Bill could place fees on excessive CMV detention time

Washington – Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR) on Feb. 17 introduced a bill (H.R. 756) that would direct the Secretary of Transportation to prescribe standards for the maximum number of hours a commercial motor vehicle operator may reasonably be detained by a shipper or receiver.

The bill could institute enforcement measures, including penalties for violations of future standards for detention time CMV operators spend waiting to load or unload cargo.

Excessive detention time could impact the ability of drivers to perform within federal hours-of-service safety regulations, according to a report (.pdf file) released Feb. 18 by the Government Accountability Office. GAO interviews with industry representatives, motor carrier officials and more than 300 truck drivers revealed:
  • 59 percent of interviewed drivers reported experiencing detention time in the past two weeks.
  • More than two-thirds reported experiencing detention time within the last month.
  • Factors that contribute to detention time include limitations in facilities, such as a lack of sufficient loading and unloading equipment or staff; products not ready for shipment; poor service provided by facility staff; and facility scheduling practices.

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