Small Business in Transportation Coalition
Started 10 petitions
Randall Reilly Should Fire Overdrive Online Editor Max Heine
Over the years, Overdrive Editor Max Heine has felt the wrath of two industry trade groups for inappropriate and unprofessional conduct... After publishing this article in 2014, "Real Women in Trucking" President Desiree Wood posted: "Max Heine represents something very ugly in our culture and that is this idea that Women and their bodies are on display for spectators regardless of their ability. I do feel he owes a apology to Women Truckers." She then wrote a letter to Heine referring to his "thoughtless remarks as dehumanizing, demeaning and sexist." Overdrive, in turn, possibly Heine himself, mischaracterized the essence of Wood's comments and watered them down here. Seven years later, we believe Wood is still waiting for that apology. SBTC recently exposed Heine's pattern and practice of publishing defamatory comments against its Executive Director James Lamb, trying desperately to keep a 2016 political hit job nuisance civil lawsuit alive, we believe, to disparage Lamb & SBTC to aid its advertiser OOIDA in their rival for members. SBTC outlines Heine's motives here, which include the facts that Lamb stopped advertising with Overdrive and Randall Reilly held a secret --possibly collusive-- staff meeting targeting Lamb when he competed with Randall Reilly by producing the Orlando Truckers Conference in competition with GATS. SBTC is considering producing a new show. Lamb is considering asking USDOJ for an antitrust investigation whether Randall-Reilly engaged in an anti-competitive conspiracy starting in 2006 that has unreasonably restrained interstate trade in the trucking trade show and trade group arenas. It appears Heine has been leading the charge. In a recent poll over 85% of respondents said they believe SBTC should sue Randall Reilly. Whether he is acting in a rogue capacity or as an agent for a broader Randall Reilly scheme to defeat competition, we believe it is time for Heine to go to stop these shenanigans. We the undersigned hereby call for Randall Reilly to immediately #FireMaxHeine.
Truckers are stepping up for America. Now, it's time for America to step up for truckers.
Over the past month, truckers have stepped up for America to ensure the supply chain stays intact during the 2020 COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic. They have done so at great personal effort, sacrifice and risk. American citizens, including teenagers and police officers, have, in turn, responded to truckers' plight and have tried to help truckers find food on the road to keep the deliveries coming. The government could be doing so much more --from providing testing locations that accommodate big rig trucks... to distributing masks... to dealing with Mega-brokers who are exploiting independent truckers during this difficult time and causing freight rates to drastically fall. We, the undersigned Americans, support America's 3.5 million truckers. We hereby petition the Secretary of Transportation to stand down on current public policy plans to replace truckers when this crisis is over by ushering in driverless trucks. That is not the way to #ThankATrucker after all truckers have done for America. We believe this planned obsolescence will not only eliminate driver jobs but will endanger the motoring public. We contend you cannot replace human judgment on the road, which is grounded in empathy, with artificial intelligence and autonomous machines. We also call for Congress to replace the current Federal motor carrier regulatory model. For FY 2019, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) requested a $665.80 million budget from Congress, which included $284 million for Motor Carrier Safety Operations and Programs and $381.80 million for Motor Carrier Safety Grants. Over the past 20 years, this agency has been allocated over $5 billion for internal operations. Here is what American taxpayers have gotten in recent years for their money: *The 2018 Large Truck Occupant Highway Fatality Rate is at a 30-year high in the immediate aftermath of the onset of Electronic Logging Devices. Because truckers are regulated by the clock and paid by the mile Big Trucking induces truckers to speed to maximize productivity. Drivers should be paid a base salary plus performance incentives so they are not working under stress to avoid starvation. *When you do the math, 2.4 occupants of large trucks died every single day in 2018. *In 2017, 4,889 large trucks and buses were involved in fatal crashes, a 9-percent increase from 2016 (this has now been skewed to lower the percentage to 4.9% by removing certain vehicles, which, when combined with trailers still constitute a commercial motor vehicle over 10,000 lbs).** *The number of large trucks and buses in fatal crashes has increased by 42 percent from its low of 3,432 in 2009.** *From 2016 to 2017, large truck and bus fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled by all motor vehicles increased by 6.8 percent, from 0.146 to 0.156.** *There was a 40-percent increase in the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses between 2009 and 2017. ** *From 2016 to 2017, the number of fatal crashes involving large trucks or buses increased by 8 percent.** *The number of injury crashes involving large trucks or buses increased 62% from 2009 to 2015.** *From 2016 to 2017, according to NHTSA's CRSS data, large truck and bus injury crashes increased 4 percent (from 112,000 in 2016 to 116,000 in 2017).** *From 2016 to 2017 the number of large trucks involved in fatal crashes increased 10 percent, from 4,251 to 4,657, and the large truck involvement rate (large trucks involved in fatal crashes per 100 million miles traveled by large trucks) increased 6 percent, from 1.48 to 1.56. The number of large trucks involved in injury crashes increased by 5 percent, from 102,000 to 107,000. The number of large trucks involved in property damage only crashes increased by 3 percent, from 351,000 to 363,000. The number of buses involved in fatal crashes decreased from 234 to 232, a decrease a mere 1 percent.** **SOURCE: https://www.fmcsa.dot.gov/sites/fmcsa.dot.gov/files/docs/safety/data-and-statistics/461861/ltcbf-2017-final-5-6-2019.pdf We now call on Congress to #SaveTruckers and specifically provide an economic stimulus package to #SaveSmallBusinessTruckers who are now on the verge of going out-of-business. Without same, America's supply chain will suffer a terrible capacity crisis when manufacturing spontaneously returns to full force and there are no longer sufficient trucks to service our supply needs. Please save America's truckers from extinction and #MakeTheRoadsSafeAgain. MEDIA CONTACT: James@truckers.com
USDOT Should Respect Trucker Pets' Needs
