News roundup, Oct. 30: FBI seeks missing-person help; FMCSA IT faces scrutiny; another ELD small-fleet exemption application and suspension petition; Uber Freight expands to Canada

Updated Oct 31, 2019

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2019:

IG opens another audit into FMCSA
Fresh off the heels of its announcement that it would audit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s oversight of state licensing agencies and CDL disqualifications, the U.S. DOT’s Office of Inspector General has announced it will also audit FMCSA’s IT infrastructure. The audit will seek to find any security flaws that could expose “FMCSA’s systems and data,” much of which is private and sensitive.

SBTC petitions FMCSA to reconsider ELD exemption for small trucking companies
The Small Business in Transportation Coalition is asking the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to reconsider its petition for an exemption from the ELD mandate for carriers with fewer than 50 employees.

FMCSA denied SBTC’s request in July because the agency says the application did not meet regulatory standards for an exemption, because it failed to provide “the name of the individual or motor carrier that would be responsible for the use or operation of CMVs” under the exemption and did not provide an estimate for the total number of drivers and commercial vehicles that would operate under the exemption.

In its request for reconsideration, SBTC said the reason it didn’t provide an estimated number of drivers and trucks is because it is a trade group and not a single carrier. The group added that it believes it has identified a percentage of carriers that would fall under the exemption but doesn’t know a way to figure out how many drivers would be included. FMCSA is accepting public comment on the request here through Nov. 29.

The group’s head, James Lamb, has also started a petition to the White House to immediately suspend ELDs, arguing that an unintended consequence of the rule can be seen in the high number of truck-occupant deaths in large-truck-involved crash fatalities in 2018 reported on via this link. Total truck-occupant deaths in the stats were up by 46 deaths over 2017 numbers.  The petition needs 100,000 signatures by Nov. 24, to get a response from the White House.

Uber Freight expands into Canada
Freight-matching brokerage Uber Freight announced Wednesday it is expanding into Canada, with both domestic and cross-border load options available, the company says. Specifically, the  service is available in Ontario and Quebec provinces, with cross-border loads available to the midwestern and northeastern areas of the U.S. The company says it plans to expand tot he rest of Canada later.

Uber Freight, an app-based brokerage that matches loads to owner-operators and small carriers, launched on a small scale in 2016, in Texas, and has since grown to be available nationwide. In addition to expansion into Canada, the company has also opened service in Germany, Poland and the Netherlands.

14-year-old Isabel Hicks was last seen at her home in Bumpass, Va.14-year-old Isabel Hicks was last seen at her home in Bumpass, Va.

FBI seeks trucking community help in finding 14-year-old Isabel Hicks
The Federal Bureau of Investigations has sought out the help of the National Association of Truck Stop Operators and others in distributing the flyer at this link about missing 14-year-old Isabel Hicks. Hicks was last seen at her home in Bumpass, Va.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Richmond Division of the FBI at 804-261-1044. You may also contact your local FBI office, the nearest American Embassy or Consulate, or you can submit a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

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