There’s much that could change this year. With significant changes likely in Congress, along with a prominent agenda from the White House, fleet owners need to remain aware of what could change in the world of trucking regulations to remain safe.
What to Watch for in 2022
Two key factors will remain a concern for the trucking industry in 2022. These include COVID-19 and supply chain issues. Consider the impact of these and other regulatory changes.
- Waivers for COVID-19: Waivers from federal regulations were in place through February of 2022. While those have expired, new threats from COVID-19 variants could impact the transportation industry later this year. Some waivers may be extended, depending on how these viruses take off.
- Maximum Drive Time: Though extensions were in place at the start of 2022, those have expired for maximum drive time. However, the supply chain crisis is far from over, which means drivers could see the 14-hour maximum shift extended.
- Apprenticeship: The continued delays in the supply chain may also lead to the FMCSA jumpstarting the rulemaking process for the expected launch of the Apprenticeship Pilot Program. This is specifically designed for those under the age of 21. It was put in place by the Infrastructure Bill passed in November of 2021.
- State–Level Productivity Improvements: Some states are working hard to attract new truck drivers to meet demand. Some may put in place new productivity improvements as a way to bolster their ranks.
- Safety Regulation Changes: While they have not been put in place just yet, safety regulation updates may be coming this year thanks to the installation of a new deputy administrator for the FMCSA. This could impact the electronic transfer of license data between states, states downgrading licenses in the event of a positive drug test and increase the scope of motor carrier investigations to focus heavily on at-risk behavior.
- Speed Limiting Rule: A truck speed limiter bill was re-introduced to the House in June of 2021 that would set maximum speeds at 65 mph or, with adaptive cruise control systems, 70 mph. The FMCSA backed off this, but there’s an indication that they are looking at it again.
Key Regulations to Expect
With the Infrastructure Bill’s passage, some regulations are expected to become law. This includes:
- Automatic emergency braking requirements for new trucks
- Mandatory inspections for rear underride guards (and higher strength standards for them)
- Livestock haulers are likely to see a 150-air mile radius from destination HOS exemptions
Also, be sure to watch time and mileage limitations on personal conveyance as applied to CMVs, increased minimum insurance levels for fleets, and sleep apnea screening requirements. These rules seem to be on the backburner without full approval yet, but they could be on the agenda for the next year, nonetheless.
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