I support the Small Business in Transportation Coalition's ("SBTC") request on behalf all property-carrying operators of commercial motor vehicles (“CMVs”) operating in interstate commerce who operate such vehicles whenever accompanied by any domestic animal, for the following two exemptions to be approved by USDOT each for five years: (1) Exemption from the Electronic Logging Device (“ELD”) requirement codified at 49 C.F.R. § 395.8(a) provided that such drivers track their compliance with the hours of service (“HOS”) regulations using paper record of duty status logs; and (2) Exemption from the HOS requirements that: (1) limit the maximum driving hours for property-carrying drivers to 11 hours (49 C.F.R. § 395.3(a)(3)); and (2) limit the total consecutive on-duty hours for those drivers to 14 hours (49 C.F.R. § 395.3(a)(2)). We request approval, after 10 consecutive hours off duty, to (1) drive through the 16th consecutive hour after coming on duty, and (2) drive a total of 13 hours during that 16-hour period. With over 21,000 memberships sold, the SBTC, dba Truckers.com, advises 1.4 million drivers take their pets on the road. It logically follows that 1.4 million animals are currently being transported as passenger companions. Like the National Pork Producers Council successfully argued to Congress, we, too, believe the current HOS regulations and the ELD mandate pose threats to --and endanger the health and welfare of-- these animals transported daily. Drivers that have such animals on board have the added responsibility of tending to their animals’ health, safety and wellness needs in addition to looking out for public safety. They need extra flexibility to be able to reconcile all of these demands and interests… much like FMCSA tries to balance all stakeholders’ interests when promulgating rules. Drivers need to deal with the impact of hot and cold weather conditions on their pets in order to prevent sickness and injury to these animals. Drivers need to drive slower—rather than race the clock—when animals are on board to prevent injuries, especially when negotiating rough roads so they need more than the normal hours of service to complete their runs. When drivers have an extended day beyond the 14-hour rule, they can take more breaks, feed, relieve and exercise their pets, and reduce the likelihood that they will drive fatigued. This additional two hours will reduce the current trend in large truck occupant fatalities, improve overall safety, which is clearly in the public interest, and save the lives of thousands of animals not currently being included in the large truck occupant fatality statistic by NHTSA. We suggest animals count too.
Add "Michael's Law" to the National Reciprocity and/or Criminal Justice Reform Bills
Dear Senator, We are an association and friends of commercial motor vehicle drivers working in the transportation industry. We are also registered voters. As an integral part of America's Supply Chain, we live and work on the road delivering supplies across the USA. Trucking is considered one of the most dangerous occupations because of the inherent dangers of the road. According to the U.S. Dept. of Labor, over 600 workers in interstate transportation have been MURDERED ON THE JOB over the past decade alone. In the interest of allowing drivers and ALL Americans to defend themselves on the road everywhere within the United States in accordance with the Second Amendment, we are petitioning you to please attach the "Michael's Law Amendment" referenced below and on www.truckerlivesmatter.com to S. 446, the Constitutional Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act before it comes up for a vote; or, alternatively, the Criminal Justice Reform Bill. 18 U.S. Code 926A; (Renamed): Interstate possession, transportation and carrying of firearms... (1) Notwithstanding any other provision of any Federal law or any Federal rule, a person who is an American citizen and is not otherwise prohibited by this chapter from possessing, carrying, transporting, shipping, or receiving a firearm shall be entitled to carry on his person in a loaded, readily-accessible capacity and transport a firearm for any lawful purpose from any place in any state to any other place in a different state in accordance with the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. (2) FEDERAL PREEMPTION The states are hereby preempted from regulating firearms that are transported into, out of, or through their state by a person who is an American citizen and is not a resident of that state, regardless of whether or not the firearm is carried in a loaded, readily-accessible capacity, pursuant to the Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution. For more information, see: http://users.neo.registeredsite.com/1/9/8/17782891/assets/TLM_TALKING_POINTS_FACT_SHEET.pdf Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Small Business in Transportation Coalition ("SBTC") dba Trucker Lives Matter Truckers.com & TruckerLivesMatter.com
Stop Midland, TX from Coercing Interstate Drivers to Violate Hours of Service Regulations
October 26, 2018 The Honorable Raymond Martinez, Administrator Federal Motor Carrier Safety AdministrationUnited States Department of Transportation1200 New Jersey Avenue SEWashington, DC 20590 c/o FMCSA TX Division Administrator 903 San Jacinto Blvd., Suite 1100Austin, TX 78701 Re: COMPLAINT AGAINST RECEIVER: THE CITY OF MIDLAND, TEXAS Dear Mr. Martinez, This is an open letter of complaint to Raymond Martinez, Administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) from the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) on behalf of its members --and other members of the Transportation Industry who sign this online petition-- pursuant to 49 CFR (Code of Federal Regulations) 386.12 in furtherance of 49 CFR 390.6, requesting a Federal investigation into the actions of the City of Midland, Texas that interfere with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations (FMCSRs). The SBTC is an Internal Revenue Service-recognized 501(c)(6) business league. As a non-profit association of transportation professionals, including, but not limited to, truck drivers, owner-operators and motor carriers, the SBTC enjoys "association standing" in the Federal Courts and therefore has standing to file this complaint on behalf of its driver members. Accordingly, this is a three-fold complaint of "substantial violation" under 49 CFR 386.12, subpart (a), "harassment" under subpart (b), and "coercion" under subpart (c).The name, address, and telephone number of the person filing this complaint is: JAMES LAMB, PresidentSmall Business in Transportation Coalition ("SBTC") et al1775 I. (Eye) Street, NW, Suite 1150Washington, DC 20006(202) 731-8223http://www.Truckers.com The name and address of the alleged violator and, with respect to each alleged violator, the specific provisions of the regulations that the complainant believes were violated are: City of Midland, Texas300 N. LoraineCity HallMidland, TX 79701Phone:432-685-7200 We allege "substantial violation," "harassment," and "coercion" with respect to theFederal Hours of Service (HOS) Rule: Section § 395.3: Maximum driving time for property-carrying vehicles. §395.3 Maximum driving time for property-carrying vehicles.