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No New Truck Regulations
by Greg Martin, click here for bio
Program: Line on Agriculture
Date: August 22, 2011
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No New Truck Regulations. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Line On Agriculture.
The Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has announced it has no intention of proposing new regulations for agricultural vehicles. American Farm Bureau Federation Public Policy Director Mark Maslyn says that’s a big relief for the nation’s farmers and ranchers.
MASLYN: This was a very important victory for agriculture. We commend the Department of Transportation for that quick response because we hear a lot these days about regulation coming out of Washington, DC aimed at agriculture. Well, here is an example of them moving very quickly to dispel any notion that they intended to expand or strengthen the regulations related to farm vehicles.
Maslyn says back in May, the DOT started asking questions that many felt would lead to new federal regulations for farm vehicles.
MASLYN: The guidance document asked several questions relating to inter- and intrastate commerce and the definitions as they apply to agriculture, the methods of payment or contracting that farmers were engaged in and also whether or not the current definitions of implements of husbandry, i.e. farm vehicles and the equipment that they tow need to be strengthened or made more uniform from a national standpoint. They readily admitted that they don’t understand agriculture. It’s not a constituency of DOT or FMCSA and on a daily basis and they wanted to learn more about agriculture and the equipment that we use and how it’s operated not only across the country but in individual states and they did that.
Maslyn says these issues are primarily dealt with at the state level.
MASLYN: If you look at the mission of the DOT and the Federal Highway Safety Administration, their mission is safety and I think they quickly realized that safety was not an issue when it comes to incidents involving traffic incidents in states, that the number of incidents involving farm vehicles was very limited and they just felt that this was not necessary to change.
Probably the best way to lessen the number of farm vehicle traffic accidents would be for drivers in their cars to be on the lookout for these slow moving vehicles.
MASLYN: You know, modern agricultural equipment is not transported on interstates, so that’s an important distinction, but on state and local roads they’re required to be well marked. They travel at lower speeds and whenever anyone is using a highway there’s a responsibility on both parties to operate the vehicle carefully and that includes being in a rural area and looking out for these vehicles because they have a legal right to be there.
That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network.
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