September 2014

Overdrive Magazine | Trucking Business News & Owner Operator Info

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September 2014 | Overdrive | 17 Logbook Text INFO to 205-289-3555 or visit www.ovdinfo.com 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 service rule. 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 Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, which takes issue with what it calls an unclear and overly narrow definition of coercion itself. 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

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