As 2022 comes to a close, now is good time to look back to see what has been accomplished this year and what has been left undone in government regulation. As predicted, 2022 was a busy year and STC expects accelerated activity in 2023 as the Biden Administration gears up for the 2024 election.
2022 saw a tremendous amount of government activity. Big and important developments like SCOTUS’ refusal to act on AB5 and DOL’s subsequent rulemakings on employment classification, the Biden Administration’s Trucking Action Plan, the Bipartisan infrastructure law and other important congressional activity were excluded from this list due to space constraints.
Driver Issues: We knew heading into 2022 that drivers would be an area of focus for the administration and we were not disappointed when, as one of its first actions of 2022, FMCSA eliminated its vision waiver program in favor of an updated vision standard. Soon after, FMCSA eliminated the annual driver certification of violation requirement. Other driver related actions included publishing a proposed update to its medical examiner handbook. Of course, we’d be remiss for failing to mention the implementation of the entry-level driver training rules and FMCSA’s year end push to ramp up enforcement of self-certified training providers failing to provide the robust training promised by the new rules.
Equipment Related Issues: 2022 saw several big headlines in the equipment space as well. FMCSA published its belabored Advance Notice of Supplemental Proposed Rulemaking on speed limiters requesting stakeholders opinions on how to best finalize the rulemaking. In July, the NHTSA was applauded for finalizing rules improving rear underride guards, a standard to which 94% of newly built trailers are meet (the safety advocates have petitioned for reconsideration). More recently, FMCSA published advance notice of proposed rulemaking suggesting it wants to make changes to the ELD rules and require trucks be equipped with a device to transmit an unique ID to roadside enforcement.
HazMat: Perhaps most surprisingly, after years of relatively little action on HazMat issues, 2022 saw significant activity. Notably, PHMSA published an information request requesting feedback on efforts to implement electronic shipping papers for hazardous materials. PHMSA has also begun reviewing its voluminous series of regulatory interpretation letters to distill them into understandable FAQs, publishing the first 10 earlier this month. Also of note on the HazMat front has been the Transportation Security Administration’s reduction of several fees related to HME and TWIC renewal and its decision to temporarily exempt the TSA Security Threat Assessment requirement for HME holders whose endorsements expired or will expire before the end of year.
Of course, this listing only scratches the surface. But don’t worry, STC has you covered. STC offers a consolidated review of all trucking-relevant regulatory, legislative, enforcement and research activities in its monthly roundup. You can access a sample here. Contact us if you’re interested our monthly subscription service. Also, be on the lookout for our next issue where we will talk about what is on deck for action in 2023.