Posted on January 04, 2016
As of the first of this month, motor carriers will only have to test half of the previous portion of employees for use of illegal substances. The FMCSA reduced the threshold from 50% to 25% in an effort to reduce financial burden on the transportation industry while maintaining the same level of safety standards. Studies have indicated that a 25% random drug screening rate is sufficiently high to discourage use of illegal substances, making any testing beyond this threshold likely superfluous.
This comes as a result of three consecutive years with an industry-wide positive rate of less than one percent, indicating a high degree of compliance among transportation professionals. Though subject to further change, it is expected that these levels of random testing will continue for the foreseeable future. To learn more about these and other transportation issues, contact us.
Posted on November 03, 2015
Any motor carrier that must comply with MCA80 and attach MCS90 will have to file for proof of financial responsibility under the new regulations. The effective date these regulations has been pushed back to a 9/30/16 implementation and 12/31/16 for enforcement.
At present, only for-hire motor carriers who have applied for authority to haul processed goods of others in interstate commerce and have been provided an MC# are required to have an insurance filing. The MCA80 requires all for-hire interstate motor carriers to meet the financial responsibility requirements ($750,000). Additionally, it requires all motor carriers hauling any quanitity of hazardous material across state lines to have a filing (limit of no less than $1,000,000). This only applies to intrastate hazmat transport in bulk quantities.
The implementation pushback will allow the Department of Transportation additional time to prepare to for the significant increase in registered transportation professionals/operations. Estimates vary from 25,000 to over 100,000 new registrations resulting from the regulatory changes. Additionally, the extra time will allow motor carriers to prepare for and better understand the new rules by the time they are implemented.
Clearly this will affect a wide number of motor carriers. But it will also impact insurance providers. How? According to Tommy Ruke, a trucking insurance expert: “The first consideration is that this is a law, unlike proposals for ELD’s, speed limiters, and the drug clearinghouse, so URS will happen. The first published date is 12/12/15 when only the MCSA-1 application will be available and must be used for all new applications for registration (obtaining a new DOT#). It will be very interesting on how this will be done and what it will look like. We will keep an eye on how this works.”
Ruke goes on to say “The entities with new DOT#’s will be provided temporary registration that will allow them to operate without a financial responsibility filing until 9/29/16. The 9/30/16 date will be the important date for insurance providers because as published this is the date that the MC# will go away and filings can first be made. As I read the rule, the current motor carrier with a MC# and a 91X filing will not have to make a new filing. Any motor carrier who has a current filing and the filing is cancelled and replaced, the replacement filing will have to be done with the new system. Effective 9/30/16 the exempt for-hire motor carrier (ones with DOT#’s but no MC#, so no filing) will be able to have a filing made on their behalf. Private carriers with federal DOT#’s that are hauling any hazardous items in interstate commerce will also be able to have a filing made on their behalf as well as intrastate carriers that haul in bulk.”
For more information on this and other transportation regulatory changes, contact us.