Delay New 34-Hour Restart Rule
H.R. 3413 – “True Understanding of the Economy and Safety Act”
As previously reported, Representatives Hanna (R-NY), Michaud (D-ME) and Rice (R-SC) have introduced H.R. 3413 – the “True Understanding of the Economy and Safety Act.”
The bill defers implementation of the new 34-hour restart provisions in the just implemented hours-of-service regulations that became effective July 1, 2013, pending completion of a Government Accounting Office (GAO) review of (1) the analysis used by FMCSA to justify the new rules and, (2) the MAP-21 required restart provision. Go to http://static.squarespace.com to download the white paper prepared by ATA on this issue.
LMTA signed onto a letter from a number of organizations that are part of an Hours of Service Coalition to members of Congress asking them to support the “TRUE Safety Act” H.R. 3413. In addition, LMTA sent a letter to all of Louisiana’s representatives in the U.S. House asking them to (1) become a co-sponsor of H.R. 3413 or (2) support the legislation when it comes to the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives.
Please contact your representative in Congress and ask them to support H.R. 3413. Be sure to tell them about your real-life experiences with how the restart provision is negatively impacting your company and your drivers’ schedules.
You can visit the homepage for your Representative listed below and use the “contact” buttons on each site to send your message.
Louisiana House of Representatives
1st District Rep. Steve Scalise: http://scalise.house.gov
2nd District Rep. Cedric Richmond: http://richmond.house.gov
3rd District Rep. Charles Boustany: http://boustany.house.gov
4th District Rep John Fleming: http://fleming.house.gov
6th District Rep. Bill Cassidy: http://cassidy.house.gov
NOTE: The 5th Congressional District runoff election was won by Vance McAllister on Saturday night. We look forward to working with him in Congress!
Thanksgiving Holiday Truck Travel Restrictions. Read this week’s LMTA Truck Talk newsletter for more information on LA-DOTD holiday travel restrictions on Louisiana’s highways.
UCR 2014 Fees. The Board of Directors of the Unified Carrier Registration Agreement voted to recommend to the US-DOT that the fees charged to motor carriers and other entities under the UCR program remain the same for 2015 as they have been since the fees were raised in 2010.
IRS Procedural Changes. The federal Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced changes in two programs affecting certain business taxpayers. The first alters the process by which IRS issues and enforces what it calls “information document requests,” or IDRs, on large businesses under audit. The second change affects small businesses and the self-employed under audit.
TxDOT Freight Mobility Survey – PLEASE RESPOND! The American Transportation Research Institute (ATRI) is part of a team commissioned by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) to help identify potential freight transportation system improvements within the state.
If you operate in or through Texas, please take a few minutes to fill out this important survey from ATRI (using the link below). The aggregated responses will be used by TxDOT to prioritize transportation infrastructure improvements. To participate in the survey, go to https://www.research.net/s/TXFreightMobility.
Affordable Care Act: Cancelled Health Plans. President Obama, under pressure from Congressional Democrats, proposed an administrative fix to allow individuals who are losing their coverage, but cannot yet enroll on the federal- and state-run Marketplaces because of massive technology problems, to keep their plans for another year.
FMCSA MCS-150 Enforcement. Motor carriers and other entities that are required to have a USDOT number are also required to file a Form MCS-150 with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration at least every two years to update their identifying, contact, and operational information. This has been the law for a long time, but FMCSA has never strictly enforced it. However, the agency now plans to do so, under a regulation that was part of its recently issued Unified Registration System rule. (And once again, the URS has nothing to do with the UCRA!)
H.R. 2655 – Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act. The House of Representatives is expected to consider H.R. 2655, the Lawsuit Abuse Reduction Act (LARA) on Thursday, and ATA is encouraging members to reach out to their Representatives in support of the bill.
Introduced by Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), and cosponsored by 7 fellow House Republicans, LARA is simple – and much-needed – legislation that would serve to protect trucking companies and other small businesses from frivolous legal claims. The bill is carefully drafted to reach only those claims that are wholly without foundation. LARA would not prevent any plaintiff with a claim of any merit from having his or her day in court. LARA would, however, stop the filing of frivolous claims by predatory trial lawyers seeking to force small businesses to settle baseless claims.
LARA is strongly supported by the Republican leadership in the House, but ATA is informed that twenty or more Democratic votes will be needed to pass the measure. Please get in touch with your Representatives and ask them to support LARA when it is voted on this Thursday.
CDL Rule Changes for Veterans. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration in light of an in-house study says it wants to implement some regulation changes to help former military personnel U.S. veterans more easily transition to civilian truck driving jobs. The agency says it plans to implement the changes “as soon as possible.”
FMCSA’s study was required by the MAP-21 highway funding law that went into effect last summer. The agency said it analyzed training, testing and licensing similarities between military and civilian CDL requirements.
“Our military men and women make tremendous sacrifices in service to our nation, and helping veterans transition to the civilian workforce when they come home is just one way to show our gratitude,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “Today’s report builds on the work FMCSA has already accomplished on behalf of our veterans and outlines opportunities to help even more qualify for jobs based on the skills and training they receive in the armed forces.”
New Oklahoma IRP System. The Oklahoma Corporation Commission, which administers the state’s International Registration Plan and International Fuel Tax Agreement programs, will start up its new IRP processing system on December 2, 2013. The system will finally allow Oklahoma to net its IRP collections through the IRP clearinghouse by early next year and which will make administration easier for the commission and for the other states and provinces.
Illinois Pass-Through Miles Apportionable. The Illinois Appellate Court, First District, has held that an interstate motor carrier had to include in the numerator of its Illinois income tax apportionment factor the miles the carrier traveled through Illinois in movements that neither began nor ended in the state, that is, its “pass-through miles.”
Sleep Access: Sleep Apnea Management Services. Sleep apnea is a very common disorder in which a person has pauses in breathing during sleep and the result is poor sleep quality that leaves one feeling fatigued and sleepy throughout the day. Ensuring that your drivers are well rested empowers them to feel better about themselves while also giving them a boost in energy and performance while operating their trucks.
Endorsed by LMTA, the Sleep Access, LLC program consultants can fully customize the workings of your sleep health program. They only treat drivers that have been flagged by a DOT doctor and help the fleet manage the process. There is no need for you to hire additional staff or wait extra time to get the benefit of your sleep health wellness program. For more information on the Sleep Access program, contact Gary Carrigan at firstname.lastname@example.org, (615) 406-1885 or www.sleepaccess.com.