Archive | GOVERNMENT Action RSS feed for this section

EMERGENCY DECLARATION – Wildfire Relief

Wildfires in states west of Missouri are consuming large swaths of livestock pasture. As a result, livestock producers are in great need of animal feed. In order to streamline relief efforts, the Missouri Department of Transportation, at the request of Gov. Eric Greitens and in consultation with the Missouri Department of Agriculture, is waiving travel time restrictions for those hauling oversize loads of hay in Missouri to one of the affected states.

The Emergency Declaration for the destination state can be downloaded and printed from the FMCSA website https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/emergency  A copy of the permit must be carried with the load and will be recognized by the Missouri State Highway Patrol.


Oversize permits are required of loads exceeding 8’6” in width. Through April 8, 2017, permits for overwide loads of hay will:

– Be issued free of charge

– Be issued up to 12’ wide (load length, height and weight must remain within legal limits)

– Allow travel during curfew hours and at night

These continuous movement oversize permits are only available to those hauling hay in direct response to disaster relief efforts.

Drivers must abide by all other permit regulations including the use of reflective oversize load signs and clearance lights instead of flags at the edges of loads when hauling at night or when visibility is less than 500 feet.

For assistance obtaining an oversize permit, carriers may contact MoDOT Motor Carrier Services at 1-800-877-8499 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Interpretation and Enforcement Changes for Fuel Carrier Industry – UPDATE

The Missouri Highway Patrol Vehicle Enforcement Division has decided to hold off from enforcing the recent interpretation from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Administration (PHMSA) changes how you placard a full load of diesel fuel, NA1993.

In a recent response/interpretation from PHMSA they have alerted the industry of how 49 CFR 172.336 is being enforced.  The interpretation would no longer allow a carrier to display the flammable placard with the markings UN1203 when the entire load is diesel fuel, NA1993.

Missouri Highway Patrol Commercial Vehicle Enforcement leadership has decided to hold off on enforcing the interpretation until a determination is finalized on whether this will be permanently changed.  Several groups in Washington DC are working to get this language changed so that carriers could transport diesel fuel, gasoline and heating oil in different compartments in a truck using only a gasoline placard without having to affix or switch multiple placards.

Call Jason Ahten at 573-634-3388 for more details.

FHWA Releases Compendium of Size and Weight Regulations

The Federal Highway Administration has released its Compilation of Existing State Truck Size and Weight Limit Laws. This publication was requested by Congress in 2012 in the MAP-21 highway bill. It is a compendium of state size and weight regulations, in effect on October 1, 2012, that allow vehicles operating on the National Highway System to exceed federal size and weight limits. In addition to limits for trucks in regular operation, the report includes exemptions for specific commodities or types of vehicle. Because federal length law is permissive, the report focuses almost exclusively on weight limits.

~American Trucking Associations ~

FMCSA Grace Period for Use of New Medical Report Forms and Certificates

The FMCSA 120-day grace period during which Medical Examiners were allowed to use either the current or the newly revised versions of the Medical Examination Report (MER) Form and Medical Examiner’s Certificate (MEC) was from December 22, 2015, until April 20, 2016.

It’s official – only the new report forms and wallet cards can be used now! 

Please check your stock of Driver Qualification files as well as your stock of medical examination report forms and certificates.  Some driver qualification files come with forms and will contain the old version of the medical forms.  Any medical exam report forms and certificates in your possession need to replaced with the new version.

New product is currently available through the MoTA truckerStore.

 

FMCSA Lowers 2016 Random Drug Testing Rate to 25 Percent

The Federal Motor Carriers Safety Administration has announced it will lower the 2016 minimum random drug testing rate for commercial driver’s license holders to 25% from 50% annually. This significant announcement is the result, in large part, of ATA’s advocacy efforts.  ATA met with FMCSA on this issue early last year, helped gather relevant data, and encouraged FMCSA to take the appropriate step of reducing the testing burden if the industry’s performance continued to meet the agency’s standard. DOT has previously lowered the testing rates for others modes and acknowledged a 25% rate continues to provides strong deterrence from drug use.

Under a long-standing provision in the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, FMCSA may lower the minimum annual percentage rates for random testing to 25% percent when the industry violation rate (as measured by number of positive tests) for random drug tests is less than 1.0% for two consecutive years.  The trucking industry has maintained a sub-1.0% violation rate for three consecutive years. The announcement is an important step that will immediately reduce regulatory and cost burdens for motor carriers.  Carriers may, however, continue to test at a rate higher than 25% in 2016 if they so choose.

