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Legislative News/Updates

TRAA & TRAA LAN® Legislative Action

As your national association, TRAA provides legislative representation for the towing and recovery industry. TRAA, the TRAA LAN, and Tremont Strategies Group (TSG), our federal lobbying firm, have monitored and addressed numerous legislative issues. Please see some highlights of our legislative activity below.

2020

  • TRAA’s Legislative Action Workshop/Conference – Legislative Action Workshop: Event In Review
  • NJ Law Revision Commission 
    • TRAA received a request from the NJ Law Revision Commission to review their proposed modifications to the N.J.S. 56:13-21 Violation of act; unlawful practice. TRAA has submitted a written response in opposition of the proposed changes.
  • Mandatory Guidelines for Federal Workplace Drug Testing Programs
    • TRAA submitted a comment in opposition to the addition of hair testing in light of the guidelines already in place.
  • Moving Forward Act or INVEST in America Act (H.R.2)
    • TRAA has supported Senator Daines’ (R-MT) opposition to potential language in the highway bill that would increase liability insurance coverage requirements from $750,000 to $2 million per truck.
    • Due to the pandemic, it is expected that the INVEST in America Act (aka the highway infrastructure bill) will be addressed within the first six months of 2021. TRAA’s efforts are ongoing.
  • Data Collection to Support a Federal Move Over Law 
    • TRAA is working cooperatively with the federal Transportation Research Board (TRB) as they evaluate the need for formal data collection. TRAA is assisting the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in their efforts and research.
  • 2020 INVEST in America Act
    • TRAA is working with our lobbying team to introduce a much needed weights and measures amendment for the towing industry.
  • Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
    • Working with stakeholders to review the notification process and the tower’s ability to obtain contact information. Currently working with several state associations impacted by this legislation.
  • Res.373 – Supporting the goals and ideals of a National Move Over Law Day
    • Originally submitted by APTRA and introduced by Congressman Biggs (R-AZ), TRAA has supported the resolution by securing three additional co-sponsors and introduced expanded language to include all traffic incident management responders.
  • 2700 Protecting Roadside First Responders Act
    • Act relates to Move Over laws and crash avoidance technology. Working with our lobbyist and stakeholders to review and support the Act
  • COVID-19 Resources and Information
    • During this COVID-19 crisis, TRAA has been working diligently in cooperation with our lobbying firm, Tremont Strategies Group (TSG) to provide valuable and up-to-date information on the situation to the towing community.
    • TRAA’s efforts were instrumental in updating the CISA Essential Workers Guidance to include towing/recovery services. We are essential!

2019

  • TRAA Legislative Action Workshop/Conference – Legislative Action Day – Event In Review
  • TRAA hires a federal lobbying firm, Tremont Strategies Group (TSG) 
  • TRAA Joins Coalition to Halt Four Bills with “Burdensome” Unfunded Mandates – A coalition of 31 trucking and trade groups is urging Congress to halt four bills it claims would cost the industry billions of dollars in “burdensome” unfunded mandates:
    • 665/HR 1511 – “Stop Underrides Act”
    • The Cullum Owings Large Truck Safe Operating Speed Act of 2019 (S. 2033)
    • 3773 – “Safe Roads Act”
    • HR 3781 – “Insurance Act”
  • Docket FMCSA-2018-0248-5454 – Hours of Service of Drivers – TRAA submitted comments in favor of revising the HOS rules to allow for increased flexibility under certain circumstances.
  • Servicemember’s Civil Relief Act (SCRA)
    • Working with stakeholders to review the notification process and the tower’s ability to obtain contact information.
  • 1127 – Supporting the goals and ideals of a National Move Over Law Day
    • TRAA contributed and offered support for the resolution.
  • 1374 – DRIVE-Safe Act
    • TRAA offered support for the bill as a step towards encouraging young individuals towards a career in towing and recovery.
  • 665/HR 1511- “Stop Underrides Act”
    • Monitoring
  • HR 3781- “Insurance Act”
    • Monitoring
  • 3773- “Safe Roads Act”
    • Monitoring
  • MO S.B.749- Establishes a Towing Task Force
    • Offered support via MO Tow Truck Association’s President, Jared Innis.
  • MO S.B.323- Directs the Department of Transportation, in consultation with the Highway Patrol and the advisory committee created in the act, to promulgate rules governing the towing of commercial vehicles
    • Offered support via MO Tow Truck Association’s President, Jared Innis.
  • FMCSA-2018-0346- Commercial Driver’s Licenses; Pilot Program to Allow Drivers Under 21 to Operate Commercial Motor Vehicles in Interstate Commerce
    • Submitted letter of support

