Motor Carrier Safety Laws Out of Date in 26 States

Motor Carrier Rulemaking, News, The Cullen Law Firm, PLLC

                                                                                                                                           CONTACT: Paul D. Cullen, Sr.  

                                                                                                                                                                      202-944-8600

WASHINGTON, DC – The Cullen Law Firm, PLLC filed a petition today with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on behalf of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, Inc. (OOIDA) alleging that 26 states have not kept their motor carrier safety rules up to date,  including the controversial Electronic Logging Device (ELD) rule set to go into effect in federal law on December 18, 2017.   A copy of the petition may be found here.

In order to qualify for federal grants under the Motor Carrier Safety Assistance Program (MCSAP), states are required to incorporate the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs) or their equivalent into state law.   In 2016, 95 percent of motor carrier and driver enforcement violations were issued by states under the MCSAP program.

OOIDA’s petition alleges that more than 20 states are years behind in adopting amendments to and new FMCSRs into state law.  For example Virginia which has not updated its incorporation of the FMCSRs since January 1, 2010, Arizona since 2012 and Kansas since 2013.  New regulations and amendments promulgated by FMCSA since the last incorporation date for these states are not part of their state law.

OOIDA’s petition points out that serious legal problems arise when states attempt to enforce federal safety standards that have not been made part of state law.  Until a state incorporates the most current federal safety rules into its own state law, including the ELD rules, that state’s officials have no legal authority to inspect, report or cite drivers for violations of those rules.

FMCSA is preparing for a nationwide rollout on December 18, 2017 of a program to enforce hours-of-service regulations using electronic logging devices to be installed on the trucks of most long-haul motor carriers.  States that have not incorporated the ELD rules cannot inspect or cite drivers for violating the ELD rules.

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