The FMCSA this week announced proposed changes to the agency’s Safety Management System (SMS).
The proposed changes are a result of feedback from “stakeholders,” the FMCSA says.
The changes would impact the SMS Intervention Thresholds to “better reflect the Behavior Analysis and Safety Improvement Categories’ (BASICs) correlation to crash risk, other changes to the Hazardous Materials (HM) Compliance BASIC, reclassifying violations for operating while out-of-service (OOS) to the Unsafe Driving BASIC, and adjustments to the Utilization Factor (UF).”
In addition, the FMCSA is proposing the following enhancements:
1. Changing some of the SMS Intervention Thresholds to better reflect the BASICs’ correlation to crash risk.
2. Two changes to the HM Compliance BASIC:
• Segmenting the HM Compliance BASIC by cargo tank (CT) and non-CT carriers; and
• Releasing motor carrier percentile rankngs under the HM Compliance BASIC to the public.
3. Reclassifying violations for operating while OOS as under the Unsafe Driving BASIC, rather than the BASIC of the underlying OOS violation.
4. Increasing the maximum Vehicle Miles Travelled (VMT) used in the UF to more accurately reflect operations of high-utilization carriers.
After conducting an SMS Effectiveness Test, the FMCSA says the results show that lowering the vehicle maintenance BASIC intervention to “better reflect the seriousness of the crash risk associated with vehicle maintenance issues and raising the intervention thresholds for the Controlled Substances/Alcohol, HM Compliance, and Driver Fitness BASICs would more effectively prioritize motor carriers.”
The FMCSA then analyzed carriers over a variety of intervention thresholds and compared the crash rates to the national average. From their findings, the agency decided to adjust the intervention threshold to “reflect the differences.”
The agency hopes that lowering the intervention threshold will help identify unsafe carriers and prevent crashes.
The following illustrates the proposed changes:
“The changes would maintain the current intervention thresholds of 65% for the BASICs with the strongest relationship to crash risk. While fewer carriers will be identified for interventions in those BASICs where FMCSA proposes to raise the threshold to 90%, a similar number of carriers will be identified across all BASICs as under the current intervention thresholds,” the FMCSA’s Federal Register states.
View the detailed report here.