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FAST highway bill tempers FMCSA regulatory burdens for mixer drivers

Sources: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Silver Spring, Md.; CP staff

The FAST (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation) Act signed into law earlier this month contains language for which NRMCA has lobbied on behalf of ready mixed concrete producers. Government Affairs staff helped secure within the five-year funding program three important provisions affecting the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Hours of Service (HOS) regulations:

  • The first makes permanent a two-year exemption issued in April 2015, relieving ready mixed concrete truck drivers of the HOS 30-minute break rule. The provision includes reforms to the petitions’ process to apply for and receive exemptions from FMCSA, which will benefit all sectors of the construction and transportation industries.
  • The second creates a ready mixed concrete industry-specific logbook exemption that increases a Code of Federal Regulations 12-hour on-duty logging threshold to 14 hours, matching HOS regulations’ driving window.
  • The third increases from 50 to 75 air-miles the radius for construction materials and equipment transportation and delivery in order to satisfy the HOS rules’ current 24-hour restart.

“These provisions are a resounding victory for the ready mixed concrete industry in that they will provide much needed regulatory relief and certainty,” says NRMCA Senior Vice President of Government and Political Affairs Kerri Leininger. “Our producer members have long emphasized the need for clarification on these issues and we are gratified [the FAST Act] passed with such large bipartisan support.”

The highway bill has other attributes for which NRMCA advocated on behalf of ready mixed producers, including:

  • Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program reforms requiring the FMCSA administrator to commission a study of its safety measurement system and remove certain CSA scores from public view.
  • A provision on minimum financial responsibility for commercial motor vehicles that requires the Transportation Secretary to consider cost-benefit criteria and conduct a study before issuing a final rulemaking to determine whether to increase the minimum level of financial responsibility.