But compliance with the registration requirement has been far from 100 percent. Between 80 and 90 percent of carriers operating 100 or more trucks have registered under UCR, but the compliance rate among brokers and freight forwarders is only 16 percent. Less than 60 percent of single-truck operations have registered; in 2008, the overall compliance rate was 62.5 percent.
In comments filed for the rulemaking, state agencies generally supported the fee increase, while the trucking industry generally opposed it. The Truckload Carriers Association said the proposal would “negatively affect the motor carrier industry in order to subsidize both noncompliant motor carriers and the states that will not put forth the effort to increase UCRA [UCR Agreement] compliance.’’
To view the final rule and comments, go to www.regulations.gov. The docket is FMCSA-2009-0231.
— Staff reports
Merits of port truck programs debated
Opposing sides presented views of two Southern California port Clean Truck Programs at a May 5 hearing as part of Congress’ examination of whether it should change trucking laws.
Highways and Transit subcommittee members heard testimony on Los Angeles and Long Beach port programs, which are similar, except for the Los Angeles port’s program that would ban owner-operators from regularly serving the ports.
John Holmes, Los Angeles port deputy executive director, testified the requirement for drivers to be employees, not owner-operators, is necessary to enforce program accountability and sustain it.
The American Trucking Associations is in a court battle against the Los Angeles port over this requirement. Last year ATA won a preliminary injunction against the requirement and is seeking a permanent injunction.
– Jill Dunn
Research shows hours rule safe
In an effort to answer questions over whether current hours-of-service regulations have hurt safety, the American Transportation Research Institute released a report concluding that trucking safety has improved since 2004. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s first major rewrite of the hours rule took effect Jan. 4, 2004.
ATRI’s analysis of data shows that the total collision rate dropped 12 percent from 2004 to 2009. Preventable collisions declined 31 percent, ATRI said.
Regulations governing drivers’ working hours seem to have little effect on safety anyway, ATRI concluded. Based on 2009 data, 87 percent of commercial motor vehicle crashes occurred within the first 8 hours of driving. ATRI also found that drivers generally used the 34-hour restart provision three or fewer times per month.
— Staff reports
Groups oppose climate change bill