trucking regulations

President Trump continued his quest of broad regulatory reform, targeting in an Executive Order regulations that stifle job creation, impose unnecessary costs or are simply outdated or ineffective. So writes Overdrive magazine in a news article:

Trump directed all federal agencies, including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, to establish a team. This team evaluates existing regulations and makes recommendations about regulations that need “repeal, replacement or modification.” In addition, the order refers to the teams as Regulatory Reform Task Forces. Nearly all federal agencies must form a task force, made up of senior agency officials and others.

Also, Trump ordered federal agencies to appoint a “Regulatory Reform Officer” within 60 days.

The officer would head each agency’s regulatory task force.

“Each RRO shall oversee the implementation of regulatory reform initiatives and policies to ensure that agencies effectively carry out regulatory reforms,” Trump’s order states.

The regulatory task forces established by the order seek input from state and local governments. Also, they seek input from businesses, consumers, and trade associations.

According to Overdrive, the American Trucking Associations supports a “judicious” approach “in eliminating or reversing regulations.” Furthermore, periodically review regulations to ensure their relevancy deems useful.

Read the rest of the story here. What do you think, drivers? Would you support a reduction in trucking regulations? Join our community here and share your views with us.


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Jason and Hope at their wedding

Jason and Hope at their wedding

Not a day passes that Hope Rivenburg doesn’t think of Jason.

She sees him in her two young sons and daughter, hears him in their laughter.

Sometimes a certain scent lingers, sparking the memory of him.

It’s been nearly eight years since truck driver Jason Rivenburg was shot to death in his truck at an abandoned gas station in South Carolina.

He’d heard the place was safe. It wasn’t.

That misinformation cost him his life, but it birthed a movement for safe truck parking that resulted in Jason’s Law, legislation that gave rise to the National Coalition on Truck Parking and guaranteed safe parking spaces for truck drivers nationwide.

To date, three new truck stops have been built from the law and a couple other truck stops have been expanded, Hope says. It’s been a slow process.

“Ultimately, I want the parking in place now,” Hope says. “I also know that unfortunately, it takes time.”

Usually it takes 10 years for a bill to pass the U.S. House of Representatives. Jason’s Law passed in a mere three years, in 2012.

Hope as a safe truck parking advocate

Hope as a safe truck parking advocate

During those three years, the Rivenburg family started a petition, called truck stops and lobbied for support any way they could.

“So many people think their voice doesn’t count or they can’t change things, and it’s not true,” Hope says. “I had no political connections, nothing. So if my family can do it, anything is possible.”

With an immense shortage of truck parking spaces, the law is definitely needed.

“Drivers park on the side of the road or in unsafe areas. Law enforcement is having them move,” Hope says. “Drivers park in store parking lots, they have to move. It’s a never-ending cycle.”

jason-tractor-winterOn the night of his death, Jason was 12 miles from making his delivery at a distribution center. But most distribution centers don’t allow drivers to stop there early. As a result, Jason had to resort to parking for the night.

“If Jason could have parked at the distribution center, I believe he would be here today,” Hope says. “I think shippers and receivers should get involved with this issue because it’s their freight that’s being moved.”

Lasting Impact

In the years since Jason’s death, life for the Rivenburgs has gone on. It’s been a rough road. “While you learn to function more on a day-to-day basis, the impact of it never fades,” Hope says. “You never think when your husband goes off to work that it’ll be the last time you see him. But that’s what happened.”

At the time of Jason’s death, the couple had a 2-year-old son and Hope was about to give birth to twins.

Jason with his oldest son

Jason with his oldest son

Today, her oldest is 9 years old. The twins, now age 7, never got to meet their dad.

“They want to know why there are photos of their brother with daddy but not of them with daddy,” Hope says. “All I can tell them is it wasn’t daddy’s choice.”

In Jason’s absence, Hope’s mom has helped raise the kids—enforcing the rules, attending parent-teacher conferences, helping in any way she can. All three children are in school now. A year-and-a-half ago, Hope started working at the post office near their home in upstate New York. She’s lived in the same town forever, but she’s starting to see the neighborhood in a new light.

Through it all, Hope keeps Jason’s memory alive.

The family hosts gatherings on Father’s Day. On Jason’s birthday, they bring balloons to his grave.


Jason’s grave on his 40th birthday

“Our kids need to know how special their father was,” Hope says. “I try to cover all the bases for them. They just want to know ‘why.’”

More needs to be done to implement safe truck parking nationwide. Hope Rivenburg urges truck drivers and others to write to their state Department of Transportation. Ask your DOT officials if they are addressing truck parking in their annual freight management plan and encourage them to do so.

For more news and insights about safety on the road join our community and become part of the conversation.

All photos courtesy of Hope Rivenburg


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The Department of Transportation announced Oct. 5 a new initiative to achieve an incredible highway safety feat by the year 2046: Zero traffic deaths.

Overdrive magazine wrote about the announcement in a news article.

