RFX Blog

RFX Supports H.R. 1120, the National Standard for Hiring Motor Carriers

May 12th, 2015

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Last year, RFX announced its support of HR 4727,  a bill that would enhance interstate commerce by creating a national standard for hiring motor carriers. In June of 2014, RFX and other members of the Transportation Intermediaries Association took to Capital Hill to lobby in support of the bill. At the time, the bill was introduced by Congressman John Duncan (R-2nd/TN) and supported by Congressman Erik Paulsen (R-3rd/MN), and Congressman Rodney Davis (R-13th/IL).  While our group was successful in establishing a presence on Capital Hill in support of the HR 4727, the bill did not gain enough traction to be passed into law because it was to be part of a long term transportation bill which was delayed via a “band-aid” solution.

On February 28, 2015, Congressman Duncan reintroduced the bill in the 114th Congress as HR 1120. The Bill would require that before hiring a motor carrier, a shipper, broker, forwarder and/or receiver must ensure that the motor carrier is:

–   Properly registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
–   Has obtained the minimum level of insurance; and
–   Has not been given an “unsatisfactory” safety rating

The proposed 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.  The conflicting information received through FMCSA’s rating system has lead to negligent hiring or vicarious liability lawsuits.

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.

After the bill was reintroduced, TIA President Bob Voltmann said “TIA applauds Congressmen Duncan, Davis, Hanna, Meadows, and Paulsen for their leadership in introducing this important piece of legislation. 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. 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,”

On June 18th, RFX will once again join forces with other members of the Transportation Intermediaries Association and take to Capital Hill in support of HR 1120. We need your support. TIA has prepared a form letter for you, asking your Members of Congress to support H.R. 1120. Please fill out your information on the TIA Advocacy website. 

 

Posted on May 12th, 2015 in RFX News