On June 11th the Department of Transportation (DOT) released what it calls its “Spring Regulatory Agenda”. It lists the goals of the DOT for the foreseeable future. It also lists what division of the DOT is behind making each particular goal a reality. While the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration was not listed, it still has many different goals that impact the trucking industry.
The DOT has four goals laid out in managing America’s vast transportation network:
For the sake of brevity and relevant information, we will be omitting coverage of planned goals related to the Federal Aviation Administration and the Federal Railroad Administration. A curious reader can learn more about those on the official webpage.
As a trucker, here are the agenda points that may impact you in the years to come, paraphrased. Among the groups are the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).
- Require heavy and light vehicles to include Automatic Emergency Braking (NHTSA) (Safety).
- Revise the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (FHWA) (Safety).
- Establish and require rigorous testing standards for autonomous vehicles and establish a national incident database for crashes involving automated vehicles (NHTSA) (Safety).
- Create a safe, predictable environment for autonomous vehicle evolution (NHTSA) (Safety).
- Set fuel economy standards for light-duty vehicles (NHTSA) (Environment).
- Re-establish a Greenhouse Gas Emissions Performance Measure for state and city planning (FHWA) (Environment).
- Enhance pipeline safety, and reduce environmental impact including through new ways to detect and repair leaks. (Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration – PHMSA) (Environment).
- Support and expand the use of Buy America(n) (DOT-wide) (Economy).
- Improve Disadvantaged Business Enterprise programs (DOT-wide) (Equity).
Which of these proposed goals are you most interested in? More importantly, which one do you have the most hope for becoming a reality? The government has a tendency to not fulfill its own promises, so it would not be unsurprising if some of these do not become official regulation, especially if there is an administration change in the next four or eight years. For example, the chances of autonomous trucks becoming reality by 2030 are slim. Let us know your thoughts about these policies in the comments below.
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