I have been working on a number of cases recently that have been very time consuming and have not been able to update this blog as much as I would like. My clients come first so no apologies, but I hope you find this update to be useful. This is my best guess as to what will impact safety in the trucking industry in 2012 and beyond:

  1. Medical Certificates will be integrated with the CDL license. The regulation requiring this went into effect Jan 30, 2012 – unfortunately 35 states are not ready to integrate this information with the CDL. This should gradually expand as states come into compliance.
  2. Hours of Service (HOS) – Probably more litigation on HOS rules. The American Transportation Association (ATA) Recently filed suit in the DC circuit. Don’t expect any final rule changes in this critical area for a long time.
  3. National Registry of Certified DOT Medical Examiners – Final Rule is before the OMB. ME’s will be required to undergo training and be placed on a registry. Drivers will be required to use a certified doc for the DOT exam. This will likely be in place in 2013, with a rule out by summer.
  4. Entry Level Driver Training – Expected rule this summer requiring more training for new CDL drivers.
  5. EOBR’s – The 7th Circuit recently vacated the rule requiring EOBR’s for bad companies. The new rule being proposed will require EOBRs on all trucks. I expect something this year. 
  6. Electronic Stability Control (SC) on Trucks –  The Industry is behind requiring these devices, long in cars. They have figured out the savings from ESC are far greater than the cost of putting them in the truck. These have been available since 2004 for heavy trucks, a mandate is likely to issued by the summer.
  7. Speed Governor’s – Expect a rule this spring or summer. Probably limiting trucks to 68MPH.
  8. Event Data Recorder (EDR) – This is coming. Cars have EDR’s in 2012. This will standardize the data recorded after a wreck and how long (seconds saved before after the wreck).
  9. CSA – Tweaks will change the CSA safety program, likely making the program even more accurate in predicting the companies and drivers likely to be involved in future wrecks. 
  10. Sleep Apnea – Formal guidance by the FMCSA expected by the summer. This is a continuing issue in the trucking industry. Please see my prior blogs on this issue.