Universal ID -- Update

As ICSA wrote in the August 2022 Landing Gear, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) seeking public comments on whether it should require Universal Identification Devices (aka, Unique Identification Devices, UIDs) on all interstate commercial motor vehicles. A portion of the pending rule would address what information those devices should send to roadside enforcement, and what may be the costs and benefits of such a system.

Overall, the 2,000-plus comments submitted prior to the close of comments on November 22saw UIDs as government intrusion – depending on the information and data a UID may transmit. A major focus of concern was the potential sharing of “PII,” the personally identifiable information of a driver. Many commenters cited a June 2022 survey by Randall Reilly, publisher of Commercial Carrier Journal and other industry trades, showing that 27% of truck drivers would leave the industry if UIDs were mandated.

Other comments looked at the relative practicality and cost of implementing a UID system:

If roadside enforcement, via UID transmission, identified a truck with a violation, would enforcement pull the truck out of the traffic stream for inspection? That may not always be safe. But if the truck were allowed to continue and became involved in a crash, would the state be liable for its failure to act? This is an issue that a number of state enforcement agencies have raised.

A key legal question raised concerned “probable cause” laws in many states. Under those laws, an officer must actually observe a violation to take enforcement action. Electronic identification alone is not sufficient.

How much would a UID cost?  If FMCSA mandated UIDs only on new trucks, would this discourage the purchase of new equipment?

Speaking of cost, a UID system would likely direct some trucks into existing weigh stations while allowing others to continue down the road. That would mean UIDs would need to be capable of two-way communication. But the communication standard discussed in the ANPRM is not the one currently used by most states. Who would pay for the required state equipment and its ongoing maintenance?

An ANPRM is the mechanism regulatory agencies like FMCSA use to test out a proposal or solicit ideas before drafting an actual rulemaking proposal. If FMCSA moves forward with a proposed regulation, ICSA will alert members to file comments.

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.