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Regulations - The Gift that Keeps on Giving

J. Bradley Klepper
Attorney at Law

Those of you who actually read my articles are likely aware that I am fundamentally lazy. I mean deep down, at the core of my being, I am totally happy to sit with my feet propped up, sipping a cocktail, and watching the world go by.

What in the world does that have to do with the price of tea in China you may ask. Well, it means that I am having a bit of writer’s block – probably the lingering effects of all tryptophan in my system from the gluttonous amount of turkey I ate over Thanksgiving (and the day after, and the entire following weekend).

So instead of coming up with an original, inciteful, and slightly humorous article (which I have never been able to accomplish, ever.) I have decided to go with a “list” type article. But instead of listing my favorite Christmas songs (the Dean Martin version of “Baby it’s cold outside” if you really want to know), I have decided to list some potential regulations the folks at the FMCSA have on the plate for next year.

See, I told you I was lazy.

However, while I may be lazy, the FMCSA is working hard to pursue a number of rulemaking proposals in 2023.
First out of the gate is SPEED LIMITERS. Ok, this one is not new, and the notice of proposed rulemaking was published and open for comment earlier this year. To that end, the FMCSA is currently reviewing over 14,500 comments received on this issue.

Just like most things in life, I may not know the answer, but I am never short on opinions. If you want to know my thoughts and potential issues with speed limiters go back and read my article from June of this year.

Regardless of my thoughts or opinions, the FMCSA has said it “intends to proceed with a motor-carrier based speed limiter rulemaking” with a supplemental notice of proposed rulemaking to be published by June 30, 2023.
Next up are changes to the BROKER AND FREIGHT FORWARDER FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITIES. Way back before Covid, September of 2018 to be exact, the FMCSA published an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking on this issue and asked for comments on the financial responsibilities of these entities.

Well, the FMCSA has said that it plans to publish an advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (“ANPRM”) by January 25th, 2023, which “will propose changes to the broker and freight forwarder financial responsibility requirements as required by MAP-21”. I am interested to see the NPRM and what will be proposed.

Also on the FMCSA’s agenda is a plan to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (“NPRM”) amending certain regulations related to the introduction of AUTOMATED DRIVING SYSTEMS (ADS) equipped trucks.

Proposed changes would include operations, inspection, repair, and maintenance regulations of ADS trucks. The purpose of this is to “prioritize safety and security, promote innovation, foster a consistent regulatory approach to ADS-equipped CMVs and recognize the difference between human operators and ADS. The NPRM is scheduled to be published by January 18, 2023. I suspect I will have some pretty strong opinions on this matter. So, stay tuned.

In addition to the foregoing, the FMCSA and NHTSA plan to join forces on an issue and NPRM to require/standardize the performance of AUTOMATIC EMERGENCY BREAKING SYSTEMS. This proposal is expected to publish by January 30, 2023.

Finally, the FMCSA plans on publishing an ANPRM on SAFETY FITNESS PROCEDURES. In essence, this would focus on how to use current data and resources to identify unfit carriers. The FMCSA will also seek comments about possible changes to the current rating structure and changes to the methodology used to calculate these scores. Needless to say, this one has my attention, and I am curious about which direction FMCSA ultimately takes in this matter. This is ANPRM is scheduled to publish by January 30th, 2023.

So there you have it….my incredibly lazy list of things the FMCSA will be up to in the current year. Interestingly, I think I may have just identified my next four or five articles for next year. You have been warned.

Brad Klepper, Esq. is President of Interstate Trucker Ltd., a law firm entirely dedicated to legal defense of the nation's commercial drivers. Interstate Trucker represents truck drivers throughout the forty-eight (48) states on both moving and non-moving violations. Brad is also Executive Vice President & General Counsel of Drivers Legal Plan, which allows member drivers access to his firm’s services at greatly discounted rates. Brad spent almost a decade with the largest law firm in Oklahoma where his practice included extensive experience in transactional law, business defense litigation, and intellectual property. In addition, Brad is a licensed architect and serves as General Counsel to the Oklahoma Board of Architects, Landscape Architects and Interior Designers. Brad has dedicated much of his time to DataQs challenges, which are challenges posed to the FMCSA for CSA incidents, to examine data and reports filed by law enforcement.

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FMCSA , Trucking Regulations


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