The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) yesterday published proposed rulemaking to the hours of service rules in an effort to increase safety by providing drivers additional flexibility.
We provide important legal developments, summaries and analyses impacting those involved in the trucking industry and the defense of trucking-related claims and lawsuits.
Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard Associate Larry Hall recently completed the Illinois Trucking Association’s (ITA) Leadership Training Program. The multi-session program focuses on developing a range of leadership skills, meetings with ITA leadership, industry specific and communications training, and eduction on the promotion of the trucking industry. Larry was one of 15 graduates of the class.
A controversial topic at many industry functions I have attended is whether trucking companies should ban or limit cellphone use by their drivers while behind the wheel of a commercial motor vehicle. This controversy was further illustrated in a recent article by David Wren entitled Lawsuit Settlement Could Lead to More Cellphone Bans by Trucking Firms. The article discusses a settlement agreement reached in a personal injury lawsuit, where the personal injury plaintiffs alleged the commercial vehicle operator was distracted because he was using a hands-free device to talk on his phone at the time of the crash.
In May 2016, the United States Department of Labor published the long-awaited revision to regulations that will change the threshold for when an employer must pay an employee for overtime. The effective date of the new regulations is December 1, 2016, causing dramatic changes for employers. Within the first year of implementation, the update will automatically entitle over 4 million workers to overtime protections, unless employers update the positions to comply with the changes. The impending change will require employers to undertake workforce analysis and planning, including budget forecasting, to determine the best and most cost-efficient way to adapt to the changes to come.
A recent article by Seth Clevenger published in Transport Topics explores ways executives can improve fleet safety. Several fleet executives spoke at the 2016 ALK Transportation Technology Summit about how their investments in technology have significantly increased safety and reduced claims costs at their companies. The installation of onboard video cameras, collision mitigation systems, departure warning systems, speed limiters and collision avoidance systems were all cited as way to improve fleet safety and decrease litigation costs.