyone found to be in violation of this rule of coercion would be subject to financial penalties.
- Commercial Driver Act – Initially proposed by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE) and co-sponsored by Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), this piece of legislation suggests standardizing the licensing requirements for drivers to operate commercial motor vehicles in commerce across state lines as a way to mitigate the current driver shortage plaguing the industry. Most notably, the act would institute a graduated licensing structure, i.e., it would allow for drivers ages 18-20 to work under apprenticeship to gain the necessary drive-time experience and skills before being eligible to become fully licensed at 21-years-old. If passed, the bill would not only create a wealth of employment opportunities for a younger subset of the workforce, but it would also dramatically increase the number of eligible, potential drivers.
- Speed Limiter Mandate – Although specific details have not yet been made publicly available, in essence this would require the use of speed limiters on heavy trucks. A formal ruling is expected to be cleared by the White House’s Office of Management and Budget shortly, and should be published by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in the coming weeks.
As your trusted provider of mobile fleet management and routing technology and services, Omnitracs seeks to be a resource for helping fleets understand and adapt to the evolving regulatory and legislative environment, while also participating in conversations with decision-makers who influence the development of laws and rules affecting our industry. Most importantly, we leverage our expertise to provide technical solutions that meet the evolving requirements and landscape of the trucking industry.
I encourage you to follow these regulatory and legislative developments in the news, as several are set and guaranteed to impact the industry, and to tune into ELDfacts.com as an additional resource. To learn more about how Omnitracs can help your fleet survive and thrive within the regulatory environment of the trucking industry, visit: www.omnitracs.com.
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