September 2014 |
include a requirement in the rule that drivers
make a written objection at the time of
the incident that includes what regulations
would be violated if they proceeded to drive.
Among earlier public comments, two
key arguments emerged. One contended
the agency should do more to hold ship-
pers and receivers accountable. The other
said the rule places the burden of proof
of coercion on truck operators, thereby
undermining its purpose.
– James Jaillet
Anti-coercion: Drivers unhappy with burden of proof
Common themes of regulatory
criticism popped up often in
the public comments offered
on the Federal Motor Carrier
Safety Administration's proposed
rule to prohibit driver coercion.
Chief among them was the new
pressures and restrictions caused
by the agency's 2013 hours of
Second to that was the need
for accountability of shippers
and receivers with regard to
pushing drivers to violate federal
safety laws. The comment period
on the proposed rule ended Aug.
11. The agency now will begin
work on producing a final rule,
which likely will be published
within the next year.
The burden of proof of coer-
cion will be placed on the driver
making the claim. This was a
point of contention with several
commenters, including the
Drivers Association, which takes
issue with what it calls an unclear
and overly narrow definition of
The definition should be
broader and include more spe-
cifics on all negative economic
impacts that carriers, shippers,
receivers or brokers can use to
threaten or harm drivers, as well
as more specifics on conditions
that would cause drivers to wish
not to drive, OOIDA said.
OOIDA also said the agency
must be more specific about
what evidence drivers can pro-
vide to prove coercion.
The American Trucking Asso-
ciations made similar suggestions
in its formal comments, but from
the other side of the argument:
Without a clear definition, driv-
ers will be able to abuse the rule's
protections, the group said.
ATA suggested FMCSA