FMCSA Complaint Website to be Improved

Say What?? FMCSA Has a Complaint Website??!!

Are you familiar with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s National Consumer Complaint Database (NCCDB)? We’re betting many ICSA members are like most freight truckers: they don’t even know the complaint site exists yet alone have used it!

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports that too few of the entities that website is intended to help – motor carriers, bus companies and professional truck and bus drivers – are aware of its existence. And those who do attempt to utilize the complaint website, can find the instructions confusing, particularly in locating the appropriate category for their complaint.

A little history tells us why the NCCDB may not be familiar to trucking professionals. When Congress created FMCSA, it not only charged the agency with reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities involving large trucks and buses, Congress also tasked the agency with overseeing the household goods (HHG) moving industry in its dealings with the general public – the “Consumer” in National Consumer Complaint Database. The NCCDB is intended to capture complaints from all areas regulated by FMCSA, but the GAO found FMCSA has actively promoted the website only under the “Protect Your Move” campaign aimed at HHG customers.

FMCSA has largely agreed with the GAO findings, which means trucking may soon see enhanced promotion of the NCCDB among motor carriers, truck drivers and trucking trade associations. Truckers will no longer need to wonder who to contact at FMCSA about a complaint – who to talk to about coercion or harassment of truck drivers or attempted double-brokering of loads. Just go to the NCCDB website and follow the instructions, as improved under the GAO guidance. The complaints will, in turn, be routed by category to the appropriate FMCSA personnel for action.

Commercial vehicle enforcement officers inspect trucks. Highway patrol officers monitor on-road behavior. FMCSA and state personnel conduct on-site investigations at motor carrier facilities. But a large portion of FMCSA responsibilities are not, and often cannot, be addressed through these actions. Federal and state officials simply are not physically present for the interactions between carrier and driver, trucking company and broker, truck driver and shipper. FMCSA needs a well-run NCCDB to do its job just as much as trucking needs a functioning complaint mechanism to maintain integrity in transportation.

Supreme Court Overturns “Chevron Doctrine”

10 July 2024

Anyone who has been in business for any length of time can cite a number of times that federal regulatory agencies have had a free hand in regulating businesses such as trucking. That is why carriers and other industries that want a fair fight to challenge regulations in the future may have been given a gift from the U.S. Supreme Court June 28.

Miss the Deadline to Challenge a Regulation?

10 July 2024

This session, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Chevron doctrine, a longstanding policy under which lower courts almost always sided with regulatory agency decisions where the intent of Congress was not clear. Overturning Chevron opened the door, many legal experts believe, to allowing challenges against many existing regulations.