“Overall, our vision is simple – zero fatalities on our roads,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx.

The U.S. DOT and three of its sub-agencies — including the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration — said the Road to Zero project will give $1 million a year for the next three years to “organizations working on lifesaving programs.” Road to Zero partners include, in addition to DOT and FMCSA, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Federal Highway Administration and the private non-profit National Safety Council.

Details on specific initiatives Road to Zero will promote are scarce

In addition, Overdrive wrote, the DOT focuses on several areas. For example, some of these include promoting broader use of seatbelts, greater use of rumble strips and greater use of data in enforcement.

Also, the DOT points to the fast-developing field of vehicle automation. This serves as reason to “[believe] the liklihood that the vision of zero road deaths and serious injuries can be achieved in the next 30 years.”

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drug testing

By the end of September, the FMCSA publishes a final rule to establish a central database featuring drug testing results from company drivers and owner-operators, writes

The database is called The Commercial Driver’s License Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse, and it will keep record of CDL permit holders who have either failed or refused a drug test. Live Trucking explained how the rule will work:

The rule mandates that carriers and owner-operators must submit positive drug tests or test refusals to the FMCSA regularly.

Drivers must give written consent to be added to the database before submitting a drug test.

Blivetrucking.comut, a refusal to do so could result in losing driving privileges.

If a drug test is positive, drivers must complete a “return-to-duty” process, which includes evaluation and monitoring by a substance abuse specialist. After completing this, the positive drug test will remain in the database for three to five years. However, if a driver fails to complete the process, a failed drug test will remain in the database forever.

That’s right, forever.

On the bright side, truck drivers can appeal a positive drug test if a possible error exists. Then, the FMCSA reviews that decision within 60 days, Live Trucking writes.

Trucking companies must annually search the database. They check for driver traffic tickets or citations related to driving under the influence.

According to the FMCSA, the regulation costs the industry $186 million annually

But, it also results in $187 million of benefits. Trucking companies spend $28 million annually for the annual mandate. In addition, they spend another $10 million in pre-employment screenings. An estimated $101 million allocates to drivers, required to undergo the return-to-duty process.


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truck speeds

A proposed federal rule to require the use of speed limiters on heavy-duty trucks has “cleared its final hurdle in the regulatory process” and will likely be published in the coming weeks according to Overdrive magazine. The White House’s Office of Management and Budget stamped its approval on the rule Aug. 12, according to the White House’s online rulemaking portal.

Overdrive wrote about the speed limiter rule and what it will mean for some people with CDL trucking jobs.

The speed limiter rulemaking initiated in March 2014.

It followed a petition by the American Trucking Associations and Roadsafe America. It asked the DOT to implement a 65 mph speed limit on trucks, weighing more than 26,000 lbs.

Little has been made public about the rule’s contents, however, such as what the regulated speed limit would be, when the rule would take effect and which trucks would be required to comply with the mandate.

Those details, Overdrive says, publish when the rule proposal releases in the Federal Register.

There likely will be a 60- or 90-day comment period, too, Overdrive writes. During which, FMCSA seeks comments from stakeholders and the public about the rule and its requirements.

Then, FMCSA uses the comments to craft a final version of the speed limiter rule. In addition, they then go back through the regulatory process before finalizations. That process generally takes several years. The rule likely offers a compliance window, likely a year or longer, before fully in effect.

Image from Overdrive magazine.


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truckinginfo.comJeremiah W. Nixon, Missouri Governor vetoes platoon program for testing automated long-haul trucks using platooning technology.

In a recent story about the governor’s veto, Heavy Duty Trucking magazine elaborated on the reasons behind it.

In a letter explaining his veto, Gov. Nixon said that establishing a pilot program for testing platooning vehicles on Missouri highways could put the public at risk. He specifically referenced an accident involving a self-driving Tesla car that led to the death of an Ohio man as an example of the danger automated driving technology could pose.

“Automated driving technology advanced significantly within the last several years. However, the long-term safety and reliability of this technology remains unproven,” Nixon stated. “That fact was tragically highlighted with the recent fatality involving a self-driving passenger vehicle.”

According to Heavy Duty Trucking, in the May 7 Tesla incident driver Joshua Brown died while using the Autopilot feature of his Tesla Model S.

A white tractor-trailer made a left turn in front of the Tesla at an intersection, but the autopilot failed to “see” the vehicle and did not brake. The Autopilot’s cameras were unable to recognize the white trailer against a brightly lit sky.

However, Governor Nixon felt platooning posed an even greater risk to the public. It requires multiple large trucks to travel in tandem with little separation and synchronized braking and acceleration.

“The risks associated with automated vehicles are even greater considering the size of long-haul trucks and the catastrophic damage that could occur if the technology failed,” he stated. “Using Missouri highways as a testing ground for long-haul trucks to deploy this unproven technology is simply a risk not worth taking at this time.”

Read the full Heavy Duty Trucking story here.

