Bus/limo/taxi Transportation Trucking Federal agencies

FMCSA proposes changes to safety fitness determinations

Reprints
foxx_anthony

Anthony Foxx

Washington – The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration is proposing sweeping changes in an effort to improve the quality and quantity of its motor carrier safety fitness determinations.

FMCSA expects to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Jan. 21 Federal Register. The agency proposes to abandon the three-tier rating system of “satisfactory, conditional, unsatisfactory” that has existed since 1982 and replace it with a single finding of “unfit.” Motor carriers deemed unfit will be required to show improvement or cease operations.

FMCSA says it will use data from safety inspections, investigations and crash reports to produce monthly safety fitness determinations. The proposed rule would allow FMCSA to assess about 75,000 organizations a month, compared with the current monthly total of less than 2,000. The agency estimates that fewer than 300 motor carriers per year would be deemed “unfit” solely from on-road safety violations.

“Ensuring that motor carriers are operating safely on our nation’s roadways is one of our highest priorities,” Secretary of Transportation Anthony Foxx said in a press release. “Using all available information to achieve more timely assessments will allow us to better identify unsafe companies and get them off the road.”

FMCSA Acting Administrator T.F. Scott Darling III echoed Foxx’s praise.

“This update to our methodology will help the agency focus on carriers with a higher crash risk,” Darling said in the release. “Carriers that we identify as unfit to operate will be removed from our roadways until they improve.”

Post a comment to this article

Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy. (Anonymous comments are welcome; merely skip the “name” field in the comment box. An email address is required but will not be included with your comment.)