FMCSA speeds work on raising carrier insurance minimums, slows on Safety Fitness scoring rule

| July 15, 2014

truck crashThe prospect of a proposed Safety Fitness Determination rule coming this year seems to have diminished, as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has made its work on producing a rule raising the minimum amount of liability insurance for carriers a higher priority, according to projected rule publication dates in a Department of Transportation report issued this week. 

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FMCSA moved up the date in which it projects to publish a proposed insurance increase rule to Sept. 19, from last month’s November projection. The agency first announced its intention to pursue the rule in April, when it published a study saying the $750,000 minimum is too low and needs to be increased to account for inflation and higher medical costs. 

Meanwhile, work on the long-awaited Safety Fitness Determination rule appears to have hit another snag, as the agency has pushed the projected publication date for the rule from Dec. 17 to Feb. 10, 2015. As recently as March the rule was projected to be published in early August. 

The rule has been in the works since 2007 and would create a carrier scoring system the agency would use to target carriers deemed unsafe. It would permit the agency to use a data set similar to that used in the agency’s Compliance, Safety, Accountability program’s Safety Measurement System rankings. 

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The DOT now projects the rule to be submitted to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget on Oct. 31 and to clear the OMB Jan. 30, in prep for the Feb. 10 publication date. It would then have a three-month public comment period. 

Congress could take action to require the agency to produce the rule sooner, however, in its annual DOT-funding bill. The Senate’s version includes a requirement that FMCSA publish a proposed SFD rule before the end of the year. Though the agency doesn’t always follow Congressionally required timelines, as with the electronic logging device mandate rule, which was published more than a year after 2012′s MAP-21 highway funding act’s required publication date. 

The House’s version of the DOT-funding bill does not include that requirement, but it does include language to halt the agency’s work on the rule to increase the liability insurance minimum by freezing the $750,000 minimum. 

The agency also has pushed back the projected publication date of its rule to require use of speed limiters in trucks, pushing the projected publication date of the rule from Oct. 23 to Nov. 18. Last month’s projected date, however, had also been delayed from May’s projected Oct. 1. 

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Other rulemakings in the report include FMCSA’s work on a new entrant training and testing process, which does not have any projected action dates listed; a rule to rescind the requirement that drivers and carriers maintain records of vehicle inspection reports when no problems have been found, which is projected for publication in October; a rule to make it easier for military members to obtain a CDL, projected for publication next May; and a rule to require Transportation Security Administration background checks on hazmat haulers, which has no projected action dates. 

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  • todd

    Just another way to line the FAT CATS pockets

  • Robin

    Yeah, make us bigger targets for those greedy ambulance chasers. The insurance companies are already have great fun using the CVSA scores to raise our rates. Why not hand them another gift? Maybe the government should just get their own trucks and move all the freight. They seem to know how to do this better than we do anyways.

  • Clint

    Yup just more rhetoric in our trucking industry. The FMCSA cant even police their own rules half the time yet now they want us to up our antes on financial responsibility. Hell I already have to pay a requirement of a million in liability and 100 grand in cargo. Yet they allow all of those illegal carriers to run all over our country meaning illegal hotshots and they don’t do anything about it I know because I wrote a in depth letter to them about how Uship allows this and I never got any response from them and Uship is still allowing this to go on. Yup your right the fat cats just get richer and the FMCSA just turns their heads.,its really hard to compete with these guys who have a minimum amount of personal insurance and get away with it. I for one am about to get out of the industry and I bet there’s going to be many more .These illegal carriers are killing our rates as well as the foreigners who are also killing our rates. . These foreigners who come over and become truckers have no idea how our economy has been and basically are messing with our rates and safety standards which in turn are creating higher insurance rates on all of us . before we know it we all be working for close to minimum wage if this trend continues. Wake up FMCSA and don’t screw with the quality Truckers that have been here and have been operating safely for decades and start putting the pressure on the newbies and those illegal Hotshots.In other words FMCSA start cleaning up the current problems before you create more problems .

