New FMCSA Regulations in 2023

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration will be busy in 2023 with several rulemakings:

  • In the second half of 2023, FMCSA will publish a Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on speed limiters. At that time, we will learn what speed or speeds will be proposed and whether truck drivers can temporarily speed up to avoid merging traffic.

Over 30 countries have speed limiters on trucks. FMCSA will most likely look at the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Quebec, where speed limiters cap truck speeds at 65 mph. But FMCSA may not propose just one speed. Europe, for example, is now requiring new cars to have so-called “intelligent speed assistance” (ISA), which reads local speed zones. Can that be coming for trucks in the United States?

  • Should trucks have a UID?  The commercial law enforcement community wants all trucks to have a “unique identification device,” which would broadcast the identity of the truck to roadside enforcement. This “electronic license plate,” however, may transmit other information too – such as the mechanical condition of the truck, the hours of service (HOS) data of the driver, or where the vehicle has traveled. There are real legal questions about government enforcing laws solely based on electronic surveillance.
  • Automatic Emergency Braking, or AEB, is already a feature offered on some models of trucks. Congress has now mandated its adoption on all new trucks. FMCSA will be working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on this rulemaking, beginning later this month. One concern here, as with all advances in equipment, is driver over-reliance on technology.
  • Congress directed the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) to study side underride guards on trucks – as an effort to protect motorists. Of course, trucks already have rear underride guards – the strength standards on those will be increased, and there will be a new requirement for rear underride guards on straight trucks. Equipment standards come from NHTSA and are then enforced by FMCSA.
  • An arm of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sets the scientific and technical standards that USDOT agencies, like FMCSA, must follow when conducting drug and alcohol tests. That HHS agency has approved oral fluids testing, to be added to the urine tests now used. We will see USDOT formally adopt the HHS oral fluids standards in 2023.
  • In the USDOT Significant Rulemakings Report released in September 2022, FMCSA says that in 2023 it will seek public comments on “how better to use data and resources, including inspection data, to remove unfit motor carriers from the highways.” That, of course, is the function of CSA, the Compliance, Safety, Accountability program FMCSA uses to evaluate motor carrier safety.

Members can expect that ICSA will continue to monitor and report on any rulemakings that potentially impact motor carriers. 

New Broker and Freight Forwarder Financial Rules Proposed

16 January 2023

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to change the financial responsibility requirements of brokers and freight forwarders. The changes are intended to benefit motor carriers.

U.S. Department of Labor Proposes Independent Contractor Test

16 January 2023

In the last Regulatory Roundup, ICSA Director of Operations Shawn Nelson wrote about the challenges posed by California’s Assembly Bill 5. By adopting the “ABC” test to determine employee or independent contractor status, California hoisted most owner-operators on prong “B,” which deems a worker an employee if engaged in the usual course of business of a company.

In the Fight Against Human Trafficking, Why Truckers?

20 December 2022

Did you know that human trafficking not only affects 50 million people globally but has been recorded in all 50 states? In the United States alone, the number of victims annually is estimated in the hundreds of thousands, with traffickers recruiting out of our schools, online, in shopping malls, as well as the streets and other locations.