(a) Except as otherwise provided in §395.1, no motor carrier shall permit or require any driver used by it to drive a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle, nor shall any such driver drive a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle, regardless of the number of motor carriers using the driver's services, unless the driver complies with the following requirements:(1) Start of work shift. A driver may not drive without first taking 10 consecutive hours off duty;(2) 14-hour period. A driver may drive only during a period of 14 consecutive hours after coming on duty following 10 consecutive hours off duty. The driver may not drive after the end of the 14-consecutive-hour period without first taking 10 consecutive hours off duty.(3) Driving time and rest breaks. (i) Driving time. A driver may drive a total of 11 hours during the 14-hour period specified in paragraph (a)(2) of this section.(ii) Rest breaks. Except for drivers who qualify for either of the short-haul exceptions in §395.1(e)(1) or (2), driving is not permitted if more than 8 hours have passed since the end of the driver's last off-duty or sleeper-berth period of at least 30 minutes.(b) No motor carrier shall permit or require a driver of a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle to drive, nor shall any driver drive a property-carrying commercial motor vehicle, regardless of the number of motor carriers using the driver's services, for any period after—(1) Having been on duty 60 hours in any period of 7 consecutive days if the employing motor carrier does not operate commercial motor vehicles every day of the week; or(2) Having been on duty 70 hours in any period of 8 consecutive days if the employing motor carrier operates commercial motor vehicles every day of the week.(c) (1) Any period of 7 consecutive days may end with the beginning of an off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours that includes two periods from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.(2) Any period of 8 consecutive days may end with the beginning of an off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours that includes two periods from 1:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.(d) A driver may not take an off-duty period allowed by paragraph (c) of this section to restart the calculation of 60 hours in 7 consecutive days or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days until 168 or more consecutive hours have passed since the beginning of the last such off-duty period. When a driver takes more than one off-duty period of 34 or more consecutive hours within a period of 168 consecutive hours, he or she must indicate in the Remarks section of the record of duty status which such off-duty period is being used to restart the calculation of 60 hours in 7 consecutive days or 70 hours in 8 consecutive days. We offer this concise but complete statement of the facts relied upon to substantiate each allegation, including the date of the alleged violation. In 2012, Congress through the enactment of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act ("MAP-21"), specifically, SEC. 32911. PROHIBITION OF COERCION, prohibited the coercion of commercial motor vehicle operators "by a motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or transportation intermediary to operate a commercial motor vehicle in violation of a regulation promulgated under this section, or chapter 51 or chapter 313 of this title." Effective January 29, 2016, the FMCSA duly promulgated a Federal Regulation toprevent Coercion of Motor Vehicle Drivers, which amended 49 CFR 386 and 49 CFR 390: § 390.6 Coercion prohibited.(a)Prohibition.(1) A motor carrier, shipper, receiver, or transportation intermediary, including their respective agents, officers, or representatives, may not coerce a driver of a commercial motor vehicle to operate such vehicle in violation of 49 CFR parts 171-173, 177-180, 380-383 or 390-399, or §§ 385.415 or 385.421;(2) A motor carrier or its agents, officers, or representatives, may not coerce a driver of a commercial motor vehicle to operate such vehicle in violation of 49 CFR parts 356, 360, or 365-379..(b)Complaint process.(1) A driver who believes he or she was coerced to violate a regulation described in paragraph (a)(1) or (2) of this section may file a written complaint under § 386.12(c) of this subchapter.(2) A complaint under paragraph (b)(1) of this section shall describe the action that the driver claims constitutes coercion and identify the regulation the driver was coerced to violate.(3) A complaint under paragraph (b)(1) of this section may include any supportingevidence that will assist the Division Administrator in determining the merits of thecomplaint. We note it is the stated public policy of the FMCSA to impose Federal HOS regulations to combat driver fatigue in the interest of preventing loss of life and serious bodily injury in furtherance of public safety. Effective October 1st, the City of Midland, TX outlawed the parking of commercial motor vehicles city-wide (local Midland ordinance). Pursuant to the definition set forth in 49 CFR 390, the City of Midland, Texas is a"receiver" for the purposes of the aforementioned statute and the FMCSA Coercion Rule in that it regularly receives shipments of freight by motor carrier in interstate commerce as an operating municipality. The local Midland ordinance prevents operators of commercial motor vehicles operating under electronic logging devices from parking their vehicles to cease operating their vehicles after 11 hours of driving time.The local Midland ordinance also prevents operators of commercial motor vehicles operating under electronic logging devices from parking their vehicles to cease operating their vehicles after having been on duty for 14 hours. The local Midland ordinance also prevents operators of commercial motor vehicles from taking their mandatory 30 minute rest break when in mid-route while in the City of Midland. Furthermore, the local Midland ordinance imposes a $500 fine on interstate truck drivers who park their vehicles in Midland, Texas when attempting to comply with the Federal HOS regulations. This constitutes a "substantial violation," "harassment," and "coercion" in that operators of commercial motor vehicles are coerced by threat of property loss to keep driving --even if they are fatigued-- in order to avoid the fine, thus jeopardizing public safety. The Federal government has the right to preempt the action of states and subdivisions of states. When state law and federal law conflict, Federal law displaces, or preempts, state law, due to the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution. U.S. Const. art. VI., § 2. Pursuant to Congress' right to regulate interstate commerce, we therefore ask that the Federal Government find the City of Midland in substantial, institutional violation of 49 CFR 390.6 and act to preempt all municipalities, including the City of Midland, Texas, from enacting local ordinances that prevent interstate truck drivers from complying with the Federal HOS regulations. We encourage Drivers to file their own independent complaint with the FMCSA through the National Consumer Complaint Database. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, /s/JAMES LAMB, PresidentSmall Business in Transportation Coalition ("SBTC")
Petition to the UCR Board and FMCSA: Stop Unnecessarily Overtaxing Motor Carrier Industry.
