Trump, trucking and regulations: Takeaways from the first two weeks of the Trump Administration

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Updated Feb 12, 2017

President Trump and his new administration have been firing off executive orders and memos at a breakneck pace since Trump’s Jan. 20 inauguration, including a few swipes at federal regulations. If the barrage of Trump news left you a little dizzy, here’s a quick look at the key trucking-specific happenings from the new administration in its first two weeks.

FMCSA adjusts driver training rule: One of the first actions from Trump was a memorandum to federal agencies freezing new regulations. The only trucking regulation directly impacted by the memo is the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s December-published Entry-Level Driver Training rule. The rule was two weeks out from its scheduled effective date, thus falling under Trump’s regulatory freeze. FMCSA has delayed the effective date to March 21, pending a review by the new administration. The rule’s compliance date — Feb. 7, 2020 — has not been changed, however. Read the original story at this link.

Truck speed limiter mandate likely dashed: Trump’s anti-regulation policies will likely mean the end of the U.S. DOT’s push to require speed limiters on heavy-duty trucks, says Joe Rajkovacz, head of regulatory affairs for the Western States Trucking Association. Two DOT agencies — FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration — teamed up to develop a rule to require all new trucks to be equipped with speed limiters and to retroactively require existing trucks to use the devices too. The rule had only been issued in a proposed form and was likely years away from becoming law anyway, but Trump is likely the “death knell” for the speed limiter mandate, says Rajkovacz. Read the original story at this link.

New DOT boss in place: Though contention has surrounded some of Trump’s other Cabinet picks, DOT Secretary Elaine Chao sailed through the Senate confirmation process with little drama. Chao was confirmed to run the Department of Transportation via a 93-6 vote Wednesday. Trump must still nominate new administrator for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and other DOT agencies. Those nominees must be confirmed by the Senate too. Trump has given no indication as to when he plans to begin filling such positions. Read the original story at this link.

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ELD mandate remains: Though Trump’s regulatory freeze blocks new regulations from being enacted, it does not affect those already made law, such as the DOT’s ELD mandate. Most industry analysts say the compliance date for the ELD mandate will come as scheduled — Dec. 18, 2017. Trump’s freeze bars only new regulations and delays those published but not yet effective. The ELD mandate technically became law December 2015, but it gave carriers and drivers a two-year compliance window. In this case, the law was already effective, but the compliance date was not. The ELD mandate was also a law stipulated by Congress and executed by FMCSA, so it likely would take an act of Congress to scrap the rule. Read the original story at this link.

Trump issues two-for-one regulatory policy: Though its efficacy has been debated, Trump issued a second major regulatory order a week after the regulatory freeze. It requires federal agencies to propose two regulations to be revoked for every new regulation proposed or enacted. Read the original story at this link.