2018

  • Oklahoma Abandoned Vehicle Legislation
    • Submitted support documentation
  • Maine Liability Court Case
    • Review documents
    • Solicit support
  • Hours of Service – Federal Register
    • Comment submitted
  • Virginia Auction Lien Process
    • Reviewed and comments submitted

2017

  • TRAA submits ELD Exemption Petition
    • Submitted December 2017
    • Denied June 2018
  • R.3282 ELD Extension Act of 2017
    • Submitted letter of support to Rep. Brian Babin (R-TX-36)
    • LAN representative met with Congressman
    • Press release to industry publications and media
    • Call to Action to state associations
  • NCOIL Model Consumer Protecting Towing Act
    • Submitted letter of opposition to NCOIL’s National Office and Representative Matt Lehman (IN)
    • Call to Action to state towing associations and company members with areas of concern outlined
    • TRAA representatives met with NCOIL and NAMIC in May 2018
  • Reducing Regulation & Controlling Regulatory Costs
    • Submitted letter to Secretary Elaine Chao expressing industry concerns regarding DOT/FHWA regulations
  • Maine H.P. 724Act Concerning the Contents of a Commercial Vehicle Towed without the Consent of the Vehicle’s Owner
    • Reviewed, no action required
  • NY S5397A – Bill Standardizing Towing Lights
    • Submitted letter of support
  • Wisconsin State Ton Per Mile (TPM) Tax
    • Submitted letter of opposition
  • Killing of a Motor Club Service Provider in FL
    • Submitted letter to all motor club CEO’s regarding policies and procedures
    • Call to Action to state associations
  • Industry Insurance Crisis
    • Informational handout with advice created by Elizabeth Martineau-Dupuis, TRAA Director of Certification

Dealing with the Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) Mandate

In June 2018, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) denied TRAA’s petition for an exemption from electronic logging device requirements for the towing industry.

In an effort to assist our members with the implementation of ELD’s, we have provided some helpful and valuable information.

Hours of Service Compliance – Best Practices for Towing Companies

ELD Implementation for Towers


TowMate, LLC; Parts and Accessories Necessary for Safe Operation
Summary

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announces its decision to grant TowMate, LLC’s (TowMate) application for a limited two-year exemption to allow motor carriers to operate rechargeable wireless temporary stop, turn, and tail lighting systems during temporary towing operations. Under the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs), all required lamps, with the exception of battery-powered lamps used on projecting loads, must be powered by the electrical system of the motor vehicle. The Agency has determined that use of rechargeable wireless temporary stop, turn, and tail lighting systems during temporary towing operations would not have an adverse impact on safety, and use of these systems under the terms and conditions of the exemption would achieve a level of safety equivalent to or greater than the level of safety provided by the regulation. This decision is consistent with an August 2005 amendment to the FMCSRs to allow battery powered lamps on the rear of projecting loads.

Dates
This exemption is effective February 9, 2016 and ending February 9, 2018.

2015 FAST Act – Now what?
On Friday December 4th, President Obama signed the five-year, $305 billion federal highway bill, known as the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act or the FAST Act.
TRAA and the many state associations across the country greatly appreciate all of the efforts of our memberships in contacting their representatives to encourage them to remove or change this provision, unfortunately the final version of the bill remained unchanged. We THANK ALL OF YOU for raising your voices and being heard. Maybe we didn’t change the world THIS TIME but we will be ready to stand together for future legislative battles.
TRAA has been discussing the potential implications of Section 5514, and any negative effect it may have on the towing industry. Attorney Michael P. McGovern has written a formal response to TRAA’s questions and concerns.
We hope that you will find this information helpful. TRAA will continue to monitor the effects of this legislation as we move forward.
 

Electronic Logging Devices (ELD) – Final Rule 

Overview (see page 12)
The December 10th Final Rule mandates ELD use for HOS compliance. It applies to most motor carriers and drivers who are currently required to prepare and retain paper RODS to comply with HOS regulations under part 395.

The final rule allows limited exceptions to the ELD mandate. As indicated in § 395.1(e), drivers who operate using the time-card exception are not required to keep RODS and will not be required to use ELDs.The following drivers are excepted in § 395.8(a)(1)(iii) from installing and using ELDs and may continue to use “paper” RODS: (Emphasis added)

  • Drivers who use paper RODS for not more than 8 days during any 30-day period.
  • Drivers who conduct driveaway-towaway operations, where the vehicle being driven is the commodity being delivered.
  • Drivers of vehicles manufactured before model year 2000.
“Paper RODS” means RODS that are not kept on an ELD or AOBRD, but instead are either recorded manually in accordance with § 395.8(f) or on a computer not synchronized to the vehicle or that otherwise does not qualify as an ELD or AOBRD. This exception is limited to the ELD requirement only; these drivers are still bound by the RODS requirements in 49 CFR part 395 and must prepare paper logs when required unless they voluntarily elect to use an ELD.

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