Withdraw Current FMCSA UCR Fee Rulemaking to Stop Drivers from being ARRESTED on Jan. 1st

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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



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