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Bill Would Set Carrier Selection Safety Standards for Brokers, Shippers

Proposed US legislation would require the DOT to set a safety selection standard for those contracting with motor carriers.

As, Truckinginfo.com reports, the bill – called the Motor Carrier Safety Selection Standard Act – proposes to give brokers and third-party logistics providers a national “safety fitness determination” standard for due diligence in selecting motor carriers and help shield them from negligent-hiring claims. The bill would require the U.S. Department of Transportation to establish a national standard for shippers and brokers to use to ensure trucking companies are licensed, registered, and insured.

The proposed standard would require that motor carriers:

  • Be registered with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
  • Meet at least the minimum insurance requirement.
  • Not have an unsatisfactory safety rating.

If this standard is followed, a 3PL would be considered to have selected a carrier in “a reasonable and prudent manner.”

The bill also sets interim requirements to help ensure shippers and manufacturers hire safe, reliable drivers that are properly licensed, registered and insured.

“Without a clear federal standard, the result is a confusing patchwork of standards that threaten the nation’s economy and public safety,” said Ben Campbell, chief legal officer of C.H. Robinson.

It’s not the first time bills to set such a standard have been introduced since a 2012 $5 million jury verdict that may have been the first punitive damages verdict against a transportation broker in a case involving a negligent hiring claim.

It that case, it was shown in court that the motor carrier did not have insurance or operating authority when the broker tendered the load.

Full story here.

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