New safety-based legislation is worth watching

While carriers and shippers always have things like capacity, rates, and transit times top of mind, another item on that list is safety. It always has been and always will be important—there is no way around it. That is a good thing. ‘

By ·

While carriers and shippers always have things like capacity, rates, and transit times top of mind, another item on that list is safety. It always has been and always will be important—there is no way around it. That is a good thing. ‘

With that in mind, I think it is worth noting that safety-based transportation came out of the Senate Commerce Committee yesterday from U.S. Senators Frank R. Lautenberg, Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Surface Transportation and John D. (Jay) Rockfeller IV, Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee.

Their bill, entitled the Motor Vehicle Safety Enhancement Act, reauthorizes the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) and makes important improvements to federal truck and bus safety standards, according to Committee officials.

The bill’s chief objectives are as follows:
-Require electronic on-board recorders be used on all trucks and buses used in interstate commerce in order to improve drivers’ compliance with hours of service rules.  Compliance with these rules will improve safety by ensuring truck and bus drivers are obtaining adequate rest;
-Improve the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) registration process by requiring an applicant to pass a safety proficiency examination and submission of a safety management plan as a precondition for operating authority;
-Bolster FMCSA’s ability to crack down on “reincarnated carriers” – carriers that attempt to resume operations after being put out of service – by increasing the Administration’s ability to revoke carriers’ operating authority and by requiring new operators to disclose all relationships with other motor carriers over the past five years as a condition of receiving operating authority; and  
-Directs DOT to support FMCSA’s implementation of its Compliance, Safety, and Accountability program, which will increase its oversight of the truck and bus industry and give it the authority to assess the safety fitness of drivers to further identify unsafe drivers.

On the surface, this bill appears to have good intentions. But that does not mean everyone will be behind it either, especially considering the fact that the Senate Commerce Committee is pro-new proposed Hours-of-Service changes, which the trucking industry is ostensibly uniformly against.

But with Washington being Washington, does anyone really know just how far this bill will go? In any event, this will be one piece of legislation worth watching.


About the Author

Jeff Berman, Group News Editor
Jeff Berman is Group News Editor for Logistics Management, Modern Materials Handling, and Supply Chain Management Review. Jeff works and lives in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, where he covers all aspects of the supply chain, logistics, freight transportation, and materials handling sectors on a daily basis. Contact Jeff Berman

Subscribe to Logistics Management Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Get timely insider information that you can use to better manage your entire logistics operation.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Article Topics

Safety · Trucking · All Topics
Latest Whitepaper
Logistics Network Analysis
Logistics network monitoring is an important step in understanding what actually occurs throughout your supply chain.
Download Today!
From the January 2018 Logistics Management Magazine Issue
Industry experts agree that costs across all sectors worldwide will continue to rise in 2018, and the most successful shippers will be those that are able to mitigate their impact on profitability. And, the right technology will play an increasingly vital role in driving efficiencies across the global logistics network.
The Future of Retail Distribution
Navigating the Reverse Supply Chain for Connected Devices
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
IAM, IoT and the Connected Supply Chain
There are three primary models of Identity and Access Management (IAM) technology that CTOs, CSOs, and Supply Chain executives are using to enhance their trading partner communities. While each leverages IAM and the IoT as core components only an “Outside-in” approach truly connects people, systems and things reliably and securely across the supply chain.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
State of Global Logistics: Delivering above and beyond
Industry experts agree that costs across all sectors worldwide will continue to rise in 2018, and...
2018 Rate Outlook: Economic Expansion, Pushing Rates Skyward
Trade and transport analysts see rates rising across all modes in accordance with continued...

Building the NextGen Supply Chain: Keeping pace with the digital economy
Peerless Media’s 2017 Virtual Summit shows how creating a data-rich ecosystem can eliminate...
2017 NASSTRAC Shipper of the Year: Mallinckrodt; Mastering and managing complexity
An inside look at how a large pharmaceutical firm transformed its vendor and supplier relationships...