Congressman: Regulatory framework for trucks, buses too broad, costly

Missouri Sen. Sam Graves said he is concerned about growing regulation of trucks and buses. | Contributed photo
U.S. Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) said at a hearing last week, titled “The Future of Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety: Technology, Safety Initiatives and the Role of Federal Regulation," that he is concerned about growing regulation of trucks and buses.

Graves, chairman of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, said that in just the past few years, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has imposed new hours-of-service regulations; implemented the controversial Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program; and, at the direction of Congress, imposed new equipment mandates on both truck and bus operators.

Graves also expressed concerns about the growth of FMCSA, including that the agency’s budget has more than doubled since 2001 and is now $572 million.

“While I support a strong safety program, we need to ensure that funds are being spent on initiatives that will move the needle in terms of reducing crashes, injuries and fatalities on the nation's highways,” Graves said.

Graves encouraged the committee to consider safety technologies, initiatives and common-sense regulatory reforms that would further reduce crashes, injuries and deaths attributable to commercial vehicles.

“Is more regulation needed, or should Congress concentrate to a greater extent on providing the right incentives for truck and bus operators to operate safely?” Graves said.