Regulatory and Legislative Update January 2019

FMCSA embraces uniformity, cost as priorities in preempting California requirements In a major shift from the Obama administration approach to motor carrier regulation and enforcement, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) explicitly referenced economic growth and the need for uniform commerce as reasons for preempting the application of California’s meal and rest break (MRB) rules on property-carrying commercial motor vehicle (CMV) drivers. The agency on December 21 granted The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) granted several petitions that had followed similar action in September by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration regarding carrier transporting hazardous materials. (See the October 2018 Regulatory Update.) ...READ MORE Read more

FMCSA okays limited use of rearview camera as mirror alternative

Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is inching forward with efforts to replace large truck side mirrors with a high-resolution – and more aerodynamic – rearview camera system. The FMCA closed 2018 by granting Stoneridge a five-year exemption allowing trucks to use the company’s multi-camera angle MirrorEye system as an alternative to conventional rear-vision mirrors Read more

Teamsters ask court to reverse FMCSA’s decision on California breaks

Less than two weeks after the U.S. DOT declared that motor carriers are exempt from California’s meal and rest break laws, the Teamsters Union is already seeking a challenge in court The group filed a petition with a federal appeals court on Dec. 27 asking for a review of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s decision, issued Dec. 21. FMCSA asserted that carriers do not have to provide drivers with the meal and rest breaks dictated by California’s labor code. The California laws conflict with federal hours-of-service regulations, the agency says, and therefore are superseded by federal law. The agency said that, despite being more stringent, California’s break laws do not provide greater safety benefits than federal hours regs. Read more

New rule allows states to issue one-year commercial learner’s permits

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will soon allow states to issue commercial learner’s permits for up to one year instead of the current six-month limit with the option to renew the permit for another six months. In a Federal Register notice to be published Friday, FMCSA says the new rule is not a requirement for states, but rather an option instead of the six-month CLP. If states issue a CLP for less than one year, the CLP may be renewed at the state’s discretion, but if it is renewed, the permit can only be valid for a total of one year from the original issue date. Read more

Be wary of increased cargo theft activity around Christmas, New Year’s

Cargo theft recording firm SensiGuard is warning truck drivers, trucking companies and shippers/receivers about increased cargo theft activity during the Christmas and New Year’s holiday period. The firm says the winter holiday shipping season has historically been one of the most dangerous times for cargo theft. This year, both holidays fall on Tuesday, creating two separate four-day weekends. SensiGuard says this leaves more opportunity for shipments to be left unattended or parked in unsecured locations for extended periods of time. During the last five winter holiday periods, the firm has recorded just under two thefts per day with an average loss value of $182,260, a 6 percent higher value than throughout the year. These thefts primarily targeted food and drinks (26 percent), electronics (17 percent), and home and garden (12 percent), with the highest average value recorded of clothing and shoes of $994,057. Read more