The New Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act
If the House of Representatives has their way, specifically the U.S. House’s Transportation Committee, there will be a major overhaul of the trucking industry in the United States in terms of regulatory reforms. On October 15, 2015, they proposed a $325 billion, six-year long-term highway funding bill known as the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act that could have major ramifications for the trucking industry, which includes the auto transport industry. Here are some of the main proposals:
In terms of its trucking industry reforms, most will be focused on changes to the provisions of the FMCSA, also known as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (located at //www.fmcsa.dot.gov/). The main changes will be the removal from the public of all crash records, as well as violations history, analysis, and percentile rankings, from the BASICs Safety Measurement System that the FMCSA uses.
In addition, it also will make it a requirement that the Inspector General of the Department of Transportation examine this measurement system and provide a corrective action plan before it can be made public again in the future.
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Lower Age Requirements for Interstate Truckers
As of now, all interstate truckers, meaning those who transport your vehicles, have to be at least 21 years of age. However, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act proposes lowering that age to between 19 and a half years old to 21. In order to do so, this reform act makes it a requirement that the FMCSA devise a brand new pilot program that is based on new:
- Mandatory hours-of-service requirements for these potential truck operators;
- Brand new training standards and requirements;
- New safety technologies that can be utilized.
More Stringent Drug Testing
Currently, truck operators, in order to be officially licensed as an interstate carrier, have to pass certain drug tests. This is done through taking samples of their urine. Now, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act will make it a requirement to use hair samples instead. This means more accurate drug testing since many drugs are able to be detected for far longer periods of time through hair samples instead of urine samples.
Time will tell if this reform act is passed. It’s similar to the Senate’s own DRIVE Act in its proposed requirements, but like always in politics, things can change quite quickly, especially in matters of legality such as this. It has certainly created a stir, with many criticizing it for perhaps its more lenient requirements for truck operators, namely because of the proposed removal of safety records. However, surely things are being overblown at the moment, as there will most likely be some changes to it before it’s passed officially.
At A-1 Auto Transport, regardless of any potential changes that are made, we always do business with highly credible companies that will ensure that your auto transport delivery is safely made. Contact us today for your free no obligation quote!