Federal Update
OOIDA urges FMCSA to start broker-bond rulemaking

By Jami Jones
senior editor

In an effort to keep skimpy broker bonds high on FMCSA's priority list, OOIDA filed a supplemental petition requesting the agency to get started on a rulemaking.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration announced in February 2005 that at the urging of the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, the agency would start the process that could fix the woeful inadequacy of the current $10,000 bond requirement.

When the process still had not began as of November 2005, the Association filed a supplemental petition requesting the agency proceed on the rulemaking to possibly increase the bond amount required of property brokers.

The supplemental petition outlined numerous reasons OOIDA believes a bond amount of at least $300,000 to $500,000 would better protect the truckers who work with brokers on a daily basis.

OOIDA acknowledged in its supplemental petition that FMCSA had a busy year in 2005, but urged the agency to act quickly on the supplemental petition.

"The problems with unscrupulous brokers have continued to worsen and the need for this action is greater than ever," the petition stated.

In addition to the petitions on increasing broker bonds, OOIDA has routinely urged FMCSA to step up enforcement of the existing rules regulating brokers.

"A big part of the problem with the broker issue is the lack of enforcement," OOIDA Director of Regulatory Affairs Rick Craig said.

"Coupling tougher enforcement of existing regulations with an appropriate bond amount would certainly rein in the unscrupulous brokers out there taking advantage of truckers on a daily basis."