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overdriveonline.comWith new regulations for food haulers handed down in April by the FDA, shippers will now be charged with setting cleanliness guidelines for truck drivers and their equipment, Overdrive writes. One attorney says shippers may turn trucks away without loads if they fail to meet previously agreed to requirements.

Rob Moseley of transportation firm Smith Moore Leatherwood offered insight into the new regulations in a May 11 webinar held for shippers, brokers and carriers.

The Food & Drug Administration rules remain broad, and only about 10% of the rule applies to food transportation. Even then, most of the transportation-focused portions of the rule, meant for shippers. So, just a small part of the rule applies to carriers directly.

The new rules goes into effect April 6, 2017.

They require shippers to develop standards for certain food shipments, such as temperature-controlled foods and produce.

“Shippers control the process without any question about it,” Moseley said. “They control how to transport their goods. And the consignee or receiver tasked with making sure those protocols set by the shipper have been met.”

Shippers must set sanitation requirements for carriers’ equipment.

In addition, they also set pre-cooling requirements for reefer loads and periodic training for carrier personnel, drivers included, who may interact with food products.

Likely the key takeaway from the new regulations for food hauling carriers is to have clean, well kept equipment, Moseley said. “This may mean that trailers need work,” he said. “If they leak with rain from the roof, or if road water comes into the trailer from the floor, you need to make changes,” he said. Small holes, debris, vermon droppings or trailers that smell bad give shippers pause under the new rules, Moseley said.

Another component of the rule likely to apply to carriers are its pre-cooling requirements.

Such requirements impact by load times. When shippers dictate certain pre-cooling temperatures prior to food being loaded onto a trailer, those requirements must be met, Moseley said. Long waiting times at a dock compromises pre-cooling. Then, shippers start checking for proper pre-cooling temperatures due to the new FDA regulations.


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How CDL drivers are breaking the chains of sex slaveryCalifornia Attorney General Kamala Harris is backing legislation. This continues a decade-long bid to coordinate law enforcement agencies’ responses to human trafficking. Harris’s move will be welcomed by the growing number of people advocating for the eradication of human trafficking, such as Truckers Against Trafficking.

According to the article from Sacramento-based

“Attorney General Harris announced March 9 that she supports AB1731 by former Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins of San Diego.”

“Human trafficking is one of the world’s most heinous and profitable criminal enterprises,” Harris said. “This legislation combats human trafficking by ensuring coordination between a wide range of agencies and partners. I applaud Speaker Emeritus Atkins for fighting this abhorrent crime.”

The bill creates a “permanent interagency task force led by the state Department of Justice.”

Harris long railed against human trafficking. As San Francisco’s district attorney in 2006, she sponsored an earlier bill that outlawed sex and labor trafficking. That measure also allowed restitution for trafficking victims and created a temporary group to report on the problem in California.

To learn how people with CDL trucking jobs are standing up against human trafficking in a big way, read Drive My Way’s feature about Truckers Against Trafficking.


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DOT seeks feedback from CDL truck drivers on sleep apnea regulationsPeople with CDL trucking jobs already lament the federal regulations they must abide by in today’s world. Now, yet another regulation looms in the balance for truck drivers. If you are a CDL permit holder, now’s your time to speak up on the issue of sleep apnea.

On March 8, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration jointly announced that they are seeking public comment during the next 90 days on the impacts of screening, evaluating, and treating CMV drivers and rail workers for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Writer David Cullen wrote about the issue in Heavy Duty Trucking.

Ramifications from public comments remain undetermined

But, the two federal agencies host three public listening sessions to gather input on obstructive sleep apnea. They collect from CDL permit holders and others in the transportation industry. The sessions occur in Washington, D.C., Chicago and Los Angeles.

“The agencies said their Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, a.k.a. a “pre-rule,” serves as “the first step” in considering whether to propose specific requirements around OSA,” Cullen’s article states.

The pre-rule, titled “Evaluation of Safety Sensitive Personnel for OSA,” specifically seeks “data and information concerning the prevalence of moderate-to-severe obstructive sleep apnea among individuals occupying safety sensitive positions in rail and highway transportation.”

The agencies request information about the possible financial impact and safety benefits associated with “regulatory actions”

Transportation workers showing more than one risk factor for obstructive sleep apnea face evaluation by a sleep disorder specialist. They then receive treatment.

The current pre-rule activity aligns with legislation passed by Congress in 2013 that instructs FMCSA on the regulatory approach it must take regarding OSA.

That law does not require the agency to issue any sleep-apnea policy or regulation. Rather, the bill states that no policy can be issued without the agency first conducting a thorough analysis of the prevalence of OSA among commercial drivers; the range of possible actions to address the problem; and the costs and benefits that may result.

Sleep apnea is a common condition causing a person’s breathing to pause during sleep.

As Cullen states in his article, the pauses can last from a few seconds to minutes and occur more than 30 times an hour. Ultimately, sleep apnea results in poor sleep quality and fatigue.

Are you an owner operator looking for steady, reliable work? Here’s how Drive My Way can help.


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