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DOT Formalizes Regulatory Reform Effort

May 30, 2017, by David Cullen


The U.S. Department of Transportation announced on May 26 that Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Rosen will serve as DOT’s Regulatory Reform Officer and chairman of the department’s Regulatory Reform Task Force.

RRTF was formed earlier this year in accordance with President Trump’s Executive Order 13777, which directs each federal agency to establish such a task force to make recommendations to alleviate unnecessary regulatory burdens. 

According to DOT, Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao has “directed the RRTF to consider ways to accomplish DOT’s primary safety objectives in less burdensome ways and to further review ‘midnight rules’ that were issued at the end of the last administration.” 

DOT has provided no details as to which rules might fall under that description or even which subordinate agencies, such as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, might be home to such rules.

It should be noted that while the text of Executive Order 13777 indicates the president seeks reforms “regarding offsetting the number and cost of new regulations,” the directive also plainly states that, “Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect: the authority granted by law to an executive department or agency…”

In other words, it would appear that the work of the Regulatory Reform Task Force is not to be directed at regulations that have been mandated by Act of Congress.

Contacted by HDT about which if any rules might be in line for review by the task force, an FMCSA spokesman declined to comment.

Asked to comment on the RRTF marching orders, Lane Kidd, managing director of the Alliance for Driver Safety & Security, a trucking-safety lobby backed by a group of major carriers, told HDT that he is “not aware of any so-called midnight rules that FMCSA adopted before the Trump administration took office.

“Congress required that all interstate trucks install electronic logging devices later this year and Congress also required the creation of the drug and alcohol clearinghouse and guidance regarding hair test regulations, so all those should move forward,” he continued.

Kidd added that there are some proposed rules FMCSA has suspended “but none that were adopted at the last minute and since the agency’s sole mission is to decrease large truck accidents, I doubt this task force will be inclined to suspend any of these rules at FMCSA.”


  1. 1. Edward J Primeau III [ June 19, 2017 @ 06:42AM ]

    Safety and Electronic logging is not related. It is my view for independent truckers running under their own authority with exceptional safety background should be left alone. Operating one truck and one trailer working off the load boards not knowing untill the last minute when a load is available where it goes and when it delivers causes the electronic logging system a huge hindrance. I am being forced to run and shutdown according to a clock that is ticking. Very unsafe unable to manage my own life and business. I do not need the Government telling me when I am able to work. I feel not only for me but ALL independents without multiple trailers and an established customer base this electronic logging system is unsafe and unfair! Please work hard to put pressure on the right people to make it go away!!
    Edward J Primeau III


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