SPECIAL REPORT: Highway Bill settles decal dispute

| 8/15/2005

For some time, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance have been squabbling over issuing decals to trucks that pass inspections and enforcement of operating authority violations.

Now, that has been settled.

Thanks to language included in the recently passed Highway Bill, the CVSA is required to sell the decals to the FMCSA.

Rick Craig, director of regulatory affairs for OOIDA, said FMCSA has been lobbying for this move for quite some time.

"FMCSA had drafted some language looking for sponsors to basically pull the whole decal program away from CVSA," he said. "They (FMCSA) were upset that CVSA wouldn't sell them the decals to affix (to trucks) when the FMCSA inspectors were doing their inspections at the border."

On the other half of the battle - the one over operating authority violations enforcement - Craig said FMCSA was threatening to codify CVSA's out-of-service criteria into federal regulations because CVSA wouldn't include operating authority in its out-of-service criteria.

FMCSA had pushed for CVSA to include violations of operating authority in the out-of-service criteria as required by federal law. But CVSA refused.

"So if they took away the decal program and codified the CVSA criteria, then CVSA wouldn't have a purpose anymore," Craig said. "They wouldn't have a reason to exist."

CVSA backed down from the move and included operating authority in its own out-of-service criteria.

- By Terry Scruton, senior writer