On August 8, 2018, the Small Business in Transportation Coalition (SBTC) wrote to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) protesting a previously promulgated rule that raises the Unified Carrier Registration ("UCR") fees on independent truckers and carriers from 2018 to 2019, asserting the fee raise was unlawful. Thereafter, SBTC lobbyists met with FMCSA officials in person on August 10, 2018 expressing the SBTC membership's concerns that FMCSA was unlawfully raising the fees. On August 21, 2018, FMCSA announced it decided to reduce the fees instead. SBTC released this announcement later that day showing the details of how SBTC successfully affected a move toward lower UCR fees for the industry for 2019. On August 23, 2018, during a public meeting of the Unified Carrier Registration Board of Directors, the Board determined that the fees currently under consideration by FMCSA are still higher than the Board needs to operate by over $1,000,000. Disturbingly, the Board concluded it should not tell FMCSA this during FMCSA's pubic notice and comment rulemaking so that FMCSA does not further reduce the fees to the benefit of the industry. This ensures, once again, the Board's depository will have a surplus contrary to the Unified Carrier Registration Act of 2005 (UCR Act - 49 United States Code (USC) section 14504a), which states: (7) DETERMINATION OF FEES.—(A) RECOMMENDATION BY BOARD.—Theboard shall recommend to the Secretary theinitial annual fees to be assessed carriers,leasing companies, brokers, and freight forwardersunder the unified carrier registrationagreement. In making its recommendationto the Secretary for the level of fees tobe assessed in any agreement year, and insetting the fee level, the board and the Secretaryshall consider—(i) the administrative costs associatedwith the unified carrier registration planand the agreement;(ii) whether the revenues generated inthe previous year and any surplus or short-age from that or prior years enable theparticipating States to achieve the revenuelevels set by the board; and(iii) the provisions governing fees undersubsection (f)(1) (emhases added). Accordingly, we the members of the motor carrier industry hereby petition the UCR Board, Secretary of Transportation, and FMCSA to stop unnecessarily taxing the industry by imposing inflated UCR fees and mandate only those fees which are actually necessary to fund motor carrier safety initiatives and enforcement programs.
Petition to Immediately Suspend the ELD Rule #SuspendELDsNow
NOVEMBER 11, 2019 UPDATE NEW PETITION DIRECTLY TO THE WHITE HOUSE SIGN HERE. OCTOBER 23, 2019 UPDATE The USDOT Published new data yesterday that show large truck fatalities went up by at least 0.9% in 2018 and at least 4.9% in 2017 nullifying FMCSA's claims ELDs would save 26 lives per year. SBTC has petitioned Congress today to suspend the ELD rule and direct FMCSA to research unintended consequences such as speeding and develop a bona fide ELD certification program to vet out devices that do not have proper anti-hacking encryption that could jeopardize NATIONAL SECURITY. Subject: FMCSA's Failure to adhere to 49 CFR Appendix A to Subpart B of Part 395, Functional Specifications for All Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) Dear FMCSA: As you know, FMCSA committed during rulemaking to making certain ELD-related information readily available to the industry and public online without the need for filing Freedom of Information Act or other data requests. See: 49 CFR Appendix A to Subpart B of Part 395, Functional Specifications for All Electronic Logging Devices (ELDs) 5.3. Publicly Available InformationExcept for the information listed under paragraphs 5.1.1(b)(2), (4), and (5) and 5.2.1(b)(9) of this appendix, FMCSA will make the information in sections 5.1 .1 and 5.2.1 for each certified ELD publicly available on a Web site to allow motor carriers to determine which products have been properly registered and certified as ELDs compliant with this appendix (emphasis added). We note 5.1.1. states: 5.1.1. Registering Online(a) An ELD provider developing an ELD technology must register online at a secure FMCSA Web site where the ELD provider can securely certify that its ELD is compliant with this appendix.(b) Provider's registration must include the following information:(1) Company name of the technology provider/manufacturer.(2) Name of an individual authorized by the provider to verify that the ELD is compliant with this appendix and to certify it under section 5.2 of this appendix.(3) Address of the registrant.(4) Email address of the registrant.(5) Telephone number of the registrant. And 5.2.1 states: 5.2.1. Online Certification(a) An ELD provider registered online as described in section 5.1 .1 of this appendix must disclose the information in paragraph (b) of this section about each ELD model and version and certify that the particular ELD is compliant with the requirements of this appendix.(b) The online process will only allow a provider to complete certification if the provider successfully discloses all of the following required information:(1) Name of the product.(2) Model number of the product.(3) Software version of the product.(4) An ELD identifier, uniquely identifying the certified model and version of the ELD, assigned by the ELD provider in accordance with section 7.1 5 of this appendix.(5) Picture and/or screen shot of the product.(6) User's manual describing how to operate the ELD.(7) Description of the supported and certified data transfer mechanisms and step-by-step instructions for a driver to produce and transfer the ELD records to an authorized safety official.(8) Summary description of ELD malfunctions.(9) Procedure to validate an ELD authentication value as described in section 7.1 4 of this appendix.(10) Certifying statement describing how the product was tested to comply with FMCSA regulations. We note FMCSA has published in furtherance thereof a page at https://csa.fmcsa.dot.gov/ELD/List which covers the following items: (1) Name of the product.(2) Model number of the product.(3) Software version of the product.(4) An ELD identifier, uniquely identifying the certified model and version of the ELD, assigned by the ELD provider in accordance with section 7.1 5 of this appendix.(5) Picture and/or screen shot of the product. and (1) Company name of the technology provider/manufacturer.