A bill to create a national hiring standard for motor carriers was introduced last week by Congressman John Duncan (R-2nd/TN), Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-3rd/MN) and Congressman Rodney Davis (R-13th/IL). H.R. 4727 is intended to enhance interstate commerce by requiring a shipper, broker, forwarder, and/or receiver ensure that a prospective motor carrier is:
- Properly registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA);
- Has obtained the minimum insurance; and
- Has not been given an “unsatisfactory” safety rating.
The national hiring standard would clarify and standardize industry best practices for hiring safe motor carriers. Currently, industry stakeholders are often asked to second-guess the FMCSA on determining which carriers are safe to operate and those that are not. Congress tasked the FMCSA with evaluating motor carrier safety and empowering them with the sole authority to revoke the interstate operating authority of unsafe motor carriers or otherwise place unsafe motor carriers out-of-service and off the road.
Additionally, H.R. 4727 would remove the confusing and conflicting vagaries of the CSA BASIC data as it relates to the negligent selection of a carrier. TIA will continue to advocate that the CSA initiative is a valuable internal tool for the Agency, but until the Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) rulemaking is complete, the BASIC data should not be used as a tool for carrier selection. The FMCSA safety rating should be considered the ultimate determination of whether a carrier is safe to operate or not.
“The current state of affairs of CSA and the ever-increasing threat of negligent selection lawsuits based on the BASIC data are hurting the transportation industry,” said TIA President and CEO Robert Voltmann. In the marketplace today, every time a shipper, broker, forwarder, or receiver hires a carrier, they are essentially playing Russian roulette for their businesses’ livelihood. This national hiring standard reinforces the safety rating and licensing process already established by FMCSA, helps small business across America, and improves the overall safety of the transportation industry.”