U.S. House Expected to Pass Bill That Would Impose Huge Insurance Hike on Truckers
Washington D.C. – The U.S. House of Representatives will vote next week on a surface transportation reauthorization bill that would impose a huge insurance hike on trucking companies.
The five-year $547 billion INVEST in America Act is filled with highly contentious measures which would have deep impacts on the trucking industry.
Perhaps none more so than a provision which would increase the minimum amount of insurance required for commercial motor vehicles (CMV) from $750,000 to $2 million, and directs this amount to be adjusted for inflation by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) every five years.
Republicans on the Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee fought to have the provision stripped from the bill, but were defeated by Democrats.
Major groups such as the Owner Operator Independent Driver’s Association, National Association of Small Trucking Companies and Small Business in Transportation Coalition adamantly oppose the INVEST Act.
These groups warn that drastically increasing the insurance minimum will result in many small business truckers being forced out of business, thus leaving them with the options to either exit the industry, lease to a larger carrier, or become a company driver.
Trucking’s most powerful lobbying group, the American Trucking Associations, supports the bill.
What else is in the INVEST Act?
Additionally, the legislation calls for requiring newly manufactured heavy-duty CMVs to be equipped with an automatic emergency braking (AEB) system, and mandating that systems installed in such vehicles be in use during operation.
It also requires the FMCSA to, within one year, initiate a rulemaking to establish screening criteria for obstructive sleep apnea among CMV drivers.
Further, the INVEST Act would:
• Place restrictive limits on personal conveyance;
• Return Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program scores to public view (after a methodology review);
• Grant new authority for congestion pricing;
• Allow data from electronic logging devices to be used by the FMCSA for transportation research;
• Pave the way for a side underride guard mandate;
• Require the United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) to establish new performance measures for greenhouse gas emissions; and
• Require newly manufactured CMVs to be equipped with a universal electronic identifier that identifies the vehicle to roadside inspectors for enforcement purposes.
One silver lining for trucking stakeholders is the bill calls for $1 billion to be set aside to address the truck parking shortage crisis.
The INVEST Act is expected to pass when the full House votes on the legislation.
TransportationNation.com will continue to track it closely for you.