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FMCSA Rulings Likely to Stall Due to Change in Leadership

Posted on behalf of Edwards Law Firm on Sep 12, 2014 in Truck Accidents

tanker truck

Decisions on two proposals before the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) may have to wait until new leadership is secured in the wake of Anne Ferros departure, former FMCSA administrator Annette Sandberg says.

With Ferro at the helm, the agency was poised to rule on two new proposals: One for increased minimum insurance and a second on mandatory training for entry-level drivers. Sandberg believes a third expected ruling on electronic monitoring devices to log driver hours will be delayed, as well.

The need for electronic logging devices is apparent, and Sandberg believes that the FMCSA has been pushing carriers to implement the use of these devices for some time, despite the fact that a final ruling has not been set.

This is one Congress has been trying to encourage the agency to get out by January, but I think that is a very aggressive schedule given the number of comments and a number of technical issues brought up in the comments, Sandberg said.

Other issues the agency will be looking to resolve include whether to test drivers for sleep apnea to prevent trucking accidents, and requiring that drivers obtain their commercial licenses in their home state. For drivers who travel to out-of-state schools for training, the latter proposal could be an issue.

Finally, Sandberg notes that carriers should be aware that a violation cited by the FMCSA affecting one carrier could impact others owned by the same company.

Until a new administrator is named, the agency will not have the ability to settle any of these proposals. Even when new leadership is in place, Sandberg believes that decisions on particularly controversial subjects wont be made until next year. 

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