The FMCSA has proposed a new motor carrier safety fitness rating system that they hope will help them to target companies with a higher crash risk by using data from inspections along with carrier investigation data.
One of the biggest changes in the rule proposal is the end of using “satisfactory”, “conditional,” or “unsatisfactory” as motor carrier safety ratings. Instead, the FMCSA would declare a carrier either “satisfactory” or “unfit.” An unfit rating means a carrier must either improve operations or take their trucks off the road.
Under the new rule, a carrier could be declared unfit if it failed two or more BASICS through inspections, investigation results, or a combination of the two. The rule is designed so that a carrier must show a history of noncompliance to be declared unfit: “when assessing roadside inspection data results, the proposal uses a minimum of 11 inspections with violations in a single BASIC within a 24-month period before a motor carrier could be eligible to be identified as “unfit.””
Another huge change is that the FMCSA would evaluate 75,000 carriers on a monthly basis. Currently, the agency only evaluates about 15,000 motor carriers on a yearly basis.
The FMCSA believes that only about 300 motor carriers would receive an unfit rating per year based only on on-the-road safety violations.
You can submit comments about the proposed rule change until March 31, 2016, by going to www.regulations.gov and referencing FMCSA-2015-0001.
The FMCSA has developed a Safety Fitness Calculator to help users understand how the proposed rule changes would affect them. You can access the calculator by clicking here.
You can read the proposed rule changes in the document below.