Updates on 2017 trucking regulations were recently presented at the National Private Truck Council (NPTC) Annual Conference in Cincinnati. The four major areas of interest at the conference focused on regulations for carrier safety fitness determination, driver training standards, proposed speed limiters, and electronic logging devices. The long debate over the 34-hour driver restart rule was also addressed and finally put to rest after an extended period of debate.
The long awaited Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) report on the effectiveness of the 34-hour driver restart rule found that there was no significant safety benefit in mandating driver rest periods during the hours of 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. The rule was put into place in 2013 and then suspended in 2014, pending the results of the study. The rule has since been permanently eliminated.
The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) is studying the efficiency of the current safety measurement system used to determine whether a carrier is fit or unfit to operate commercial trucks. For a carrier to be deemed unfit, it must be investigated, studied and rated using the Compliance, Safety, and Accountability score system (CSA). The problem noted by the NAS is that there is no way to determine if those presumed to be fit were actually investigated. The NAS will provide a full report on their study this summer, and the FMCSA will be required to submit a corrective action plan within 120 days following the report.
Entry Level Driver Training Standards and Electronic Logging Devices
A new rule that will be implemented by February 2020 will require all applicants for Class A or Class B CDL to complete a mandatory academic and behind-the-wheel training program. This rule will apply to applicants for HAZMAT certification and passenger or school bus certifications as well.
The final regulation update focused on the electronic logging devices known as ELDs that will take effect in December, 2017. Exceptions will only be given to those currently using automatic on-board recording devices, known as AOBRDs. They will be given a two-year extension.
Potential problems with the use of ELDs are rising as we move closer to the December 2017 compliance deadline. Some truck fleets will have electronic systems that are non-compatible with ELDs. The Truck Rental and Leasing Association (TRALA) is requesting that drivers experiencing problems with technology interfacing to continue to use paper logs until the problem can be resolved.
On a final note, regulations regarding the installation of speed limiting devices on large commercial vehicles are still under negotiation. The Department of Transportation’s (DOT) proposal is being met with opposition from those who want to determine the safe speed limit for the various sizes of commercial vehicles on the road. Variations in geography and traffic patterns will make it necessary for speed limiters to be customized according to the size and weight of the vehicle as well as the landscape it will travel.
Delaware Truck Accident Lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC Help Victims Injured in Truck Accidents Claim Compensation
The Delaware truck accident lawyers at McCann Dillon Jaffe & Lamb, LLC counsel and represent victims injured in truck accidents. If you or someone you know has been involved in an accident with a truck, call us at 302-888-1221, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our firm represents clients throughout Delaware, as well as those in Philadelphia, Chester County, and Delaware County, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey.