Channel 19

Todd Dills

FMCSA calling off so-called ‘red-shirt mandate’

| April 01, 2013
FMCSA's red-shirt-mandate proposal's scrapping caused bid levels to spike on a trailer at auction on eBay with one of the agency's old advertisements on it. (File under: Taxpayer dollars at work.)

FMCSA’s red-shirt-mandate proposal’s scrapping caused bid levels to spike on a trailer at auction on eBay with one of the agency’s old advertisements on it. (File under: Taxpayer dollars at work.)

A year to the day after it issued the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would have required all commercial truck drivers to wear red t-shirts behind in the wheel in interest of public safety (and coming on the heels of a rash of bizarre acts that culminated in the Christmas Eve determination that the Santa Claus operation constituted an imminent hazard to public safety), the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has officially withdrawn the NPRM. As primary reason for the withdrawal, FMCSA referenced its internal Truck-Regulation Public-Comment-Believability Index (TRPCBI), which takes the ratio of the number of rule-positive comments versus negative ones and normalizes the ratio by the rate of weekly comments for a “measurement of effective punitive policy,” a representative said.

To put it in layman’s terms?

“If we get too many positive comments, we know we’re doing something wrong.”

Such appears to be the case with the agency’s proposed entry into the dress of commercial truck drivers.

“Heck, I need some new shirts anyway,” said Bob Dove of North Lake, Tenn., on the public docket. “And judging by some of the stuff I’ve seen guys wearing out here, I’m not the only one. This industry could use a facelift. I’m all for it!”

“OMG I love red!” said another commenter.

FMCSA reps say the red-shirt mandate response was so positive, the associated TRPCBI spike triggered a Congressionally mandated agency internal review that could take up to three or four decades but which could ultimately result in an about face for the way it conducts business. “Who knows?” said the FMCSA rep. “We could well drop the hours regulations altogether before all’s said and done. CSA? Scrap it.”

Thoughts? With any and all commentary, use hashtag #truckingaprilfoolsday — and keep the shiny side up today, drivers!

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