The proposed rule would replace the current three-tier system of "satisfactory-conditional-unsatisfactory" for federally regulated commercial motor carriers with a single determination of "unfit."

FMCSA Proposes Rule to Focus on Higher-Risk Motor Carriers

"This update to our methodology will help the agency focus on carriers with a higher crash risk," said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. "Carriers that we identify as unfit to operate will be removed from our roadways until they improve."

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has issued a proposed rule designed to improve the ability to identify non-compliant motor carriers. The Safety Fitness Determination (SFD) would update FMCSA's safety fitness rating methodology by integrating on-road safety data with results of investigations and crash reports in order to determine a motor carrier's safety fitness month-to-month.

Being published Jan. 21 in the Federal Register, the rule will create new methods for a motor carrier to be proposed unfit; the rule will be available at www.regulations.gov at docket number FMCSA-2015-0001. Comments are due by March 21.

"Using data from inspections or investigations or both, FMCSA proposes to evaluate carriers monthly to determine if they failed two or more Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories (BASICs) and thus should be proposed unfit. A motor carrier would be proposed unfit if it: (1) failed two or more BASICs based exclusively on on-road safety data from 11 or more inspections with 1 or more violations in each, in a single BASIC, before a carrier could fail the BASICs; (2) had violations of the proposed set of critical and acute regulations, identified through an investigation, that cause the motor carrier to fail two or more BASICs; or (3) failed two or more BASICs based on a combination of data from inspections and investigation results," the rule's text states.

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

According to the FMCSA news release, the proposed rule would replace the current three-tier system of "satisfactory-conditional-unsatisfactory" for federally regulated commercial motor carriers with a single determination of "unfit."

"This update to our methodology will help the agency focus on carriers with a higher crash risk," said FMCSA Acting Administrator Scott Darling. "Carriers that we identify as unfit to operate will be removed from our roadways until they improve."

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