The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued an Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) to obtain comments from the public, liability insurance providers, motor carriers, brokers and freight forwarders on the safety and financial impacts of revising minimum levels of financial responsibility for motor carrier companies.
An April 2014 Report to Congress found that while catastrophic crashes involving motor carriers are rare, the costs for resulting severe and critical injuries can exceed $1 million. Additionally, current insurance limits do not adequately cover these costs, which are primarily due to increases in medical expenses and other crash-related costs.
A transportation coalition consisting of the National School Transportation Association, the United Motorcoach Association, the American Bus Association and the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association opposes the raising of rates, which they said would increase costs by up to 60 percent for buses and 500 percent for trucks.
Association officials added that this could equate to premiums of thousands of dollars more per vehicle per fleet before they could go into operation. Earlier this year, the House narrowly passed an amendment to the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations bill that prohibits FMCSA from using funds to increase insurance rates for motor carriers, which have not changed for three decades.
FMCSA will accept comments through Feb. 26, 2015.