Summary: H.R.5321 — 100th Congress (1987-1988)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Passed House amended (10/06/1988)

(Measure passed House, amended)

Motor Carrier Safety and Regulatory Reform Act of 1988 - Title I: Motor Carrier Safety - Amends the Motor Carrier Safety Act of 1984 to prohibit the Secretary of Transportation from exempting any person or commercial motor vehicle from complying with any commercial motor vehicle safety regulation or from waiving application of such regulation solely on the grounds that the commercial carrier's operations take place entirely within a municipality or its commercial zone. (Grandfathers certain commercial motor vehicle operators who operated entirely within a municipality or its commercial zone during the one year period ending on the date of enactment of this Act.)

Directs the Secretary to: (1) delay application of Federal safety regulations to foreign motor carriers in border commercial zones for a two-year period beginning on the date of enactment of this Act if certain conditions are met; and (2) report to the Congress on the need to continue such delayed application.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) issue a final rule extending motor carrier safety regulations coverage to motor private carriers of passengers operating in interstate commerce; (2) implement an to education and enforcement program regarding compliance of motor private carriers of passengers with Federal motor carrier safety regulations when operating in interstate commerce.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) study the hours of service regulations pertaining to commercial motor vehicle operators to determine any relationship among them, operator fatigue, and the frequency of serious accidents involving such vehicles; (2) report to the Congress regarding such study results; and (3) initiate a rulemaking proceeding regarding commercial motor vehicle operator compliance with the hours of service regulations (including the use of onboard monitoring devices to record speed, driving time, and other information). Requires the Secretary to report to the Congress any recommendations whether to make such onboard monitoring devices mandatory. Stipulates that any rule promulgated by the Secretary shall ensure that such devices are used solely for monitoring operator productivity rather than for harassment.

Requires the Secretary to issue regulations establishing minimum uniform standards for a biometric identification system for commercial motor vehicle operators. Authorizes the Secretary to use specified funds to implement a pilot demonstration project using such a system.

Directs the Secretary to initiate a rulemkaing proceeding regarding the use of flares as an alternative to bidirectional emergency reflective triangles. Requires the Secretary to report to the Congress regarding: (1) the need for improved brake systems for commercial motor vehicle operation on the Federal-aid highway system; and (2) the results of a study on whether to make use of speed control devices mandatory for commercial motor vehicles.

Directs the Secretary to: (1) initiate a rulemaking proceeding for the purpose of adopting a methodology ensuring the proper maintenance of commercial motor vehicle brake systems; and (2) issue regulations for the purpose of adopting such methodology.

Authorizes the Secretary to extend for up to 24 more months the 60-month delay period granted to States before Federal pre-emption applies if a State requests such an extension to further consider adoption of safety regulations compatible with Federal law.

Title II: Motor Carrier Regulatory Reform Amendments - Amends Federal motor carrier law to require foreign motor carriers to obtain a certificate of registration from the Interstate Commerce Commission (the Commission) as a condition of providing interstate transportation of property (including exempt property) in the United States. Requires a copy of such certificate to be in the carrier's vehicle any time it provides such transportation in the United States.

Authorizes the Secretary to issue regulations permitting foreign motor carriers and foreign motor private carriers providing transportation of property under a registration certificate to meet Federal insurance requirements for financial responsibility only during those periods in which they provide such transportation in the United States.

Repeals the requirement that the Commission report annually to the Congress on the extent to which cost savings resulting from direct sales at a food and grocery seller's shipping point are passed on to the ultimate consumer.

Subjects general commodity freight forwarders to: (1) the same liability, and grants them the same limitation on liability, accorded common carriers; and (2) the same statutes of limitations for civil actions accorded common carriers.