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Federal trucking regulations to pay attention to in 2016

The trucking industry is a valuable way to ship goods all over the nation. And while large truck serve an important role in intrastate and interstate commerce, drivers in Arizona and elsewhere must share the roadways with semi-trucks, tractor-trailer trucks and other large commercial vehicles.

In order to enhance trucking safety across the nation, certain federal trucking regulations have been added over the years. Specific regulations are modified, removed or added when it is apparent that certain violations are frequently occurring or safety needs to be addressed in particular areas. For 2016, there are six major regulations to pay attention to, which seek to generate more safety in the trucking industry.

The first is the unified registration system. Phase one of this system was implemented last year and phase two is expected to begin in September 2016. This will result in all registration numbers currently used, such as the MC, MX and FF, to be replaced with the USDOT numbering system. The purpose of this is to save time and money by reducing paperwork and processing time.

Second is the new safety fitness rule that was proposed by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. This new rulemaking is aimed to make it easier to evaluate the safety of motor carriers and identify non-compliance. The third regulation focuses on a driver coercion mandate. This aims at preventing fleet owners, freight brokers and shippers from taking employment action or to punish drivers for refusing to operate a motor carrier in violation of certain provisions.

The fourth regulation to keep an eye on is required training for new drivers. There has been a proposal to update the training requirements for entry-level drivers; however, the proposal still needs approval from the Office of Management and Budget before it gets published. Fifth, is the installation of speed limiter on heavy trucks, and it is expected to be implemented in 2016 as a means to reduce fatal crashes. Lastly, the sixth regulation is a CDL testing database, which lists drivers who have refused to submit to or have failed drug or alcohol tests.

While these efforts to advance federal trucking regulations seek to reduce violations and improve trucking safety, this unfortunately will not prevent all truck accidents from occurring.

Source: Gobytrucknews.com, "6 Regulations to Watch in 2016," Todd Bryant, Feb. 4, 2016

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Law Office of Keith A. Hammond, P.C.

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