(4) Email address of the registrant.(5) Telephone number of the registrant. The following seven data columns are required to be published on the website but appear to have been omitted by FMCSA: Name of an individual authorized by the provider to verify that the ELD is compliant with this appendix and to certify it under section 5.2 of this appendix. Address of the registrant. User's manual describing how to operate the ELD. Description of the supported and certified data transfer mechanisms and step-by-step instructions for a driver to produce and transfer the ELD records to an authorized safety official. Summary description of ELD malfunctions. Procedure to validate an ELD authentication value as described in section 7.1 4 of this appendix. Certifying statement describing how the product was tested to comply with FMCSA regulations. Last week, we advised FMCSA that certain ELD manufacturers were misleading the industry to believe that their ELD products were "FMCSA-Certified" when the Small Business in Transportation Coalition ("SBTC") & FMCSA both know this not to be true because of FMCSA's "self certification" policy. Since FMCSA has not adhered to its promise to publish the missing information above for over eight months since the ELD rule took effect last December, FMCSA has not enabled the industry to properly vet ELD products made available by ELD manufacturers, including being aware of very important information like a "summary description of malfunctions." Without this due notice, FMCSA has therefore not properly implemented the ELD rule. For this reason, I hereby support the SBTC's request that the ELD rule be immediately suspended. Follow us on Twitter: @theSBTC and the SBTC Executive Director @RealJamesLamb
Repeal ELD Mandate through Regulatory Review
Docket ID: DOT-OST-2017-0069-1442 #RepealELDs
NOVEMBER 11, 2019 UPDATE NEW PETITION DIRECTLY TO THE WHITE HOUSE SIGN HERE. On November 20, 2017, the Small Business in Transportation Coalition ("SBTC"), an industry trade group, petitioned Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ("FMCSA") to reconsider the Electronic Logging Device ("ELD") Rule as a good candidate for repeal in response to an October 2, 2017 Notification of Regulatory Review (and request for comments to be submitted by December 1, 2017) issued by the USDOT under Docket ID: DOT-OST-2017-0069-1442. SBTC requested an emergency stay on the December 18, 2017 ELD rule effective date. On December 18, 2017, the ELD rule went into effect and the request for a stay went unanswered. On January 5, 2018, FMCSA denied SBTC's request for reconsideration as "untimely" and kicked back the exemption application suggesting it must conform to a rule that applies to exemption applications submitted by individual motor carriers. On February 1, 2018, SBTC petitioned for reconsideration of that denial pointing out the request was a timely comment under the USDOT's regulatory review notice and supplemented its request for an exemption from the ELD Rule for all owner operators and companies with less than 50 employees. On April 1, 2018, motor carriers not compliant with the ELD rule will be put out of service. I support the SBTC's efforts to repeal the ELD rule in its entirety. In the event the rule is not repealed, I support the SBTC's exemption application. #RepealELDs
Withdraw Current FMCSA UCR Fee Rulemaking to Stop Drivers from being ARRESTED on Jan. 1st
WHEREAS... The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ("FMCSA,") an agency of the United States Department of Transportation, is currently engaged in Unified Carrier Registration ("UCR") Fee rulemaking under Docket No. FMCSA-2017-0118 beyond the scope of its lawful statutory authority; and Federal Law required the Secretary of Transportation or her designee agency to promulgate a new fee rule within 90 days of receiving the UCR Board's fee recommendations in March 2017; and The FMCSA commenced public notice and comment rulemaking after that 90 day window expired in September 2017, making the current rulemaking unlawful and futile; and An unlawfully promulgated final rule can and will be legally challenged by the Small Business in Transportation Coalition ("SBTC") if the rulemaking is not abandoned by FMCSA; and The UCR Board of Directors unlawfully changed the October 1st UCR renewal period open date for 2018 UCR in September 2017 to November 1st because of the pending FMCSA rulemaking; and The SBTC then filed a Federal action due to the UCR Board's actions taken at an unnoticed September 2017 Board meeting, in which a Federal judge confirmed the Board had violated the Federal Sunshine Act, pointing to how the Board had shortened the industry's normal compliance period from 90 days to 60 days and the Secretary's 90 day requirement to act; and The UCR Board of Directors thereafter continued their unlawful modification of the UCR open date for 2018 UCR at their October meeting delaying it beyond November 1st indefinitely because of the pending FMCSA rulemaking; and The UCR Agreement calls for motor carriers to comply with 2018 UCR no later than December 31, 2017, which cannot lawfully be suspended or waived by the UCR Board; and This is causing widespread industry confusion, chaos and panic as of December 2017 that may ultimately result in carriers failing to comply with the 2018 UCR filing requirement and being unjustly penalized because FMCSA and the UCR Board are preventing them from complying due to this rulemaking; and The UCR Board has indicated it will "recommend" --but admits it cannot compel-- states to afford the normal 90 days to comply from the eventual open date before engaging in UCR enforcement; and There are statutes which call for criminal and/or civil penalties for failure to comply with UCR in the various states and the states and law enforcement officers are free to ignore the "recommendation" of the UCR Board and unreasonably enforce a program that may not have opened before January 1, 2018 due to this pending rulemaking; and This is not the first time there has been a delay as the original 2007 UCR program was delayed and the adverse impact on states was reviewed by the U.S. Office of Governmental Accountability; and 2010 UCR was delayed nearly 8 months due to last minute FMCSA fee rulemaking in September 2009, which then raised the fee carriers pay; and The current consideration to slightly lower