Congress Pursues Motor Carrier Selection Standard

While FMCSA ponders how best to rate truckers, two members of the U.S. Senate have introduced a bill to establish a carrier selection standard for shippers, brokers and others until FMCSA completes a rulemaking to revise safety fitness determination standards. Under the legislation, a shipper or broker must verify no earlier than 45 days prior to the date of the shipment that the carrier is licensed, registered, and insured, and requires FMCSA to proactively affirm that the carrier complies with all required federal safety standards.

The Senate bill also requires FMCSA to complete a safety fitness rulemaking within one year and states that the agency “shall consider the use of all available data to determine the fitness of a motor carrier.”

A similar bipartisan House bill was approved in May by the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee. The House bill creates a safe harbor for shippers and brokers in the selection of a carrier as long as they have verified a carrier’s registration and insurance and determined that FMCSA has not found the carrier unfit to operate. Unlike the Senate version, the House legislation does not require FMCSA to proactively affirm the carrier’s compliance.

ICSA will keep you informed on this legislation as well as the ongoing Safety Fitness Determination rulemaking.

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