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Five Changes Washington Made to Trucking in 2015

Posted on February 15th, 2016

New Trucking Laws 2015

Washington: the final phase of legalization for amendments, laws, and bills. Hundreds of ideas enter its doors each year, but few make it all the way through. Here are five changes Washington passed in 2015 aimed at keeping truckers and their trucks safer, more stable, greener, more connected and rolling more smoothly down the road.

Beyond Compliance Program

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) will now evaluate voluntary implementation of state-of-the-art best practices and technologies when assessing a carrier’s safety. Then, trucking carriers receive incentive to provide additional safety procedures and training for their drivers where there was no reason previously.

Electronic Stability

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a mandate requiring electronic stability control systems on Class 7-8 trucks and large busses. Many fleets have already utilized this technology and this requirement will only speed up the process for others.

Phase 2 – Green House Gas

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) jointly proposed a national program that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency of medium- and heavy-vehicles to help address the concerns of global climate change. According to EPA, this phase will save the industry billions of dollars’ worth of fuel, reduce cost for transporting goods, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1 billion metric tons.

Electronic Logging

Last month, FMCSA adopted a Final Rule that requires the use of electronic logging devices (ELD) before the end of 2017 to reduce the amount of required industry paperwork. Additionally, drivers may not be harassed by information gathered by ELDs, which can be an app on a smart phone or other wireless devices as long as it is compliant.

Highway Bill

Trucking received its greatest Christmas gift with the passing of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which funds $305 billion to highway and transit projects for five years. The act allows state and local governments to move forward with critical projects and reforms many Federal transportation programs, including new safety tools and streamlined approval processes.

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