the fees for 2018 does not out-weight the precarious position motor carriers have been placed in and the harm currently being inflicted upon the industry and can be easily adjusted by FMCSA by properly promulgating a 2019 UCR fee rule within 90 days of receiving the UCR Board's recommended fees due out in mid December 2017; and The FMCSA is causing an unreasonable delay in terms of the 41 participating states' receiving much-needed funds to support motor carrier safety initiatives and highway enforcement thereby jeopardizing public safety, which is clearly not in the public interest; and This unreasonable delay is futile because the rulemaking is unlawful and violates the Congressional directive stated in the "National Transportation Policy" codified at 49 U.S. Code § 13101 to "promote safe, adequate, economical, and efficient transportation" in that it is delaying the collection of fees used by the states to protect the public and SBTC-member carriers and drivers from unsafe and illegal motor carrier operations; and This unreasonable delay may cause truck drivers to refuse to drive in interstate commerce starting on January 1, 2018 because they cannot comply with 2018 UCR to avoid administrative notices of violation that carry civil penalties, civil fines, and/or arrest by law enforcement, thereby adversely affecting interstate commerce. NOW, BE IT HEREBY RESOLVED THAT: We the stakeholders, which may include interstate truck drivers, owner-operators, motor carriers, freight brokers, freight forwarders, leasing companies, representative trade groups, industry service providers, motor carrier safety advocates, individual citizens interested in safe highways and against the impeding of interstate commerce, and state regulatory agency representatives, hereby request the FMCSA immediately abandoned the 2018 UCR Fee rulemaking to allow the industry to comply before the December 31, 2017 deadline; and A copy of this petition showing every signature be sent to the FMCSA's Chief Counsel, Randi Fredholm Hutchinson under the stakeholders' Constitutional First Amendment right to petition the government for a redress of grievances. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely -Small Business in Transportation Coalition & Stakeholders
Withdraw Bogus Lawsuit Against Lamb & Stop Harassing Small Businesses & American Families
Media Inquiries: (800) 215-6704 FTC Attorney Collot Guerard: "You have a beautiful daughter..." James Lamb: "You mean the one you almost starved to death by freezing my assets?" FTC Attorney Collot Guerard: "Well, I hope she's still alive..." Dear Acting FTC Chair Maureen K. Ohlhausen: This is in reference to the September 2016 Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") action against James Lamb and his partner and his and his partner's common motor carrier registration companies (CIVIL ACTION NUMBER: 0:16-cv-62186-WJZ). Mr. Lamb argues that the FTC's charges of deceptive business practices and unlawful negative option marketing, which revolve around the assistance he provides to common motor carriers with respect to their MCS-150 Biennial Report filings and his Unified Carrier Registration ("UCR") "SafeRenew" automatic renewal program (which ensures truckers and carriers don't forget to renew their UCRs and then get hit with a fine up to $1,100 on January 1st) are false, politically motivated, and stem from just three consumer complaints filed directly with the FTC over a 4 1/2 year period, not even one per year; three complaints out of more than 200,000 transactions conducted by Lamb during the same period. To put the matter in perspective, the FTC receives 3.5 million consumer complaints every year, 350,000 of which, are considered "government impersonation" complaints according to the FTC's annual report. FTC argues that Lamb's companies fall within this category; and out of that 15.75 million complaints over that 54 month period, those mere 3 complaints were somehow deemed so more worthy than all those others by the FTC to justify launching an apparent year-long investigation and bringing civil charges against Lamb last September. During that year, the FTC was able to stir up 15 more for their complaint to the court 5 from government officials and 10 from the Better Business Bureau's ("BBB") files allegedly against Lamb's businesses to 'widen the net;' FTC collected 18 affidavits in total to support its lawsuit; according to Lamb, only 13 were actually consumers, and of them... only 9 were actually his clients. After a year of wasting taxpayer money, this all boils down to nine unhappy people, three who complained to FTC on their own, and another six that the FTC solicited to complain to them and who agreed to complain, out of Lamb's 210,000 clients; and not one has complained of having not received the UCR credential they paid Lamb for, yet the word "fraud" has been used liberally by the media due to the defamatory spin of an FTC press release and blog posts that appear to try to infer criminal conduct in this civil matter. To make the case even more interesting, Lamb points to knowing of three other truck permit companies who have been impersonating his company and brand "DOT Authority" in violation of his registered service mark, to ride his coat tails. A Federal Judge ordered Lamb last September to contact his entire book of residual business to make sure that they all knew he was a third party and that they really wanted to be in his renewal program, a mere 5% dropped out. Many advised they had gone out of business since the previous year or had changed the scope of their operation from interstate to intrastate so that they no longer needed UCR credentials. After that Judge prescribed an enhanced third party disclaimer at the behest of the FTC, new clients, mostly one-man motor common carrier outfits, still continued to flock to Lamb in masses in the fourth quarter of 2016 to secure their UCR credentials because they choose to outsource their compliance to his companies in order to minimize their risk exposure and focus on what they do best: driving. The same logic applies to carriers' MCS-150 biennial reporting obligations and the FTC objects to Lamb charging carriers for assistance with meeting their reporting obligations on time (to avoid losing their USDOT number under the new Unified Registration System ("URS") rule), because they can do these reports without Lamb on their own for free. A number of lawyers following the case have suggested this case really deals with whether Lamb's original standard disclaimer on his homepage which has appeared on the site for years --"DOTAuthority.com is a consulting firm. It is not the Department of Transportation."