New regs for Wednesday: TV ads, military health plans, truck drivers

Wednesday’s edition of the Federal Register contains new rules for the volume of TV commercials, cable and satellite providers that air political commercials, military reserve healthcare plans and truck drivers with diabetes.

Here’s what is happening:

TV commercials: The Federal Communications Commission is moving forward with a rule intended to make TV commercials quieter, the agency announced Tuesday.

The FCC is trying to prevent TV commercials from being startlingly louder than the shows that viewers are watching. While such rules already exist through the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation (CALM) Act, the agency is making changes that would further restrict the volume of commercials.

The rules incorporate a new way of measuring the loudness of a commercial.

“It is our hope that these changes will result in a modest decrease in the perceived loudness of certain commercials,” the agency wrote.

They go into effect on June 4, 2015.

Political files: The Federal Communications Commission is considering requiring cable and satellite TV providers to post information online about the political commercials they air, the agency said Tuesday.

The FCC began requiring broadcast television stations to provide these political files, including information about who bought the advertisement, online in August 2012. But the agency is now considering a petition that requests it expand the rule to include political commercials that air on all stations.

The FCC said it is also considering whether to expand the rule to include radio stations.

The public has until Aug. 28 to comment.

Truck drivers: The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is exempting dozens of truck drivers who use insulin to treat their diabetes from rules that would otherwise prohibit them from operating a commercial motor vehicle.

The rules are intended to prevent truck drivers with certain health conditions from becoming a danger to other drivers on the road. But the FMCSA said Tuesday that these 72 drivers have their diabetes reasonably under control and do not pose an additional danger to other drivers.

The exemptions are already in effect and will last for two years.

Health care: The Department of Defense is considering changes to healthcare and dental plans for military reserve officers and their families.

The public has 60 days to comment.

Credit practices: The Federal Reserve System is considering getting rid of certain credit practices rules intended to protect consumers from unscrupulous credit card companies.

The Fed says the rules are no longer necessary or applicable under the Dodd-Frank financial reform laws.

The public has 60 days to comment.


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