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New Tractor Trailer Regs in the Pipeline

The executive VP of the American Trucking Associations (ATA) spoke at a conference in early November, noting that many new and revised trucking regulations are in the pipeline, regardless of who controls Congress.

Even though more business-friendly Republicans will take over the Senate next year, David Osiecki thinks that the pace of regulations will only slow, not stop completely.

Some of the upcoming legislative agenda in the next Congress includes:

·         Legislation that will continue to prohibit the publishing of Compliance Safety and Accountability (CSA) scores for trucking firms.

·         Osiecki stated that many experts in the trucking industry think that CSA data is not indicative of crash risk. Pulling that data until it is cleaned up would cut the chance that some shippers and brokers will use the faulty data to decide which carriers to use.

·         Size and weight limits may be changed to allow the operation of double, 33 foot trailers.

·         The long-awaited Electronic Logging Device final rule should be published late next year, which will require that electronic logs be in all trucks.

·         The final version of the all new Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse rule will be published in 2015. It will take up to three years to populate the system with every drug and alcohol violation by drivers.

·         A sleep apnea rule also is coming. If a driver tests positive for sleep apea, he may need to get treatment to still drive.

We have seen the results of truck accidents caused by poor safety, such as this $3.5 million truck crash settlement, and we are glad to see more regulations coming for big rigs. The electronic logging device rule is an especially good idea whose time has come. This device makes it easier to see when drivers have exceeded their maximum driving hours, and also helps companies to know exactly where their trucks are for increased efficiency.

Randall E. Appleton
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Personal Injury & Wrongful Death Lawyer Serving Va Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake & all of Virginia
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