-- was "adequate" under a reasonable consumer standard. Lamb argues that if you dig deep enough-- and put all the cards on the table, it becomes apparent that he is currently the subject of government retaliation by virtue of a conspiracy of Federal and State regulatory officials to violate his First Amendment rights, who are simply jealous of his success --or otherwise scorned-- and some lobbyists he took on who were quick to regurgitate the FTC's press release and have ganged up on him through --or in response to --the FTC action. Lamb has asserted from the onset "the FTC was asked to make a case against me by someone" due to his ongoing watchdog and whistle blower activities, like in the case of Lamb (1) exposing Missouri's UCR overcharge scheme back in 2011; (2) confronting Maine for collecting duplicate UCR payments from carriers in 2012; (3) demanding in 2012 that Iowa DOT (with copies to all of the 41 participating states) stop their apparent practice of unlawfully detaining trucks and collecting second UCR payments from carriers on the basis they didn't have their UCR receipt in their truck; (4) lodging a 2013 antitrust complaint to the FTC and the Department of Justice which the FTC ignored; and (5) filing two lawsuits he brought under his original non-profit trade group Association of Independent Property Brokers & Agents ("AIPBA") --which has since been absorbed by his Small Business in Transportation Coalition ("SBTC") founded in 2014 (Lamb's SBTC founded the 'Trucker Lives Matter' trucker gun rights movement)-- against the U.S. Department of Transportation's ("DOT") Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ("FMCSA") as president of the trade group; lawsuits which from 2013-2015 challenged the Constitutionality of the $75,000 freight broker bond provision hidden deep within the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act ("MAP-21") and the legitimacy of FMCSA's rulemaking activities with respect to the implementation of that MAP-21 broker bond (click here and see page 38). Just six months after Lamb's non-profit group's last lawsuit against FMCSA ended, Lamb's 15 year old for profit-business suddenly got hit with a lawsuit by the FTC ironically painting him out to be the bad guy. The FTC alleged in 2016 through a press release and blog that Lamb was a "government imposter" who "scam(med)" carriers in reference to the UCR program and passed his all inclusive fee, which included his third party fees, off as the actual state fees, yet this 2015 Internet TV episode from Lamb's show "The Authority" recently re-released by Lamb through social media depicts Lamb clearly holding himself out as an industry expert as he educates the industry on the UCR program, the actual state fee brackets promulgated by FMCSA through rulemaking, and clearly explaining motor carriers' choices in terms of filing UCR through their state, the Central UCR Board-managed depository run by the state of Indiana, or third-party permit companies like Lamb's DOTAuthority.com. In terms of his character, Lamb is a former New York State Department of Transportation Motor Carrier (consumer complaint) Investigator and is admitted to practice as a non-attorney layman practitioner before the U.S. Surface Transportation Board ("STB") since 1999. His community service includes serving as Deputy Inspector of a county Auxiliary Police program to help fight crime and Vice Commander of a United States Coast Guard Auxiliary flotilla. Lamb even assisted the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Central Intelligence Agency in identifying and determining the location of an American Air Force officer who was convicted, after Lamb's 2001 testimony, of espionage, for which he was awarded the "Exceptional Service in the Public Interest" award by the FBI Director. In the interest of transparency, Lamb's website DOTAuthority.com has always disclosed the actual state fees on his UCR information page, in addition to the all-inclusive service fees he offered to file owner-operator and small motor carriers' UCRs and they accepted as a matter of contract law. Lamb's 15 year old company's name is a "double entendre" because it plays on the fact that he is the "authority" on the DOT (thus the show name) because he used to be a DOT regulator on the one hand (think the brand "Sports Authority"), and, on the other, his company name is a matter of what he does, namely... help truckers get their own operating authority from the DOT. In January 2017, the FTC let the cat out of the bag and disclosed to Lamb, albeit perhaps by "loose lips," that the FMCSA is the agency that asked them to target him corroborating Lamb's claim that the FTC case against him was indeed politically motivated and was an act of revenge more than a bona fide consumer protection investigation as the FTC purports. Lamb suggests that his recent fundraising activities for a Republican candidate for president during the last presidential election cycle, which started in April 2015, just 5 months before the Democrat-controlled FTC opened its "investigation" into Lamb's business activities, may have been the real, fear-driven basis for FMCSA to ask the FTC to investigate him. Lamb has stated: "The last thing FMCSA --and some other folks in the industry who I have challenged-- would want back in 2015 is for me to become a possible candidate for Secretary of Transportation, and their boss... despite the fact that, in reality, I have no aspirations or interest in that position whatsoever and there would be many more qualified candidates to choose from. But, a 'hit piece' like this to make sure that didn't happen is not too far-fetched." It would appear FMCSA neglected to mention to the FTC that Lamb operates one of hundreds of permitting companies that service the motor carrier industry, which are an industry in and of themselves within the industry. Lamb also published this political post about a competing trade group's PAC donations to mostly Democrats in August of 2015, apparently just days before the FTC opened their investigation into his activities. State