House Passes Vehicle Terrorism Prevention Act

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill last week to evaluate and address the threat of vehicular terrorism.  H.R. 4227, introduced by Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH), was passed by the House on a vote of 417-2 on March 22. There is no companion bill in the Senate at this time.
The House bill directs the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to assess the activities it is undertaking to support emergency response providers and the private sector to prevent, mitigate and respond to the threat of vehicular terrorism. It also directs the Department to submit to Congress within six months a strategy to improve efforts to support the work of emergency response providers and the private sector to prevent, mitigate and respond to such threats.
The bill does not require tracking of hazardous materials vehicles or any particular method to respond to terrorist threats. It does ask the DHS to provide recommendations on how to prevent, mitigate and respond to the threat of using vehicles for terrorism.
The House Report documents the use of commercial trucks in recent years for vehicle ramming attacks by terrorists in the U.S. and worldwide.  
PHMSA Seeks Info on Automated Technologies in Highway, Rail

The Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) has published a request for information on the development and potential use of automated technologies for surface modes (i.e., highway and rail) in hazardous materials transportation.  83 Fed. Reg. 12529 (March 22, 2018).  
In anticipation of the development, testing and integration of Automated Driving Systems in surface transportation, PHMSA issued this request for information on the factors the agency should consider to ensure continued safe transportation of hazardous materials without impeding emerging surface transportation technologies.
In addition to a number of questions regarding the safety and regulatory implications on the design, testing and integration of surface automated vehicles, the PHMSA notice asked, “Under what circumstances do freight operators envision the transportation of hazardous materials in commerce using surface automated vehicles within the next 10 years?”
UCR Enforcement for 2018 Begins April 5

The Unified Carrier Registration Plan Board of Directors has recommended to the participating states that enforcement of the 2018 fees and registration requirements begin as of April 5, 2018. The registration process was delayed as the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration did not publish the final rule on the new fees in the Federal Register as required.