Agency action on increasing insurance will give truckers, public extra comment period

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Updated Oct 6, 2014

The upcoming rule to increase the minimum amount of liability insurance that carriers and brokers must carry will have an additional step that allows fleets and owner-operators another chance to offer formal comment on the rule.

The proposed rule will first be issued as an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, rather than simply a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The ANPRM’s publication is expected sometime this month. FMCSA sent the rule to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget last week, and after its clearance there, the agency is set to publish the proposed rule.

The ANPRM will give the industry, the public and any other stakeholders the chance to make public comments on the rule in the rulemaking portal.

However, the agency must still issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking prior to issuing a final rule. The NPRM will also give all stakeholders another opportunity to comment.

The ANPRM this month will have a 60-day public comment period, according to a recent Department of Transportation report.

Ryan Bowley, director of government affairs for the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, says owner-operators should ready themselves for discussion on the issue.

“[There’s] still a long process for FMCSA to go through before anything will be final. Truckers should be preparing to talk about the impacts of higher insurance costs, but the issue is far from over,” he said in an email. “OOIDA will certainly be pushing against this action, which we see having no safety benefit whatsoever.”