FMCSA Seeks Input On A New Comprehensive Motor Carrier Safety Fitness Determination Methodology

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM) last week to gather information to support a new methodology to determine when a motor carrier is not fit to operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs). According to the FMCSA, the current safety fitness methodology is inadequate to properly measure a motor carrier’s safety fitness. The ANPRM is important to energy marketers because it could lead to a comprehensive data collection methodology that continuously monitors a motor carrier’s operational safety record. This in turn could lead to more out of service orders for motor carriers due to driver or vehicle safety violations and recordkeeping violations.

The FMCSA provides a number of reasons in the ANPRM that support changing the current safety fitness determination methodology. These include: the current SFD methodology evaluates a motor carrier’s safety compliance using only a limited range of roadside and other inspection data; the current process does not integrate all the data available in the motor carrier management information system (MCMIS) (Approximately 3.5 million inspections are conducted each year, and this information is not effectively used to determine a motor carriers safety fitness); the current safety rating offers only a snapshot of a company’s safety performance at the time of an investigation and provides no continuous monitoring of a motor carrier safety; under present and foreseeable staffing levels, the current regulations allow the Agency and its State partners to assess or rate the safety fitness of only a small population of motor carriers on an annual basis.

The ANPRM seeks input regarding new methodologies that would determine when a motor carrier is not fit to operate CMVs. The purpose is to more effectively use FMCSA data and resources to identify unfit motor carriers and to remove them from the Nation’s roadways. FMCSA specifically requests responses to a number of questions that can be found here: FMCSA Motor Carrier Safety Fitness Questions.