FMCSA was scheduled to issue its proposed rulemaking to the Office of Management and Budget by July 26, and the OMB is scheduled to clear it by Oct. 26. The public can comment until Jan. 4 and a final rule is expected by July 26, 2011.
The creation of new rule is the result of an Oct. 26, 2009, legal settlement between Public Citizen and other organizations and the agency.
The July DOT report noted other rulemaking publication deadlines, including:
• Nov. 23 for CDL testing and Commercial Driver Permit standards. This rule includes establishing minimum federal standards for states to issue permits, setting maximum issuance and renewal periods and a minimum age limit.
• March 4, 2011, for minimum training requirements for entry level commercial motor vehicle operations. This rulemaking would require behind-the-wheel and classroom training for CDL holders to operate commercial motor vehicles.
• April 4, 2011, for CMV driver positive controlled substances and alcohol test results database. This would create a central database for verified positive controlled substances and alcohol test results for CDL holders and refusals by drivers to submit to testing.
• Dec. 17 for revisions to expand the number of motor carriers required to have electronic onboard recorders.
— Jill Dunn
SPOT MARKET FREIGHT availability increased by 216 percent in May compared with the same month in 2009, according to TransCore’s North American Freight Index. This was the strongest volume for May in at least 10 years, the company said. Freight availability increased in May for dry vans and refrigerated vans in advance of the peak summer season, but declined 15 percent for flatbeds.
TRUCK TONNAGE ROSE 7.2 percent in May from a year earlier, but tonnage dipped 0.6 percent from April, the American Trucking Associations said. May’s year-over-year increase was the sixth consecutive annual gain.
THE CALIFORNIA Air Resources Board awarded $200 million in Proposition 1B funds to cut emissions from heavy-duty trucks and other sources in the state’s four busiest trade corridors. The Los Angeles/Inland Empire, Central Valley, Bay Area and San Diego/Border regions received the funds, approved by voters in 2006.
Pilot, Flying J wrap up merger
Pilot Travel Centers LLC and Flying J Inc. have completed the merger of the two companies, creating a network of more than 550 interstate travel centers and travel plazas.