UCR officials who were issued a "cease and desist" letter by Lamb's AIPBA back in 2010 for allegedly charging carriers and brokers illegal extra fees not duly promulgated by regulation also apparently stepped up to try and take him down and just as Lamb was charged, they finally ceased imposing one of those fees on the industry after 10 years. Disturbingly, the FTC tricked a Federal Judge into freezing Lamb's personal and business assets and taking over his business through a temporary receiver without a hearing so that he couldn't pay his lawyers or buy baby formula for his infant daughter. Once the Judge learned the truth at a hearing during Lamb's testimony, testimony which FTC tried unsuccessfully to block, his accounts were unfrozen and his business was returned to him and the FTC was scolded for initially misrepresenting the facts and trying to jamb the court. The FTC essentially "nuked" Lamb with a surprise attack instead of serving a civil investigative demand, as is usual in these matters, or simply calling him to discuss their purported concerns. Lamb argues his disclaimers were ever present and adequate in his solicitations, websites, and shopping cart order pages, and that if the consumer missed it in one place, there were still two other safeguards in place to ensure a reasonable consumer understood he was a third party and those few consumers who complained were either not reasonable consumers or simply experienced buyer's remorse. The law on negative option marketing states: 15 USC § 8403. Negative option marketing on the Internet It shall be unlawful for any person to charge or attempt to charge any consumer for any goods or services sold in a transaction effected on the Internet through a negative option feature (as defined in the Federal Trade Commission’s Telemarketing Sales Rule in part 310 of title 16, Code of Federal Regulations), unless the person— (1) provides text that clearly and conspicuously discloses all material terms of the transaction before obtaining the consumer’s billing information; (2) obtains a consumer’s express informed consent before charging the consumer’s credit card, debit card, bank account, or other financial account for products or services through such transaction; and (3) provides simple mechanisms for a consumer to stop recurring charges from being placed on the consumer’s credit card, debit card, bank account, or other financial account. ... and Lamb argues he did not violate the law because he met all three conditions. Lamb has filed complaints against the FTC lawyers with the FTC Inspector General, the FTC lawyers' applicable bar associations, members of Congress and Congressional oversight committees, Small Business Administration and the U.S. Office of Special Counsel asking for investigations into the FTC's draconian practices and alleged FTC attorneys' abuse and misconduct. Lamb has moved the Court for leave to countersue the FTC for defamation and tortious interference related violations of the Federal Administrative Procedure Act. Lamb believes he is exempt from FTC jurisdiction because he acts as the agent of common carriers with respect to biennial reports and UCR filings and the FTC has no jurisdiction over common carriers. The FTC was aware of this before it filed the case against Lamb because the FTC was ruled against by the United States Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on August 29, 2016 in the AT&T Mobility case, yet filed against Lamb just 15 days later nonetheless. Worst of all, one FTC attorney egregiously brought up his infant daughter --who was never introduced into the proceeding by Lamb-- out of the blue at the end of a court-ordered mediation session in January 2017, in an apparent attempt to bully, intimidate and coerce him into agreeing to a proposed permanent injunction to prevent him from testifying in his own defense at trial. That callous exchange went like this... FTC Attorney Collot Guerard: "You have a beautiful daughter..."Lamb: "You mean the one you almost starved to death by freezing my assets?"FTC Attorney Collot Guerard: "Well, I hope she's still alive..." ...and Lamb immediately got up and walked out of the meeting. Although Lamb cannot figure out how this lawyer could possibly know what his daughter looks like, he received the FTC's scary and threatening message that they are watching him and his family loud and clear, and this has caused him and his partner severe emotional distress. That same FTC attorney Collot Guerard has disturbingly been accused in a publicly posted YouTube video of "witness tampering" in a past FTC case by threatening to put a witness' six children in a shelter if she did not lie for the FTC in an affidavit. The LabMD case suggests there is a pattern of the FTC abusing and destroying or trying to destroy small businesses beyond Lamb's case worthy of a Congressional oversight inquiry. This is apparently the American Government's response to an American businessman fighting corruption, attacks on small business, his petitioning the government for redress of grievances and his exercising his free speech on behalf of the industry. Accordingly, we the undersigned citizens of the United States of America --and other defenders of freedom-- hereby endorse this petition and call for the reconsideration of the charges against James Lamb, his partner, and his and his partner's carrier registration companies by the FTC Commissioners and the immediate withdrawal of said charges by the FTC. And we call for the FTC attorneys Collot Guerard Karen Hobbs Danielle Estrada and Connell McNulty who we believe have engaged in abuse and misconduct be reprimanded by the FTC Commissioners. And we call for the FTC Commissioners to direct FTC staff to respect the First and Fourth Amendments moving forward, provide remedial training, and generally be more sensitive to the rights afforded to American citizens by the United States Constitution when dealing with targets of investigations. And, finally, we call for Congressional oversight committees to take whatever other action they deem just and proper. ************************************************************************ Read thousands of comments protesting this FTC action on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheSBTC/posts/1929791847256526?comment_id=1398977680178733&ref=notif&notif_t=share_comment&notif_id=1494859932986560