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Research Project
Implications of Electronic Clearance for Regulatory Enforcement of the Trucking Industry

The transparent borders concept of the Federal Highway Administration's Intelligent Transportation System for Commercial Vehicle Operations (ITS-CVO) program could enhance regulatory efficiency by improving motor carrier compliance while reducing costs of compliance.

In evaluating motor carrier regulations, understanding the structure, conduct, and performance of the industry is necessary. From this analysis, insight into regulatory reform as well as compliance strategies can be gained.

Following the analysis of the industry, this report focuses on the cost of enforcement for motor carriers, a component of compliance cost. Motor carrier regulations are typically enforced concurrently during weight and safety enforcement efforts. To determine the burden, the amount and value of time spent by motor carriers on enforcement activities was estimated. Recognizing that differences among trucking firms exist, burdens were estimated separately for truckload and less-then-truckload carriers. Values were based on labor and opportunity costs. Time requirements were taken from existing literature.

Current weight enforcement efforts cost the industry between $167 and $283 million annually. Further, over 99.4 percent of the burden is borne by compliant carriers. Technologies and enforcement strategies are currently available and should be pursued that would greatly reduce the proportion of compliant vehicles subjected to enforcement.

Complying with current safety enforcement efforts costs the industry between $14 and $25 million annually. Compliant carriers bear over 44 percent of this cost. Analysis of safety data indicates that a statistical relationship exists between out-of-service rates and accident rates. Therefore it is possible to develop a system that would increase the proportion of non-compliant vehicles subjected to inspection relative to compliant vehicles.

Final Report

Date: October 1994
Authors: Matthew Titus
Completed Report: DP-103

For more information about this project, please email Brenda Lantz brenda.lantz@ndsu.edu.

NDSU Dept 2880P.O. Box 6050Fargo, ND 58108-6050