House committee approves a key provision on financial responsibility backed by ABA (May 14, 2015)
On May 13, 2015, the U.S. House of Representatives’ Committee on Appropriations approved a bill funding transportation programs that included a provision to stop the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration from raising insurance minimums for motorcoach companies. The American Bus Association, along with others, worked diligently to see this provision added to the bill.
Specifically, the provision would prevent FMCSA from spending any money to develop, issue, or implement any regulation to increase the level of minimum financial responsibility for motorcoach companies. The ABA believes rulemaking, regardless of its intent, should only be undertaken after thoughtful research and for the benefit of improving safety.
“Inclusion of this language is critical to both passengers and companies, and sends an important message to regulators on the importance of data-driven approaches to rulemaking, ” said ABA President and CEO Peter J. Pantuso. “This is another example of how ABA is fighting on behalf of motorcoach companies and our travel and tourism partners.”
ABA and other members of the coalition wrote to Congress explaining there is no credible evidence to support claims that higher insurance minimums would make the industry any safer. ABA believes any proposed increase in insurance requirements must be done based on reliable scientific research and not on the whims of regulators. “ABA appreciates the House Committee on Appropriations for this common sense vote,” said Pantuso.
Last year, following FMCSA’s announcement of its intention to increase insurance minimums, ABA’s Government Affairs and Policy team started organizing a coalition to take our industry’s case to Congress. ABA will continue that effort to protect the interests of the entire motorcoach industry. The legislation containing the provision must still be approved by the full House of Representatives and the Senate, prior to enactment.