Broker advocacy group Transportation Intermediaries Association last week issued a “call to action” to its entire membership over the “Interim Hiring Standard” provision contained within the U.S. House of Representatives’ proposed long-term highway bill, the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act.
TIA says Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R-Tenn.) will offer an amendment on the bill when it reaches the House floor, expected this week, to clarify language of the carrier hiring standards mentioned in the bill. The amendment would change the language of the bill that specifies selection criteria to include only Satisfactory-rated carriers as those safe to do business with. It would add “Unrated” carriers to that list, too, which TIA says is a win for small carriers and any others who have not had a full compliance review.
The language as-is intends to clarify what brokers and others who hire carriers use in the carrier hiring process to determine whether a carrier is fit for business. A similar bill introduced last year and championed by TIA set three basic checkpoints for brokers and shippers when making carrier determinations: The carrier’s (1) registered with authority, (2) has obtained the minimum insurance levels required by law and (3) has not been given an “unsatisfactory” safety rating.
The language in the House’s highway bill, however, while similar, changes that third bullet slightly to set a standard that the carrier “has a satisfactory safety fitness determination issued by [FMCSA]…”
Duncan’s bill would add “unrated” carriers to that list.
“This amendment is necessary,” TIA says, “to ensure that 447,665 unrated carriers, who are mostly small family-owned businesses, are not penalized by a flawed federal safety rating system.”
OOIDA also backs the amendment, per a story from Land Line.