Calendar set for FMCSA rules projected in 2015

The Department of Transportation has a busy new year ahead with several major – and controversial — rule changes and/or updates planned. Projected dates for the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) upcoming rulemakings:

* Safety Fitness Determination: The FMCSA says it still expects to publish a Safety Fitness Determination rule on June 17. This rule has been in the works for nearly eight years, and the agency continues to push back its publication date. The latest report shows a projected date of March 9 for the rule’s advancement to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Early June is the expected date for OMB clearance.

* Speed limiter mandate: A joint rule between FMCSA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the speed limiter mandate, is projected to see action Feb. 2. The DOT report says the rule should move to the OMB that day, with a projected publication date in May. The rule would require the installation and use of speed limiters on heavy trucks. FMCSA has not said what the limited speed would be.

* Electronic logging device mandate: The agency is projected to publish Sept. 30 a Final Rule mandating use electronic logging devices. The enforcement of the mandate will begin two years after the rule’s publication date.

*Driver coercion prohibition rule: A final rule is also expected in September for the rule prohibiting driver coercion. The DOT projects a publication date of Sept. 10. The rule creates safeguards against driver coercion by carriers, shippers and brokers and will impose fines and other penalties against those found coercing or pressuring drivers to break federal safety laws.

* CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse: A final rule implementing the CDL Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse is expected to be published Oct. 30. The will institute a database of drivers who have failed or refused to take a drug or alcohol test. Carriers will be required to upload such information to the clearinghouse and query it when making new hires.