Trump’s FMCSA budget strikes softer tone on enforcement

Although President Trump’s recommended $1 trillion public/private infrastructure investment plan has garnered most of the discussion in transportation circles regarding his fiscal year 2018 proposed budget, the budget highlights for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration signals departure from President Obama’s FMCSA in the oversight of the trucking industry. Read more.

Did FMCSA’s shift save the driver training rule?

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s final rules rarely differ dramatically from what the agency floated in notices of proposed rulemaking (NPRMs), but the agency’s new rule setting minimum training standards for entry-level drivers (as well as those seeking upgrades and certain endorsements) is an exception to the norm. Had FMCSA adopted the rule as proposed with a minimum of 30 hours of behind-the-wheel training, it’s likely that the Trump administration would have shelved it under a regulatory moratorium. The question is whether FMCSA’s pullback was enough to save the rule. Read more.

Don’t count on major FMCSA reversals under Trump

Donald Trump’s surprise win has many scrambling to reassess what federal policy will be on a wide range of issues. It’s fair to say that we will see dramatic shifts in some areas – health care, labor, environment and trade policy, to name a few. One thing we probably will not see is a wholesale rollback of safety regulation and enforcement on motor carriers, especially in areas where the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has recently issued final rules. Read more.

FMCSA tries to fix SMS flaws without admitting them

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has proposed future enhancements to the Safety Measurement System (SMS). The agency floated most of the proposed changes more than a year ago, but two newly proposed tweaks implicitly acknowledge that volatility renders SMS unusable for overseeing many small carriers.  Read more.