URGENT THREAT OF­ INTERSTATE TOLLING EXPANSION

Please contact members of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and ask them to oppose expansion of tolling on the Interstate Highway System.

The T&I Committee, which has jurisdiction over the Interstate Highway System in the House, is considering expanding interstate tolling in its upcoming Highway Reauthorization Bill, likely to be released later this week.  Last June, your emails helped minimize tolling expansion in the Senate’s bill – let’s repeat our success with the House!  Join us in urging the T&I Committee members to protect our existing interstates from the burden of new tolls.

Tell the T&I Committee “NO TOLLS” in just 15seconds.

Over the past seventeen years, the Interstate Reconstruction and Rehabilitation Pilot Program (ISRRPP) has served its purpose and demonstrated the unviability of tolling existing interstates. Over the years, six states have pursued tolls via the ISRRPP, and each effort failed due primarily to widespread public outcry over tolling’s negative consequences, which in some cases even triggered state legislative action to protect interstates from tolls. Pilot programs are meant to be temporary. Approaching twenty years in age, the ISRRPP has run its course and should be repealed, not expanded or made more flexible.

We all know that tolling existing interstates would have serious negative consequences. Businesses would face higher operating expenses and, where possible, seek to pass on those costs on to consumers. Commuters and travelers would face steep cost increases and hourly employees might have to work an extra hour per day just to pay the toll to and from work. Traffic diversion around tolls onto secondary routes would cause congestion, increased accidents, higher road-wear and repair costs for local governments, and slower first response times. The cost to drive will be dramatically higher.

Additionally, our Founding Fathers gave Congress the responsibility to regulate commerce; this now includes funding and maintaining the Interstate Highway System, and passing the buck to states is an abdication of duty and violates the spirit of the U.S. Constitution’s Commerce Clause. It may be politically expedient to frame it as a “states’ rights” issue, but this ignores the safety, equity, and interstate commerce implications. Most importantly, it will not solve the highway funding problem.

Please take action by sending an email to Representative Shuster and the House T&I Committee – it only takes 15 seconds and your voice could save the interstate from new tolls.

http://www.tollfreeinterstates.com/

 

Senate Bill 456 Signed by Gov. Nixon Becomes Law August 28, 2015

During the Missouri 2015 Legislative Session Senate Bill 456 passed. On July 13, 2015 Governor Nixon signed the bill.   

     Sponsored by Senator Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City) and Rep. T.J. Berry (R-Kearney), this bill allows a dealer to sell a vehicle (for up to sixty days) without a title. Currently, motor vehicle dealers are authorized to purchase or accept in trade any motor vehicle for which there has been issued a certificate of title. This act modifies this to any vehicle for which there has been issued a certificate of ownership. Once the vehicle has been delivered to the dealer, the prior owners’ insurable interest in such vehicle ceases. The act specifies that such dealers provide to the Department of Revenue a surety bond or irrevocable letter of credit in an amount not less than $100,000 in lieu of the $25,000 bond otherwise required for licensure as a motor vehicle dealer. If a dealer receives certain items, they may sell such vehicle prior to receiving and assigning to the purchaser a certificate of ownership. In order to do so, they have to have prepared and delivered to the purchaser an application for title for the vehicle in the purchaser’s name, and have entered into a written agreement for the subsequent assignment and delivery of the certificate of ownership within 60 days after delivery of the motor vehicle to the purchaser. The agreement requires the purchaser to provide to the dealer proof of financial responsibility and proof of insurance. The dealer must maintain a copy of the agreement, and has to deliver a form to the Department of Revenue showing that the purchaser has purchased the vehicle without contemporaneous delivery of the title.  If these requirements are met, among others, they shall constitute evidence of an ownership interest in the vehicle. 

This bill was signed by Governor Jay Nixon on July 13th; HOWEVER, this WILL NOT BECOME LAW UNTIL AUGUST 28, 2015Until that time, YOU MUST ADHERE TO THE CURRENT LAW regarding delivery of title at THE time of sale.

