FMCSA Shifts Schedule for Calculating Driver Crash Rates

Instead of calculating them on a calendar-year basis for purposes of deciding hazardous materials safety permit eligibility, it will use a fiscal-year basis starting Oct. 1 to give motor carriers three months to preview the rates.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration published an enforcement policy amendment on Sept. 22 that will change how it calculates crash rates and driver, vehicle, or hazardous materials out-of-service rates for purposes of deciding hazardous materials safety permit eligibility. The agency can't issue a permit to a carrier having a rate in the top 30 percent of the national average, according to 49 CFR 385.407(a)(2); FMCSA now calculates them on a calendar-year basis but will use a fiscal-year basis starting with 2011-2012 to give motor carriers and the industry three months to preview the rates.

The federal fiscal year of Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 will be used. The top 30 percent are the worst performing carriers based on the two prior years; FMCSA republishes the threshold rates online every two years.

Section 385.407 requires a carrier to have a Satisfactory safety rating, certify it has a satisfactory security program, and be properly registered with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (like FMCSA, a DOT agency) to qualify for the permit. The national average comes from the FMCSA Motor Carrier Management Information System (MCMIS); this requirement took effect for motor carriers beginning Jan. 1, 2005.

For more information, contact Roxane Greene at roxane.greene@dot.gov or 202-366-0735 or Paul Bomgardner at paul.bomgardner@dot.gov or 202-493-0027.

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