  • John

    Progressive raise my premiums 100% in last 2 years without the reason, when I called them they said there was too many accidents in Illinois they had too raise premiums. If they going to pass the law my premiums will be 50,000 per truck

  • Gman

    Why in the world are you with Progressive? Peter Lewis, who owns Progressive, is second only to George Soros in donations to” big government” candidates and incumbents. Get away from them.

  • Guest

    Well that actually works 2 ways, although I’m not naïve enough to think this is because of what they say. These corrupt pathological liars are just milking the word safety. With all of these new regulation exactly how does paying more for insurance make things safer, it don’t, it is nothing more than a gimmick to feed the insurance companies, and to benefit the big carriers. So are they also going to raise car insurance thru the roof so when they cause a truck to crash they can cover all the expenses associated with that? By raising the price of insurance they are intervertatly

  • martymarsh

    With this they are going to cause everything to go up, not to mention put some people out of business. If you don’t have a camera in your truck you need to get one. When a car makes you crash take them to court and take everything they own and see what they think about the laws then, because they certainly don’t carry enough insurance to pay for a truck and a half a million dollar load, not to mention if you get hurt. These corrupt pathological liars are only feeding the insurance companies, not to mention taking care of the ATA’s of this world. Then you have all of these safety organizations practically calling truckers killers, oh but there are some good ones out there. Government is the problem not the answer, it is they that allow people to drive just because they can move a vehicle. It is they that allow all of these people from other countries that will drive for nothing and run like maniacs. If they really wanted to do some good, they would raise everything on the England’s of this country, they are the real culprits, but they are also the one’s that get taken care of by no other than you know who. This corrupt system is going to make everyone pay, but then that is the object, to keep the money wheel turning.

  • Jim

    FMCSA just needs to go away.

  • shadow hauling

    I’m glad you said ILLEGAL hotshot haulers. I run legal hotshot loads and have to put up with their sorry asses too. I carry 1,000,000 in liability and 50,000 in cargo (which by the way I’m going to be raising). I got my dot numbers 2251504 ( if anyone cares to check me out) then I got my MC number. I’ve went through my initial audit and passed that. I have to carry logs, use hos, cross scales and put up with everything the big trucks do with the exception I don’t have to drug test myself. If I get more than one truck or license my truck over its current weight then I will have to. I used to drive tractor trailer and still hold my cdl which means I still have to get the physical. I know what you mean about the scab drivers and haulers out there. I have to deal with them also and probably more so than the rest of you because I compete for the small loads which is usually one car or truck at a time. Look for me on the road, I run legal so you will see my signs. Give a honk

  • martymarsh

    We know that isn’t going to happen.

  • Bryan

    So a bunch of lawmakers who are lawyers who still belong to law firms want a pay raise? Did I get that right?

  • Jason McKennon

    We all know why yet all of us keep putting up with it…so that means it will never stop

  • localnet

    Get away from progressive, they are outrageous! Quoted me $6000 a year for bobtail insurance! I was shopping rates, and stuck with my normal insurance carrier, $1800 a year.

  • david

    kick the dems out and take back w.h

  • rooster72669

    raise the rates its ok just consumer prices goin up

  • rooster72669

    start killin em off when the dot pulls you over climbs up to ya window fill his face full of lead remember nuthin changes till someone dies
    start at the tail of the snake and work ya way up

  • mousekiller

    That isn’t going to happen. The small carriers will go under due the huge increase in insurance along with the increase in fuel and the constant increase in just doing business. The larger carriers will absorb the cost and reduce the competition and the small carrier and the O/O will be a memory..The ambulance chasing lawyers will get richer and the consumer that has no dog in this fight will pay for it all. Truckers will pay twice.

  • Charlie

    You’re right. The big companies want the minimum raised because they are “self insured” and they know that the smaller companies aren’t. So that eliminates competition.

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