 

TAX EXTENDERS BILL PASSES

By a 76-16 vote, the U.S. Senate has just passed the tax extenders bill that the House of Representatives passed earlier this month. The President is expected to sign the bill into law. (The legislation is H.R. 5771, the Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014.) In general, the bill extends through the end of calendar 2014 some fifty provisions of the Tax Code that expired at the end of 2013 or during 2014. Congress has extended many of the same provisions before, year by year. This bill does not make any of the provisions permanent, as had been proposed earlier. The extensions include provisions that affect both corporate and individual income taxes and the federal excise taxes on fuels.

The provisions of the extenders bill that are likely to have the most effect on at least some motor carriers are these (the section numbers are those of the bill):

• Sec. 125. Extension of Bonus Depreciation. This provision extends the 50 percent bonus depreciation option for nearly all business equipment – including motor carrier rolling stock – placed into service during calendar 2014. (The section also extends taxpayers’ option to accelerate the use of alternative minimum tax credits in lieu of bonus depreciation.) Given that many motor carriers have replaced older equipment during 2014, or are engaged in expanding their fleets, this section is likely to be the single most important extender for the industry.
• Sec. 127. Extension of Increased Expensing. This provision extends the full expensing of property placed into service by small businesses, subject to the limitations in effect during 2010 through 2013. That is, the provision allows the write-off of up to $500,000 of the expense of a single item of such property, with a progressive phase-out of the tax break for companies whose total purchases of such property exceed $2 million. (Without the extension, these limits would have reverted to $25,000 and $200,000, respectively.)
• Sec. 160. Extension of Fuel Tax Credit for Propane and Natural Gas. This provision extends the $0.50 per gallon credit for the business use of propane and other alternative fuels (including natural gas) and fuel mixtures. The use of propane in forklifts qualifies for the credit.
• Sec. 161. Extension of Credit for Alternative Fuel Vehicle Refueling. This provision extends the 30 percent investment tax credit for alternative vehicle refueling property.

The following provisions of the bill may also be of benefit to certain ATA members:

• Sec. 122. Extension of 15-Year Cost Recovery. This provision extends to improvements to real property, including motor carrier terminals, placed into service during 2014, the accelerated 15-year straight-line depreciation that has been accorded such property for some time. Without this option, the cost of such property could only be recovered over a much longer period.
• Secs. 136 & 138. Extension of exclusion of gains on small-business stock. The first provision extends the full exclusion from income accorded to the non-corporate holders of gains in certain small-business stock which the holders sell after having held the stock for more than five years. (Without the extension, the exclusion would revert to 50 percent.) The second extends the reduced period of five years for the nonrecognition of built-in gains which occurred when a traditional, subchapter C corporation was converted into a subchapter S (closely held) corporation. (Without the extension, the holding period would revert to ten years.) These provisions may apply to many smaller, family-held motor carriers.
• Sec. 153. Extension of Bio- and Renewable Diesel Credits. This section extends the $1 per gallon tax credit for biodiesel production.

For more information, please contact Bob Pitcher – rpitcher@trucking.org or Glen Kedzie – GKedzie@trucking.org at American Trucking Associations.

PRESIDENT SIGNS SPENDING BILL: HOURS-OF-SERVICE RESTART PROVISIONS EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY!

December 16, 2014, President Obama signed the FY 2015 Omnibus Appropriations bill. Upon signature, two provisions of the 34-hour restart rule were suspended. So what does this mean?

EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY:
1. Drivers utilizing the 34-hour restart do NOT have to include two consecutive periods off-duty between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. As long as a driver is off for 34 consecutive hours, regardless of the time of day, the driver can reset the weekly clock.
2. Drivers may take the 34-hour restart multiple times per week. They are no longer restricted to taking the restart only once every 168 hours (or seven days).
Please note that this is a temporary suspension that will be in place through September 30, 2015 while FMCSA conducts a formal study. All other provisions of the hours of service rules remain the same.

FMCSA ANNOUNCES RELIEF ON DVIR RULE

On Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2014, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced the publication of a final rule to eliminate the need for commercial truck drivers to complete a Driver Vehicle Inspection Report when “no defect” is found during the end of day inspection. The rule change will take effect Dec. 18, 2014. For carriers crossing into Canada, a current DVIR will still be required. The new rule also harmonizes the pre-and post-trip inspection lists. According to the FMCSA, eliminating the “No Defect” DVIRs will save the trucking industry an estimated $1.7 billion annually. While ATA believes the savings estimate is highly overstated, we commend the agency for its efforts to provide the industry with regulatory relief.