Over time, the transportation industry has seen many new regulations passed for various reasons. From electronic log books, lower emission trucks, and increasing the age to have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) these laws were intended to improve the safety of the public as well as protect the environment. The increased tighter regulations have forced companies into compliance resulting in a tougher trucking market. It does not seem that the flow of regulatory actions have ceased, and now there are multiple bills in congress that have drawn public attention.
According to various trucking sources, there are four controversial bills in Congress right now that are being opposed by a group of 31 trucking and trade associations across the country. This coalition of companies believes that these bills “would impose tens of billions of dollars in unfunded mandates on American businesses engaged in trucking.” There is a growing concern that these regulations are misguided and in a letter wrote to Congress the coalition stated, “Like the ELD mandate, we are concerned these proposals will do nothing to improve highway safety.” The proposed bills are as follows:
- H.R. 1511/S. 665, the Stop Underrides Act: This bill would mandate the installation of front, side and rear underride guards on all trailers with a gross vehicle weight rating greater than 10,000 pounds, as well as single-unit trucks with a GVWR greater than 10,000 pounds and a carriage that is more than 22 inches above the ground.
- S. 2033, the Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act of 2019: This bill would require all heavy-duty trucks to be equipped with speed limiters with a speed limit of 65 miles per hour. The coalition says, if passed, the bill would create speed differentials in 35 states.
- H.R. 3773, the Safe Roads Act: This bill would require new commercial trucks to be equipped with automatic emergency braking systems. The letter states that studies show it is not yet clear if the benefits of these systems outweigh the costs.
- H.R. 3781, the INSURANCE Act: This bill would increase the liability insurance minimum for trucking companies from $750,000 to more than $4.9 million. The coalition says the bill, if passed, would impose significant costs on the trucking industry.
Time will tell which if any of these bill are made into laws, but it’s safe to assume there will be more legislation proposed in the future. As the trucking industry is squeezed into more stringent compliance, it would seem likely that a vocal opposition will take aim at delaying any additional regulations.