FMCSA Proposes New Motor Carrier Fitness Determination Rule

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) on Jan. 21 published its Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to update the safety fitness methodology used to determine if motor carriers are unfit.

Initial comments on the NPRM are due March 21, 2016.

The NPRM updates FMCSA’s safety fitness methodology to integrate on-road safety day from inspections along with the results of carrier investigations and crash reports in an effort to determine a motor carrier’s overall safety fitness.

Key changes include the following:

  • There will only be one safety rating (unfit) instead of the current three ratings of satisfactory, conditional or unsatisfactory;
  • Carriers would be assessed monthly, using fixed failure measures that are identified in the NPRM. However stricter standards would be used for those BASICS with a higher correlation to crash risk, including unsafe driving and hours of service compliance;
  • Violations of a revised list of “critical and acute” safety regulations would result in failing a BASIC.
  • All investigation results would be used, not just from comprehensive on-site reviews;
  • A carrier could be proposed unfit by failing two or more BASICs through inspections, investigation results or a combination of both.

Companies that do not have 11 or more inspections with violations in two or more BASICs and/or an investigation with violations cited in the past month would not be impacted by the proposed rule. 

FMCSA has launched a Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) Calculator to help fleets understand how their current safety fitness would be calculated under the proposed SFD regulations using current safety information. That calculator can be accessed here.





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