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Proposed regulations for trucking industry delayed

Updated federal rules regulating the trucking industry in Louisiana and throughout the country have been delayed again. The rules in question concern requiring speed limiting devices on commercial trucks exceeding a certain weight and mandating carriers to provide annual lists to the governement of drivers who refuse to take or fail alcohol or drug tests.

According to the Department of Transportation, the rule that would require carriers to provide the annual list of refusals and alcohol and drug test failures is now scheduled to be sent to the White House on May 6. The publication date would then be on Aug. 16. Trucking companies would also have to look at the database before making hiring decisions.

The proposed rule that would impose a speed limiter requirement for all trucks weighing in excess of 27,000 pounds currently has had the dates removed. That rule has been sitting in the Office of Management and Budget at the White House since May 2015. There is no firm projected dates for finalization of that rule, although it is expected to be later in the spring.

The trucking industry is strictly regulated in part because of the danger big rigs pose to others on the nation's highways. Because trucks weigh so much and are so large, the physical forces involved when they are involved in accidents often result in catastrophic injuries or fatalities to occupants of other vehicles. There are also strict hours of service rules which are meant to prevent truck driver fatigue. A violation of these rules that leads to an accident that injures or kills another person could subject both the driver and the company to liability for the losses incurred by the victims.

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