Legislation has been reintroduced in the House by Rep. John Duncan (R-TN) that would create a “national hiring standard” for motor carriers without referencing controversial BASIC data generated by the Federal Motor Carrier Administration’s CSA safety-compliance program.

Instead, H.R. 120 would mandate that before hiring a motor carrier, the shipper, receiver, forwarder or broker would have to ascertain that the carrier is properly registered with FMCSA, has obtained the minimum insurance, and has not been assigned an “unsatisfactory” safety rating.

The bill is a reintroduction of legislation brought before Congress last year and is co-sponsored by Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Richard Hanna (R-NY), and Erik Paulsen (R-MN).

If passed, H.R. 120 would provide an end run around what the Transportation Intermediaries Association has termed “the confusing and conflicting vagaries of the CSA BASIC data as it relates to the negligent selection of a carrier.”

In TIA’s view, passing the measure “would clarify and standardize industry best practices for hiring safe motor carriers” vs. the current situation in which companies are often asked to second-guess the FMCSA on determining which carriers are safe to operate and those that are not… H.R. 1120 would remove the confusing and conflicting vagaries of the CSA BASIC data as it relates to the negligent selection of a carrier.”

In addition, TIA stated that the “FMCSA safety rating should be, and is, the ultimate determination, if a carrier is safe to operate or not.”

“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,” remarked TIA president and CEO Robert Voltmann.

“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," he added. 

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David Cullen

David Cullen

[Former] Business/Washington Contributing Editor

David Cullen comments on the positive and negative factors impacting trucking – from the latest government regulations and policy initiatives coming out of Washington DC to the array of business and societal pressures that also determine what truck-fleet managers must do to ensure their operations keep on driving ahead.

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