Heavy Duty Trucking

JUL 2014

The Fleet Business Authority

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s www.truckinginfo.com JULY 2014 • HDT 13 Bill would set national liability standard for shippers, brokers Several House Republicans are proposing a na- tional standard to protect buyers of trucking services from claims that they were negligent when selecting the carrier. The bill by Rep. John Duncan, R-Tenn., says that shippers and brokers would not be liable for negligence claims at the state level if they made sure that the carrier is registered at the Federal Mo- tor Carrier Safety Administration, has the required insurance, and does not have an unsatisfactory safety rating. Duncan, vice chairman of the House Transporta- tion and Infrastructure Committee, is joined on the bill by Reps. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., and Erik Paulsen, R-Minn. Robert Voltmann, president and CEO of the Trans- portation Intermediaries Association, said TIA helped draft the language and hopes to see it become part of the next highway bill. He said the problem is that states are setting their own standards for liability when there should be a national interstate standard. This raises a question about liability for shippers and brokers, he said. "Tell me where the accident's going to occur and then I'll tell you what you should have done. There is no fed- eral standard. It's up to each state and state judge mak- ing those decisions. That's not interstate commerce." Voltmann said it is FMCSA's job to say whether or not a carrier is fit, in terms of safety, to do business. The agency does make safety fitness determinations based on a compliance review, he added, but it does not have the resources to perform compliance reviews on all carriers so many are not rated. The CSA enforcement system, which measures carrier safety with data from roadside inspections and other sources besides compliance reviews, is intended to broaden the agency's ability to rate carrier fitness. But, FMCSA has not yet completed the rule that will link CSA data with safety fitness determinations. The initial proposal for that rule is scheduled to be published in December. Voltmann is optimistic that this proposal will clarify the issue. The T&I Committee is supposed to report out a bill by this summer, before the current highway program expires at the end of September. But Capitol Hill insid- ers believe passage is not likely before the November mid-term elections, due to conflicts over how to pay for the measure. Circle 150 on Reader Action Card Read more about The CAT Scale Guarantee at www.catscaleguarantee.com 1-877-CAT-SCALE (228-7225) © 2014 CAT Scale Company My company's been using CAT Scale for about as long as they've been around. We had an incident happen, got a ticket for an overweight. Sent all the documentation to CAT Scale and they sent us a check two days later. If you want to be sure your weight's right and you want somebody who's going to back it up like they say they are, use CAT Scale. " " – Miller T Like us on Facebook. We've Got Your Back. ® 8

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